#Racism: Time to cease emulating the ostrich

#Racism: Time to cease emulating the ostrich

“He was a remarkably effective prime minister for a while. The most difficult time was in 1997 and, to give credit to the government, they tightened the supervision over the banking system. The thing I recall (however) is the introduction of race and racist attitude into the body politic, especially over refugees.” Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, commenting about one his successors, John Howard, The Australian, 20 April 2013. Malcolm ...

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A fish rots from the head

A fish rots from the head

The most recent public airing of a racist attack on a Korean man and his aunt visiting from his homeland has prompted another round of self-reflection on the Australian psyche. Waleed Aly published his point of view a few days ago and whilst I agree that all nations battle issues of racism, the difference is that they acknowledge the problem exists, unlike Australia. The Israelis, Palestinians, Americans, Canadians, Kiwis and ...

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Cradle to grave #racism - it's not just Sydney

Cradle to grave #racism – it’s not just Sydney

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. Desmond Tutu Jeremy Fernandez, I’m sorry your two year old daughter learned, so early, that the colour palette is not always one with which she may paint azure ...

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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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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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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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Do as I say, don’t do as I do

Do as I say, don’t do as I do

I’ve debated about the title of this post, torn with an alternative following on from the statement in one’s Aboriginal heritage with a title that would allude to John Howard Griffin using his famous novel as the header, Black Like Me. But whilst I spend time with people of many colours and creeds on a daily basis, having not taken the path of Griffin or more recently John Saffran, I ...

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Bolt: A man who doesn't need the pillow case

Bolt: A man who doesn’t need the pillow case

An interesting comparison drawn from the Bolt judgement. Yesterday marked a line in the sand in Australian journalism. It’s just one line, but a significant one, with the finding of the Federal Court of Australia against Andrew Bolt and the Herald Sun in defending two of four articles written and published by the duo against charges that they breached the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). The fearful thing is, that had ...

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