Subsequently, the actions of Rolphe were racist, the justification for his actions, by Gunner, was certainly racially-based. If it looks and smells like racism, then be assured it is racism. But that is how white privilege works. The default of our society, according to Dr. Robin DiAngelo, is the reproduction of racism. It is built into every system and every institution. If we [white Australia] just live our lives and carry on in the most comfortable ways for us, we will necessarily reproduce it. Yes, Australia is racist! There is no neutral space, inaction is a form of action. Racism is a system that we are all a part of. It operates to maintain the oppression of the racial non-white other backed up by social or institutional power.
So, what of Gunner’s “no more information will be released” political point scoring speech. What influence does this type of perpetual speech have on unsuspecting and potential jury members, that might and possibly will take Gunner’s words as gospel. What does it mean for the justice system, what does it mean for race relations in Australia and what does it mean for those seeking justice, in a system that privileges whiteness?
The ABC News is, in my view, complicit in maintaining the very structural inequities that continue to oppress and this eternal deficit perception of Aboriginal people, which informs much of white Australia’s thinking and actions. Aboriginal incarceration rates and Aboriginal deaths in custody have not increased because the police want to protect us. Australia, it’s time to wake up and take the white blinders off.
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