As the conversation continues around the Black Lives Matter movement and racism against First Nations people, many Indigenous Australians have summed up the discrimination Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face through educational TikTok videos.
In a clip featuring text reading, “Growing Up As An Indigenous Australian”, Brisbane-based makeup artist Sari-Ella Thaiday outlines stereotypes and assumptions First Nations people often hear about themselves by putting a finger down for each time she’d heard one.
Being accused of stealing, followed around in a store, assumed to be on Centrelink or don’t have a job, and being told to “get over your people’s murder, massacre, genocide, stolen land and stolen wages” are just some of those she mentions.
Meissa Mason, a proud law student and artist from Wiradjuri, Gomeroi and Awabakal countries, also speaks about white privilege and the assumptions around government “benefits” provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait people.
“These Aboriginal ‘benefits’ are not benefits. They’re there for us to to catch up on disadvantages we have, which is equity if you’ve never heard of it,” she says.
“But not only that, did you know that a majority of the services available to us are also available to non-Aboriginal people as well?”
She goes onto talk about people claiming only Indigenous Australians get free housing and healthcare, and free money.
Aboriginal man Andrew Lopez speaks about “the government’s plan when they had the White Australia Policy and the Stolen Generations”.
He addresses another TikTok user who claimed, “Mixed race people ARE NOT Indigenous or First Nations, they are just Australian like everyone else”.
Andrew says it was the government’s plan all along to instil these very thoughts and views.
Youth worker Paniora Nukunuku, who is of Maori and Cook Island decent, has also shared a series of clips demonstrating the disadvantages and systemic racism that Indigenous Australians face.
Using a shopping trip at a local Woolworths supermarket, he decided to explain “the Black Lives matter problem in Australia”.
“So I have my culture, language, way of life,” he says, referring to different grocery items in his shopping trolley.
“I’m just missing one thing,” he adds while picking up a packet of soup. “Ability to dance.”
At that moment a white man approaches his trolley. “Mate, Terra Nullius,” he says.
“What do you mean, we’ve been here the whole... we’ve been here for ages before you. What are you talking about?” says Paniora.
“Look, I’m going to take this off you and I’m going to take those off you as well,” the man responds, gesturing to his shoes which represent babies and family.
Instead Paniora is handed a basket with limited items, before a woman passing by says, “You get everything for free from the government”.
In another video captioned, “ppl benefit now bc of wat happened 200yrs+ ago”, Paniora shows the obstacles Indigenous Australians have faced as a result of colonialism.
How? He used two pool tables and the analogy is pure genius.
The video has attracted over 132,000 likes and almost 400 comments.
These are just a few of the many videos being shared online to educate and inform as part of this important discussion.
Some useful TikTok hashtags to find more of these clips easily include #Aboriginal, #Indigenous and #BlackLivesMatter.