Recently, I was disheartened to see an indigenous leader publicly denounce another indigenous leader via derogatory name calling on Social Media. Whilst I understand that there is pain and suffering that urges this kind of response, I cannot support this or any type of violence. Violent words beget violent words.
Not every indigenous person has to agree with another. We come from different mobs. We have different experiences. And, sadly, we experience different forms of discrimination. When confronted with differing opinions or choices that are not in line with our values, we should strive to treat one another with the same level of respect we rightfully demand from our non-indigenous peers. Name calling is never going to create an equal, compassionate and culturally respectful society.
I work with our young people; the future of our mob. They imitate everything we do and say. This imitation quickly becomes the character of their being. For the most part, the youth I work with are positive in outlook and loving towards all people. And as their leaders, role-models or support workers, we are responsible for fostering this positivity and compassion, not destroying it.
I love healthy argument and differing opinions. It helps us change, develop and grow. So can we keep the debate, but take the name-calling out of it?
by Alethea with the support of Kyle & Roxy (aka the Dreaming Team)