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Old May 17th, 2017, 12:03 PM   #1
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Racism - Experiences, Fears, Activism and Regrets.

I’m a white Australian.

I consider myself Pro Black but I’m always learning new ways to identify racism, both my own and that of others.

My first experience of racism was in Primary School in a country Victorian town in the late 80s. Sitting in the library with 2 other White boys finding my name in the dictionary to discover one of the definitions was “Black”. The boys called me Abo. I didn’t know there was anything bad about that word being there were no Aboriginal kids in my class or my immediate life but I must have known what the word meant as at lunch the boys chased my through the school yard singing out “We’re gonna get you Abo” and as I ran I ran passed an Aboriginal boy who was standing stock still as we approached. “Not you. Me” I breathed to him as I ran past him and around the corner. After a few days the boys had come up with a chant that they would sing to me in the playground, “We can’t catch you Ebony. Super Aborigine”

We were on a school excursion and one of the boys said “Abo. That's where that lady was found murdered” pointing to a place off the path and it wasn’t until a teacher told us that it was bad to call me Abo that the boys stopped. There was no explanation of it being racist or what racism was.

I’ve only recently started to recognize this with much regret and disbelief that I participated in such a situation.

Another time, in the same Primary School, about age 8, a Fijian friend of my sisters and I were walking to school together calling each other names. She called me something and I called her a “Black bitch” and she didn’t respond. I forgot about that incident until recently but can recall the very hurt expression on her face and only now recognize the severity of such a slur.

When I was 11 my family moved to a coastal area in New South Wales where there is a large Koori (Aboriginal) community. I learned how to play handball and looked forward to playing with a Koori girl everyday at recess as she was a good player. I remember asking her “Why are your palms a different color than your hand?” and she looked at me as if hurt. Again, I can now recognize that such questions are insensitive.

We were encouraged to learn about traditional Koori arts in my new school, paintings & weaving but Aboriginal history wasn’t taught until High School.

In High School I started dating a Koori boy and would sit with his older sister and cousins at lunch. The girls would use Koori language in conversation and in class I was learning the history such as genocide and the Stolen Generation.

I had at this time started taking an interest in Hip Hop culture and like most ignorant White kids mimicked the fashions having no idea there was such a thing as “Cultural Appropriation”

Me and my boyfriend broke up when he moved to a different town but I was immersed in the Black culture and was still friends with his cousins and many other Koori kids in the town.

One of my Koori girlfriends said “Maybe you meant to hang around Black people because your names Ebony”. I didn’t really see that as significant back then.

White friends would tell me to be wary of “those people” and eventually I stopped hanging with the White kids all together.

I started talking with a Koori accent, again not realizing that this is offensive.

My mother and father didn’t approve of my Black friends and I would lie and say I was staying at White friends places.

I started hanging around the older kids and doing things they did, which worried my mother tremendously.

By 14 I was dating another Koori boy and had become close with his family. My mother protested as I would hang around his Aunties and older cousins. I didn’t appreciate my mothers protectiveness and rebelled against her prejudice of my friends.

I moved in with my new boyfriends Aunty.

His cousin said to me “You talk more Blackfulla than a Blackfulla” and occassionally when I saw old White friends they would remark at how I spoke.

One of my boyfriends cousins disliked me, for reasons I now understand.

She would say “You wish you were Black” or would protest if I used a word from her traditional language.

On the other hand my boyfriends Aunties, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins and Grandparents embraced me, enjoying sharing traditional language and custom with me. I am still considered family by many.

There were a few White people like me who were predominantly affiliated with the Koori community but the generosity being extended or the privilege of being accepted was never discussed. Nor was the fact that much of the behaviours and lingo being appropriated was insulting for some. We just didn’t discuss racism or privilege.

I moved into my boyfriends on the mission, a housing estate for Koori people and started noticing the ways society treats Black and White people differently.

Going for a job interview my character was questioned based on my address and police would harass us when we were in town whereas they didn’t approach the White kids.

We were jumping into the river from a bridge one day, me and my Koori friends on one side and White kids on the other. The police told us to stop. They let the White kids keep playing.

My boyfriends brother was bashed by the Police one night, resulting in serious injury. I was arrested one night and the Police asked my parents “Why does she hang around those kids?” My dad said “Because she listens to rap” the Police offered to take me out the back and “give her a few to teach her a lesson” a request not granted my friends.

I noticed a security guard talking to two Koori boys from the mission in the shopping center and I approached. I asked what the problem was and the security guard said they needed to be accompanied by a parent. I pointed to various White kids unaccompanied and asked about them. The security guard dismissed me and insisted the boys needed a guardian. I took them back to my workplace where my boss let them do a few errands inturn for a toy each.

When I was 16 I moved to another friends house after me and boyfriend broke up. He ended up going to jail and I made contact with my mother who had moved to Queensland. I relocated to be closer to my mother and eventually reunited with her and my brother.

I started dating a White boy and his friends were racist. They would talk about reverse racism and spout stereotypes about Aboriginal people and I would argue with them. We broke up and I started visiting my ex while he was still in prison. I had a picture of him in my lounge room and a White friend said “Who’s the boong?” I said “You can’t say that word in my house. If you wanna say that word, get outside” He apologized and I asked him would he say that word to a Black mans face? He said “No” so I told him he shouldn’t say it behind his back either.

I started travelling and ended up back in Victoria, in Melbourne. I was working in a deli and living in a rooming house. It was here I realized I shouldn't use the N word when rapping along to my favorite songs. I figured I would never call a Black man a N-gg- to his face so I shouldn’t say it in the song either.

I was sitting in the backyard one day listening to West Side Connection and a fellow resident and his girlfriend came out and said I had to leave then they both did Heil Hitler salutes, standing there. I was confused and went to the manager who also said I had to leave. I rang my exes brother asking if I could stay for a while and he said “Sure, you’re a good friend of the family”

I ended up back in Queensland after being diagnosed with schizophrenia and was talking to the neighbors one day. One of the neighbors told a racist joke and where I would normally object instead I had a panic attack and retreated to my apartment. A couple days later I woke to a bag of white bread on my door handle. I didn’t think much of it. A few moths later I came home to a bunch of bananas on my doorstep. Again, it didn’t click. Then one day I opened my door and there was a ‘Cracker Barrel’ cheese wrapper on my doorstep and I became paranoid piecing all three together thinking someone must be fucking with me. I started to become very paranoid about White Supremacy having panic attacks and becoming increasingly wary wondering who, why? Is it because my names Ebony? Is it because I listen to rap? Is it because I corrected another neighbour when he called the African boy across the street a bad word?

I ended up having to relocate to my fathers after another neighbour threatened me, for reasons unrelated.

I went for a holiday to my old town and it was good to see familiar faces. To be called sister and meet new people. My friend set me up with an South Sudanese man and we planned for him to visit me. I relapsed at home and became delusional thinking my father would say something racist to him or White Supremacists would attack him and told him not to visit.

I went to the pub one night and ordered a glass of “sweet white” and a Black guy at the bar said “How about a sweet Black instead” I thought it was funny and we started talking. Then some white guys came along and they started say “Nigger” and the Black guy was going “Fuck these White Cunts” and I started to panic. I was petrified. The White guys left and the other guy was pretty drunk and I decided to leave because I had to drive home.

I was living with my dad last year and he would say racist things and I would argue. I relapsed again and ended up in hospital. I was ranting and raving and screaming at people “White Cunts” whenever I went out for a cigarette. I told the hospital I couldn’t live with my dad and they found me temporary accommodation.

I started exploring things online and recognized there were whole communities talking about racism and white supremacists affects in society. I started to take notice and learn.

I was watching the news and the shooting of Philando Castile was broadcast and then I saw there was a Black Lives Matter protest in Brisbane so I went. After the protest the organizers told the crowd that there White Supremacists in the city and that we should be careful. I felt sick. I relapsed shortly afterward and the major theme of my psychosis was White Supremacists.

A new guy moved into the trasitional housing I was living in and we were talking one day. We said we both liked rap and he was trying to say it was ok to use the N word and I argued with him. He started telling me he used to be a Nazi and a Romper Stomper. He said he wasn’t anymore but I told him that it scared me and I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. Our other housemate was mixed Aboriginal/Asian and I told her and she said she didn’t want to come back to the house if he was there. We told staff and eventually they found him accommodation elsewhere.

I’ve got my own place now and I recently had a fling with a Sudanese man. He is a security guard and he told me how people approach him at work asking to touch his skin and hair. I was telling my mother and she said “What’s wrong with that?” I told her it’s racist. She objected. I told her she doesn’t get to decide what is and isn’t racist.

I recently wrote on Facebook about how I thought it was beautiful that totems ensure the continued survival of certain species of animal because a group of people aren’t allowed to eat them. My Koori friend took offense saying that her people didn’t need to be validated. I apologized and offered to remove the post but she told me not to delete what I created and that I shouldn’t question what I know. I ended up deleting the post anyway in hopes not to offend anyone else.

I tried online dating and met a guy who said he was an American rapper living in Australia. I told him I’m conscious about what I choose to listen to nowdays and he gave me a link to some of his music. He claimed to have worked with Brand Nubian. He identified as white initially. I simply bought up my interest in identifying cultural appropriation being I am poet and have only rapped on the mic once when I was 17. He thought I was accusing him of being a culture vulture and I told him I wasn’t. He said he was Native American and I accepted that. I shared with him an article I wrote about combatting White Supremacy and he said he disagreed with a few points. I accepted that but he continued to argue with me pointing out Black on Black crime and the such. Then because I didn’t feed into his dialogue he accused me of being angry when I was calmly discussing my beliefs. I don’t know what to make of all that.I just disengaged from him.

I’m still learning how to not only identify my and others racism, privilege and cultural appropriation but I’m also trying to learn how to combat it without relapsing. People often use my mental illness as a means to disempower me, trying to convince me that I’m being delusional when I have every right to be paranoid. Being I have a lot to learn I can appreciate that I have lived experience to identify many aspects. I can also recognize that my experiences pale in comparison to People of Colour and how on face value I’m not threatened or at risk as much as others. I find it hard to socialize with anybody due to my anxiety but feel particularly at risk around white people never knowing when, if I speak up, if I am going to encounter physical harm for my beliefs. That said, I hope to learn more and continue to advocate against racism.

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Old May 17th, 2017, 12:09 PM   #2
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I am pro people, who cares what color they sport let alone go hunt for racism.

People act like just because you sport a certain skin color you can not speak for yourself, advocate for yourself or be successful let alone be educated.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 12:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toefoot View Post
I am pro people, who cares what color they sport let alone go hunt for racism.

People act like just because you sport a certain skin color you can not speak for yourself, advocate for yourself or be successful let alone be educated.
There's also many people who are tired of advocating with no support. Racism still exists, I support identifying it and trying to counter it by engaging in dialogue. You're welcome to disengage, or you could try to discuss things from a nuetral point of view whereby you feel no need to silence people for being concerned about it's continued practice.

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Old May 20th, 2017, 12:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EbonyBreeCaple View Post
There's also many people who are tired of advocating with no support. Racism still exists, I support identifying it and trying to counter it by engaging in dialogue. You're welcome to disengage, or you could try to discuss things from a nuetral point of view whereby you feel no need to silence people for being concerned about it's continued practice.

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The irony is you are trying to silence him.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 11:12 AM   #5
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Learning is culturally appropriating across all color lines. No one group forever has a lock on ideas. Humanity is where it is because of the sharing and application of many an ideas from countless cultures.
OP may or may not ever learn this.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 09:14 AM   #6
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White folks are violent as fuck lol.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 09:19 AM   #7
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when I was 8 I had a shit
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 09:47 AM   #8
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if and your mum cant decide who is racist, and who is not, then this post is a load of crap. Now go carjack someone.
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Old June 28th, 2017, 02:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EbonyBreeCaple View Post
I’m a white Australian.

I consider myself Pro Black but I’m always learning new ways to identify racism, both my own and that of others.

My first experience of racism was in Primary School in a country Victorian town in the late 80s. Sitting in the library with 2 other White boys finding my name in the dictionary to discover one of the definitions was “Black”. The boys called me Abo. I didn’t know there was anything bad about that word being there were no Aboriginal kids in my class or my immediate life but I must have known what the word meant as at lunch the boys chased my through the school yard singing out “We’re gonna get you Abo” and as I ran I ran passed an Aboriginal boy who was standing stock still as we approached. “Not you. Me” I breathed to him as I ran past him and around the corner. After a few days the boys had come up with a chant that they would sing to me in the playground, “We can’t catch you Ebony. Super Aborigine”

We were on a school excursion and one of the boys said “Abo. That's where that lady was found murdered” pointing to a place off the path and it wasn’t until a teacher told us that it was bad to call me Abo that the boys stopped. There was no explanation of it being racist or what racism was.

I’ve only recently started to recognize this with much regret and disbelief that I participated in such a situation.

Another time, in the same Primary School, about age 8, a Fijian friend of my sisters and I were walking to school together calling each other names. She called me something and I called her a “Black bitch” and she didn’t respond. I forgot about that incident until recently but can recall the very hurt expression on her face and only now recognize the severity of such a slur.

When I was 11 my family moved to a coastal area in New South Wales where there is a large Koori (Aboriginal) community. I learned how to play handball and looked forward to playing with a Koori girl everyday at recess as she was a good player. I remember asking her “Why are your palms a different color than your hand?” and she looked at me as if hurt. Again, I can now recognize that such questions are insensitive.

We were encouraged to learn about traditional Koori arts in my new school, paintings & weaving but Aboriginal history wasn’t taught until High School.

In High School I started dating a Koori boy and would sit with his older sister and cousins at lunch. The girls would use Koori language in conversation and in class I was learning the history such as genocide and the Stolen Generation.

I had at this time started taking an interest in Hip Hop culture and like most ignorant White kids mimicked the fashions having no idea there was such a thing as “Cultural Appropriation”

Me and my boyfriend broke up when he moved to a different town but I was immersed in the Black culture and was still friends with his cousins and many other Koori kids in the town.

One of my Koori girlfriends said “Maybe you meant to hang around Black people because your names Ebony”. I didn’t really see that as significant back then.

White friends would tell me to be wary of “those people” and eventually I stopped hanging with the White kids all together.

I started talking with a Koori accent, again not realizing that this is offensive.

My mother and father didn’t approve of my Black friends and I would lie and say I was staying at White friends places.

I started hanging around the older kids and doing things they did, which worried my mother tremendously.

By 14 I was dating another Koori boy and had become close with his family. My mother protested as I would hang around his Aunties and older cousins. I didn’t appreciate my mothers protectiveness and rebelled against her prejudice of my friends.

I moved in with my new boyfriends Aunty.

His cousin said to me “You talk more Blackfulla than a Blackfulla” and occassionally when I saw old White friends they would remark at how I spoke.

One of my boyfriends cousins disliked me, for reasons I now understand.

She would say “You wish you were Black” or would protest if I used a word from her traditional language.

On the other hand my boyfriends Aunties, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins and Grandparents embraced me, enjoying sharing traditional language and custom with me. I am still considered family by many.

There were a few White people like me who were predominantly affiliated with the Koori community but the generosity being extended or the privilege of being accepted was never discussed. Nor was the fact that much of the behaviours and lingo being appropriated was insulting for some. We just didn’t discuss racism or privilege.

I moved into my boyfriends on the mission, a housing estate for Koori people and started noticing the ways society treats Black and White people differently.

Going for a job interview my character was questioned based on my address and police would harass us when we were in town whereas they didn’t approach the White kids.

We were jumping into the river from a bridge one day, me and my Koori friends on one side and White kids on the other. The police told us to stop. They let the White kids keep playing.

My boyfriends brother was bashed by the Police one night, resulting in serious injury. I was arrested one night and the Police asked my parents “Why does she hang around those kids?” My dad said “Because she listens to rap” the Police offered to take me out the back and “give her a few to teach her a lesson” a request not granted my friends.

I noticed a security guard talking to two Koori boys from the mission in the shopping center and I approached. I asked what the problem was and the security guard said they needed to be accompanied by a parent. I pointed to various White kids unaccompanied and asked about them. The security guard dismissed me and insisted the boys needed a guardian. I took them back to my workplace where my boss let them do a few errands inturn for a toy each.

When I was 16 I moved to another friends house after me and boyfriend broke up. He ended up going to jail and I made contact with my mother who had moved to Queensland. I relocated to be closer to my mother and eventually reunited with her and my brother.

I started dating a White boy and his friends were racist. They would talk about reverse racism and spout stereotypes about Aboriginal people and I would argue with them. We broke up and I started visiting my ex while he was still in prison. I had a picture of him in my lounge room and a White friend said “Who’s the boong?” I said “You can’t say that word in my house. If you wanna say that word, get outside” He apologized and I asked him would he say that word to a Black mans face? He said “No” so I told him he shouldn’t say it behind his back either.

I started travelling and ended up back in Victoria, in Melbourne. I was working in a deli and living in a rooming house. It was here I realized I shouldn't use the N word when rapping along to my favorite songs. I figured I would never call a Black man a N-gg- to his face so I shouldn’t say it in the song either.

I was sitting in the backyard one day listening to West Side Connection and a fellow resident and his girlfriend came out and said I had to leave then they both did Heil Hitler salutes, standing there. I was confused and went to the manager who also said I had to leave. I rang my exes brother asking if I could stay for a while and he said “Sure, you’re a good friend of the family”

I ended up back in Queensland after being diagnosed with schizophrenia and was talking to the neighbors one day. One of the neighbors told a racist joke and where I would normally object instead I had a panic attack and retreated to my apartment. A couple days later I woke to a bag of white bread on my door handle. I didn’t think much of it. A few moths later I came home to a bunch of bananas on my doorstep. Again, it didn’t click. Then one day I opened my door and there was a ‘Cracker Barrel’ cheese wrapper on my doorstep and I became paranoid piecing all three together thinking someone must be fucking with me. I started to become very paranoid about White Supremacy having panic attacks and becoming increasingly wary wondering who, why? Is it because my names Ebony? Is it because I listen to rap? Is it because I corrected another neighbour when he called the African boy across the street a bad word?

I ended up having to relocate to my fathers after another neighbour threatened me, for reasons unrelated.

I went for a holiday to my old town and it was good to see familiar faces. To be called sister and meet new people. My friend set me up with an South Sudanese man and we planned for him to visit me. I relapsed at home and became delusional thinking my father would say something racist to him or White Supremacists would attack him and told him not to visit.

I went to the pub one night and ordered a glass of “sweet white” and a Black guy at the bar said “How about a sweet Black instead” I thought it was funny and we started talking. Then some white guys came along and they started say “Nigger” and the Black guy was going “Fuck these White Cunts” and I started to panic. I was petrified. The White guys left and the other guy was pretty drunk and I decided to leave because I had to drive home.

I was living with my dad last year and he would say racist things and I would argue. I relapsed again and ended up in hospital. I was ranting and raving and screaming at people “White Cunts” whenever I went out for a cigarette. I told the hospital I couldn’t live with my dad and they found me temporary accommodation.

I started exploring things online and recognized there were whole communities talking about racism and white supremacists affects in society. I started to take notice and learn.

I was watching the news and the shooting of Philando Castile was broadcast and then I saw there was a Black Lives Matter protest in Brisbane so I went. After the protest the organizers told the crowd that there White Supremacists in the city and that we should be careful. I felt sick. I relapsed shortly afterward and the major theme of my psychosis was White Supremacists.

A new guy moved into the trasitional housing I was living in and we were talking one day. We said we both liked rap and he was trying to say it was ok to use the N word and I argued with him. He started telling me he used to be a Nazi and a Romper Stomper. He said he wasn’t anymore but I told him that it scared me and I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. Our other housemate was mixed Aboriginal/Asian and I told her and she said she didn’t want to come back to the house if he was there. We told staff and eventually they found him accommodation elsewhere.

I’ve got my own place now and I recently had a fling with a Sudanese man. He is a security guard and he told me how people approach him at work asking to touch his skin and hair. I was telling my mother and she said “What’s wrong with that?” I told her it’s racist. She objected. I told her she doesn’t get to decide what is and isn’t racist.

I recently wrote on Facebook about how I thought it was beautiful that totems ensure the continued survival of certain species of animal because a group of people aren’t allowed to eat them. My Koori friend took offense saying that her people didn’t need to be validated. I apologized and offered to remove the post but she told me not to delete what I created and that I shouldn’t question what I know. I ended up deleting the post anyway in hopes not to offend anyone else.

I tried online dating and met a guy who said he was an American rapper living in Australia. I told him I’m conscious about what I choose to listen to nowdays and he gave me a link to some of his music. He claimed to have worked with Brand Nubian. He identified as white initially. I simply bought up my interest in identifying cultural appropriation being I am poet and have only rapped on the mic once when I was 17. He thought I was accusing him of being a culture vulture and I told him I wasn’t. He said he was Native American and I accepted that. I shared with him an article I wrote about combatting White Supremacy and he said he disagreed with a few points. I accepted that but he continued to argue with me pointing out Black on Black crime and the such. Then because I didn’t feed into his dialogue he accused me of being angry when I was calmly discussing my beliefs. I don’t know what to make of all that.I just disengaged from him.

I’m still learning how to not only identify my and others racism, privilege and cultural appropriation but I’m also trying to learn how to combat it without relapsing. People often use my mental illness as a means to disempower me, trying to convince me that I’m being delusional when I have every right to be paranoid. Being I have a lot to learn I can appreciate that I have lived experience to identify many aspects. I can also recognize that my experiences pale in comparison to People of Colour and how on face value I’m not threatened or at risk as much as others. I find it hard to socialize with anybody due to my anxiety but feel particularly at risk around white people never knowing when, if I speak up, if I am going to encounter physical harm for my beliefs. That said, I hope to learn more and continue to advocate against racism.

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Old June 28th, 2017, 10:08 AM   #10
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Racism isn't dumb allways then allways clearly pure class.
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