have no regrets
except all those facebook pages you liked back in 2009, regret those
if you are going to do historical inaccuracy, then go big. Just take it to a whole ‘nother level.
I mean like Knight’s Tale "chanting Queen at the jousting tournament ‘foxy lady’" levels of anachronism. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters with Hansel injecting himself with insulin and Gretel wielding a multiple-shot crossbow levels of anachronism. Go for Blazing Saddles, Blackadder, Jack of All Trades, Connecticut Yankee levels of anachronism
either have to play by the rules or throw out the book.
I’m seeing quite a few Australians on social media commenting on Michael Brown’s murder by police in Missouri. That’s not, in itself, a bad thing - but there’s a sense of smug superiority in some of these comments, like we’re all sitting around murmuring, “Tut, tut, violence in America, good thing we’re not that bad.”
I feel like somebody should remind the Australians on social media of some of the interactions between our criminal justice system and marginalised members of Australian society.
So, let’s look at some examples of indirect discrimination:
In 2011 there was an article published in Current Issues in Criminal Justice about the effects of Prohibited Behaviour Orders. These are orders given by a court that prohibit behaviours that would otherwise be permissable by law, such as appearing in certain public places or meeting with specific people. They’re meant to discourage antisocial behaviours, and were adopted from the UK into Western Australia.
Okay, so right off the bat we’re looking at exciting new ways to impose criminal sanctions on people for non-criminal acts, which I think is important even if it’s not really what I’m talking about right now. But keep it in mind, right? This affects other minorities, like homeless people, really badly, too.
Anyway, orders that require people to avoid certain places or people may seem reasonable to a primarily white judicial system - which, hello, that’s a huge part of the problem - but in some cases they interact particularly badly with Indigenous cultural norms, specially as regards engagement with family members and other customary obligations. Indigenous Australians are statistically more likely to breach these orders. They’re also more likely to then receive a custodial sentence than white Australians.
What else? Oh, well, rates of imprisonment are often one of the best criminal justice indicators we’ve got at the moment. How about this: I know that in 2010 it was reported that the rate of imprisonment of Indigenous Australians (male and female) - not arrest, not conviction, not being held in remand - imprisonment following conviction, was eighteen times greater than that of non-Indigenous Australians. This is the result of a number of ugly, self-perpetuating factors resulting from both direct and indirect discrimination, but before we get into over-policing and stereotyping, consider this: people serving a prison sentence of greater than three years are unable to vote while in prison. If we’re imprisoning one group of people at a significantly greater rate, and then denying imprisoned people the right to participate in democracy, where does that leave us in terms of representation?
If you answered ‘up shit creek,’ then you’re right, but it was a rhetorical question anyway so stop interrupting.
These aren’t examples of direct discrimination - it’s not a matter of policies applied solely to Indigenous Australians. But it’s discrimination all the same. Just a more insidious, really frustrating kind of discrimination - the kind where sneering middle-aged commentators can blithely behave as though individuals are completely independent of their social context. (Yes, I see you there, Andrew Bolt. Don’t think I don’t.)
In Australia, people - not even just the criminal justice system - frequently view Aboriginal people (as well as other racialised minorities) as an order-maintenance problem, relying largely on negative stereotypes. Do we remember Charlie Kulla Kulla in the 1980s? Yeah, he presented at an ED with a headache and chest pains - the staff said he was drunk and he was arrested and dumped in the drunk tank.
Police ignored requests for help. Police ignored other witnesses saying he wasn’t grog sick. Police ignored requests for medical assistance.
He died in police custody of pneumonia.
He was not drunk.
Or, hey, what about John Pat, a sixteen year old Roebourne resident who died as a result of injuries sustained while he was held in police custody? Witnesses testified that they had overheard the beatings that led to his death.
The police involved were acquitted by an all-white jury.
Oh, Tozette, you might say, these cases are really old. We’ve had the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody since then, we’ve acknowledged the problem of police brutality and discrimination toward Aboriginal people. We’re working to fix that!
So why are rates of Indigenous incarceration still rising faster than those of non-indigenous populations?
Let’s put it this way: twenty years after the Royal Commission, in New South Wales, the Custody Notification Service exists to ensure that you can find out if Indigenous Australians are still okay, despite having been detained by the police. Still okay? Aboriginal-police relations are still so messed up and violent that we have a whole service dedicated to making sure that Indigenous people haven’t been made victims of police brutality, and they’re still fighting to keep it funded.
What about people like Marlon Noble, or Rosie Anne Fulton? These are people declared unfit to stand trial for their offences due to disability, who have then been left to languish in prison because the resources to proceed with their cases haven’t been found. Marlon Noble was jailed for more than a decade for crimes he was never convicted of - he was released, finally, only two years ago. Rosie Anne Fulton is a disabled young lady in her twenties who was held without conviction for eighteen months in prison for the same reason - for driving offences.
At this point it should come as no particular surprise to anybody still patiently reading this rant that these people are both Indigenous Australians.
It might seem obvious, but not all people who are drunk in public in Australia are arrested for order-maintenance offences. Could you imagine what that would look like on grand final day? Jesus. But in policing Aboriginal people, law enforcement officers are much, much more likely to arrest for petty crimes like these than they would be for white people. In Conflict, Politics and Crime: Aboriginal Communities and the Police, Cunneen reports that “in Victoria Aboriginal people are fifteen times more likely to be arrested for public drunkenness than non-Aboriginal people”. Additionally, a higher number of police per capita are assigned to areas with larger Aboriginal populations.
This is the only comment I can’t directly cite, but in one of last semester’s criminology lectures, our lecturer mentioned that in the USA African American women are 3 times more likely to be incarcerated than white women.
Wow. That’s pretty bad, huh?
Yeah, America’s really fucked up, amirite?
In Australia, Aboriginal women are 21.5 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-Aboriginal women.
So, yes. Speak out about the racialised violence going on in America. Tell everybody about it. But don’t you dare fucking forget that we’ve got problems at home. We don’t have time to act smug.
Things I read that were either cited directly or informed the context of this rant are below the cut.
This is very important.
let’s talk about how nicki involves herself with and treats her dancers in the anaconda video better than anyone out there. let’s talk about her ability to navigate the subject-object dichotomy with ease.
Aggressively ignores party selection strategy in favor of picking my favorites.
I don’t know if this is politics or Dragon Age but I’m reblogging it anyway
Favorite Muggleborns headcanons (1/?)