29 May, 2006

Who am I to talk?

I've had a few emails about my post on smelly black people. Good god, I honestly didn't think anyone (other than an automated spambot) would bother emailing me. Or at least not about my blog.
Yes I may have said that some black people are smelly, that is not racist abuse. Racist abuse would be if I had said that they were smelly because they were black.
But people are also wondering what that has to do with ADHD or Librarians,
good point,
to which I say, bugger off it is my blog I can post about what I like. Report me to the Advertising Standards Board if you don't like it.

Well, OK. There is a connection.
The library in which I currently work services a large indigenous population and I spend a lot of my time with indigenous kids. For the most part it is just like any other public library, except here all the kids who are cutting school are genetically distinguishable. Now I don't want to bag out the local people because their kids don't go to school. I myself forgot to turn up to school when I was about 14, I managed to survive the Department of Education contacting my father because he had just met the woman who would become my step-mother and as such was feeling in a happy mood.
So, have I been clear that these kids aren't skipping school because they are black? they are black and they are skipping school. No big deal to me, there are always kids skipping school in the library and I'm happy to spend my work day with them. Better here with me than out in the car park with a plastic bag full of chrome paint.
There are some things that people let indigenous kids get away with because they suffer from white middle class guilt about the stolen generation or the Coniston Massacre or their own passive racism. What we end up with in return in a reverse racism, not like positive discrimination, but where I see kids still in nappies coming to the library on their own. Or even worse (for our cleaners) kids who are so young they should be in nappies, but aren't.
I see kids who are about nine, who are spending their day in the library because they are looking after three or four younger brothers, sisters and cousins. I see kids who haven't eaten in a couple of days because the older members of the family have drunk their dole money.
And what is done about this? Nothing, because the Australian government once had a stupid racist policy where they took aboriginal children away from their parents by force (and we alone did this, no other nation on earth has ever been so evil woe woe woe, and so on). So now, rather than deal with the past wrongs (by doing something like offering an official apology) we ignore the problems it has caused and don't let the people from welfare take these children away from their substance abusing parents.
We'll let the welfare folk take away white children, Indian children, Vietnamese children, Children of African decent, children of any ethnicity (and Australia has a few) but not aboriginal kids.

So I sit at my library desk, turning around kids under seven and telling them they can't come in without an adult. I send them off to do what ever the hell they want to do in town, go play in the traffic, go watch mum get drunk and fight but don't come into my safe library because I don't have the ability to deal with your problems and the folk who should be helping you, won't be either because they need more money, more people and a complete change in the whole social structure of Australia before they can do anything to help a child who has only been neglected. they need their resources for the actively abused and even then they are dealing with only a fraction of what people suspect is going on.

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