I’m a proud Aboriginal woman from a proud extended family that spans across north Australia. I have lived my life in the public eye for more than 20-years – firstly as an Olympian and now as a Senator for the Northern Territory. Throughout all this I have endeavoured to represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as best I can and, sadly, this has made me a target for racism.
The reality is, occasionally I receive hateful, threatening and racist letters, emails and Facebook posts. A worse reality is that I’m far from the only one.
Australians need to face this reality and acknowledge that racism exists throughout our great country and across all sectors of society. This is an extremely important issue yet we don’t speak out against it.
The hate mail I receive via letters or emails are written anonymously because the authors are too gutless to own up to their bigotry. Well I’m over that – I’m going to call it out each and every time!
That’s why I’ve decided to publish the abusive hate mail that I receive. By sharing these abusive messages on Facebook and Twitter, there are a few things I hope to achieve.
Firstly, we need to recognise that these views do exist. I don’t know the scale at which they exist, but clearly the fact that they exist at all is not good enough in modern Australia. We can’t fix this problem without first recognising that it exists and seeing it for what it is.
Secondly, as a Labor Senator, I feel it’s my responsibility to call out racism. Labor has always advocated for equality of opportunity and I simply would not be doing my job properly if I didn’t stand up for my constituents and any Australian that’s been subject to any form of racism. It deserves to be talked about, and it deserves to be publically deplored.