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Monday, May 22, 2006

why anthony mundine really is the man...

Posted by my daughter, Veronica (16 years old)

Hello all! As you probably know (and if u dont then where have u been?) Anthony Mundine and Danny Green had their much awaited showdown last week at Aussie Stadium. Initially I was secretly hoping Green would win cause Mundine’s just such a smart ass and incredibly up himself (and played a very unimpressive role on big brother a few years ago). When I took a quick squiz at the crowd last Wednesday I saw a large number of aboriginal people there to support Mundine...yelling and stamping like crazy and with huge grins on their faces when the aboriginal flag danced on stage alongside the hero of the evening. Since then I’ve been thinking about Mundine and what he stands for and I’ve started to admire him a little more...

Sadly aboriginal people, as much as we try to pretend they aren’t, are racially discriminated against in our society day by day. While most people would say this discrimination is in some way justified as a large number of them drink, start fights, are part of gangs etc. the way I see it is that although all this prejudice is based on a kernel of truth, the real issue is that society has grouped these people together in isolated places around Sydney’s poorer suburbs, not allowing a large portion of them to properly integrate into society as we know it, and socially rejecting them to the extent where we have made them live down to our expectations so we can justify our mistreatment towards them. Along with many other devalued groups, society, (although im sure it is mainly subconsciously), base their entire perception of a person on a negative stereotyped image that their parents or the media have painted for them.

This is not something I am miraculously hoping to stop, but rather raise awareness of cause no matter how much we say or think as a nation that because we have charities we are therefore caring towards disabled people, or because we have an annual multicultural day we are therefore fair to aboriginal people – the issue is much more complicated then that. In the end it is more important to be wary of what’s really happening out there and to tell your subconscious mind that you will not listen to it when it paints these negative stereotypes on, for example, a young gay man that you pass (that he will be sexually rampant), an aboriginal person (that they are an alcoholic), of a disabled person (that they are stupid and dirty), of the elderly (that they are a burden), a person of middle eastern appearance (they’re a terrorist), the unemployed (that they are lazy dole-bludgers)...the list goes on! Im sure many of you may not even believe you have any of these subconscious thoughts, but why then is it that in a train you sit a little further away from the physically disabled person and find it overwhelming if they speak to you unannounced...where as if an innocent looking girl like myself did I’m sure no one would not shy away or cross the street to get away from me...(or I’d hope not =P) I don’t mean to speak negatively of today’s society as I honestly believe that no one is a bad person for disliking or labeling a group of people, it just means they have not been well educated on the subject and I fear they will miss out on so many opportunities to meet wonderful people within these groups because they are too scared to be the better person and not judge a book by its cover.

Anyway they whole reason i went on this huge rant was to basically say that yes, I originally though Anthony Mundine was an outspoken young man who was all talk (which he has proven us all wrong of), but now I have realised that he is much more then that. He is someone who the people from Redfern can identify with and be proud of...someone from the aboriginal community who is making a name for himself and his people. That it something that I admire of him, because he can talk himself up in the media and make us hate him, love him or in my case hate to love him...but when it comes down to it he is a decent guy making a name and money for himself and his community, while doing something that he loves - and is now officially the best at!


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