Cities across the United States have descended into chaos as protesters and militarised police clash in Black Lives Matter demonstrations following George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
For Australians watching thousands of kilometres away, it may come as a shock. But the notion that we are far removed from the same systematic racism that’s spurring BLM demonstrations in the U.S. is a complete falsehood.
Channel Nine demonstrated this best in one of its live crosses on the ground in Los Angeles when an Australian reporter asked a black man about the history of violence in the United States.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) May 30, 2020
“I really appreciate you giving your perspective mate, because people in Australia don’t have the understanding of the history of police killings and things here,” the reporter said finishing the interview.
Despite criticism over the whole report, this final comment set off a storm of angry responses on social media calling the reporter ignorant and embarrassing because Australia does, in fact, have a history of police killings and violence against Indigenous Australians. It’s what the whole country was founded on, as highlighted in The Guardian’s special report, The Killing Times and has continued right up until modern day Australia as shown in The Guardian’s Deaths Inside series.
If this is news to you, you haven’t been listening to years of protests and calls by those in the Indigenous community for justice on wrongful detention and deaths.
For white people as well as non-black or non-Indigenous people of colour, the best thing to do is listen to what’s happening locally in order to understand how you can best help. So here are 10 social media pages to follow to help you self-educate and stay on top of information regarding Australia’s own BLM movement.
10 social media accounts to follow to keep up to date Australia’s own Black Lives Matter movement
First Nations Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (@FNDICWC Inc.)‘s mission is simple. It was set up to “to monitor and work to ensure the effective implementation of the 339 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths In Custody” and its Twitter page is a good resource of developments in this space.
Getting and staying educated regarding what’s happening in Australia is a good start but it’s not where it should end. You can donate to community causes, show up to support demonstrations and inform friends and family.
At the end of the day, the most important point is to listen to the needs of the Indigenous community and to respond meaningfully and respectfully.