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frank coffee

one perfect day

this is not art

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It's International Blog Against Racism Week.
frank coffee
I'm not the most articulate or well educated person ever. Nor would I say I was particularly enlightened. Other people have covered things with way more panache and eloquence than I ever could. I do want to talk later about racism and how it has and hasn't affected me; and I'm hoping to collect my thoughts enough so I don't end up with major foot-in-mouth problems, since I'm good at that.

But first I thought I might share this video with you as it lead to one of the major "Whoa" moments of my life. I was about 15 when I was watching a version of this and I just... I just couldn't imagine having that kind of history, and it really opened my eyes, and made me want to go really talk to my friends who were Indigenous Australians.

(If you want to find out more about IBARW, go to ibarw).

ETA: The video is of the Warumpi Band and Midnight Oil. The singers are George Burarrwanga* and Peter Garrett.

*George died on June 10th this year, and it is traditional in many areas to refer to deceased Indigenous People by a different name than they had in life.

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I always get thrown by Rob Hirts not drumming in that clip.

Oh, Oils and Warumpi! *hearts* Like so many American fans, the Oils didn't really hit my radar until "Diesel and Dust". And as an American Indian, their message in "Beds Are Burning" made me prick up my ears, but it was hearing "The Dead Heart" for the first time that really made me fall in love with them. It was a voice from a different country, a different political situation with a different indiginous people...and yet there was so much that resonated with such startling familiarity to me.

The one that really broke me open, though, was "Home". Reading in depth about the Stolen Generation for the first time -- somehow, in my own naive cultural blinders, I'd always thought that this sort of policy of forced assimilation through residential schooling was purely a pathology of Indian policy in the U.S. and Canada. Realizing that something similar had gone on in Australia, and had carried on until so recently...it just made my heart hurt, seeing history repeating like that. I still have trouble listening to that song without tearing up a little.

Um, hi! Found this by way of the IBARW links, and being an obsessive Oils fan I just could not let this pass by without sticking my nose in, hope you don't mind the intrusion!

Hi! No, I don't mind people dropping in on my journal. I loved the Oils more than was strictly sane in the 80s ;) And I still do now, only not quite in the same teenage way.

I am right in the middle of drafting another post about me (because, of course, blogging should always be about oneself, right? ;) where I talk about what kind of weird relationship I have to racism, since my mother's father was Sioux (although I don't know which particular nation since he died when she was a baby), but I identify as white and grew up in Australia.

But um, you probably don't want to know about that ;) But yay! I'm so glad someone came by and looked at my post :)

Heh, no need to apologize for extreme fannishness here, as I have one of Hirsty's splintered drumsticks on display in a place of honour! *chuckle*

And I'd actually be quite interested to see more about your weird relationship to racism, because as the pasty-skinned daughter of an Indian mum and white dad, raised by my mum alone in Hawai'i where Indians and Caucasians alike are definite minorities, identifying as Seneca but knowing that people will inevitably assume from my appearance that I'm white...oh yeah, do I ever know from weird. :)

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