Luke Pearson

Luke Pearson is a Gamilaroi man living in NSW. He is the founder and CEO of IndigenousX.
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Is it possible to be racist to white people?

NB: I’ve been sitting on this draft article since last year just slowly fine tuning both the article and my thinking on the subject, but…

Post-referendum Invasion Day: Let’s not bring back #changethedate

In the lead up to Invasion Day this year I’m seeing renewed energy towards keeping/changing the date amongst many non-Indigenous people online. My guess is…

Cultural education has to be about improving outcomes for mob, not making white people feel better

In this current climate where white reality is apparently the baseline and all things mob-related is seen as an act of hostility, Luke Pearson writes of the accountability that needs to come with cultural education.

An open letter to mob about after the referendum

Luke Pearson writes of the Yes - No divide as a false binary. Instead we should take note of those who support Indigenous rights, and those who don’t.

Two chicken nuggets, a golf club and the Voice debate that forgot Indigenous Rights

The Voice referendum is being predominantly pitched as a way to address the ‘gaps’ we live with as Indigenous people in so-called Australia. Luke Pearson reminds everyone that Indigenous rights need to extend beyond a response to disadvantage.

The Voice to Parliament: Beyond yes or no…

Today, the referendum was announced. Luke Pearson reminds us that soon enough, the referendum will be over. The votes will be cast, and the outcome will be clear. But it’s not going to be a fun ride getting there.

The racism experienced by Stan Grant is the norm, not the exception

The racism that Stan Grant has had to endure is unacceptable, but it is also entirely unexceptional. You simply cannot exist in Australia as an Indigenous person without encountering it. 

The truth about Harmony Day

Luke Pearson unpacks the historical events that lead to Australia's replacement of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with 'Harmony Day.' A day of erasure of truth under the guise of harmony.

The Voice – things I am worried about and a few other thoughts along the way

In the lead up to the referendum, we’re hearing a lot of strong voices coming from the yes and no camps. Luke thought he’d write a piece from the “I don’t know” camp. So here’s Luke not knowing.

What is racial invisibility, and how do white people benefit from it?

When white Australians became ‘just Australians’, they could keep the land and power without being reminded of how they were attained.

Addressing deficit reporting is more than just telling positive stories

Oftentimes deficit discourse is 'fixed' by counterbalancing but this is not the whole picture and Luke Pearson discusses the complexity and origins of this issue.

The rise of “the rise of anti-white racism” in Australia

Luke Pearson eviscerates the groups that would impress upon us that there is 'anti-white' racism and speaks to its origins and the farce that is "the motion."

Critical Race Theory – what isn’t it?

Smarter people than us can write what it is, but we thought we'd have a crack at what it definitely isn't.

Appropriate terminology for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – it’s complicated.

I run a media, training and consultancy company called IndigenousX. It is 100% Indigenous owned and staffed. We work on local, regional, national, and international…

10 things you should know about systemic racism

A brief anti-racism 101 crash course for those throwing rocks at Collingwood from the safety of their glass house.

7 more things you should know about Invasion Day

Luke Pearson provides 7 more things you need to know about Invasion Day so that, you know, people can stop undermining our calls for change!

Stop calling us divisive – you’re the ones who invaded!

What is with politicians and their love affair with calling Indigenous people's aspirations 'divisive?'

Why I was gutted when Australia applauded the anthem change

Luke Pearson reflects on his shock and disappointment at how many across Australia applauded when the PM announced he was changing a single word in Advance Australia Fair.

We are One Nation?

Last night the Morrison government announced that they were changing the national anthem, to be more inclusive of Indigenous peoples and of migrants (the not white ones anyways), by changing a single word, ‘young’. It’s now ‘one’.

If that is not who we are, then who are we?

Australia has been trying very hard for a very long time to have its cake and eat it too when it comes to the idea of ‘we’.

We don’t get to gatekeep conversations, we have a responsibility to encourage them

And even though colourism is not a new conversation, and neither is cultural appropriation, or community accountability, I feel both a freedom with which younger ones are willing to talk about them, and an attempt to shut them down by some of my contemporaries which I do not want to engage in.

Today’s Standards

Change happens when we demand that change happens. Australia is founded on white supremacy.

Recounting Abbott’s ‘contributions to Indigenous Australians’

Tony Abbott was the Prime Minister, self-appointed Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Women and has been awarded a Queen's Honour. Here, we honour him and his contributions.

Aboriginal people didn’t invent the wheel, but so what?

We’ve decided to start making some short videos since we’ve all got a bit more time on our hands... our first one is from IndigenousX founder and CEO Luke Pearson talking about ‘Why didn’t Aboriginal people invent the wheel?’ - not just the reasons why we didn’t but, more importantly, the reason racists love to bring this up. Hope you enjoy!

Why is $100M in Sports funding worth more than $5B in Indigenous funding?

As the $100M sports grants scandal heads in to its third week, media seem to be finally gearing up to deliver the death blow, but why didn't the same thing happen over Indigenous funding?

How should media outlets handle racist comments?

ABC Newcastle deleted a post about Newcastle's Invasion Day rally in response to racist comments. This article explains why deleting ABC content and erasing Indigenous stories is not an acceptable option.

Toxic patriotism is not the answer, change is

Patriotism that should be about a love of the land and people has become instead about a justification for bigotry and racism, about instilling hatred in the perceived ‘other’, and about providing a comfortable smokescreen for government looking after its own interests at the expense of the rest of us.

More racists pretending to be Aboriginal online

Racists pretending to be Aboriginal online is not a new phenomenon, with the basic idea being to increase hatred against Aboriginal people by validating white supremacist rhetoric and conspiracy theories.

Debunking: No definition of Indigenous

Spoiler alert: There is a definition of Indigenous, and Pauline Hanson is not it.

Walking together, but which way?

The PM dropped some Indigenous history in his talk yesterday, but he needs to be reminded of some other important events.

Wake me when Reconciliation Week is over

You can’t tame the white supremacist power structure with cheese!

Your national anthem sucks, get over it

A few years back, Joey Williams caused a bit of a stir when he made a point of not standing for the anthem when he won the Citizen of the year Award in Wagga Wagga.

Dr Chelsea Bond delivers a masterclass in Indigenous Excellence

You may have heard a collective triumphant cheer emanating from Indigenous people on Twitter the other night.

The White Genocide Theory and Australian Politics

By now I’m sure everyone is aware that Senator Fraser Anning is a racist.

Is the definition of racism racist?

Racism is even evident in the dictionary definition of racism.

It’s not a few bad apples, it is the whole damn tree

In 2010, in response to an ASIO security assessment, the Rudd/Gillard government released a White Paper that claimed Islamic extremism was the number one threat to Australia.

IndigenousX announces ‘One Nation Rescue Plan’

At the same time as One Nations' Aboriginal Rescue Plan, IndigenousX announces its own One Nation Rescue Plan.

Debunking: You can’t talk about violence in Aboriginal communities

Earlier this week the PM made reference to the abuse of Aboriginal children and immediately followed it up by saying ‘we’re told we shouldn’t talk about it’.

Debunking: Indigenous Leaders

Indigenous people are not a homogenous group, and we do not have a centralised or universally recognised leadership group.

White leaders condemn Kerri-Anne Kennerley over racism row

We thought we'd ask some White leaders about their thoughts on the situation.

Debunking: ‘invasion was the best thing to ever happen to Indigenous people’

I’m going to start with a popular lie from racists – the idea that Indigenous people should be thankful white people came and gave us access to the ‘best that Western civilisation has to offer’.

Why I no longer support #changethedate

You want a day to celebrate Australia. I want an Australia that’s worth celebrating.

There’s no excuse for justifying the racist attitudes that plague Australia

2018 had a lot of moments of hope despite the rising tones of white supremacy in Australia and abroad.

Tony Abbott and the White Man’s Burden

After his latest 6 month trip around remote communities, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Indigenous affairs has handed down his recommendations.

Is the National Indigenous Health Survey ethical?

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey provides an essential snapshot of Indigenous health in Australia, but how transparent are its processes?

Indigenous Science – Setting the record straight

The denial of Indigenous science, philosophy, sovereignty, nationhood, and basic humanity – these too all have their roots in scientific racism.

Unpacking ‘is Australia a racist country?’

Racism is insidious. It impacts on people’s health, their education, housing and employment opportunities, and their sense of self and safety living in Australia.

We don’t want you as our envoy: Abbott’s first trip to NT as Special Envoy

Gadrian Hoosan, a parent and school council member told Abbott he ‘was not welcome in the community since intervention policies ripped out community funding leaving residents worse off, while denying much needed new housing and basic services.’

Pauline Hanson and the origins of ‘it’s OK to be white’

"It’s okay to be white” has a long history in the white supremacist movement.

Defending racism in Australian media 101

It’s almost as if Australian audiences wouldn’t be able to identify who they are meant to be for or against if none of them were white

We do not need a special envoy, we need our leaders to listen

Tony Abbott, our former PM and former self-declared Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs, and Minister for Women, is now a ‘special envoy’ to the PM on Indigenous Affairs.

Australia is not a multicultural country

The First Fleet, and all those white people who came from Europe following the First Fleet, were not immigrants. They were settler-colonials.

This Reconciliation Week, take some time to learn about Whiteness

It isn't enough to learn about Aboriginal history to create true understanding. We also need to examine the lens through which history is viewed... White supremacy (and Social Darwinism) still shapes much of the way White Australia sees Aboriginal peoples, cultures and history.

Lest We Forget Over It

Two of the most popular phrases in Australia, that could not be further apart. One that implores us to honour our history and those who were a part of it, while the other not only ignores a comparable history but aggressively dismisses it and admonishes those who would honour it.

The language of blame, responsibility and accountability

Aboriginal people are over-represented in most of the negative statistics and under-represented in most of the positive ones. This is the fundamental reality underpinning government programs like ‘Closing the Gap’.

The truth behind the Nursing Code of Conduct lie

“But first tonight, the contentious new code telling nurses to say ‘sorry for being white’ when treating their Indigenous patients. That’s how Today Tonight Adelaide began last night.

Harmony Day is the perfect day to water down racial discrimination laws

Harmony Day first started in 1999, under the Howard government, and was its way of finding a warm and positive way of not actually doing anything about the issue of racial discrimination in an increasingly multicultural society.

One person, one vote? Since when?

When Turnbull shut down the idea of a voice to parliament, he also damaged any hope of an alternative.

Statues, nationalism, and Trump’s white pride bazaar

The past few weeks in Australian media and political life have been a bit of a blur. Even trying to recount them now sounds far fetched.

Maybe we shouldn’t change the date of Australia Day after all

Changing Australia Day isn’t the end game, it’s just the first move. So if you aren’t willing to see it through to the end then maybe just don’t even bother.

NAIDOC Week is more than just a cultural showcase

To many, NAIDOC week is a week for family fun days, celebrations, flag-raising, the NAIDOC Ball, and other similar events. The origins of NAIDOC speak to much more though, and perhaps it is time that we thought about taking it back to its roots.

The Wombat to Kaptn Koori – Aboriginal representation in comic books and capes

Growing up, I was a huge comic book fan, but I often wondered why there weren’t many Aboriginal comic book heroes (or villains). I knew of Gateway from Marvel’s X-Men comics, and Condoman from health promotion posters and … Well, that’s about it actually.

6 in 10 white Australians claim they have never met an Indigenous person… But so what?

Reconciliation Australia has found that six out of 10 Australians have had little or no contact with Aboriginal people. It is often held up as a sign of how far we still have to go on our national ‘Reconciliation journey’, and in some ways I can see the relevance but I also think it’s wrong to place too much stock on this statistic.

Can racism ever be casual?

In Australia, most of us have heard of the phrase ‘casual racism’. According to the Human Rights Commission it refers to ‘conduct involving negative stereotypes or prejudices about people on the basis of race, colour or ethnicity’ – which sounds a lot like racism, and doesn’t seem particularly casual either, at least not from the perspective of those on the receiving end.

Fellowship to assist research into helping Indigenous women stop smoking during pregnancy

Meet Dr Catherine Chamberlain, a recognised contributor to Aboriginal women’s health research and a recipient of an Australian Government Endeavour Research Fellowship for Indigenous Australians.

The real ‘risk’ of Turnbull’s support for changing 18C

It was very telling that among all of the discussions on changing 18C there was only one ‘risk’ mentioned: that was the risk of losing votes in marginal seats.

There is no best way to respond to racism

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?’

Why are we ignoring 18D?

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.

#IndigenousDads – combating stereotypes and reclaiming the conversation

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.

Bill Leak, and ‘difficult conversations’ we need to have

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...

NAIDOC Week is more than just a cultural showcase.

I know that everyone is exhausted from a long election campaign, and eagerly awaiting/dreading the drama that will undoubtedly follow from here, but it is also NAIDOC Week.

Inspirational Indigenous Australian TedX talks

This is a list of all the Indigenous mob we could find who have TEDx videos online. If we have missed anyone please let us know and we will update it.

Sorry, Sorry Day…

These are various questions I have been asked about the whole idea of 'Sorry" over the years. Some of the answers are what I have said, others what I should have said, and some others I probably shouldn't have said, but I did; so, you know... sorry about that. Q. "Why should I be sorry for what my ancestors did?"

Blackface and Whitewashing

I sat on this one for a while, not sure whether I could bring myself to write about it one more time, or if there was even anything left to say. It’s racist.

Treaty vs Recognition – the importance of self determination

The Treaty vs Recognition debate is an interesting one, although it probably still hasn’t received the attention and scrutiny that it deserves. The push for Treaty is older than any of us, but it has risen to prominence again largely from the frustration felt by many with how the Recognise campaign has been rolled out.

Can Australia handle the idea that it wasn’t always the ‘good guy’?

Australian likes to see itself as the Lucky Country, the land of the fair go, home of the ‘Aussie battler’, but does it live up to the hype?

I was a ‘young Indigenous leader’ once – now I’m just some guy

How come there is an 'Indigenous youth parliament' for kids but no actual Indigenous parliament for adults?

Karmaphobia or: How to be a racist but still be a good person

Sorry white peeps, this isn’t a useful ‘How to’, as the heading suggests, but don’t worry because most white people are already experts at this. Racism isn’t just the overt hatred of other races, and it isn’t always blind hatred either, but if you were raised in Australia then you have probably been far more regularly exposed to racist attitudes than you have been to almost anything else.

Don’t tell me to ‘get over’ a colonialism that is still being implemented today

The recent shenanigans around the use of “invasion” instead of “settlement” was annoying on so many levels. Not least of which was the stark reminder of how many Australians just require an inciting “green light” from media to let loose a tirade of hatred and ignorance aimed at Indigenous people. It can happen at the drop of a hat, over the most insignificant of events.

What Was 200 Years Ago?

The invasion of Australia started 200 years ago, but it never ended.

White Australia Still Has A Black History

That slogan is decades old, and its meaning hints at white Australia's long standing reluctance to reconcile with the truth.

Being Inclusive of Aboriginal People is Divisive Because… Reasons.

Divisive is one of those words that some politician used once to justify their racism, sexism, and/or homophobia and everyone else has just kinda jumped on the bandwagon.

Apple, Facebook and Google Taken to Human Rights Commission over Racist Survival Island 3 App

A group of Aboriginal applicants have today lodged a group complaint to the Human Rights Commission against the multinational suppliers of the free online App/Game ‘Survival Island 3 – Australia Story 3D’ for racial vilification under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA).

Can a Treaty shift the racist ideology that plagues Indigenous Affairs? I hope so.

Underpinning all discussions and arguments about the best approach to policies and programs affecting indigenous people is the fundamental question of ‘Why?’.

4 Years of @IndigenousX

On the 15th March 2012, we launched the @IndigenousX twitter account.

The Noble Savage Ultimatum

There was much uproar when Dennis Jensen recently evoked the centuries old ideal of the Noble Savage, mostly because he used a term so outdated and racist that most of us aren’t really all that familiar with it, we just know that it is outdated and racist.

We need to do more than just condemning racism to close the gap.

Why don't our politicians condemn racism?

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

How can you say the Stolen Generations ended when Australia never stopped taking kids?

The Closing the Gap Trap

Close the Gap. Closing the Gap. What's the difference?

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.

Acknowledging racism is not being divisive, it is our only hope for unity.

Was pretty excited recently to learn that Wiradjuri man Joe Williams had won the Wagga Wagga Citizen of the Year award, but was also instantly worried for him.

Keeping politics out of Australia Day

I’m the first to admit that I think a lot about seemingly random stuff… I like to unpack things that are said to see what…

Just Another Australia Day Post Hoping To Make You Feel All The Feels.

Every ‘Australia Day’ it all starts again… no, that’s not right. It doesn’t ‘start again’ because it never stopped. It never stops. Ever.

Why we need to change the date of Australia Day

According to the Australia Day website: “The tradition of having Australia Day as a national holiday on 26 January is a recent one. Not until 1935 did all the Australian states and territories use that name to mark that date. Not until 1994 did they begin to celebrate Australia Day consistently as a public holiday on that date.”

What is Australia Day for?

According to the Australia Day website, it is a day where “we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian.”

Free Speech

Free speech isn’t something I thought about much before Andrew Bolt gave me a reason to.

There is no objectivity in media, or in life

Indigeneity is perceived as a form of inherent bias, whereas whiteness brings with it at least the potential to feign objectivity.

Welcome to Post-Racial Australia – aka Golliwog Town

Australia seems to believe it is now so far beyond racism that nothing it does anymore can be constituted as racism, including all of the racist things it has done in the past.

It’s time our government stopped making insult ads.

What is it with government ad campaigns that try to insult people?

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.

Government not on track to meet Closing the Gap targets because of course they aren’t.

A Productivity Commission has found that the government will probably not meet 5 of the 6 Closing the Gap targets, leaving many astounded to hear that they might actually achieve one of them. (It should be noted at the outset that the government’s ‘Closing the Gap’ is not the same as ‘Close the Gap’, which is a coalition of Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and community organisations.)

Are White Student Unions At Universities Really Such A Bad Idea?

Yes. They really are a bad idea.

What is the cost of being ‘Australian’?

The past week has seen a continuation and an escalation of terror. Attacks of terror and counter-attacks of terror have hit numerous countries, leaving hundreds…

Why We Will Never Find The ‘Most Appropriate’ Term To Refer To All Indigenous Australians.

Finding the ‘most appropriate’ term to refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples/Indigenous Australians/First Australians/First Peoples/First Nations etc is literally impossible. Here's why.

Hey ABC & Susan Butler, Please Don’t Ever Call Me A ‘Boong’ Again.

First of all I need to say that I am a big fan of lexicography, I find it to be a fascinating art/science, and generally speaking if you are in a semantic argument with a lexicographer then you better bring your A-game.

Racism: The Painfully Obvious ‘Missing Factor’

Every now and again we hear in media that ‘research has found that racism may play a factor in [insert literally any school, uni course,…

The Changes to the National Curriculum have Nothing to do with Education

This is a move driven by ideology, not by best practice, or in the interests of students, teachers, or communities.

Another Government Review. Another Disappointment.

According to a recent article in The Australian, “Indigenous issues have been cut from parts of the curriculum, and students will no longer be taught…

Crowdfunding the Gap

As many Indigenous specific programs and services continue to downsize or disappear altogether due to Federal and State governments cutting funding and withdrawing support, many are turning to the online community to keep their doors open.

Tony Abbott Is Not The Prime Minister For Indigenous Affairs

Tony Abbott calling himself the PM for Indigenous Affairs is similar to my young niece calling herself Batman.

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