The Guardian tells us: “Civil liberties groups have called for an independent inquiry into the shooting of two Aboriginal teenagers in Sydney’s busy Kings Cross nightlife area at the weekend.” They’d been joyriding, and mounted a crowded pavement in the early hours of Saturday morning, hitting two women. But they were unarmed, surrounded by cops with guns, they weren’t going anywhere. So why shoot them? Well-known Aboriginal figure, Anthony Mundine, said: “I feel that it’s brutality at its best. Who shoots teenage kids, unarmed, cornered, trapped, ready to be arrested?” But the New South Wales police minister, Mike Gallacher, retorted:
“Cops had seconds to make a decision. If someone’s not going to stop the car … and you’ve got a young woman on the front of the vehicle, you know, until such times as shown otherwise, I’m going to back the cops.”
Australia is one of the most racist countries in the world. Even the USA try to appear as if they’re sorry about what they did to their indigenous population. But Oz politicians seem to regard “black fellas” as legitimate targets for full-on violent tactics. And the white Australian population as a whole aren’t much better, treating Aboriginal people as second or even third-class citizens, making them feel like illegal immigrants in their own country.
Okay, you can’t change the past. What’s done is done. But you can change what you do about the past. And you can learn from your mistakes, quit treating Aboriginals as somehow less than human. If Australia doesn’t sort its act out pronto, they’re gonna reap the whirlwind.
A demonstrator at a rally outside the New South Wales parliament protesting against the shooting of two teenagers in Sydney. Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty Images