Dying Down and Under
According to statistics, each month, one Aboriginal person dies in police custody in Australia. Circumstances surrounding these deaths include instances where an Aboriginal person has been alone in a room with no visitors aside from Australian police. Inquiries made into the Australian police, by the Australian police, arrive at an answer that completely separates the authorities or conditions of the prisons from the deaths.
75% of Aboriginal people in Australia experience racism every day. This is one of the first statistics set forth in Down and Under, an investigative documentary that explores the history of racism in Australia; a history that began in 1788 when the British first came over to Australia and endures today as it exist in forms that go beyond hate speech and even physical attacks on Aboriginals. The unfortunate viral footage that was captured by vigilant citizens paints a picture of ironic xenophobia that isn’t mutually exclusive when it comes to its aim at the Aboriginal people of Australia.
If the footage shown in the documentary is any indication, refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and China, as well as white people who count English as a second language, can be victims of racially motivated hate at any time, and it isn’t just hoodlums on city buses who agree that blatant racism and objection to others is an appropriate way to deal with the perceived surplus of non-European immigrants.
The historical problem of racism in Australia, a problem that now mirrors racism from all over the globe at many different points throughout history, from internment camps to southern segregation, is one that presents us with a lot to think about. You’ll want to look into the policies mentioned in Down and Under after viewing, and you’ll get a new understanding of the dangers behind ideals that present assimilation as a necessity, especially when assimilation becomes important enough to a nation that they would take a generation of children away from their parents in an effort to not only build up the new Australian ideal culture, but to strip the Native Australian people from their culture, identity, and even their family names.