Now that I have got your attention, stick with me, keep reading - see it through.
With a heading like that, it is bound to bring out the bigots with racially discriminatory remarks; but in all honesty, it’s nothing new to me I’ve heard them all before. I don’t care.
The reason I wanted to write it, wasn’t a beat up of white people, at all, it’s actually quite the opposite - many white people have proved me wrong in my judgement over time; How? you will soon find out and for that I am thankful.
Living as a Wiradjuri Aboriginal First Nation man, we make up less than 3% of the country so numbers will show that I interact with far more Non Indigenous (white) people on a daily basis than I do with First Nation people. I have many many, white friends, I even have a child who has a white mother, my grandfather was a white man - so I can’t possible say I dislike all white people; & that is through choice.
What many people don’t know is that, First Nation people of this country carry a generational genetic disposition to trauma that is proven to feel the impact from early colonial days.
When people have been bashed, beaten & slaughtered for a couple hundred years, the trauma, as you can imagine is multilayered. Physical trauma on top of physical trauma, emotional trauma on top of emotional trauma, mental trauma on top of mental trauma - multilayered for many generations for 230 years; people carrying epi genetics and trauma from colonisation, you can begin to understand the depth of pain but may also understand why many First Nations have a discontent for Non Indigenous people.
I can almost hear the echoes now, discrediting this article, the ‘oh but what ifs’ and ‘don’t blame us for what happened then’ but I ask you to show a tiny bit of empathy because as you say ‘you weren’t around, it’s wasn’t your fault’
We also say..
‘we didn’t ask to have these traumatic experiences placed on us either’
Let me fill you in on an experience that happens with me every single day.
Any time I meet a new person, a new Non Indigenous person, I feel judgement. Weather they are judging me or not I don’t know, but my immediate reaction and instinct is they are judging me in a negative manner.
Being someone who is in the public eye a little, I have to continually train myself into not making similar judgements - to not think ‘the white man is judging me, to not think he’s trying to rip me off, take advantage of me, rape my wife or steal my children, as this was a common occurrence in early colonial settlement times - again, this is the trauma placed on and within me, I don’t choose to have these thoughts or make these initial judgements. This is conditioning that I have no control of.
Now that may sound like a pretty radical statement, but that’s what trauma does; it sets off trauma responses that enable our mind to fly straight into protection mode. To protect with everything we have against the enemy; again not a logical word to use, but when you are traumatised so much, so deeply - you feel that an innocent person is your enemy.
Please keep reminding your self - I don’t mean to have these initial thoughts, they just happen; that’s not my fault, not yours either - it’s trauma.
But it’s not all doom and gloom; I have many white friends that I interact with in my leisure time and in my professional life, I often speak to in excess of a thousand kids in any one week, with at least 97% of those kids not being First Nation kids - what I’m trying to say is, I make a conscious effort to not let these thoughts and judgements impact 99% of my day.
Just like there are many amazing, caring and compassionate people in the white world, we too have many amazing people in ours.
The question I ask is, why aren’t we given the same amount of respect and or compassion in everyday life.
Yes, we have challenges and negative in our communities, just like you; but we also have many aspiring and inspiring leaders taking charge.
The highest amount of First Nation political figures in federal and state parliament ever, more young people graduating university and year 12 than ever before - our people are moving forward at an amazing rate.
I ask, why are we, labelled drunks, thieves, thugs, and even this past week labelled child rapists, many citing that we would rather keep the perpetrators of sexual and physical in our homes, putting our innocent kids in danger - that is outright ludicrous.
There is good and bad in every race, yet we are told we are living in the past, when it is we who are triggered with trauma every present day. The fact that many, many Non Indigenous men raped and tortured our ancestors, the blood relatives of you (Non Indigenous people), slaughtered and raped the blood relatives of me and our people..
What I am trying to say is, Aboriginal people are triggered with a past that haunts us with traumatic situations every single day, yet we adapt our thinking, show a compassion, empathy and forgiveness toward white Australia everyday in common Interactions, to move forward.
What is stopping you from doing it with us?
Why the continuous negative rhetoric?
Great example is one of my now closest friends, traumatised by incidents involving First Nation people, where she was physically and emotionally beat and bullied for years. I am sure she still gets triggered, but now is one of my closest friends whom will come and ask the question rather than judge in certain circumstances.
It is people like my good friend who are consciously moving through trauma for the betterment of her interactions, education and relationships with the countries first people.
So truth have it, in the first instance, I am traumatically conditioned to not like white people; But In each incurring moment, I choose to put that hurt and ego in my back pocket, give people a chance and let them guide their own path.
As a country, we are here together, there are hurting people and many traumatised people on both ends of the scale - if we are to move forward through a hurtful traumatic past, to me, it would only make more sense to do it together!!!
How we do that is through, Love, Respect, Humility & Care - for each other, no matter the race or colour