The furore over Bill Leak’s death, and the effect it had on the RDA shows again that the dominant class do not value Aboriginal life, writes AMY MCQUIRE.
The judicial system in Australia targets Indigenous people more than any other group. Indigenous people are racially profiled, are killed in custody and are more likely to receive custodial sentences than their non-Indigenous counterparts. In fact, Indigenous people in Australia have higher incarceration rates than during apartheid South Africa. We continue to gaol Indigenous people for non-payment of parking fines as a result of mandatory sentencing that was instituted to target this very group of people within society.
What is the ‘best way’ to respond to racism? Not only is there no one answer to that question, the question itself is problematic. The real questions should be ‘how can we stop racism from happening?’
All the talk of getting rid of 18C in the Racial Discrimination Act is centred around this idea that it shouldn’t be illegal to offend or insult someone. The conversation usually tries to clear of mentioning that it has to be specifically because of their race, colour, or ethnic origin, and it definitely never goes so far as to examine, or in any way acknowledge, the myriad of exclusions for 18C presented by 18D.
Putting face to the many loving and intact Aboriginal families and engaged and active #IndigenousDads is necessary to reject Leak’s caricature of us, equally we need to find a way to talk about some sad realities beyond the reach of the Bill Leaks of the world and beyond the reach of those who fight with or against him over the top of us.
Judging from his latest cartoon and from his lame defence of it, I guess that difficult conversation is about how Aboriginal fathers are all drunks and the myriad of reasons why that’s funny…