[Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware this post contains the names of people who have passed away]
I know I promised fluff, but now is simply not the time. I’ve been watching the police brutality and the protests happening all over the US. This is just my statement as a white Australian, and it is intended for white Australians.
It’s really easy right now for us to look across the sea and say ‘oh, that’s terrible, good thing we’re not like that’, but the truth is we are a lot like that. Just with fewer guns. We are also a colonial country built on stolen land and the destruction of Indigenous culture and lives. We have our own racism problems—both the covert, microaggression variety that protects and builds into the more overt, violent variety. Since a royal commission into Indigenous deaths in custody in 1991, we have had over 400 Indigenous deaths in custody, not a single one of which has resulted in a conviction.
This is unacceptable.
I want to do something about it, and I hope you do too. Here are some resources.
There are a number of places to donate to support the Black Lives Matter movement in the US. I’m not familiar enough with the states or legal system to easily break it down, but I’ve found a few basic ones:
National Directory of Bail Funds—a collection of bail funds for different states across the nation to pick from.
If anyone from the US has any suggestions for me to add, please leave them in the comments (I am particularly asking this of white allies, since I’m pretty sure black people have enough on their plates right now without critiquing my blog posts for me).
EDIT: Suggestions from comments:
Fund to support the legal inquiries on behalf of David Dungay Jr, who also died on camera saying ‘I can’t breathe’ while authorities pressed on his neck.
A petition to change public drunkenness laws in Victoria which, all the way back in 1991, the Royal Commission into Indigenous Deaths in Custody recommended to be replaced with community health oriented approaches instead. In 2017 this law was used to arrest Yorta Yorta women Tanya Day, who was then injured in custody and died.
In Western Australia people can be imprisoned simply for not being able to pay a fine, and the vast majority of those imprisoned for this reason are Indigenous single mothers. The Free Her Fund helps these women
The Healing Foundation, which supports ongoing trauma caused by the Stolen Generation and forced removal of children.
If you are Australian and on Twitter (or even if you aren’t Australian but are on Twitter) and aren’t already, I highly recommend following IndigenousX. I have been for a while, and now I support them on Patreon too. If you aren’t on Twitter but would still like an easy way to hear Indigenous perspectives, you can watch NITV.
And, please, when the dust settles, however it settles, don’t forget. Be anti-racist. Speak up when people around you say racist things—give them the opportunity to know better, let the other people around you see that it isn’t socially acceptable. Use your position to do the right thing. Pay attention. Give a shit about other people.