We’re all more aware of the Black Lives Matter movement since George Floyd’s brutal death at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis on the 25th May, 2020. In solidarity with this movement against police brutality, Australian people have been attending protest marches about the death of Indigenous people in police custody here, since that day.
Hundreds of thousands of Australians have attended these marches and now, with the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks by police in Atlanta on Friday, protests are occurring in the US again and there’s a feeling that things need to change on a global basis.
As people protest, the reality of historical and ongoing racial violence and persecution is being made visible but it’s important not to forget the racism that’s experienced daily in Australia.
As fellow Australian and advocate for social justice, Nele Vandersmissen, posts on Facebook: Like many of you, I hope and believe that we’re experiencing a collective moment in history of transition and awakening. Our own process of becoming a generative, nurturing and contributing adult in this time is a crucial part in this transition. Except, awakening by itself isn’t enough.
Any conversation about change that doesn’t take into account class, socio-economic realities, gender and race, is bullshit.
The harm that’s happening needs to be stopped and a new system built (FYI the current one isn’t broken, it’s rotten – built on a foundation of injustice, inequality and racism). By all means, let’s do it from a place of love but let’s also not forget it requires action, education, deep listening, allyship, the courage to be uncomfortable, speaking the truth & apologising when we get it wrong.
We were all born for this time and each of us has a role to play. Let’s make it count. This is not a time to stay silent.
To learn more about what’s happening here in Australia, Vandersmissen lists these resources:
Information about the death of Aboriginal woman Joyce Clarke at the hands of police officers.
Story in The Guardian titled: Deaths Inside: Indigenous Australian Deaths in Custody 2020
Actions we can take:
Reconciliation Week: 8 Actions You Can Take Now – Reconciliation is an ongoing journey and everyday commitment. Every person has a role to play. Reconciliation Australia’s vision of reconciliation ‘is based and measure on five dimensions: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity and unity.’ Together we can work towards a future for all that is equal and just, driving change for good.
Vandersmissen ends her post with:
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Desmond Tutu
PS: I’m also learning and listening but happy to chat if I can help you on this journey in any way