Australia’s Racism Problem Just Won’t Go Away

Australia’s Racism Problem Just Won’t Go Away

This post has been proferred by Imogen, a reader of Blak and Black. As South Korean-born Dami Im’s X-Factor win in Australia is celebrated with a number one single it’s a shame that this demonstration of a multi-cultural country is also accompanied by an expression of that country’s darker side. While Im won on a public vote, her victory was also accompanied by that dispiriting modern phenomenon, an outbreak of racist social media posts ...

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Myall Creek an unlikely symbol of #reconciliation

Myall Creek an unlikely symbol of #reconciliation

  We want neither the classic nor the romantic savage here. We have far too many of the murderous wretches about us already. The whole gang of black animals are not worth the money the colonists will have to pay for printing the silly court documents on which we have already wasted too much time. The Sydney Morning Herald (1838) following the Myall Creek massacre I look on the blacks ...

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There is a dream dreaming us

There is a dream dreaming us

Actually, the natural man in Africa is a truly spiritual man. He has so much of the spiritual that he is overflowing with it. He has so much of it that he gets entangled with the outside world. He sees it in things that really cannot contain it. He sees it in the trees, he sees it in all the objects which surround him. The tragedy is that we walked ...

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R. v. Ipeelee: Aboriginal sentencing and overrepresentation in the prison population

R. v. Ipeelee: Aboriginal sentencing and overrepresentation in the prison population

On Friday, The Australian Institute of Criminology (“AIC”) realest its Australian crime: Facts & figures: 2012 report, which provides sober reading for all those concerned about the on-going silent genocide of Indigenous Australia. Among other highlights, the report notes that there have been a further 325 indigenous deaths in custody since The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (“RCIADIC”) released its list of recommendations in 1991. The #RCIADIC, which ...

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Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes

Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes

Whatever you say, don’t say it tice If you find your ideas in anyone else, disown them The man who hasn’t signed anything, who has left no picture Who was not there, who said nothing: How can they catch him? Cover your tracts. (My emphasis) Bertolt Brecht, “Handbook for City-Dwellers” Many readers of Blak and Black will recognise the heading for this post as being the most frequently paraphrased statements ...

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The blind juggler: Aboriginal offending and sentencing

The blind juggler: Aboriginal offending and sentencing

Jim Jim where is our party? where all members’re held equal an’vow t’infiltrate that thought among the people it hopes t’serve an’sets a respected road for all those like me. These words were written by Bod Dylan in response to the speech given by John Lewis on behalf of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on the afternoon of August 28, 1963 in Washington D.C. during the 200,000 strong march for ...

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Penny Wong and the Christian lobby – what is prejudice?

Penny Wong and the Christian lobby – what is prejudice?

For myself, earth-bound and fettered to the scene of my activities, I confess that I do feel the differences of mankind, national and individual…I am, in plainer words, a bundle of prejudice – made up of likings and disliking’s – the veriest thrall to sympathies, apathies, antipathies. Charles Lamb Flicking through todays offerings by the ‘free’ press in the world’s two great democracies – #Australia and #Russia – I was ...

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The Bugmy family, Dada and a Quiche in the face

The Bugmy family, Dada and a Quiche in the face

“Dada is a virgin microbe / Dada is against life so dear / Dada / Corporation exploiting ideas / Dada has 391 different attitudes and colours, depending on the President’s sex / It transforms itself – asserts – says exactly the opposite at the same time – no importance – cries – goes fishing / Dada is the chameleon of rapid, self-interested change / Dada is against the future, Dada ...

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There are 869 different forms of lying

There are 869 different forms of lying

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmet’s to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours … You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now ...

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Pourquoi les coiffeurs or Wingnut v The Ranger

Pourquoi les coiffeurs or Wingnut v The Ranger

We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls – has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped ...

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Statistics, lies and the #AFP

Statistics, lies and the #AFP

Thus Friend comforted me. I took great comfort from his counsel, and it seemed to me, indeed that he knew at least more than Reason did. But before he had finished his argument, which agreed strongly with me, Sweet Thought, and Sweet Talk came back, and from then on they stayed close to me and hardly ever left me afterward. But they did not bring Sweet Looks; I did not ...

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Magistrate Clisdell v Reality

Magistrate Clisdell v Reality

I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves — this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in ...

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Magistrate Clisdell and the NSW ‘just-us’ system

Magistrate Clisdell and the NSW ‘just-us’ system

It is sillier than the vain futile cawing of a senseless crow to try to talk to others about one’s own deep sorrow! (Wakayama Bakusai (1885-1928) trans. Robert Wood Clack) On Sunday afternoon while painting at Palm Beach, I received an email from my good friend Mr Julian Moti QC, the former Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands. Attached to Julian’s e-mail was one he had received from his friend and former ...

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El-Masri v The Former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia

El-Masri v The Former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia

With the Inauguration of President Obama for his second term fast approaching (20 January, 2013) it is worth considering just how far the United States and indeed the West has fallen from the lofty ideals that underpin the West’s claim to moral, if no longer financial and technological, supremacy. This West’s claim to moral superiority has again been put to the test and has again been found wanting. I’m referring ...

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David Hicks and Lex Wotton – it’s all black and white

David Hicks and Lex Wotton – it’s all black and white

David Hicks and Lex Wotton, two of Australia’s notorious. No I’m not suggesting that they are members of that Sydney based pseudo-outlaw bikie gang allegedly connected with the Ibrahim family, rather I’m suggesting that these men have been outlawed for a very different reason, they challenged Australia’s systemic and entrenched culture of corruption. While Messers Hicks and Wotton may share a certain degree of notoriety based on their past actions, ...

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Liberty, Equality, Fraternity – but, only if you’re white

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity – but, only if you’re white

Liberté, égalité, fraternité; the national motto of France, indeed the emphasis on Fraternité during the French Revolution led Olympe de Gouges, a contemporary French playwright, political activist and journalist, to write the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen shortly after the French constitution of 1791 was created. She was alarmed that the constitution, which was to promote equal suffrage, did not address, nor even consider, women’s ...

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The rule of law and the democratic process

The rule of law and the democratic process

“No-one ever argues that governments should have less integrity, that elected officials should not be accountable, or that public servants should behave unethically. Broad statements of the value of integrity, transparency, accountability and ethics gain general agreement from all sides of politics and from all participants in public debate. But government integrity demands more than general expressions of goodwill. Enhancing transparency and accountability requires supportive structures as well as declarations ...

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The Medusa – the price we all pay for political corruption

The Medusa – the price we all pay for political corruption

Let us venture to advance another truth, a truth useful to the Minister himself. There exists among the officers of the Marine, an intractable esprit de corps, a pretended point of honour, equally false and arrogant, which leads them to consider as an insult to the whole navy, the discovery of one guilty individual. This inadmissible principle, which is useful only to insignificance, to intrigue, to people the least worthy ...

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Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus

Legum servi sumus ut liberi esse possimus

Words Like Freedom There are words like Freedom Sweet and wonderful to say. On my heart strings freedom sings All day everyday. There are words like Liberty That almost make me cry. If you had known what I know You would know why. Langston Hughes (p. 38 of Poetry For Young People: Langston Hughes) Lectori Salutem of Blak and Black, many will recognise the title of this post as being ...

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Nemo nisi Nomen

Nemo nisi Nomen

…believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole cause of public calamities and of the corruption of governments, have determined to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights of man…Men are born and remain free and equal in rights… These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression… Declaration of the Rights of Man and the ...

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