is an open linkspam

Why I don’t use “Character of Colo(ur)” tags (Liz does not wholly agree with SelenaK’s reasoning here, but the discussion around UScentricity in social justice discourse is dear to our hearts.)

Takarazuka, Japan’s all-woman theatre troupe, is producing a musical about Abe Lincoln. Is this one for Hamilton fandom?  American politics fandom?  Where’s the all-woman Keating! revival the world is crying out for?

Australia’s first female Muslim MP racially profiled at LAX.

Smartphone game lets players bludgeon Indigenous Australians to death!  And here’s the petition where you can call for its removal from the app store.

27 Utterly Terrible Ways Food Was Actually Served In 2015 – I thought this was just going to be more ranting about food served on wooden boards — ranting which is legitimate, but boring — but no!  IT IS SO MUCH WORSE THAN THAT!

Where’s Rey? I laugh at this quote EVERY TIME. How unexpected that we should sympathise with the woman, not in a mask, dealing with the world, rather than the evil dude in a mask who kills his dad! (Note: Steph is super into Kylo Ren, but she has a fictional whiny white manchild problem. She’s suitably ashamed of it.)

“I’ve spoken with Disney people, and they were completely blindsided by the reaction to the new Star Wars characters,” Marcotte went on to say. “They put a huge investment into marketing and merchandizing the Kylo Ren character. They presumed he would be the big breakout role from the film. They were completely surprised when it was Rey everyone identified with and wanted to see more of. Now they’re stuck with vast amounts of Kylo Ren product that is not moving, and a tidal wave of complaints about a lack of Rey items.”

Apology from Parliament House to man who was asked to turn Aboriginal flag singlet inside out

“We were actually aiming to see how many government institutions we could get into in thongs,” he posted.

“The answer is all.”

The men say Parliament House was the only building to take exception to the singlet.

Pre-Invasion Day Special

This year, let’s ditch the Queen’s Birthday holiday and replace it with Mabo Day

This week marks the anniversary of Eddie Mabo’s death. IndigenousX host Chris Bourke says it’s high time for a national day to celebrate his meaningful contribution to Australian history

And from Luke Pearson: Why we need to change the date of Australia Day

AussieBum chief reacts to claims Australia Day undies are offensive to Indigenous culture

“AussieBum’s chief executive says he was naive to the fact its Australia Day underwear featuring dot paintings, boomerangs and a cartoon depiction of a traditional Aboriginal person could cause upset.” BULL SHIT. No Award calls silly buggers. “I saw [the design] as inclusive” HAHAHA


Australia Day: it’s a health threat (including tips on creating a 26 January that’s healthier for our Indigenous Peoples)

The day I don’t feel Australian? That would be Australia Day

You know we got feels on this: How the Australia Day lamb ad contributes to everyday cultural erasure

To that end, it seems Australia and Israel have much in common. Both nations pride themselves on free and democratic principles. Both were founded on land already occupied by another people and have engaged in the systematic erasure of these people. And both deny this erasure by mythologising their own origins, invoking metaphors of a land previously barren and lifeless; where Australians talk of “nothing but bush“, Israelis boast that they “made the desert bloom“.

But Aboriginal people call Australia Day “Invasion Day,” and Palestinians refer to the creation of Israel as Al-Nakba, “The Catastrophe.” The days that the mainstream culture of these countries celebrate as their birth are the very days on which the culture of another people were marked for erasure. This is not something to be celebrated but a tragedy to be mourned.

No national holiday can be a cause for unbridled celebration when it hinges on erasing the reality of a violent past, no matter what is on the menu.









stephanie versus the lambassadors; or, why lee lin chin deserves better

llcLee Lin Chin is a goddamn national hero and an aspiration to Azn-Australian girls, and has been my whole life, and I can’t believe it’s come to this.

This post is the first in a series of Invasion Day posts that No Award will be running this month. (The rest will be more Indigenous-focused than this one, I swear.)

Continue reading “stephanie versus the lambassadors; or, why lee lin chin deserves better”

intersectional is more than a three-letter country

As Australians, as non-white people who aren’t from the USA, as activists, we have got to talk about the USA dominance of the internet, and our social justice conversations.

Over at North Coast Musings, there’s a quick snapshot of some of the terrible things that @ebswearspink, @stringstory and @upulie had to deal with over the weekend, some of it from African American activists, including claims that Indigenous Australians only have a voice because of African American culture.





Many years ago, darling wonderful Chally wrote Dear USians on the Internet (yes, it’s on Feministe), about US centricity in social justice and how problematic is. Literally the first comment is a complaint about this letter!

Because we can’t ever have social justice that isn’t informed by the USA, I guess.

The thing is this:

Our Australian injustices cannot be righted through a paradigm that fits the USA.

The injustices that plague the USA do not necessarily translate outside of the USA.

We can exchange thoughts and techniques but we cannot

we cannot

match perfectly, or even imperfectly.

Liz has her own reasons for being my partner in yelling here on No Award, but this was my moment:

An act called the Jackson Jive performed on Hey Hey It’s Saturday. They performed in blackface, and it was bullshit. There was debate whether it was intentionally racist or just clueless, and one theory was from the name: that their name was ‘Jackson Jive’, it was postulated, was an intentional reference to shucking and jiving, an element of minstrelsy, and therefore intentionally racist. I was decried by a USAmerican person when I pointed out our history of blackface didn’t include quite so much minstrelsy, and the shucking and jiving thing isn’t as known here. Australia’s Blak history is different from any other country’s. Just like our experiences of colonialism, racism, and imperialism are different.

[Liz notes: Minstrelsy in Australia started out with US minstrel acts touring Australia, and then Australian performers began to mimic them.  I could make a remark about Iggy Azalea, but I haven’t had nearly enough tea.]

[Liz’s moment was the controversy about the KFC ad in which a lone Australian white guy finds himself surrounded by Indians at the cricket, and makes friends by sharing his KFC.  Racist in the sense of playing on fears of brown people?  Yes, although obviously there is also the fear of being surrounded by supporters of a rival team.  Playing into stereotypes about African Americans and fried chicken?  Uh, no.]

But apparently we can’t have racial experiences that are different from those experienced in the USA.

To make something about someone else’s racial history is to ignore our own very real issues, and means the discussions we have are limited and restricted. If I’m going to educate anybody, it’s going to be the people in communities here in Australia. We shouldn’t need to expend our energy fighting those who are supposed to be our community, our allies in oppression, whose experiences are similar but not the same.

Indigenous Australians may be light-skinned, and if they are it is often a product of the imperialism and genocide of our Australian history. But sure, let’s call an Indigenous Australian white, like that’s not loaded, like A.O. Neville, “Protector of Aborigines” from 1936 – 1940, didn’t endorse “biological absorption” of Aboriginal Australians, like we don’t have the Stolen Generation.

And we know light-skinned privilege exists, I live it (as a light-skinned Azn), but ugh, gross. Gross.  The entire concept of “white passing” is dangerous and hurtful in the context of Indigenous Australians.  That’s what the whole Eatock v Bolt case was about.

This is not to deny that often the language and work done by USAcentric and USA-based activists doesn’t assist us in our work and in our activism and in our fights. There are lots of great USA-based voices that help out.  But that doesn’t mean their concepts are universally applicable.

When our language is different from theirs and they yell at us for it, don’t lose hope.

And when our frame of reference is different from theirs and they call us wrong, and racist, and too white, yell back.

Come here to No Award, if you have to. I will always yell with you.

Maybe what we need is a primer for well-meaning USAmericans. It’ll be about Indigenous Australians being classed as fauna, The White Australia Policy, slavery in Queensland, and I’m tired just thinking about it. Bags not me.

Here read some things: Luke Pearson on ‘When It’s OK to be ‘Part Aboriginal‘; Defining Aboriginality in Australia; Anita Heiss’ book Am I Black Enough For You?  (If African-American – and other POC – people knew they were doing what Andrew Bolt has done to Indigenous Australians, would that disgust them? I hope so.)

And on the Invasion Day weekend! Ugh.

invasion day needs a linkspam

You may know it as Survival Day, or a public holiday for celebrating a genocide.

Nakkiah Lui writes at the Guardian: Australia Day is a time for mourning, not celebration.

Eugenia Flynn at Crikey: Friend or Foe of Indigenous Culture? Jessica Mauboy as Australia Day Poster Girl.

The day I don’t feel Australian? That would be Australia Day. Chelsea Bond over at The Conversation.

Glen LeLievre - Nothing But Bush
Glen LeLievre – Nothing But Bush

Over the weekend there was some shit going down in the #DearWhitePeople tag, with a whole heap of American (including African-American) policing of Australian Indigenous identities. (It is still pretty anger-making in there, and it sucks for @ebswearspink) I hope that there will be some write ups or something, but it’s not something Steph feels qualified to talk about (though an aside: this is in large part why No Award exists. Because we hate being forced to work through a USA social justice paradigm).

If you’re in Melbourne, Steph is going to some Invasion Day stuff:

There’s a smoking ceremony in the Tianjin Gardens at 10, and then a rally and march from 10:30 from Parliament house, because January 26 is a day of mourning and resistance. This rally is a resistance to colonialism and genocide.

Following that, there’s a festival in Treasury Gardens – Share the Spirit. It’s a festival to celebrate indigenous Australian culture and tradition.

Steph says: There’s rallies all over the country. Please go to one. We are living on indigenous land. I grew up on Noongar land, and I’m living on Wurudgeri land. My personal ancestors might not have had anything to do with the genocides of years past, but by staying silent I contribute to everything that continues. It is the very least I can do.