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Breakdown of the Racial Divide

What we are witnessing in the USA is a classical uprising that has crossed ethnic, social and cultural barriers. Ever increasing numbers of people have gotten out onto the streets and it hasn’t taken long for many Australians to realise that the situation in the USA is not just specific to that country but applicable here as well.

Think about Aboriginal deaths in custody. As has been spoken about widely in the last few days, since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody 432 Aboriginal people have died in custody. Indigenous adults make up just 2% of the Australian population yet comprise 30% of the prison population.

Racism does not exist in a vacuum. It does not exist independently of poverty, of equality. In the USA, the bottom 40% of income earners own 0.3% of resources, whilst 8 people own a third of the planet’s wealth. Growing inequality is at the very heart, in many respects, of racism. It’s about exploitation. The slave trade was based on this. Free labour to feed the industrial machine. The US prison system functions this way today.

If we can address the matter of inequality we can address the matter of racism. The great thing about what we are witnessing at the moment is the breakdown of racial divide. The more we can come together and realise our collective oppression, so much the better. All our oppressors are the same. This is one thing we all have in common. We need to stand together.