#WalkTogether to end #racism

#WalkTogether to end #racism

The sign says it all. Since when should people need to rally to welcome others, to offer a helping hand? The annual #Walktogether held in both capital cities and regional locations attracted people of all ages, calling for an end to the marginalization of refugees through policies such as off shore detention, as well as to promote inter-faith and community harmony. All ages of the community were represented, carrying multi-coloured ...

Read More »
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 ...

Read More »
Treaties, lies and the Morning Star Flag

Treaties, lies and the Morning Star Flag

“The West Papuans have become the victims of Australia’s regional foreign policy arrangements that prop up the anti-refugee policies of Operation Sovereign Borders.” Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition. Fifty-two years ago on this day, the Morning Star flag otherwise known and Bintang Kejora, was first raised in West Papua, (formerly known as West New Guinea and to Indonesia, Irian Jaya), marking the unofficial independence of the small province as the ...

Read More »
Australia’s Racism Problem Just Won’t Go Away

Australia’s Racism Problem Just Won’t Go Away

This post has been proferred by Imogen, a reader of Blak and Black. As South Korean-born Dami Im’s X-Factor win in Australia is celebrated with a number one single it’s a shame that this demonstration of a multi-cultural country is also accompanied by an expression of that country’s darker side. While Im won on a public vote, her victory was also accompanied by that dispiriting modern phenomenon, an outbreak of racist social media posts ...

Read More »
Fatima, Australian of my year

Fatima, Australian of my year

She is a very beautiful young woman, quiet, reserved, cautious and courteous. Her parents have sent her to Australia to undertake tertiary studies, full fee paying tertiary studies. She has no immediate family within these shores, only the family of a cousin more than 1,000 km away where she sometimes visits. Fatima, this industrious young woman with the pale pink head scarf, is isolated in more ways than I care ...

Read More »
Anna Elisabeth Schmieg and the narrative structures of society

Anna Elisabeth Schmieg and the narrative structures of society

How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known? Orhan Pamuk, snow Anna Elisabeth Schmieg of Hurden from the old County of Hohenlohe had a bad reputation with her fellow villagers. Anna’s reputation for drinking and brawling in taverns and for ...

Read More »
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 ...

Read More »
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 ...

Read More »
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 ...

Read More »
Arma virumque cano

Arma virumque cano

The more classically minded among Blak and Black’s readers will recognise the title of this post as being the opening words of Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid, “… sing of arms and of a man.” Arms and the man I sing, who first from the coasts of Troy, exiled by fate, came to Italy and Lavine shores; much buffeted on sea and land by violence from above, through cruel Juno’s ...

Read More »
Do the AFP have the skill and integrity to manage a $2Billion budget?

Do the AFP have the skill and integrity to manage a $2Billion budget?

The request for assistance was then referred on to the Federal Police but they said they didn’t have the resources to respond. (Serco Regional Manager John Hayes) The above quote from Serco Manager John Hayes is part of a response he gave to a parliamentary committee enquiring into the circumstances leading up to the Villawood Detention Centre which occurred earlier this year. While the circumstances leading to the riot and how Serco responded ...

Read More »
Ernst & Young: A vehicle for hiding corruption in Canberra

Ernst & Young: A vehicle for hiding corruption in Canberra

There is no question about racism being a profound form of ignorance, but when it becomes something that informs employment decisions by one of the world’s biggest accounting firms, Ernst & Young, and a Australian Government Department ACT Treasury, then it becomes something more than simply abhorrent – it becomes a point of view which can be openly expressed in boardrooms and in official government correspondence. It’s at this point ...

Read More »
A call for a Royal Commission into the AFP

A call for a Royal Commission into the AFP

“A State cannot claim to be operating under the rule of law unless laws are administered fairly, rationally, predictably, consistently and impartially.” (Chief Justice Spigelman, as he then was, in an Address given on 20 March 2003 at the International Legal Services Advisory Council Conference Sydney) Ann Applebaum in Gulag: A History reminds us that the rule of law requires that an individual is punished only for what he does, ...

Read More »
Injustice within Justice

Injustice within Justice

I have borrowed the title from Michael Stolleis’ oxymoronically titled book Justice within Injustice which is about, oxymoronically, justice in the Third Reich. After having read Stolleis’ essays, in which he argues that the loss of personal freedoms under the Third Reich was more an erosion of freedoms that a revolutionary break with the past, I was struck by the parallels between what Stolleis argues happened under the Third Reich ...

Read More »
It’s time for a Royal Commission into the Australian Federal Police

It’s time for a Royal Commission into the Australian Federal Police

“A State cannot claim to be operating under the rule of law unless laws are administered fairly, rationally, predictably, consistently and impartially.” (Chief Justice Spigelman, as he then was, in an Address given on 20 March 2003 at the International Legal Services Advisory Council Conference Sydney) Ann Applebaum in Gulag: A History reminds us that the rule of law requires that an individual is punished only for what he does, ...

Read More »
Reconciliation week: a joke played by ‘white’ Australians on Indigenous Australians and the international community!

Reconciliation week: a joke played by ‘white’ Australians on Indigenous Australians and the international community!

Racial discrimination against Indigenous Australians is as alive and well in Australia today as it ever was. In fact, under the lost years of opportunity known to history as the ‘Howard Years’, Australia on many, many levels wound the clock back to a more racist and intolerant past. An example of this is a story which appeared in the National Indigenous Times (NIT) in 2009. A man struck a woman ...

Read More »
Racism, a matter of political expediency in Australia!

Racism, a matter of political expediency in Australia!

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today rebuked Australia for its political, rather than human rights based approach to indigenous people and asylum-seekers. Although criticizing some of Australia’s practices, she had considerable praise for Australia’s “strong history of commitment to human rights at the international level, and also of course a robust system of democratic institutions.” Nonetheless, she believes improvements are necessary in the realm of treatment of ...

Read More »
I think white fella speaks with ill intent!

I think white fella speaks with ill intent!

“Australians have a great sense of fairness and when you do things like that we say ‘get on your bike, fella’ and get back out again. Don’t take advantage of us”. (David Koch to rioters at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre, 21 April, 2011) The above comment by David Koch is interesting given they come from a person whose presence on the shores of Australia owes more than a little to ...

Read More »