As 2018 slips through the fingers of time, I thought I should write something profound, but being me, I can’t so I’m just going to go through the highlights of the year.
This year as given me lots of hospital visits, I have a frequent flyer card for all the trips there. I’ve had surgeries and I’ve had lots of tests. I have had a change in some of my medications. The best was that, finally I have a tablet that stops the vague outs and black outs. It is so wonderful to be driving again and being able to go out to the shops or anywhere, without having to have a responsible adult at my side.
I’ve faced the usual amount of racism. It’s a shame that I just expect to face racist people on a regular basis. But that is the reality of life in australia as an Aboriginal person.
I’ve also seen my fair share of racism, towards other peoples. That is on the increase, the comments, looks or ugly faces towards people of Asian, African or Pasifika peoples. Australia was never a white country, so why would you want it to be so? Why would you want to have lots of inbreeding of white people to remain pure (whatever that means).
But enough of that, back to me…
The last major incident I witnessed was a couple of weeks ago at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, an older Aboriginal woman was talking, to a nurse and some horrid white people were laughing at the way she spoke, this emboldened the nurse to snicker too at this woman. This woman deserves at the minimum the respect due to all people. But as usual, this is not for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in australia. I intervened and helped this woman.
I tweeted this incident and lots of people felt outrage. Well outrage isn’t enough if there is no action with it. The hospital tweeted back to me, telling me to contact Tanya or Gary who are the Indigenous liaison officers at the place. That is not good enough. Racism is not a black problem, it’s a white problem. The hospital needs to step in and ensure cultural awareness training is done to all staff.
Don’t lay at the feet of the Indigenous workers, the problems of the white staff. Be responsible enough to admit there is a problem and start to work on it.
That goes for all hospitals and medical centers do some work on your white staff, train them to be more culturally aware. It is up to you, not to expect us to face the hatred and then help you overcome it.
Next year, I am hoping that some changes have been made to the general public about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, learn about the true history of this country. Stop judging us by an unfair standards, that white people wouldn’t be able to meet.