Brothers [poem by C.J. Dennis, 22 August 1929]

[Editor: This poem, attributed to C.J. Dennis, satirically attacks a Russian communist newspaper’s criticism of Australian workers supporting a White Australia. Published in The Register (Adelaide, SA), 22 August 1929.]


(By Den)

Pravda, Russia’s Soviet newspaper, in a leading article on the Pan-Pacific Labour Congress, states that great strides have been made in destroying Australian workmen’s prejudices against coloured labour and their faith in a White Australia.

Ah, brother, make most
Of the Asian host,
Tho’ its coming may bring you disaster ;
For the black or the tan
Is a true fellow man
And less dangerous than your master.
You are one of the mass,
And the war is of class,
And the boss is a brutal assassin.
So wage the good fight
On the boss, who is white,
But make friends with Wun Hi and Al Hassan.

It’s a mass war, a class war ;
And the boss is the person to plunder.
So sock him real good when feel in the mood ;
But be kind to Ah Foo and Ram Chunder.

You’re a poor, shackled slave,
Heading straight for the grave,
Whom base Capital strangles and smothers.
But there’s not the least doubt
We can knock it right out
If you’ll welcome your dear brindle brothers.
Hug them tight to your breast,
For their friendship is best
For a poor proletarian duffer.
If they swamp all the State
At some far distant date,
You’ll be dead. It’s the kids who will suffer.

It is a mass war ; it is a class war ;
So take all your orders from Russia,
And do your job in for the sake of Ah Sin,
And hand your home on to Ram Musha.

The Register (Adelaide, SA), Thursday 22 August 1929, page 5

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