Indigenous people are no strangers to discrimination and racist acts. Intolerance is an issue the world over: veteran, activist and Omaha elder Nathan Phillips’ experience, which has recently gained international attention, is the norm rather than the exception.
The story is no different in Australia, where Aboriginal peoples face discrimination in every aspect of their lives. Like in the US, indigenous people face damaging stereotypes, including the idea that they are all lazy or that the government have been giving them an unfair advantage.
An Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara woman recently received a nasty, racist note on her car after someone hit and damaged it while she was inside a shopping center. The note essentially consists of “Sorry, not sorry,” but in the most racist way possible.
Australia Day really brings out the best in people… pic.twitter.com/dldFF8wI0y
— Kaleesha Morris (@IndigenousX) January 17, 2019
“I’m writting [sic] this note because I hit your car! You have an Aboriginal sticker on your car so the goverment [sic] probs [sic] paid for it out of my taxes.
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY
I’m not sorry as well”
The note is signed “2019 One Nation,” referencing the Australian far right-wing political party, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. One Nation is a nationalist, populist party that espouses beliefs that closely mirror those of the more radically conservative Republicans in the US.
It also references Australia Day which, has become a contentious subject in recent years, as it represents the day that Australia was invaded by British explorer James Cook. This day signifies the beginning of a cultural and literal genocide of indigenous Australians, so one can see why they would not be keen on celebrating it.
There has been a recent push to Change the Date to a day that doesn’t have so many negative emotions tied to it for so many Australians. There has been significant pushback from the right, essentially claiming that it’s always been the 26th of January and people just need to deal with it.
Twitter was having none of this racist nonsense, and responded immediately in calling out the person who left the horrible note.
Like the person who wrote this note pays taxes…
Hope they find the grub
— Sloppy Galoshes (@sloppygaloshes) January 17, 2019
My son scratched a car in the supermarket car park . He waited in 41C heat to tell the car owner he’d scratched her car. He was so upset that she had to calm him down. There are good people in the world. #proudmum
— Dr Mary-Ann (@maffygirl) January 17, 2019
There’d be CCTV footage. And Chermside has number plate recognition at entrance and exit. Hope they catch them!
— Shane Day (@djshaneday) January 17, 2019
Can’t drive, can’t spell. Sadly, those are the person’s better qualities .
— Barry Welch (@baznewsfeed) January 17, 2019
I hope the woman who had to confront this note on her car is alright. It is an appalling indictment of its author.
— Justin Glyn SJ (@JustinGlynSJ) January 17, 2019
disgusting, how can we be proud to be Australian when people in this country have this attitude p.s. they probably wrap themselves in the flag and proclaim Australia Day is sacrosanct!
— The Ordinary Australian (@suzit500) January 18, 2019
This is absolutely disgusting, if it wasn’t bad enough that this person damaged someone else’s property they then thought leaving an offensive note would be a good idea!!?? It’s offensive and I hope that karma comes back to bite them !!
— Fi Sheppard (@fi_shep) January 17, 2019
I feel so sorry for your grandmother to receive such a note. Absolutely terrible. I hope they find the person and they are charged to the full extent of the law.
— David Riwoe (@DavidR_23) January 17, 2019
I find this so difficult to believe that there are people walking around who would write that. But I do believe it and despair
— suzo (@suzomundsen) January 17, 2019
Wow – what an amazingly blunt tool
— Willhemina Wahlin (@willhemina101) January 18, 2019
This One Nation crotch hobbit left the scene of an accident, did not give identifying details and engaged in racist hate speech. As well as damaged someones car. I hope the police catch up with this poo flake.
— Appetite4FundedJCUScientists💦 (@wandaroonipie) January 17, 2019
If the reactions on Twitter are any indication, public awareness and condemnation of discrimination is growing. One can only hope that this starts to translate into better treatment of indigenous peoples and POC as a whole, and that people learn that racism will not be tolerated.