True Blue Aussies

True Blue Aussies

There are numerous groups working to assist the homeless in Sydney. Most nights you can find a food van behind St. Mary’s Cathedral or in Wentworth Park. There’s people who beg on the streets daily and others sleeping rough in doorways or alleys, all dependent on the compassion of those more fortunate for a meal each day. Australian Muslim Youth (AMY) are one group trying to address the needs of ...

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The "Unsettled" Great Southern Land

The “Unsettled” Great Southern Land

Where to start … where to start … After a protracted hiatus, Blak and Black is back! There’s so much to write about, so much in the news and the world at large. We’ll get to much of it over time, but there’s really only one place to restart for a blog that revolves around discrimination, in particular indigenous racism and that’s Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s most recent foot-in-mouth ...

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A mile in his shoes - learning from Monet

A mile in his shoes – learning from Monet

Chocolate is the panacea of woe, but in more recent years, I’ve found my palette appreciating much more of the citrus tones that cleanse and refresh, even if some do bite. Perhaps orange is a symbol, a marker of age. When glaucoma takes hold, the vision can develop an orange tinge; same too with cataracts. Perception of the world changes and we see with, in the most literal sense, different ...

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#Misogyny and #sexism - Australian political rhetoric

#Misogyny and #sexism – Australian political rhetoric

Before launching into this post, Blak and Black wishes to congratulate its good friend Mr. Julian Moti QC on his admission to the Fiji bar and imminent return to the legal profession, where he had previously been a longterm champion of indigenous rights. Now, to the post … I’m going to raise ire and I’ll bet more than a few negative comments with this post. Because I’m tired of the ...

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Life on the street - no fixed address

Life on the street – no fixed address

I trudged a well worn path from Melbourne’s La Trobe Street to Flinders Street in my youth. Sydney has its fabulous Harbour, but Melbourne had arcades that drew me in and wide streets that seemed full of life, people, buskers, fruit sellers. I could browse the wares and stay under the cover almost the full distance, with never thought for the rain. Melbourne’s arcades still draw me, my favourite being ...

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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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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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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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"May it ring for justice and change"

“May it ring for justice and change”

I like to learn how to say people’s names properly. Not that I have a particularly good memory for pairing names with faces, but I believe it is a sign of respect when you pay enough attention to learn to say – and spell – someone’s name correctly. Perhaps it’s a legacy of those elocution lessons at primary school … Mrs. Edie would be amused. I also like to learn ...

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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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#IdleNoMore - Transnational Indigenous Solidarity

#IdleNoMore – Transnational Indigenous Solidarity

#IdleNoMore is a growing movement of indigenous activism that started with Canada's First Nations taking a stand against a long history of systematic, institutionalized abuse from the Canadian authorities. ...

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Hypocrisy underscoring the ACT's Bill of Rights

Hypocrisy underscoring the ACT’s Bill of Rights

”Quite often before they get there they have done something quite serious. It becomes quite difficult because the offending behaviour is the first point that you’ve got to address and you can’t say that just because someone is Aboriginal they are excused from any criminal behaviour. Clearly that doesn’t work. You have to go back earlier, to why they are offending in the first place.” Chief Justice Terrence ...

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A Contributing Life: the reality of Australia's first people

A Contributing Life: the reality of Australia’s first people

“… people with mental health problems want the same thing as everyone else. Even the disadvantaged should be able to lead a contributing life. This can mean many things. It can mean a fulfilling life enriched with close connections to family and friends, good health and wellbeing to allow those connections to be enjoyed, having something to do each day that provides meaning and purpose – whether it be a ...

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Promises and passages - it's all an illusion

Promises and passages – it’s all an illusion

  Promises and passage, that what’s they were sold. A truth not realized, the loss of all that was family and home. The South Sea Islanders who came to Australia in the 1800s and early 1900s were referred to as Kanakas. Many were kidnapped by ‘blackbirders’. As the descendents of Anglo-Celtic migrants, those sugar-cane farmers in Queensland may well have listened and danced to tunes such as Sharon Shannon’s jig ...

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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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Right versus religion

Right versus religion

Last week one comment on twitter to some of the Blak and Black crew resulted in considerable discussion about the underlying intent of this wee blog. The commenter, apparently thinking that Bakchos was proselytizing in his post A Hypocrite for a Prime Minister, a Hypocrite for a Chief Minister, fired off this somewhat surprising reply:   Some of the crew were online at the time and promptly replied to the ...

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Destroy the Joint, schmoozing and the hypocrites

Destroy the Joint, schmoozing and the hypocrites

The announcement of a Royal Commission into child abuse by clergy is as big an issue as was the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption, if not bigger. This is no ordinary review of process or legality, but a direct attack on the primacy of religious and canon law over that of the state. Such a thing would never have happened a century ago, because the place of the church ...

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A hypocrite for a Prime Minister, a hypocrite for a Chief Minister

A hypocrite for a Prime Minister, a hypocrite for a Chief Minister

Each man reaches perfection by doing his own duty; he worships god – from whom all beings come, by whom this universe was stretched forth – by doing his appointed work, with no desire for reward. You must do the work for its own sake and not for anything that it may bring to you. When pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat are the same to you, ...

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Ain't I a woman?

Ain’t I a woman?

If I could share a meal at a table with a small group of people from any time in history, Isabella Baumfree would be one of them. Perhaps, just perhaps, she could tell me how to help find justice for the Indigenous women ignored by the Australian Federal Police in Australia’s capital, Canberra. Isabella was born the daughter of slaves, enslaved herself from the moment of conception. Sold at the ...

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