12 Months of What Matters to a Native

I think you get the gist of this one I wrote for the Crescent Times (well I hope you do!)

12 Months of What Matters to a Native

By Eugenia Flynn

It has been twelve months since I was contacted by the Crescent Times to start writing for this esteemed publication.  In that time I have had a number of people contact me to say that they appreciate my thoughts, they agree with me, they want to expand on this point or that point – Alhumdilillah I am truly blessed to be writing and sharing my thoughts with you all.

My last article however did not seem to go down a treat and I have been wondering why that is.  Perhaps, as with White Australians, Muslim Privilege – same as with White Privilege – is hard for the Privileged one to see?  Perhaps the notion that they have Privilege is just too confronting for Muslim Australians to agree with?  Perhaps it makes Muslims too uncomfortable to be thrown together with White Australians, whom they view as lesser than themselves because they are less aligned with Indigenous Australians through shared social exclusion?

Either way, I am very happy to be pushing boundaries.  To be calling it as I see it.  To be sharing Native matters.  To be sharing what matters to a Native.  I encourage you all to ask me questions, to push my boundaries, to share your thoughts with me – let’s make this a reciprocal relationship.

On this note, I want to share something on White Privilege and ask that any ‘brown migrants’ and/or Muslims take a moment to think and ponder and reflect on whether this applies to them or not.

Lillian Holt wrote in her 2000 paper “Pssst…I wannabe white” that “…being acceptable Brown in colour versus objectionable Black did have and still does have its advantages. For as the Black Panther saying of the 60s went: ‘If you’re White, that’s all right, if you’re Brown stick around, if you’re Black stay back’…”

Unfortunately, not much has changed in the past ten years since Lillian wrote that paper.  Or has it?  Less about skin colour and more about what is inside, the notion that being Brown is acceptable and being Black is not acceptable is very much relevant to today.  Talking with several Black friends and colleagues (in the performing arts that is) on the mainstream commercial success of the Fear of a Brown Planet comedians, we all instinctively know that if the Planet boys were Black/Blackfellas and purporting the same sentiments, the reaction would be much more negative.

I ask now, do Muslims instinctively know that this is so?  If not, why not?  If not, will you seek to understand and accept?  Twelve months of what matters to a Native.  To this Native.  I hope it has been as good for you as it has been for me…


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