Black Lives Matter

Content warning for discussion of police brutality and racial violence, including naming some victims.

By virtue of having this blog, I have a platform of sorts. So I’m using it to speak out, after spending the past few days signal-boosting and processing and listening.

Across the world, it is well past time for change – actual systemic change, to remove the racist structures that have prevented Black lives and the lives of people of colour from thriving. The change must be led by Black people, indigenous peoples and people of colour. Not whites.

I’ve seen a bunch of different ways to help – donation threads, petitions, people/ groups to follow and actions to take. If you’re white like me, especially, see the links in the list below and choose some ways to help. (There’s probably some overlap in the donation threads, but I can’t be sure so I’ve included them all.)

I’m white. Being a white woman means I have a particular sort of privilege, which isn’t negated by my disabilities or bi/demi identity. That privilege is the sort that Amy Cooper used – turning on the tears, the false outrage, the fake fear, to try to get a black man, Christian Cooper, arrested for simply asking her to leash her dog in a park where that was a legal requirement. Thankfully, it didn’t work out the way she wanted – because by ringing the police, she could’ve caused his death.

Like how white actions – usually police actions – have caused the deaths of Nina Pop, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbrey, Dion Johnson – and now George Floyd, and those are just the publicised ones I know about in the last few months. It’s a deep problem of systemic racism, intersecting other bigotry like queerphobia (Nina Pop and Tony McDade were trans) and ableism (they’re claiming that George Floyd’s “pre-existing health conditions” could’ve been factors in his death). But the root of it all is the racism.

Year after year, month after month, week after week, we see things like this – white on black violence, often state-sanctioned (police brutality). It makes me feel sick inside, and I know that for Black people and people of colour, it’s worse. They confront this shit every day in ways that I never will never have to, because the colour of my skin affords me that bubble of protection. Read this post, or this one for black voices talking about that.

I support the protestors. I don’t care if they smash things – and I’d say that if they were rioting in my city, too. I do note that a lot of the worst of the damage appears to be initiated by white people stirring things up, including undercover cops or other white extremists. (In Minneapolis, they’ve linked arrested looters to out-of-town white extremists, with evidence of white extremists stirring shit up online too.)

But even if it that wasn’t the case? Black people are angry and have a fucking right to be. We should all be angry. Buildings can be rebuilt and goods restocked (most places would have insurance, anyway – especially big corporates). Lives though, once lost, can’t return.

Protesting and rioting is a valid political tool. Yet the tone and framing of such is completely different depending on who’s doing the protesting. Remember when those selfish ignorant white people protested about their freedoms and having to wear masks back at the start of May? The police were civil and calm to them.

Now, there’s footage of police actively enciting violence at these formerly peaceful protests by being punitively aggressive, before riots had started – tear-gassing protestors or riding their horse into the crowd and knocking someone over, or driving their cars at protestors and forcing them out of the way. Not to mention their attacks on journalists and medical/ first aid stations. This article explains it well, too: Police erupt in violence nationwide.

Of course, Trump weighed in – tweeting about calling in the National Guard and using words that even Twitter classified as “inciting violence”. It’s terrifying – and the fault of the white oppressors like him and the racial systems that privilege us white people. Black people protesting have every reason to be in the streets, agitating for change.

Protests and riots throughout history have won rights, because the freedoms sanctioned by majority aren’t given just by asking politely. See also: the labour movement, Women’s Suffrage, the Civil Rights movement , Stonewall Riots (started by a black trans woman!)… Something all of us white people could do to remember, but especially those of us who are white and queer, disabled or women. My disabilities, my womanhood, my queerness are not shields for my behaviour.

For more about the race politics of rioting/ looting, see this article: In Defense of Looting. It was written a few years ago after the murder of Michael Brown caused riots in Ferguson. See also this one, written this week. And read this excellent article about race politics and white-on-black violence It Does Not Matter If You Are Good as well.

It’s not limited to America. State-sanctioned white-on-black violence is a problem in Western countries across the globe, not just the USA. There are easy-to-find examples from Canada, the UK and my country, Australia.

Australia was founded on racism. My ancestors helped displace the First Nations peoples of the land. I grew up, live and work on stolen lands, where sovereignty was never ceded – but taken. The history of Australia is racist as fuck, and it continues today. For example, First Nations peoples make up 3.3% of the total Australian population, which in itself should be sobering, given their numbers before white invasion and colonisation began. However, they make up a disproportionate percentage of Australia’s prison population – 28%.

The discourse around George Floyd’s death has been very upsetting for many First Nations Australians, especially the family of the Dunghutti First Nations man, David Dungay Jr, who was murdered by prison officers in 2015. I saw a sobering Twitter thread yesterday – tweet after tweet of names of First Nations people who’d died in custody. There was a Royal Commission about it in 1991, and there have been over 400 deaths since, with not one cop convicted. (See here, here and here, as well as here – last link refers to Australian police misconduct in general.)

White Australia’s shame has also been the forced removal of First Nations children from their families and culture. The Apology to the Stolen Generations happened in 2008 to politically acknowledge this, but it hasn’t got better. It’s actually got worse.

White Australia is really shit at acknowledging the protests of First Nations people and people of colour in Australia… See this satirical tweet thread for examples. We’re also really, really good at denying our problems. A breakfast TV show was quoted saying that “People in Australia don’t have the understanding of the history of police killings” in the United States. Wilful ignorance, more like.

Then there’s the way we treat non-white migrants and refugees in this country. I remember well how the Victorian Liberals used racist tactics to attempt to encourage fear against ‘Sudanese youth gangs’ in 2014 in the lead-up to the state election. Thank goodness it wasn’t enough to get them re-elected – but it’s extremely telling that they tried. Also, there’s no escaping the fact that the refugees currently locked up in prison hotels or languishing offshore are predominantly non-white. Those on Manus and Nauru have been there for up to seven years with no change. Every single bloody election in Australia that I can remember has had an element of racial politics to do with “boat people”. Racism, all the way through.

So the next time something like this happens in Australia? Those of us who are protesting about the situation in the United States better bloody well be as vocal and outraged as we are now.

The other thing that’s been on my mind this weekend has been the intersection of racism and ableism that means that black disabled people and disabled people of colour are at particular risk of being subject to white-on-black violence, especially by cops. I saw a Tweet on Saturday that summed this up exactly.

“Shoutout to the black autistic people who are in even bigger danger of police brutality than other black people due to the intersection of ableism and racism. Shout out to the black autistic people who have trouble processing verbal information, who lash out when touched, who run away from loud sounds, who are non-verbal*, who have body language and stims that could be considered odd or threatening. Shoutout to the black autistic people who act, express themselves and react in ways that are considered socially inappropriate and who are in danger because of it. Your lives matter.”

Pastiche Graham, (*Note that I’ve quoted the tweet as written, but I do usually prefer the term ‘non-speaking’ to ‘non-verbal’ as it can express a bigger picture.)

This tweet put into words something I’d been thinking about in the back of my mind, especially as this week/ fortnight/ month have been pretty upsetting in terms of the treatment of disabled people in general. (Ways to be a good ally around that here.)

When I read this tweet, I thought of the students I work with at school. I can think of three off the top of my head whom I had sessions with on Friday – and as I’ve written this section I’ve thought of more still. They’re kids now – 6, 7, 8 years old. They are lovely children, full of passion and expression. In fifteen, twenty years time I can picture them as engineers or artists. However, my heart hurts for them and the others like them – because I see them in that tweet above. All are children of colour, with particular sensory and communication needs as well as specific stims. All of which are heightened when they’re distressed. Their lives have value, as does the life of every single black child and black person in the US, Australia and across the world.

The current situation of white-on-black violence can’t go on. It has to change, it has to stop. We won’t make change just by sitting politely and asking – that’s been tried before. It doesn’t work without other work that hits aggressors (fellow white people, corporations, police, the state) where it hurts, while lifting communities up.

I’m putting my money where my mouth is and have signed petitions. I’m also going to make a concerted effort to disrupt racist talk around me, which means having difficult conversations with people as required. I struggle to be assertive at times, scrambling around to express my point and often feeling like I’m coming up short in casual conversation (especially with neurotypicals!). But I have to use my privilege and try – following the lead of black people and people of colour.

I also want to try to remember to be more alert for state-sanctioned violent behaviour in my own area. If I can use my white womanhood to bear witness to it and support people, I must.

If you’re a white person reading this, I urge you to do the same and to continue doing it.

Please take care of yourselves out there, people. It’s been a traumatic week for so many. My heart hurts.

Australia is on fire. Politics suck.

Not the most cheery headline, is it?

It’s true though.

You might have noticed that, over the past few years, my angry political posts have dropped off. At the beginning of this blog, I’d post one fairly frequently. The thing is, those usually took time and resources (I like to link to others’ writings). As time’s gone on I feel like my bandwidth for that has decreased. Especially this year.

After all, writing about politics is hard when, as a progressive person, everything feels like it’s either taking a backwards step, or is just plain miserable. Writing about it too much makes me miserable too. I still get angry, but I don’t know what to do with those angry feels so it turns into anxiety about the future instead.

Fun. I’m not alone in this, I think. Knowing this is good.

However, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m losing hope in the political system and our ability to change anything. At all.

I don’t know where we can go from here, Australia. We re-elected this tool of a government (why) and now, somehow, we have to resist them for another two years until election time again? And then what? I honestly thought that we’d turf them out this time?

I try my hardest to remember that I’m not alone in this and that “drawing together” in good supportive ways (rather than jingoistic conservative nationalistic ways) is what’s needed. Fighting together against those who want to tear away everything that matters and stop us from building a better future. But still….it’s hard.

I almost don’t want to post this, because it feels too depressing.

I’m going to go write something else to cheer myself up.


I had hoped to write a bit more this week but haven’t. Today, I feel like sharing a couple of articles from Clementine Ford, Melbourne-based feminist and writer. Please read and consider them.

Men Continue to Show Themselves to be Uninterested in Women’s Lives

Clementine Ford on How Men Are Harmed by Toxic Masculinity 

Edited to add: read that reddit thread mentioned in the second article. It drives the point home very strongly. Stupid patriarchy. -_-

Here’s a picture of a kookaburra from a few weeks ago, because I feel like it.

Kookaburra sitting in a gum tree (only branches of the tree are visible, no trunk) in front of a building with covered windows.

what I’m doing today

So, my project meeting went well yesterday, yay! Now for the next milestone.

First though, I switch hats and for a few hours, I play the role of Choir President. My last Mid-Year Orientation Clubs Fest is here. Go LaTUCS! We have a mini performance, too. Just to show people what we’re doing.

The LaTUCS logo: a teal oval with white music notes on it, as well as three singing ducks. The ducks are white and outlined in teal, extending into the white space of the image. Below the ducks the acronym "LaTUCS" is written in bold teal font.


Also, I read an article yesterday that made me go, “ooh, wow, okay.” So I’m sharing it with you all. The Book That Redefined My Outlook On Feminism 

Quoted from the article:

“It was then I had my epiphany. I realised that feminism is actually a fight by one half of the population to be taken seriously by the other half.”

Anyone else just have that reaction?

Not quite sure it’s that simple, in terms of “two halves” and so on, but it made me think!


A few things

I’m chest-deep in project stuff atm – I have a presentation to give this arvo. So this week you’ll see little from me!

On that note: if you’re viewing this via Facebook, please consider subscribing via email. I’ve been informed that Facebook will soon stop automatically sharing my posts soon because I’ve connected this blog to my personal profile, not a page. I’m not sure what I’ll do about that. In the meantime, if you want to keep in the loop with me, subscribe, please. 🙂


A couple of links to throw your way:

Eden Riley’s latest post: she’s awesome. Check it out.

And this: get on board.

“Access to Fashion” Show

Screenshot of the image header for the event: it's purplish-mauve with white writing saying

Hi all. My friend Carly Findlay is organising a fashion show as part of Melbourne Fashion Week in September. I love the idea! Disability is very underrepresented in fashion and in the media. From the ticket link:

Access to Fashion – Disability on the Runway is a Melbourne Fashion Week event that endeavours to solve the pervasive issue of disability exclusion in the fashion industry. The event which will be comprised of a panel discussion and runway show featuring disabled models, and will emphasise the need for accessibility and authentic representation, and highlight change makers and activists within the disabled community.”

The event aims to “make a statement about disability access and inclusion” as well as showcasing “disability pride – disabled people coming together to celebrate themselves and each other”.

This is a topic close to my heart. It sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun, and tickets are cheap. Only $15 for a bit over two hours of fashion – there’ll be a parade, then some nibbles and a panel discussion. The event is accessible, with wheelchair access, Auslan or open captions and hearing loop. Buy your ticket here: 

The Melbourne Fashion Week link to the event is here: 

It’ll be held at Library at The Dock, Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands VIC, Australia.

See more information about the event on the website, here: 

Contribute to the fundraiser to help make the event a success here: (you can also contribute time, resources and sponsorship – see the main details link above!)

There’s a Facebook event too. See here.

It’s exciting!

Reblog: Top 5 tips for Living Healthily on a Budget

Check out the latest post from Jack Monroe. I might use their method to do a kitchen audit, and chat more about my thoughts about this, later…. once I’ve made more progress on my project proposal, that is. The flexible deadline is tomorrow (Friday), but given tomorrow’s schedule, I want to get as much as possible done today! So this busy bee needs to get buzzing.

Here, have a picture of one of my latest “creations”: lentils and veg in a store-bought-on-special teriyaki sauce with rice. It was quite nice actually.

On a white plate with green rim sits white rice with lentils and veg in a teriyaki sauce around it on the right side. A fork is partly visible next to the rice.

What a couple of weeks…

Hi all.


Things are a bit tough right now, aren’t they?

Ugly stuff is happening. The treatment of refugees in America (and, more quietly, in and offshore from Australia) is one issue. The latest blow-up has occurred during Refugee Week, which is a sick irony – especially when refugee rights matter all the time, as all human rights do. Another issue – especially if you’re a young city woman like me – is the recent murders of young women who were just living life. Earlier in the week (and last week), I’d wanted to write more about that, but plenty of people, especially women, have said lots already. Also, my emotional bandwidth is occupied by those very issues and other life ones.

There are so many good things happening, too. The uproar of resistance, quiet and loud, of people saying, “enough”, is a good sign. A reminder that there are more good people working for “equality, diversity, justice and love” (as I saw it mentioned online) than there are opposing that. I’ll quote him because it lifted me when I needed it yesterday:

“There are hundreds of millions of people in this world who (just like you) wake up every day trying to be the kind of person the world needs; lavish with compassion, overflowing with generosity, relentless with love. You are, even when you’re not aware of it, surrounded on all sides by like-hearted people who are not okay with the suffering around them either.”
source here

So, while getting annoyed at world things and thinking about how to change them, prioritising life things, and keeping on keeping on, I’ll take time for me where I can, to be with good people and do fun things. Like this, today – a mob called the Roo Keepers came to my uni campus and I got to hold some different Australian wildlife.

Keep on doing your thing, people. Be your own superhero, including being brave enough to reach out to people if things aren’t going well.

Shout-out to an admired blogger

When I had just started to fill my email inbox with different blogs and the like from across the globe and around the web, I stumbled across a blog. It combined cheap recipes with real-world politics and I liked it. Now, I use their recipes sometimes and still read their political views. It’s not views though, it’s life. Food is political and Jack knows this all too well.

I’ve mentioned them a few times before when doing a recipe post or the like, but here’s a direct shout-out: go check out Cooking on a Bootstrap and send some love their way, they need it right now. Maybe buy one of their books?

If you’ve got hate, stick it somewhere else!


Reblog: IWD

After I published yesterday’s post, I realised that I could have posted something a bit more directly relevant to March 8th, International Women’s Day.

My day consisted of doing placement duties driving around and sitting in offices, as well as a gym session followed by dinner with friends. In the car when we were driving around, I made sure the radio was tuned to Triple J. Every year they celebrate International Women’s Day by having “Girls to the Front”, highlighting female artists and presenters all day. 😊

I also read this piece by Carly Findlay, appearance diversity activist and friend, highlighting eight disabled women (and one non-binary person) to follow on social media.

Quote from Carly, introducing the piece: “Happy International Women’s Day!

May your mental load be reduced, manteruptions be kept to a minimum and your voices be heard.

This year’s themes are “No Woman Left Behind” and “Press For Progress“. Disabled women are often forgotten in discussions about diversity and violence and media and women in general. So I’m going to let you know of a few who you need to follow.”