I think it is time we had a talk, Australia.

I’m about to say some things to you. Some things you are not going to like. These words are not an attack, though they may feel like one. But you need to understand that I say them not to upset you, but because you need to hear them.

So let us speak plainly and honestly now…
Australia. You are, and always have been, a really fucking racist country.

There are many points I could use to demonstrate this, but I want to focus on one in particular.

And that is whenever an extremely accomplished non-white Australian comments (not even criticises) comments, on racism in Australia, this country always responds by unleashing its white-hot racist fury.

A fury that lurks just below the surface of our laid-back, easy going appearance. A fury that exists solely to protect the mediocrity of our hollow colonial culture.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Bruce Pascoe, Adam Goodes, Heretier Lumumba, Cathy Freeman, Nicky Winmar, Nyadol Nyuon… do you know what all these names have in common? They are all non-white Australian celebrities that dared to merely comment about racism in Australia. And all of them. ALL OF THEM. Were set upon and hounded by a frothing rage of racist hatred.

And this level of racist hatred isn’t a minority of people, or an anomaly. It’s us. It’s our culture, it’s our government, it’s our society. It is deep, inseparable, and wholly entwined with our identity.

Our nation was born from violent genocide. Racism was the deep philosophical core belief of the colonists that came to this land, championed by blood thirsty eugenicists like Arthur Macquarie. Our economy was built by slave labour, and the exploitation of non-white immigrants. We were so reliant on racism, that no one even blinked when the White Australia policy came in. Hell, we were so fucking racist we even hated Italians because they were a different SHADE of white!

And although we love to tell ourselves we are better now, well… it was really fucking recent that our senate voted to affirm a literal Neo-Nazi slogan in Parliament, and our government was spreading blatant lies about ‘African Gangs.’

The truth is, Australia revels in racism. It is our true culture.

The racist jokes with your mates at the pub, the gaslighting of those that speak up about the bigotry they face, the furious defence of a fictional history that purposely erases all the genocide and slavery, the pearl clutching when any of this is pointed out…

That… THAT is the real Australian culture. Everything else, the footy, the barbeques, even ANZAC Day, all of it, is the rug that the truth is swept under.

And I know you hate me for saying all this, we are never supposed to talk about this (that is also a part of our culture, we are all laid-back larrikans! Am I right!) But you know it is true.

Our toxic colonial culture rode into this century on the back of furious racism. Because we have no national identity without it. The entire justification for this colony, exists on the lie that this land was ‘terra nullius’ a belief justified by racism, that is still widely believed today. We protect the myth of our past from any deeper reflection because we know, in our hearts, that it is a lie. And we also know, that if we don’t have this lie to uphold our identity, then we have no identity at all.

We are too far separated from our European heritage to feel a connection to it, while at the same time, our entire colonial history is built around the ongoing destruction of the Indigenous cultures that rightfully own this land. Colonial identity exists in a permanent state of purgatory, we belong nowhere, and have no cultural attachment to anything but our lies.

And this is the core question at the heart of it all, Who the fuck ARE you Australia? What the fuck are you so angry about? Why do you refuse to move on from this ridiculous glorified memory of a long dead empire?

Why do you cling to white supremacy as if the world will fall away if you dare let go?
Why are you so quick, Australia, to demand all who come here show their ‘Australian Values’ when even you can’t define what those values are?

I am angry at you Australia, for how you let your hate and insecurities lead you to turn a blind eye when we locked children in offshore detention centers and denied them sunlight until their fucking teeth rotted out.

I am ashamed of you Australia, that your wilful ignorance would let sacred Indigenous sites be desecrated, chain-sawed, bulldozed, and literally blown the fuck up!

I am disgusted by you Australia, that you would fill your hearts with so much hatred, that you would literally walk all over Uluru just to spite the traditional owners. That you can see Indigenous children abused and imprisoned, and watch hundreds of people die at the hands of our police, and just fucking shrug your shoulders at it.

I am shocked by you Australia, as you are so quick to condemn and torture the refugees (you helped create) just for coming to our shores for help.

I am horrified by you Australia, as the words of your senators rip and tear our society apart, and fill the hearts of our citizens with so much hateful fury they even go ABROAD to commit terrorism.

I am frightened by you Australia, that you can see all this happening, and STILL listen to the peroxide blonde talk show hosts tell you, this country isn’t racist, even as they themselves say the most racist shit right into the camera.

But most of all, I am disappointed in you Australia, that through all this, through all the evidence that drowns any doubt, you still get more upset about discussing racism than you get about its existence.


But like I said, my words today are not here to attack you.

You can’t be blamed for the past, but you are responsible for your future.

I mean, what does it say about our way of life, if it is so brittle, so sensitive, and so weak, that it can be threatened by even the mildest of commentary from outside the status quo? That even letting non-white people be platformed is seen as a threat to our entire way of life.

But most importantly, why do you stay so wilfully ignorant, that you cannot help but spiral into vicious racism against anyone who tries to educate you?

There is no strength in hate, and this country can’t run on artificial fear forever. You are not ‘reclaiming’ your country, you are separating yourself from it.

You need to figure out who you are Australia. Quickly.

Because you are at a crossroads now.

You can either unshackle yourself from the corpse of a long dead racist empire and join a beautiful, modern multicultural country with a future built on compassion and community. A country that has a place for you too…

Or you can lay down next to those old racist bones of colonial empire, and stay with your bitter racist hatred forever, while the world moves on without you.

It’s your choice, Australia.

But I urge you… I beg… grow the fuck up.

Max Black
December 2020

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