Award-winning singer Dan Sultan.
NATIONAL: The ARIA-winning singer Dan Sultan has accused Australia of being a “fundamentally racist country” ahead of a series of protest concerts.
Descended from the Gurindji people, Sultan claims successive administrations have failed to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people under Australian law.
Sultan will headline the inaugural Rock For Recognition shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Fremantle this November, with the aim of promoting Indigenous rights.
It is aimed at raising awareness around constitutional reform.
While the Labor government has committed to a referendum to formally include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution, Sultan believes change is moving too slow.
“Australia is a fundamentally racist county and that’s something that can be difficult for people to hear,” Sultan told AAP.
“I love our country, but there are a few things we really need to get straight, especially the culture of complacency and apathy that has marginalised indigenous people.”
Organised by ANTar, Oxfam and the National Congress, the Rock For Recognition concerts will feature a range of artists including Leah Flanagan, Dead Marines and Wolves At The Door.
Organisers hope to replicate the surge in public support that led to voting rights for indigenous people following a successful 1967 referendum.
“We’ve always been fighting for our country and we’ll never give up,” Sultan said.
“We’re certainly not going anywhere.”
* The Rock For Recognition tour:
Nov 8 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Nov 9 – The Factory Theatre, Sydney
Nov 10 – Bakery Artrage, Perth
Nov 11 – Fly By Night, Fremantle
What? Nothing for Brisbane? Pfft… makes sense this is one white/male/christian redneck town.
met dan at a music shop in melbourne once.
a really nice fellow.
introduced himself “hi i’m dan sultan”
“hi i’m yappy” was my reply.
then he broke.
i started seeing him on every show in the universe. good on him.
and he’s right.
no mention in the constitution
considered non-human until 1967
land taken by captain cook (and his guide dog) who didn’t see any people here.
it’s a fact of life that they were here before us.
that’s like someone marching into your lounge room like a sydney home invasion and telling you they own the house then locking you in the shed and expecting you to admire them for doing it and start arranging the gardening tools according to their system.
of course it’s a lot more serious than that and i’m not being flippant. i’m just pointing out the absurdity of the whole concept and how that would fit into your small piece of turf you call your house.
well. then you can attack people for not walking into a job like an employer won’t look at your black skin and treat you differently. “oh if they’d just go out and get a job” .. HOW??? when you have stories of you ‘going walkabout’ spread around.. childish GOSSIP from ignorant people as reasons for not giving you the same opportunities as someone with a euro background or look.
do that to someone for long enough and hope disappears. it doesn’t matter what race, religion, lack of religion, ethnicity you are .. if you have that done to you for generations when you are outnumbered more thatn 40 to one in your own land you are going to be worn down by it. that’s human nature.
i find it galling that the loudest mouths about the problems in aboriginal society; who blame the chance act of being born a particular race instead of another are the ones that fall the quietest when it comes to any practical solutions.
that’s how racists act. they don’t want to address an issue and fix it. they find succour from having a problem perpetually alive so they can blame it for the truckload of failure in their own lives. so they have an egoistic and ‘judas goat’ like hedge against their own inadequacy. if they actually went out to HELP aboriginal communities; like helping develop the art of the kimberly people that’s the toast of the art world overseas, celebrating 40,000 years of thriving and surviving in a land that has no trade winds like europe, the worst topsoil in the world yet managed to have over 200 seperate and distinct languages (all verbal, and some of the most complicated in the world that makes mandarin chinese look like an episode of sesame street).
there was a moiety system that incompassed over 500 different tribal systems.
trade with indonesia, new zealand, the netherlands, england (before cook ‘discovered’ the joint), the french.
they were using fish traps 10,000 years ago as we were still just thumping each other over the head with blunt instruments. had a sophisticated method of visual communication with x-ray drawings, dot paintings, songlines, medicines, chemical sophistication (oxygen starving fishing), their own recreational drug (forgot the name, a bit like the ol’ mary jane which they didn’t over-use as they were used to it.
and what did we give them?
- the common cold (actually fatal to people with no immunity from no previous exposure)
- organised genocide (tasmania)
- poisoning (examine the charming activities around the time of governor pascoe involving giving flour mixed with plaster of paris)
- racism (never had any problems with other races prior to cook)
the list goes on and on and on and on.
that’s why i was disappointed to hear professor Langton of all people talking about taking welfare away from aborigines as though white people are all of a sudden not going to be bigots any more and suddenly give them a job and tearfully welcome them with open arms into the workforce.
where on earth did THAT concept come from? it makes no sense at all. not only will they be marginalised but they won’t be able to feed their kids either. white people were being revolting to aborigines LONG before any welfare system was in place. and the hardened racists will remain hardened racists no matter what.
i don’t appreciate the insinuation that it’s the fault of the victim that the perpetrator behaves like a pig.
and i’m a WHITE guy!
that’s like saying that if the wife didn’t get uppity ideas about herself she wouldn’t be beaten.
or if a girl didn’t wear a short skirt then she wouldn’t get raped.
it’s the PERPETRATOR that needs to change, not the victim.,
and until we realise that our society IS the perpetrator nothing will change.
how many aborigines are there in australia? – my guess (maybe wrong) is about 2 million.
how many whites and non-aborigines are there in australia? – about 20 million
so go overseas australians and be a minority in any country that’s alien to you and doesn’t welcome you there. see how YOU handle it. there was an ad campaign about this in the days of the snowy river scheme.
a couple of aussie bigots were suddenly dropped into a country where they didn’t understand the language or the culture and had to interact.
the locals would ask them a question and the aussies didn’t know what they were on about. the locals got hostile when they heard the accents of the australians. long story short they didn’t have a particularly pleasant time of it but they got the empathy lesson they needed.
a thought to close: perhaps if australians were less interested in being ‘better’ than each other all the time this might be less of an issue. an aboriginal poet turned me on to that idea in 1987 on a show called ‘blackout’ on SBS.
he said “when my daughter comes home from school and she’s learned something new i tell her “go tell your firends and show them too”"
when whites’ kids come home from school they say “shh. don’t tell anyone. keep it to yourself and you’ll be the top of your class”
he also added “sport makes people into losers. they have a field with 10 people running or something. only one of them can win. the rest are losers. i don’t want to live in a country full of losers.”
it turned me off competitive sport for good and validated the fact i follow art and especially the art called music. art is something that isn’t ‘better’ or ‘worse’ it’s all interpretation.
you’ll see a painting that you think is awful but i might see it as one of the most uplifting things i’ve ever seen. who’s right? .. do we really need stupid ‘australian idol’ competitions? awards for who’s the ‘best’ at art?
not from where i stand. that’s just meaningless populism.
if such is the criterion by which greatness is determined then justin beiber must be the new john lennon.
britney spears must be the new edith piaf .. NO!!
van gogh didn’t sell a single painting for money when he was alive. he passed one or two off for a meal with a friend who ran a restaurant. his work was considered rubbish when he was alive.
so who was right? van gogh or society in holland back then?
this comparitivism, knee jerk reactions, hypocrisy such as “you didn’t invent the car or the aeroplane, we’re bettter (ummm .. mr racist, neither did YOU!) but hey, it’s not our fault for what happened to you 200 years ago (yet you’ll bore everyone to death with your ‘proud european ancestry from a country you never even went to on a package tour’)” so on the one hand the past doesn’t matter but on the other you rattle off a list of past based achievements by your race.
please. seriously. this ‘better than’ thinking is poison and this country is INFESTED with it. it’s like a bunch of sad blokes in a public toilet waving their tackle about being proud of who’s got the biggest dangler .. like they had anything to do with it.
we’re all the same and we’re all different at the same time.
the only ‘ism’s’ i like are somnambulism (when i’m tired), nymphomaniism (don’t care, i made the word up and you KNOW what it means) and priapism (see previous) and TISM.
we need to go into dry dock for a while and have these barnacles scraped from the hull of the good ship australia. and it all comes from a comparative mindset for a cheap way to feel superior to someone to drag ourselves up from our own inferiority complex (which oozes out as the ‘cultural cringe’ from time to time).
can we ditch the sport obsession for a while and use art and knowledge to actually understand each other better?
seriously! the way we get sport shoved down our throats is MADDENING! it’s like nobody in the country is interested in anything else and it’s a BAD thing!! we’re getting FATTER ’cause we’re sitting on our bottoms (well you are, i can’t stand it and i was born in this country half a century ago) instead of going outside and DOING SOME!! or meeting people and getting to know them.
put our first nations in the constitution
and to the situation i mentioned before about negativity with no positivity? – actually help FIX the situation.
make services available out in the camps.
have you SEEN those places? (let alone tried to live there!)
no schools to ‘not’ go to in half of them
groceries at ASTRONOMICAL prices from white price gougers (yet grog at cheap prices, go figure)
and only some token rights. not the REAL ones where they actually have some GOVERNORSHIP in the federal ( i REFUSE to say ‘commonwealth’ this is NOT the queen of england’s country) legislature which they’ll NEVER have without inclusionary text because they are outnumbered at least 10 to one and probably more and are behind the mark in the first place because of the disadvantages i’ve just mentioned.
you do NOT fix the injustice in a situation by kicking into the VICTIM! and i know a lot of aborigines won’t like me saying the ‘v’ word but it’s a FACT! if you commit a crime or damage someone you are a perpetrator and they are a VICTIM! that is what the word MEANS!!
think about it.
like i said. i’m a white guy. it wouldn’t matter if i wasn’t the facts would remain the same.
I fully concur with Dan Sultan. Dan it’s exactly that attitude we need here in Fitzroy. I need your help on something. Please make contact, we’ve got things to discuss.
Good onya Dan finally more people who are indigenous and non-white are speaking up. Its great to see people like you who are in the music industry who can tell it like it is. As a non-indigenous person I feel our country has failed to recognise the inexcusable and disgusting genocide, apartheid system, civil rights movement, among many things throughout indigenous history and culture. These issues have unfortunately fuelled onto todays government and media to promote racist propoganda for white Australia to absorb. Keep up your fight and the music you play!
Anglo Australia is guilty of genocide, while Australia itself remains the world’s largest crime scene!
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