#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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Reconciliation - now is the time

Reconciliation – now is the time

I want to tell you a story about a woman, Born in the first quarter of the twentieth century in an indigenous community, Who knew life on the land, a traditional Indigenous life; When only a small child, she hid in the bush, one of a handful of survivors of a massacre in central New South Wales; Her mind is fading today, her daughter is gone, her ways are but ...

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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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"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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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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Resistance is futile - like hell it is!

Resistance is futile – like hell it is!

I couldn’t resist writing this post. I just couldn’t. Because since well before the whole Destroy the Joint thing has started, Blak and Black has been fighting to draw attention to the plight of Ms. King, Australia’s most senior Indigenous female banking executive who was indecently assaulted in broad daylight in the political heart of the Australian Capital Territory, also know as Canberra in 2005. What happened to Ms. King ...

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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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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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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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Sisters, will the real misogynist please stand up?

Sisters, will the real misogynist please stand up?

Misogyny is a nasty word. It implies much more than sexism; it indicates a hatred of women. That’s why, in the overall view of the current political debates I must rise to the defence of the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. I do not perceive that he hates women, although his views on gender equality and marriage rights may not align with mine. Alan Jones, similarly, I do not believe to ...

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Monkey see, monkey do

Monkey see, monkey do

“Behead all those who insult the prophet!” So read the banner in Sydney on Saturday, in a protest ignited by a film released in the United States. Really, the lack of respect shown by the creators of the video and by the protestors are equally abysmal. One group insults another, the other feels it acceptable to damage the property of the place they have immigrated to and chosen to call ...

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Charity begins at home

Charity begins at home

Charity begins at home. Some agree, some do not. But the simple fact is that our treatment of those close to us sets the foundations for our behaviours toward others. Before we can love another, we must first learn to love ourselves. Within Buddhist doctrine is the practice of metta bhavana, or loving-kindness. It is a deeply spiritual and personal practice in which an individual progressively develops a sense of ...

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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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Peer Gynt, a lesson in humanity

Peer Gynt, a lesson in humanity

Lies, I know, can be so furbished And disguised in gorgeous wrappings That their skinny carcasses Not a soul would recognize. That’s what you’ve been doing now, With your wonderful adventures Eagles’ wings, and all that nonsense Making up a pack of lies, Tales of breathless risk and danger Till one can no longer tell What one knows and what one doesn’t. Aase to Peer Gynt, Scene I, Act One ...

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The real problem with hypocrisy – it knows no honour

The real problem with hypocrisy – it knows no honour

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Milan Kundera One of the first Communist texts I read, following the French edition of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, also known as, The Little Red Book, was Victor Hugo’s novel Les Miserables. For those purists among my colleagues who may object to me referring to Les Miserables as a Communist text, I offer the following in ...

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Forty years on, Indigenous women still without rights

Forty years on, Indigenous women still without rights

It was freezing last night where I slept in my travels, below freezing in fact. In Bangerang country, home of the Yorta Yorta people, Mother Nature may have frozen the water in every dog’s bowl and garden hose, but she balanced the frigidity with a crystal blue sky and gleaming sun as it rose. The breeze has remained cool enough to nip at my heels, but even a white woman’s ...

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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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Red the colour of our blood, black the colour of our skin

Red the colour of our blood, black the colour of our skin

Jimmy Governor after his arrest – source Singleton Library I killed the school-teacher and Mrs Mawbey. … My missis was always telling me that Mrs Mawbey was always getting on at her for marrying a blackfellow. See said that Mrs Mawbey said any white woman who married a blackfellow was not fit to live. That made me very wild, and so we went and killed them. The school-teacher and the ...

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