I’m not expecting I got this right…
I’ve had so many emotions and thoughts hanging in my mind and body over the last few days. The best way I know how to release them is write it out. I had no intention of sharing what came from that. I had no intention of sharing my personal thoughts or add more noise to the black lives matter and Indigenous lives matter conversation. But after writing I realised I have a voice here, and if I share this perhaps I’ll reach one person or two with an alternative perspective that facilitates them doing the work to unpack their privilege and biases. Checking my own privilege is a privilege in itself I’m realising. Having the space to sit back and even consider where I’m triggered, where I need to learn more. There is so much shadow being brought to light this year with lockdowns, the vaxx debate and now the race separation. These are all issues that need to be brought into the public arena and spoken about, truths revealed so we can start waking up from the lies and manipulation we have been functioning under. No conversation is as far overdue as the one we are now having. I’m watching as people I follow and respect on Instagram are saying if you aren’t speaking up you’re part of the problem, but then others are saying to mute your voice and make space for people of colour to have the platform to speak. It’s difficult to discern the best thing to do when you don’t want to offend or make things worse. The messaging is confusing and polarising. I am aware of the projection that is happening so I am constantly reminding myself as I am at times feeling swept up in it all, feeling anxious and emotional, to continue coming back to point zero, staying centred in my own space and energy. I don’t believe that you HAVE to speak up publicly or use your platform to share your position or you are the problem. Bringing awareness to the greater community is powerful work, but it’s not everyone’s role to do that. For some they might not be showing up and sharing their position or what they are doing to learn and change their beliefs and the way they are in the world publicly, but in their life – real life might I add, the life that is going on outside of this screen, the life that matters most – they are calling people out for their racist words, attitudes and actions, and unpacking their biases themselves, maybe they’ve been doing that for years. How people appear online isn’t all that they are. Please remember that.
Last night I posted the black square on my page to show my allyship with black and indigenous communities. It wasn’t to silence or mute my page. I’ve woken this morning to see accounts saying it was a psyop and yeah it probably was, and I knew that before posting. I’ve been aware of how quickly this movement has grown in comparison to the many other times injustice has occurred against the black and indigenous communities, particularly how quickly this grew on the tail of COVID-19. Knowing this I posted the black square anyway because for myself it felt right to share it and show my support. Whether it is right or wrong to anyone else is not my issue, I came from and am coming from a place of love and support for the black and indigenous voices who are standing up now. Finally there is a platform and people are taking notice. Before I chose to take it down. I saw how many people from the BIPOC community were upset by the black squares popping up everywhere and so I didn’t want to continue to fuel any frustration or upset they are already feeling. I want to be respectful.
I feel so deeply for all that is going on, past, present and future. All that is being brought to light and to the forefront of our awareness. It shouldn’t take brutal death to make that happen. To see this movement grow and take over social media I hope that means those lives were not taken in vain and as the world rises for justice and pushes for change to the injustices people of colour live with and have lived with for centuries brings hope that we are indeed moving into a higher way of being.
I studied Indigenous courses for 18 months of my university degree. The pain of the teachers was impossible to look away from. I honoured those women for doing the work they were doing, educating their oppressors. Standing on the floor in front of an auditorium of mostly white students of all ages teaching them a history that contradicted the one we’d been taught at school. What bravery that is. I will always remember one lecturer breaking down in front of us as she told us her daughter was the first child born to her family that was classed as a human being under Australian Law. This was around the time I was born. This hit me so hard. Indigenous people born before that time were recognised in Australia in the same way animals were. They were recognised as part of the flora and fauna. I mean fuck, they are human beings just like you and me, how does that even make sense? I will never be able to get my head or heart around it.
In my uni courses we were led to look at and unpack our biases, our conditioning, our beliefs known and unknown, and our lack of true and factual education of indigenous issues, history and culture that would affect our ability to work with and advocate for Indigenous people for the best of their interests. I learned that the history we were taught at school was a white washed bias account of events. It wiped out the truth and horror of what really occurred. It deleted the real history and brain washed us to believe lies. Aboriginal people were tricked into moving to Missions far from their land and people, then having their children ripped away from them to be housed and treated inhumanely, all rights taken away, distanced from their culture and taught the way of the white man. Although I had heard of the stolen generation, I did not understand it fully and I was not aware of the fight Indigenous people were fighting to have it recognised that it even happened. We studied a book written by Ruth Hegarty, an account of her life being raised on the Cherbourg Aboriginal Mission, called Is That You Ruthie? I encourage you to seek it out and read it. In my lectures there were aggressive rage filled arguments. It was shameful and embarrassing to witness. This is how people react when they are confronted with what they have known and believed to be true isn’t truth, it is deeply unsettling. This is how deep our belief systems and conditioning lies. People studying to become social workers and counsellors behaving like this. I believe it would be happening too many right now as the veil of truth is being shared.
I have learned that with strong emotions like – anger, shame, feeling uncomfortable, disbelief – opens the space for new learning, for beliefs systems to be reformed. This is a time to lean in to the uncomfortable feelings you may be experiencing. It is an opportunity to change and evolve.
As an empathetic white person learning our true history it broke my heart and still does every day. I lost friendships through that time because I couldn’t just sit back knowing what I’d learned and not call people out on their racism. And so much that we just aren’t aware is racist because we have been raised in this country to take the piss out of everyone all in the sake of a joke and a bit of fun. Until the joke is on us of course.
The sensitivity and the ownership people in this country have over the date of Australia Day for example. A date that has only been celebrated in the last couple of decades but people have such strong ties to, that they are outright refusing to change it to meet our Indigenous brothers and sisters with love and understanding. I too used to celebrate on that day, until I was aware of just how much pain and heartache it causes our indigenous people. I will not and have not celebrated Australia Day since.
Indigenous deaths in custody are far far higher than anyone else. The gap between health statistics of indigenous and the rest of the country is significant. Covid-19 was said to affect Indigenous people 10 years or more younger than the age of the rest of the country because of the existing health issues they suffer. Tin modern times there is just no excuse for it. In a country with so much pride how can it be ok to ignore these issues? Our current Prime Minister can’t even acknowledge it has just been Reconciliation Week. He refused to meet with Aboriginal man Alwyn Doolan just prior to the election who had walked 8500 kilometres to present the Prime Minister with three message sticks. Scott Morrison wouldn’t give him the time of day. Change is something that must be grass roots. We all have to work together and do our bit, but our Government Leaders must set an example. Until the people in power change their position it’s going to continue being like pushing shit up a hill. But we have to keep going, doing our own work and be the change ourselves. Educate yourself on our history. The laws that were and are in place that separate. Read the stories of Indigenous people. I truly believe that if you educate yourself on the truth of our history you cannot possibly continue through life without checking your racist conditioning and wanting to do better for our indigenous communities. If you do, what type of human being are you?
I haven’t closed my eyes or turned away. Once your eyes are open they are open, and that is what I hope is what happens for everyone once the media and deep state decide to change topics for the next part of the agenda.
Australia was founded on white supremacy. You cannot be white and bred in this country and not have racist beliefs. It’s impossible. And until we are prepared to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that shadow part of ourselves, we will continue to perpetrate the problem.
Our work as caring and kind members of the human race is to treat every person no matter their colour or culture with love and the same respect we would our closest and dearest. Because we ARE one. Inside we are all the same energy. We just each chose to come into this life wearing different suits.
I ask you to please realise your biases and your conditioning because if you don’t do the work you are passing your beliefs knowingly or unknowingly to your children and that is where the cycle of separation continues. Our children don’t see difference, they learn it. They learn to hate from being taught. Please model the right way to them. Read them Indigenous stories, there are many out there. Indigenous culture is beautiful. We have so much to learn from it. How terribly wrong our forefathers were to think their way of life was better. You only have to look at was is happening to the land to see that.
I’m not expecting that I got this right. I’m sharing my voice completely with love and respect.
I love you x