Archive for the ‘aboriginal australia’ Category

But you are becoming more enormous and looming right out of control across the land, and controlling my mind. The more you push, the more I can’t find the answer for what should be kept under control. Where are all the proper story keepers? Who’s going to sing all the sacred story so you won’t feel lonely anymore, is there anyone left? Anyone there? Anyone at the birthday party?

From “Hey Ancestor!” by Alexis Wright in The Guardian. 

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She said some of the cases she heard involved women who sought police protection from domestic violence, only to end up in jail for unpaid fines. Other reports involved children “being born on [jail] cell floors”, and mothers under anaesthetic giving consent to the removal of their children.

Ms McLeod said there needed to be significant and “obvious” changes to laws and sentencing practices that led to Aboriginal Australians being thrown in jail for minor offences.

“If you jail people because they’re disqualified from driving, but they need to drive, they’re going to continue to drive. If you assist them to get a licence, then you solve the problem,” she said.

“If you’re jailing a kid – in NSW for example – for stealing a bottle of soda water, [you should] install a drinking foundation so they can have a drink on the way home. These solutions are so obvious that they have to be seriously taken.”

From here in The Sydney Morning Herald by Michael Koziol.

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Great stripped down hip hop with wonderful archival footage from Aboriginal political history for the video clip.

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From Baker Boy with Cloud 9. Rapping in the Yolngu Matha language of his homelands.

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Today I was on ABC radio talking about privilege and cultural appropriation on a panel with the wonderful nurse academic, Ruth De Souza, Aboriginal educator, Carol Vale and Aboriginal artist, Tony Albert. They were all so impressive.

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Child neglect is filtered through a lens of bias that makes black mothers and poor mothers particularly vulnerable …all the more so when they parent in public space.

“In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread.” – Anatole France.

For example.

“Mother jailed for letting her daughter run free – at the playground” by Brentin Mock in grist.

For the Harrell family, going to the playground is a luxury. The adults who could afford to be there that day assumed that her mother’s choice was irresponsible. Given the girl is black, they may have assumed worse: Mom’s a crackhead? Prostitute? Whatever the case, the child’s answer, that her mother was at work, was not good enough.

The adult who snitched Harrell out made another assumption: that parenting means around-the-clock supervision of children, and anything less is uncivilized. It’s those kind of gentry values that the creators of city public park systems were trying to avoid. They wanted a safe space accessible to people of all classes and backgrounds to enjoy recreation. Instead, in too many places it’s become a place where black and brown youth are made to feel they don’t belong — and certainly not without supervision.

For example.

“We’re arresting poor mothers for our own failures” by Bryce Covert in The Nation.

You’ve probably heard the name Shanesha Taylor at this point. She’s the Arizona mother who was arrested for leaving her children in the car while she went to a job interview. Her story went viral thanks likely to a truly heart-wrenching, tear-stained mugshot. Taylor, who was homeless, says her babysitter flaked on her and she didn’t know what else to do while she went to a job interview for a position that would have significantly improved her family’s financial situation.

For example.

“My son has been suspended 5 times. He’s 3” by Tunette Powell in The Washington Post.

For example.

“Stolen Generation survivor had a long journey to love and care” by Martin Hoare in The Age.



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Now that the Fairfax strike is over it is safe to link to my latest column (submitted and published pre-strike I want to briefly note):

You yelled but exactly what you called out was lost in our memory of the night. And, you see, there had also been all this shouting we heard from the happy drunken kids who, as it turned out, must have passed by you in the dark. Even I don’t know how long you were there. All I know is that you became disorientated, and realising what was happening you crashed through my neighbour’s fence to fall on your knees, as though praying. With rising panic you shouted out once more with a strong but tight voice.

I was in my house and I assumed you were one of the drunk kids, but I felt uneasy. Thinking a person is drunk when they really need help has happened before. There was this incident I read about involving the celebrated opera singer, Delmae Barton where she had a stroke and lay semi-conscious at a busy bus stop for hours before being rescued. Many people passed by concluding she was drunk and ignored her. The story is even more depressing than that, Barton is Aboriginal and surely racist stereotypes played a part in all the inaction she encountered

Some of you long-term readers of this blog might remember when I talked about this incident here at the time that it happened.

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