Thursday, September 9, 2010


A man finds himself living the same day over and over again…yep it’s Groundhog Day. The synopsis of an Aboriginal life.  In the year 2010 and all within one day I was asked where I came from, what percentage Aboriginal was I, did I get special assistance to attend university, how many children I had, and did I know a certain Aboriginal person, whom I had never heard of, who  lives on the other side of the country?

Repetitive Stress Syndrome (RSS), Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) have all mutated and combined to produce a more highly evolved strain of themselves. A potentially debilitating condition with a variety of symptoms suffered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on a daily basis ie…….TOWFSQS - Tired of White Fullas Stupid Questions Syndrome. The antidote of which has been in development for 200 years with a cure a long time away yet.

While fighting back the urge to bang my head against a brick wall, I undertook the regular education process of explaining myself and my culture one more time, and like Z in ‘Antz’ dreaming of utopia……..a Blacktopia.  An environment free of ignorance, judgment, stereotyping, discrimination, and tokenism.

Oh to swim in a sea of open mindedness, drink from the fountain of non-judgment, devour a bowl of non-stereotypes, be embraced by a plethora of acceptance, and wrapped in respect.

Blacktopia for some of the mob may be to have a treaty, a black prime minister, land rights, autonomy, or a population percentages reversal ie; 2% non-Indigenous and 98% Indigenous.

For me sometimes it’s just those repetitive questions and silly interactions I wish I could live without for just one day. Things that make this sista tired. There are things invisible to the non-Indigenous, because they never have to experience them.

Wanting to make sure it wasn’t just me, I did a very quick little email survey with the mob.  The results of which were just the tip of the iceberg.  Don’t get us started.

So Bert, here’s a 20 to 1 for ya.

The 20 to 1 Most Annoying Things That Happen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People on a Daily Basis.

20. Being gawked at like we’re aliens when more than three of us gather together or socialise.
19. Having to live to multiple worlds - the non-Indigenous, the Indigenous, your own etc.
18. Being asked a question that starts with ‘This may sound like a stupid question but…’
17. Being followed by security staff in malls and shops like you’re a criminal.
16. Being treated as invisible and constantly served last.
15. Going for a check-up at the doctors but getting overhauled for every disease suffered by Indigenous peoples all over the world.
14. The assumptions that you are uneducated or not educated enough.
13. Being spoken to slowly and loudly like don’t you speak or understand English.
12. Being continuously ‘randomly’ selected at the airport for a security check.
11. Running into unnecessary obstacles and roadblocks that prevent us from progressing.
10. The lack of respect and acknowledgment given to traditional knowledge and life experience.
9. Not being given mainstream opportunities without them being tokenistically identified.
8. Being lumped in with and considered as the other.
7. Living amongst the ignorant assumption that immigration only happened within the last 20 to 30 years.
6. Watching our culture be appropriated and stolen.
5. Listening to non-Indigenous expertise of our culture and knowledge.
4. The reinforcement of racism and stereotypes in the media.
3. People not adhering to protocols.
2. Not receiving proper and legitimate recognition, respect and remuneration for being the first peoples of Australia.
1. Having our identity questioned and asked to confirm it.

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