There isn’t a New Stolen Generations, the old one never ended.

Ever since Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generations, this week has been one of the bigger weeks in media and Government for discussion of Indigenous issues. Each year we hear updates on the Government’s Closing the Gap initiative, as well as the Close the Gap report. We hear discussions and reflections on the Apology, at the time called ‘The First Step’ in addressing our past and creating pathways to a better future.

One topic which is notably underrepresented during this increased focus on Indigenous issues is perhaps the most relevant to what the Apology was about, and that is the overwhelming number of Indigenous children who continue to be removed from their families. The rate of which is today higher than at any point in Australia’s history.

Racism 101

There is a countless stream of racist ideas that anybody who so much as mentions anything to do with Aboriginal people hears on a very regular basis.

‘Beware the Aborigines’: Our lives are not a game.

Looking back in retrospect from a little before 11:30 a.m. yesterday morning to now 4 minutes after 7pm [16th January, 2016] while typing up this article, I can only reflect on the impacts of virtual games on young people in today’s modern society.

There is no objectivity in media, or in life

One thing I enjoy about being framed as an ‘Indigenous writer’ is that I don’t have to pretend that I’m trying to be objective. Even if I made every effort to do so not many people would believe it anyway as Indigeneity is perceived as a form of inherent bias, whereas whiteness brings with it at least the potential to feign objectivity.

I think some journalists probably try their best to be objective, those who are acutely aware of their inherent biases would be those best placed to reach a point vaguely resembling objectivity.

Changing Things I Cannot Accept

“Black Dolls, Gollywogs and Dictionaries”

A common refrain people of non-European descent hear when we voice offense or concern is “political correctness gone mad”. Somehow nostalgia and tradition have become trump cards for the continued promotion and consumption of racist paraphernalia and vernacular. It’s no wonder then that for a lot of my peers and including myself, it’s easy to fall into a routine cynicism. However this is not the way it has to be, I want to share in this piece, moments of change in 2015, where taking action and reasserting our right to not be dehumanized in public spaces or institutions has resulted in progress. The first experience is a personal one, when I was in a local Darwin chemist and stumbled across this.

Here we go again: Bill Leak isn’t racist, according to Bill Leak.

With the possible exception of members of overt White Supremacist groups it is rare to find anyone who proudly, or even reluctantly, admits they are racist or have committed an act of racism.

Andrew Bolt, according to himself, was actually defending ‘real Aborigines’ when he racially vilified a group of Indigenous people.

Let’s Recognise More Conservative White Men

If there was one thing we needed more of in the discussion on Constitutional Recognition for Indigenous people, it was the centring of the voices of wealthy, conservative white men. The entire discussion on CR has been missing the voices of conservative white men and what they think on a topic which is going to have very little impact on their lives. And no conservative white male voice has been sidelined more on this topic than that of Andrew Bolt. What with his regular News Limited column, his blog, his TV show and his radio appearances, poor Andrew has been struggling for space to elucidate why he thinks Indigenous recognition would be racist. Therefore, I think it’s wonderful that the ABC have sought to rectify this travesty, and have engaged Bolt on their documentary series I Can Change Your Mind About Recognition and give him the platform he’s truly been lacking.

An Open Letter to a Teacher from an Aboriginal Parent, 1977

(Adapted from an open letter, from a parent to a teacher published in the Native Perspective July – August 1977)

Dear Sir/Madam

Before you take charge of the classroom that contains my child, please ask yourself why you are going to teach Aboriginal children.