Racism: win a prize for best dressed

It’s Naidoc Week! No Award promises to talk about things other than Naidoc Week this week, but first:

'SENIOR NT INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS BUREACRAT WEARS CONFEDERATE FLAG SHIRT TO DINNER, WINS PRIZE' headline at the NT News

In the Northern Territory, Senior indigenous affairs bureaucrat wears confederate flag to Beef Breeders dinner.

No Award, we considered going into the Confederate Flag for you since, as Australians, we don’t really know the ins and outs of USA history. But the NT News has actually given us all the information we require on the topic.

“I don’t think he deliberately set out to be controversial, I just don’t think he really thought about it,” a person at the ball said.

“But the fact is in his position he needs to be a little more thoughtful about these things. He was a bit remiss not to consider it might offend people, especially so close to the Charleston massacre and the whole white supremacist thing over there.

“It’s quite a hot topic around town, too, with the vigilante group and the like.”

The flag was first flown by the pro-slavery Confederacy during the American Civil War, fought in large measure over the rights of land owners to keep black slaves.

It has since been displayed as a symbol of southern American pride, but has also been co-opted by white supremacist groups.

Most recently, Dylann Roof, who killed nine people in a racially motivated attack inside a historic black church in the United States’ city of Charleston this month, posed with the flag shortly before the massacre.

“THE FLAG WAS FIRST FLOWN BY THE PRO-SLAVERY CONFEDERACY” let me reiterate, the Confederate flag was flown initially to indicate a desire to retain slavery.

Australia.

MATE.

Of course, this history hardly unique to the US, and we have exactly our own Australian ways of commemorating the Australian refusal to view Indigenous Australians as people. We have universities and streets and statues commemorating Macquarie (who legislated that Indigenous people could be shot if they resisted “civilising”), and Batman (who was a bounty hunter of Aboriginal people in Tasmania before he stole Melbourne from people of the Kulin nation), just as examples.

(Not to mention that Australia’s “alternative” flag comes from the Eureka uprising, which was mostly about resisting unfair taxation, but was also about white miners banding together against the tax-paying Chinese miners.)

HOWEVER, we are (for once) talking about America, not Australia, and, guys, if you ever fell compelled to dress up as anything to do with another country, maybe, I dunno, hit up Google to make sure you’re not about to be horribly offensive.

No Award is usually prepared to extend the benefit of the doubt to people who aren’t aware of the context of particular international taboos — we only recently found out why it’s not cool to link watermelon and African Americans — but there’s been a lot of media coverage about the Confederate Flag in the last couple of weeks, even in Australia.  And it’s not unreasonable to expect a basic level of media literacy from a public figure.

(Also, why would you go to a 4th of July event wearing the flag of a people who literally tried to secede from the US?  In company with someone wearing a Union Jack?  Not to go too far down this derail path, but this choice was bad on many, many levels.  How did it win a prize?  What’s wrong with people?)

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Indigenous points + SOSBlakAustralia

Let’s start with something uplifting: a compilation of rallies across the world calling for No Forced Closure of Remote Communities. Yay to everyone who was able to show their support, in whatever way they could!

Residents leaving WA settlement ‘amid fears of closure.’

“They’re gone, they’ve just taken off,” Mr Kopp said.

“People are just looking for another place to move on to because they’re just frightened.

“It makes me sad too, that’s all my family too, all moving away from their country.”

Our government is driving people from their lands, through fear, through threats, through actual humans rights abuses.

Funding cuts to Aboriginal Legal Services.

At Fieldnotes and Footnotes (and if you’re not following their twitter, you are missing out), A brief history of recent Government attacks. Withdrawing, withholding and rescinding…

No Award love museums, and yet: Reclaiming our cultural heritage.

For a brief period it seemed the Djar Djar Wurrung tribe had outmanoeuvred the two museums. The British Museum insisted that the Melbourne Museum take legal action against the Dja Dja Wurrung to lift the emergency declaration immediately. The Melbourne Museum became terrified that this reclaiming of stolen artefacts would jeopardise its future loan ability from other international museums, despite recognition in Australian law of the need to protect Aboriginal ownership of stolen cultural property. So bowing to pressure from the British Museum, the influential and well-resourced Melbourne Museum took the Dja Dja Wullung people to court, Dr Foley resigned and later the federal government rescinded the Protection Act.

From SOSBlakAustralia, a printable sign.

Two pieces from New Matilda: NITV National News to be spiked by June; and Beyond Dot Paintings.

national day of action: stop the forced closure of remote indigenous communities

subtitle: more things to hate your government for. actually the same reasons as last week, but here is some action.

i mean it
i mean it

There are protests all over the country today for a National Day Of Action. If you can’t make it to a physical protest, or even if you can, you can also participate virtually.

Follow the SOS Blak Australia twitter, and #SOSBlakAustralia.

Read more at New Matilda.

“They’re going to close down these communities and turn people into fringe dwellers. There’s going to be more in jail, and more homelessness. And there’s a lot of people homeless now,” Uncle Ben told New Matilda.

“I’m 75 now, and there’s been 70 years of racism in my life. Dehumanising conditions we’ve been living under. There’s still that hopelessness.”

 

TIMES OF RALLIES FOR THURSDAY 19th MARCH

CANBERRA: Assemble at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy at 11:30 am

SYDNEY: Kirribilli House, Kirribilli Avenue, 12:30 pm

PERTH: Forrest Chase, 1 pm

MELBOURNE: Parliament of Victoria, 5:30 pm

ADELAIDE: Victoria Square, 12:30 pm

BROOME, WA: ICC Office, Dampier Terrace to Broome Shire Offices, 1 pm

HALLS CREEK, WA: Cnr of Duncan H’way and Great Northern H/way, 10 am

GERALDTON, WA: Edith Cowan Square, Marine Tce, 10 am

BEAGLE BAY, WA: KRCI office, 10 am

HEDLAND, WA: Bloodwood Tree, Sth Hedland 10 am

BELLINGEN, NSW: Outside N5 & Kombu, Church St, 10 am

BENDIGO, VIC: Rosiland Park, Cnr of View St and Pall Mall, 11:45 am

LISMORE, NSW: Lismore Transit Centre, 5 pm