Impossible dream and a not so imaginary foe

Impossible dream and a not so imaginary foe

The day began with a comfortably low temperature of 17oC before rising to a high of 28oC. In the crushing crowd outside the Lincoln Memorial, it would seem unbearably hot to many. But fevers were raised by more than the beat of sun and thirsts were quenched by words more invigorating that the water of the Reflecting Pool on August 28, 1963. And on the very day that Martin Luther ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Too little, too late

Too little, too late

… What folk is this, which seems by pain so vanquished?” And he to me: “This miserable mode Maintain the melancholy souls of those Who lived withouten infamy or praise. Commingled are they with that caitiff choir Of Angels, who have not rebellious been, Nor faithful were to God, but were for self. The heavens expelled them, not to be less fair; Nor them the nethermore abyss receives, For glory ...

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The finger puppet of fickle fate

The finger puppet of fickle fate

Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene I hardly paid any attention. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that 18 years later I would recall it in such detail. I didn’t give a damn about the scenery that day. I was thinking about myself. I was thinking about the beautiful girl walking next to ...

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Dr Janice Harper: Just Us Justice

Dr Janice Harper: Just Us Justice

Dr. Janice Harper has graciously agreed to her paper being republished on Blak and Black, for which we are most grateful. This is the paper referred to in the post To fight the grizzly or run: a comparison of fortunes. More of Dr. Harper’s writing and insights can be found at the Huffington Post, her professional website and her blog The Chocolate Covered Kitchen. Please take the time to read this article and her ...

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Eat shit: millions of flies can’t be wrong

Eat shit: millions of flies can’t be wrong

The absence of good and evil characterizes the mind itself (hsin-t i) The presence of good and evil characterizes the movement of intention. The knowledge of good and evil is liang-chih. The doing of good and ridding of evil is the investigation of things. Yang-ming – Conversation at T’ien-ch’uan Those aforementioned principles are today expressed as: The mind in-itself, without good and evil, is human nature. From this is aroused ...

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You’re not an Aboriginal Organisation: the ACT Government’s take on NAIDOC week

You’re not an Aboriginal Organisation: the ACT Government’s take on NAIDOC week

Canberra’s Billabong Aboriginal Development Corporation is the ACT’s finalist for the National Landcare awards, Indigenous section. Responding to a question from the ABC’s Rural programme, Billabong’s founder and chairman Jim Best says eight out of ten of those young people got work out of it. It’s really important to pick up a whole range of skills. We had a core group of young people doing the Conservation Land Management Certificate ...

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Law is The Law, but not if you’re an Aborigine

Law is The Law, but not if you’re an Aborigine

Men, in general, seem to employ their reason to justify prejudices, which they have imbibed, they cannot trace how, rather than to root them out. The mind must be strong that resolutely forms its own principles; for a kind of intellectual cowardice prevails which makes many men shrink from the task, or only do it by halves. Yet the imperfect conclusions thus drawn, are frequently very plausible, because they are ...

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Respect: more than just a word

Respect: more than just a word

Last week, I came across this post by Cate via a mutual friend. I asked if Blak and Black could republish it, to share it with a more diverse audience and she has asked for a response. After discussion with Bakchos, I gratefully accept Cate’s invitation on behalf of Blak and Black, which will be posted simultaneously on our own site. I am a sixth generation Australian of Anglo-Celtic heritage. ...

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Concentric Circles of Death: refugees and a cynical and manipulative Australian polity

Concentric Circles of Death: refugees and a cynical and manipulative Australian polity

In the Twentieth Century of my trespass on earth, having exterminated one billion heathens, heretics, Jews, Moslems, witches, mystical seekers, black men, Asians, and Christian brothers, every one of them for his own good, a whole continent of red men for living in unnatural community and at the same time having relations with the land, one billion species of animals for being sub-human, and ready to take on the bloodthirsty ...

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National Sorry Day: Meaningless in the face of racism and sexism

National Sorry Day: Meaningless in the face of racism and sexism

Last week’s discussion of the Jinn combined with this week’s reading about Heraclitus to reinforce my opinion that the treatment of Ms. King and Lucinda McMillan at the hands of the Australian Federal Police are both not only undemocratic, but downright racist and sexist. Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher is credited with the concept that a man cannot step into the same stream twice. He believed that the sun was made ...

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Beware there be Jinn in the forests: Indonesia and West Papua, a clash of cultures

Beware there be Jinn in the forests: Indonesia and West Papua, a clash of cultures

Last weekend I took a stroll through the Mesopotamia exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. While reading the commentary attached to a number of the artefacts I realised, in a profound way, that what we call civilization is actually a reaction to and against nature. Some cultures, those we choose to call ‘primitive’, ‘savage’ or ‘uncivilized’ attempt to live in harmony with nature, or at least attempt to develop a rapport ...

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Anzac Day: Lest we forget

Anzac Day: Lest we forget

There is a battle going on in this country, one the majority would rather ignore. It is a battle for equality between anything to marks a person as not conforming to the mainstream. Like any war, the boundaries keep moving as allies are formed and concessions are made. We are, as a society nominally convinced of the right of each person to equal treatment, but when it comes to the ...

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