Let’s talk about anti-Blackness amongst non-Indigenous people of colour (POC) in Australia. In July 2017, a young family was trying to get a taxi after they marched for NAIDOC Week, a week of events recognising the cultures, languages and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in Naarm (Melbourne). Five cab drivers refused to take them, making up the same excuse that they had just dropped someone off, or that they were waiting for another passenger, only to drive off alone. It is illegal to refuse a fare. The two drivers here are non-Indigenous POC.
In late 2016, actress Ningali Lawford-Wolf was refused a taxi four times in one night; in 2015, elder and actor Jack Charles was refused a cab twice in one week; in 2013, a group of Aboriginal actors were repeatedly refused a taxi, including Natasha Wanganeen and Frances Djulibing. These are famous cases; the video below may involve a more ordinary family, but nevertheless form part of an ongoing pattern of discrimination, that people of colour are contributing towards.
Non-Indigenous POC must confront racism towards Indigenous people in our own communities and society at large. Non-Indigenous Australians are living on stolen land and so we owe a great debt to traditional custodians of Country.
The Uluru Statement report was delivered in 2017 and it partly focuses on truth-telling about the history of this nation. We must play our role in national healing, rather than reinforcing colonial hierarchies of racism.
Watch the original video showing the interaction with a taxi diver.
[Image: screen grab of video above, showing a taxi and driver being filmed with a phone.]
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