Sunday, June 27, 2010
Lets Talk Racism!
If you are opening this link in hopes of one of my feel good, crazy, random blogs, then you may want to click exit now... If you want something that will challenge your thoughts and perceptions, then read on....
"Racism is the belief that race is a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race"....
In the past two weeks, the issue of racism has been a hot topic for Individuals and communities around the nation when NSW Rugby League player Timana Tahu shocked the Australian public when he walked out of the Blues camp, after racist comments were made by trainer and rugby league legend, 'Andrew Johns' after he called Queensland player 'Greg Inglis', a 'Black c**t'...
Now those that know me, know that I was a staunch blues supporter and an Andrew John's fan (no longer) so you can imagine my devastation when I had heard of the allegations... Not only am I a footy fan, but I am a very opinionated and passionate black woman on black issues... Combine all of those traits and you get one hurt and confused indigenous footy loving woman.
So what does it feel like to be racially discriminated against?? As a proud murri woman from North Queensland, I myself have had numerous run in's with more often than not, Non Indigenous people who have called me 'black this, and black that, you name it, I've heard it'... The sickening thing is, Racism can come in any form and can be directed at any one individual of any colour, not just black. Those who have experienced it first hand will know the feelings of hurt that comes along with someone judging on you on your skin colour or race.
Since the allegations by Johns were made public by Tahu, some people seemed to be shocked, and others, not so much. The thing I find about news stories like these, is the amount of debating one has to do with those less educated individuals when racism rears it's ugly head.
Now I don't mind a good debate, infact some would say that I love one, but the discussions I have had on this issue with friends; the people in my life who I thought were educated, smart, worldly people, have been nothing short of unbelieveable. Questions have been posed to me like, 'what was so offensive abouts John's comments, was it the 'c**t bit of the black bit'?? Right... At this point, I think to myself,
A) Is this person for real?
B) How dumb are they?
C) And what year are we in?
What year are we in when someone cannot see why using the term 'Black C**t' is just plain right unacceptable? Is our society still that far behind that we don't see why its wrong? My answer to that question in case you were wondering...
"If you can't see why its wrong, than thats a reflection on you and your small minded character'...
Racism comes back to a lack of education for all of Australian society, and not having an understanding of real Australian History. A history of attempted genocide on the first inhabitants of the country, massacres, whipping out of complete tribes, languages, cultural life, mis placement, the raping of aboriginal women, slavery, stolen children, introduced substances, stolen land and inevitably a country built on lies and illegal practices... A Country we know today as Australia.
Take a minute to process all of that, now fast forward to the year 2010. After all those monstrosities done to a race of people, do you think that a statement such as 'Black C**t' is going to be seen as 'acceptable' to them? HELL NO!! If you answered yes to that question then you might as well stop reading now, go back to doing whatever hick thing you were doing before you opened this link, delete my phone number, delete me off facebook and out of your life, because anyone who thinks that it is OKAY, Is not welcome in my life!
Now some people would say, 'But it's you're job as an Indigenous woman to educate non indigenous people on why it's wrong'... Okay, yes, in a way that's true. Every Indigenous person should speak up on issues that affect their people, but these bigotry comments steam back to a lack of education, and to tell you the truth, I am sick of educating people on black issues everytime something arises.
My people, the Indigenous people, have had to learn non indigenous ways of life since the start of colonisation, so why is it that we have to constantly learn the white ways and yet some non Indigenous people still feel they don't have to learn black ways? Constantly saying the same thing over and over to a bunch of people who have no understanding, is quite honestly getting tiring.
I believe it's time for individuals in society, whether they are black, white, pink or purple to start educating themselves, so when Indigenous Issues do arise, they have half a leg to stand on in a debate, instead of me just shaking my head and not bothering with them... And don't get me wrong, me not bothering isn't me having no answers, but instead just sick to the guts of ignorant people!
I will always be a woman passionate about her culture and her people. It's who I am. Aboriginality isn't a choice or a life style, it's something that is unexplainable. It's who you are. A connection to country, to people, to culture and living a way of life that most Non Indigenous Australians would never understand.
At the end of the day, black and white issues will always come up from time to time. Racism will probably never be stamped out. People will always be uneducated, stubborn and carry hate in their hearts for a race of people they clearly have no understanding of. Although Aboriginal people will always experience racism, we will still take the knocks, get back up, dust ourselves off and live to see another day.
Timana Tahu's stance has publicly bought the racism Indigenous people have felt all their lives, out into the open. All we can hope from it, is a switch in attitudes and perceptions towards Indigenous people, and hope change will come, both on and off the field. Once respect is established in a mixed society like ours, we then can grow and lead as the shared nation we are for the benefits of future generations.
One Love, One Life....