It’s that time of year again. All the white organisations and government departments all want to show their black credentials. I can’t believe the hypocrisy of them. They put up a flag, display a poster. Talk NAIDOC like its Christmas and something they have always been involved in.
Everyone has to get a stall at the NAIDOC day festivities in which ever state you go to. Big business gets in line, with their information stalls where they hand out everything from lip balm to sunscreen lotion. We have the show stalls to sell us show bags full of junk, candy floss and chocolate bars. Not good for our health of the image of NAIDOC which is all about our pride and our survival. We have rides at some but what the hell. Let the white man make his money off us.
We go along and get our multicultural food at the vendors who pay a fee to the organisers and make a fortune selling us Dagwood dogs, coffee, curries and Burgers. What about shutting them down and just letting the school s and community organisations have their sausage sizzle and burgers keep the money in the community. Big business selling their gear is a no no. We have up and coming black businesses selling their gear lets help them and not have people selling big brand stuff that is conveniently labeled for our benefit.
All the CEO’ at the organisations that gain money for Aboriginal programs go out and about, to show they are open minded not racist and so supporting of us poor little black buggers. Walk around head held high, making sure they have their black staff with them to introduce them to the Elders or the well known community members. I mean you really have to be with it and get your black street cred happening. Those links they then use in meetings – drop a well-known Aboriginal name here and there to show that your organisation is really doing it for the black man.
Every team unit program has to get new shirts printed up for NAIDOC. Is this really necessary? Is that not money that could be better spent in actually delivering the programs. But what would I know. I will show up with my work in their latest NAIDOC shirt handing out goodies like Halloween and hoping someone will read the information that goes with the goodies.
Let one person come up and hear what I have to say, how I can help them. That is the important thing not the goodies and the associated mess with it. Kids grabbing all the good stuff and chucking away anything that isn’t fun. So who has to clean up the mess? We pay for contractors to come in and do that. Again could this not be something that can be done within the community? Can we outsource it to an organisation for them to raise money?
Radio stations have outside broadcasts. TV journalists prepare themselves for the madness of the week of festivities. Trying to come up with trite lines like “From dreamtime to our time” “Celebrations of the Nations Indigenous people…” I’ve heard it all before but yet again its turning the week into a farce.
It is drawing nearer and nearer, I have friends who can’t wait for NAIDOC to say “Happy NAIDOC” the Ecards are already doing the rounds. Kids are getting noisy about it and that’s our week we can do anything we want.
Talking to a police liaison she says that she has already heard of young ones planning on getting plastered on Friday after the day as its part of NAIDOC. I remember when I was a kid NAIDOC had a lot of community stalls a few government ones. Making kites for the little kids out old shopping bags and string, with crepe streamers flying behind. Face painting and doing hand or foot prints on shirts, or lengths of calico that became curtains in some organisation. Making gamin didgeridoo with the long rolls from the fabric shops. Having someone there showing you how to play and how to decorate them. Dancing from the different groups and those encouraging kids to get up and learn the dances. A genuine feeling of community. You could disappear all day and know that you would be fed. Plenty of Aunties and Uncles there to check you had a feed, give you and apple or whatever. Lots of love and playing with cousins and sometimes kids that you only saw at NAIDOC and at the OPAL Christmas day.
Don’t get me wrong I am not saying we shouldn’t have NAIDOC Week what I am saying is lets take it back a bit. what are we celebrating? You ask some of the kids they don’t know the history of the Week, let alone their own history. We have young black kids on stage doing their NWA stuff and being Beyoncé.
Take it back a step lets make sure that while the week is happening and we are celebrating and sharing our culture that we are making sure that we are teaching our kids the importance of it and the fight we had to get to where we are. Lets bring it right back to the real meaning of Community.