Start as you mean to continue

Start as you mean to continue

Sunshine in Melbourne’s west has seen all manner of refugees in the past half century. The current mix includes a significant proportion of men, women and children from African nations. Many of these people will have suffered extreme abuse and seen horrors most people of Australian heritage would struggle to imagine. They have turned to the western world in search of respite and a better life, a chance to live ...

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#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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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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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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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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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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Standing Still

Standing Still

This post, originally posted by Cate Bolt on her blog An Ordinary Life, is reposted here with permission. Her open willingness to question the status quo and ask how best we can work together to end Indigenous racism in Australia, to acknowledge that perhaps help is not what the Aborigines want, but rather respect, is a reflection of the sort of attitude that Blak and Black wishes to emphasize. Thankyou ...

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Australian Constitutional reform

Australian Constitutional reform

Following on from the discussion of belonging and what the Australian flag represents to many Indigenous Australians, this post gives consideration to the current debate about acknowledgement of Australia’s Aborigines in the Constitution. “The Constitution did not attempt to sum up the Australian ethos — just as well, since that has changed considerably over one hundred years. The Constitution is simply a statement of the legal terms on which the ...

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The symbol of belonging

The symbol of belonging

On the request of a friend, this post offers some insights as to why someone would wish to burn the Australian flag as an act of protest. The events in Canberra on the day commemorating the arrival of the first European settlers in Australia widely known as Australia Day have provided the media with no end of racial and political fodder. I spent some time reading comments on Yahoo!7, including: ...

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Anti-Aboriginal racism in Australia has no bounds - NT Intervention extended by ten years

Anti-Aboriginal racism in Australia has no bounds – NT Intervention extended by ten years

“Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians are part of our community we’re not nameless, faceless people who live on the margins of society. We deserve the respect and the dignity afforded to others. We deserve equality.” ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr during the Australian Labor Party (“ALP”) National Conference debate on same-sex marriage I don’t have an issue with Mr Barr’s comments as they reflect nothing more or ...

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The AFP and the 'Nazification' of Australian Society

The AFP and the ‘Nazification’ of Australian Society

I’m writing this post in response to some comments that have been left on Blak and Black over the last week or so. The comments are interesting from a number of perspectives, though for me their interest lays not so much in the comments themselves, but in the socio-economic backgrounds and age of the commenters. The commenters I’m referring to are tertiary educated, work in the medical profession and are ...

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No amount of education will ever make us white

No amount of education will ever make us white

The following is a letter I received from a reader of Blak and Black and the Fiji Sun, talking about his experiences as a Pakistani/Australian living in Australia’s Capital, Canberra: Dear Sir, I read with interest your article Moti End Game which appeared in the Fiji Sun on Friday 22 July 2011. I commend you on your courage in standing up for the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific ...

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The politicisation of the AFP and ALP corruption

The politicisation of the AFP and ALP corruption

Racism, and in particular anti-black racism, is a part of our community’s psyche. A significant segment of our community holds overtly racist views. A much larger segment subconsciously operates on the basis of negative racial stereotypes. Furthermore, our institutions, including the criminal justice system, reflect and perpetuate those negative stereotypes. These elements combine to infect our society as a whole with the evil of racism. Blacks are among the primary ...

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A rose by any other name: Invasion

A rose by any other name: Invasion

Earlier this week Sydney City Council voted to include the term ‘invasion’ in the Preamble to the city’s vision for 2030. It’s even made news in India. It’s caused a stir within our own borders too: “… All I can say is, so what? Caesar invaded Gaul mainly for political gain. While there, according to Plutarch, he killed 1 million Gauls and enslaved 1 million more, and now we rightfully ...

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Co-operate or else, AFP thuggery in the pursuit of a white Australia

Co-operate or else, AFP thuggery in the pursuit of a white Australia

97 Quite rightly, the accused regarded ASIO and the AFP as arms of the state. He quite rightly assumed that they were acting together. The notion that he would be likely to reason that the AFP would not tell ASIO about the extent of his cooperation is fanciful. It would also have been utterly mistaken. Not only did the AFP disclose what he had said to ASIO, but both organizations ...

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Derision, lies and the death of OUR DEMOCRACY

Derision, lies and the death of OUR DEMOCRACY

I lived in Australia for a year and was astounded at the level of casual racism in all walks of Australian life. The term ‘wog’ is used by many people in casual conversation and looks of shock are met with “It’s just a word mate, they use it too!” (Samfromstroud 12 May 2011 at 10:59) Really? If this is true it is a terrible reflection on Australian society. Casual racism ...

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