Responsibility and Atonement


When do I as a man stand to account for my actions

Me alone?

When were my racist thoughts and actions mine to own and not that of my upbringing?

My father’s? My uncle’s?


For it was me, too, that laughed at Kevin Bloody Wilson when I was a teen

With his vile words that now make me want to cry

Especially when I play the video on YouTube for my sons in shock that such hurtful, racist lyrics

Were openly performed in our nation to the enjoyment of the privileged.


How must it have been to belong to the culture that existed on these lands for 60,000 years,

Belonged to this land!

To country

While the privileged gathered to listen to words that put them in their place?

Displaced


“At least we aint got F’n [them] liv’n next door to us!”


It was not so very long ago.


It was, however, my male mentors that teased me when I was 6 years of age

For sitting next to an Aboriginal girl in my year 2 class photo.

The hurt from those very early lessons cut deep.

What is it in those men who I looked up to so much that so irked them

How much hate must they have had in their hearts and from where does it come?

From repressed guilt?

Or somewhere even darker?


Yet, when we needed numbers for our sporting teams

When we wanted to benefit from their natural talents to aid us towards victory

We we were so gutless to act like they were our mates

All the while knowing that when we left the dressing sheds

We would be aloof and embarrassed to openly express our bond.


Just as I saw my Dad become whenever Arthur ‘claimed him’

When Arthur had the ‘audacity’ to talk to him in public like at the football on Sunday.

OK, perhaps he was loud, sometimes

But who was it that put the grog in his hands?

Was alcohol not one of the most powerful tools of dispossession wielded by the colonialist?

And how many colonialists are guilty of over indulging, themselves?


When many turn their thoughts at Christmas to their favourite carols and movies

Mine kept wandering back to listening with family and friends

To that shit sung by Kevin Racist Wilson


I don’t feel nostalgic for the Christmases of my youth.

I don’t feel happiness.

I feel ashamed.

And I feel determined to atone for my wrongs.


I can not stand by and allow people who say that society is now consumed with political correctness

Or wokeness

To go unchallenged

Because they can’t openly make racist jokes and laugh.

Because it is made clear that people are hurt and offended by their callous heartlessness.

Their arrogance and inhumanity.


Racism always was unacceptable. It always will be.

Let’s not be politically correct about that!


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© Copyright Brett Edgerton 2021

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