The tragic killing of George Floyd in The States has started a wider race war across the country, and now the world. It’s been interesting to see a lot of people praise how good it is to live in Australia, and how they’re thankful we “don’t live in the United States” – due to what’s happening right now. But with #AboriginalLivesMatter now trending all over Twitter, we honestly need to look at our own shores.
I don’t think a lot of people understand that Australia is just as bad as America. We are built on the innocent lives of indigenous people and we still have a racist system in place today. #AboriginalLivesMatter
— Namjoons Godly Thighs (@324Child) May 31, 2020
stop saying “i’m glad we don’t live in america” because australia is just as racist. indigenous peoples make up about 2% of the population yet constitute for 28% of the prison population.
aussies, please educate yourselves.
— tj BLM (@catpissers) May 31, 2020
David Dungay, an indigenous man, died aged 26 at Long Bay jail back in 2015 – when five guards forced him to the floor after he refused to stop eating a packet of biscuits (seriously).
He was injected with a sedative, and despite pleas that he couldn’t breathe, the officers continued holding him down. Until he died.
Yet in November 2019, all five guards were off the hook – with a court ruling their actions were not “motivated by malicious intent”. That’s despite footage of the incident seeming to show that Dungay said he couldn’t breathe at least 12 times. 12 FUCKING TIMES.
Whether they meant it or not, that’s murder. Just like Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed George Floyd. I don’t even want to imagine the white-pride uproar in Australia if two Aboriginal people had killed a white man in reverse circumstances.
David Dungay’s family have since come out and expressed their solidarity with the family of George Floyd – as you can imagine given the alarming similarities between the cases.
Surprised this wasn’t a bigger national story? Well, it’s not the first time that indigenous deaths have been barely reported in Australia – and that’s a crime within itself.
432 Aboriginal people have died in custody since 1991 and not a single person has ever been held criminally accountable for this violence #AboriginalLivesMatter
— Joshua Badge (@joshuabadge) June 1, 2020
400 deaths in custody since 1990. no cops ever charged. endless violence and intimidation from the police. Mob reporting assault only to be arrested for unpaid fines. it’s the same story of white supremacy and zero justice here with us. #AboriginalLivesMatter
— Andrew Beitzel (@AndrewBeitzel) May 31, 2020
And when you start to look at the facts, like the one that says over 400 Indigenous Australians have died in police custody, it’s time to start asking why – if you haven’t been already.
This is not a matter of “Indigenous people commit all the crimes”, it’s a matter of people of colour being treated the exact same way in Australia – as they are in places like the United States.
Line up on the streets, stand with the Indigenous people of Australia and make a difference. Especially if you’ve been angered by the George Floyd murder and riots in the U.S.
White Ignorance Is Clearly Still An Issue In Australia
There’s obviously some really messed up lack of understanding from some Australians, showcased tragically by the Today Show’s reporter, Alexis Daish.
The ‘journalist’, was on ground in California and was talking to an African-American man participating in the protests, about his experiences.
#BREAKING: Unlawful assembly declared as police try to control crowds. #9News pic.twitter.com/3ae01eh2fs
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) May 30, 2020
While the interview was one that seemed to lack a tonne of research or awareness, Daish still had the audacity to sign off by saying, “I really appreciate you giving your perspective because people in Australia don’t have the understanding of the history of police killings here,”.
Honestly, I was a bit speechless when I saw this – to just walk over Indigenous struggles like they’re inexistent, or imply that people in Australia aren’t aware of a) our own history of police killings, or b) the history of killings in the United States – it was just straight up embarrassing.
How embarrassing. “People in Australia doesn’t have the understanding of the history of Police killings here”. No; WE definitely do understand. We also have our own history of killings at the hands of police. What ignorance. https://t.co/PfpcTQ3AKD
— Senator Briggs (@Briggs) May 31, 2020
perth protest tonight #BlackLivesMatter #AboriginalLivesMatter #blmperth pic.twitter.com/svlda4J9mS
— jas BLM (@icecoIdpools) June 1, 2020
As #AboriginalLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter protests began in Australia, it’s time we educated ourselves more on Aboriginal violence in this country, and do whatever we can to make ourselves heard when it comes to the rights of people of colour – particularly the Indigenous owners of this land.
You can donate to David Dungay’s GoFundMe here (funds will go towards legal services, and travel/accommodation costs for rallies). Alternatively, check out this great article by Frankie for some of the best Indigenous causes you can also donate toward.
Image Source: Twitter @ElastonHabbo