On Monday night, Indigenous actress Nakkiah Lui joined total ledge Benjamin Law in explaining to their fellow Q&A panelists why our right wing Senators fighting tooth and nail to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is a total abuse of power.
“What we have is a bunch of elite politicians abusing their power and wasting funds on their personal pursuits and their own agendas, that are not a public matter nor are they in the public interest,” she said. “We’re paying a senator $195,000 a year on an issue that effects 0.001% of Australians.”
“The whole discussion and debate around 18C has never been about ordinary Australians’ access to freedom of speech – it’s about powerful individuals and powerful organisations having an angry circle jerk about how horrible it is to be called out for being racist in a public forum.”
The longer this ‘debate’ goes on the uglier it turns, with one side calling for inclusiveness and awareness of social constructs designed to favour straightness, whiteness and masculinity, and the other ricocheting between decrying the very need for these things and taking the absolute bloody piss. (See: Senator David Leyonhjelm lodging a complaint for being publicly abused as a “straight white male”.)
Lui has now posted a message on Facebook of support to anyone speaking out about injustice, and it’s 1000% worth a read.
“To all the Young people, People of Colour, Women, LGBTIQA+, Jewish community, Muslim community and other marginal folk who have copped it for your support of me on Q and A on Monday night. It has been so humbling and I appreciate it more than I could let you ever know all know. You have given me so much hope and I look up to you.
Here are some words for you all and things I am learning:
“They will call us angry – but its okay to be angry. We have a right to be angry.
“They will call us young – all that means is that the future means more to us because it’s our future. We come from communities and cultures with histories that span back much longer than they know, and let them underestimate the strength we find in that.
“They will call us stupid – but the fact is we will know more than they ever know because we don’t have the privilege of living in a bubble. We don’t have the privilege of hating the other and we will never be blinded by hatred.
“They’ll accuse us of being rude – but it’s okay. They’re just using manners to belittle and silence us – what a last ditch attempt to dismiss someone on the basis of manners.
“They’ll call us all the names they can think of to beat us down and silence us. The don’t want resistance to their selfishness and greed and they don’t want to change.
“BUT here is the thing – they live in our world as much as we live in theirs, and that’s why they scream the loudest.
“We fight them with our kindness to each other because they don’t offer that to us and you can bet they don’t offer that to each other.
“We have values and that scares them, because our values out about each other and the future not hatred. Our strength lays in the solace and support we offer each other.”