BeyondBlue has today launched their new campaign ‘Stop.Think. Respect’ in an attempt to make non-Indigenous Australians stop.think about how they interact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to raise awareness about how damaging ‘passive racism’ can be.
In the words of BeyondBlue: “This comes as new research shows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still face widespread racism from other Australians. This includes people thinking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are lazy and that it’s ok to make jokes about them.”
As we know, when it comes to ‘white privilege,’ much of the oppressiveness can be unconscious and trying to tell Aussies that their ‘casual racism’ is unchill will likely earn you a ‘learn to take a joke’.
The survey on which BB are basing their new campaign found that 42% of non-Indigenous Australians believe Indigenous Australians are ‘given unfair advantages by government, ‘37% believe Indigenous Australians are ‘sometimes a bit lazy ‘and 31% believe Indigenous Australians ‘should behave more like *other Australians*.’
Furthermore, 1 in 5 non-Indigenous Australians said they would move away if an Indigenous Australian sat nearby and one in 10 admitted they would tell a joke in the pub about an Indigenous Australian. The survey also found that a lot of non-Indigenous people, whilst maintaining that they would never do anything like that, they don’t see them as discriminatory.
Here’s hoping the campaign will go a way towards ending that whole ‘we all have that friend who is slightly racist but ¯_(“~)_/¯’ mentality.
When asked about the new campaign Northern Territory senator Nova Perris said, “The fact of the matter is racism is very in real in Australia, hopefully this makes Australia stand up and realise how hurtful it is. We are all Australians and Aboriginal people have suffered systemic policies throughout the years which makes us feel invaluable, invisible and worthless in this county. When you look at the high rates of suicide in Aboriginal people and non-Indigenous Australians [it is five times higher amongst Indigenous Australians], the difference is just overwhelming.”
And that is what it’s all about; quality of life and equality for all Aussies. BeyondBlue’s chief executive Georgie Harman said of the impact they hope to have: “Stop, check your behaviour, if you’re doing it – don’t. And if you see your mates doing it, call them up on it.”
via Beyond Blue + ABC
If you’re looking for support and information about suicide prevention get in touch with Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 or Multicultural Mental Health Australia.