Sent to me via email copied from Broome Community Notice Board. “Community Meeting tomorrow night”
The original post from *Xxxxx that kicked this meeting of
I am indigenous, and I am here to say I am sick and tired of reading some of the drivel that comes out every time someone complains about unacceptable behaviour in this town. People regularly bitch and moan about dog owners letting their dogs poop on the beach, we have whinges about backpackers washing their clothes and their body parts in public facilities, and of course there’s humbugging at Coles and the recent brawling in Anne Street.
What I am most sick and tired of is that any time someone complains about unacceptable behaviour from indigenous people, it is immediately branded a racist attack by some indigenous people. I am appalled that some of the responses from my indigenous brothers and sisters to the Anne Street brawl includes not only justifications for punching on in the street, but attempts to minimise the seriousness of these events and the damage this causes to kids watching by saying “well, it’s been happening for years!”
Yes, we know it’s been happening for years. Does that make it acceptable? Does that mean that nobody is allowed to stand up and say “this is feral behaviour?” Does this mean that anyone who says it is unacceptable is a racist just because the individuals involved happen to be indigenous?
If a group of any other race, colour or creed started doing the same, they would be justifiably condemned by the public, who are entitled to be going about their lawful business driving down a street without being confronted by a big group of brawlers and onlookers fighting, screaming, and smashing glass on the street.
Some of the people who have commented here say it needs more funding, it needs more leadership, it needs more understanding of trans-generational trauma, and that may well be true. But what it DOES NOT need, is the constant making of excuses for what is simply anti-social behaviour.
Every single time you blame something like trans-generational trauma, or social disadvantage, or the cops, or the white invaders, instead of the individual in front of you who is drunk, off his head and wanting to punch on in the street, you condemn that person to a life of low expectations and mediocrity. Every time you say, well, that’s just the way we are, you condemn generations of indigenous kids who are full of potential to never achieving theirs.
Every time you come to the defence of your countrymen because somebody complains about the behaviour of some individuals who happen to be indigenous, instead of actually looking at why the behaviour is unacceptable, you just keep the myth going that black people are incapable of being better than that.
Every time you spread the idea, directly or subliminally, that it’s ok to be anti-social and under-achieve at everything because there is a whole raft of other things to blame that are beyond your control, you create another victim. The poor-bugger-me syndrome. It’s time to put it to bed and demand a higher standard for all of us, and that can only come from within.
We ARE better than that, we know we are better than that, why don’t we demand that everybody acts like they are?
From *XXXXX XXXX
I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of new faces and getting some good ideas thrashed out.
Please have a read through this before you come along, print it out and bring it if you can.
Notes and Agenda for informal meeting of interested parties – Broome Fishing Club – 29 October (6pm start)
Although being held as an informal meeting, there are some things I want to achieve as a result. To aim for anything less means it is nothing more than another talk fest.
- Opening – *XXXXX XXXX
- All attendees invited to share their thoughts on something concrete they would like to achieve to bring about change in Broome.
- Discussion centred around the thoughts shared, with a view to narrowing them down to
- A short list of problems and/or issues needing to be addressed in Broome
- Realistic assessment of whether they can be achieved
- If so, how do we go about it?
- Formation of a committee to drive the necessary actions to address the issues.
My preliminary thoughts about things to discuss include the following:
- Itinerant drunks and troublemakers in Chinatown
- How do we make service providers, govt agencies and Aboriginal corporations more accountable for actually delivering services to the people that need them (I will expand on this more on the night, but it comes in the light of what is happening at Kennedy Hill, One Mile and elsewhere.)
- Drug and alcohol issues, can we address problems for addicts, with suppliers/dealers etc?
- Is there a place for things like a basics card, alcohol free house declarations, alcohol restrictions of some sort. Bring your ideas.