I believed I was not racist – I was wrong

Every day I wake safe in my home, fenced in on lands where once you walked proud
I don’t even know the name of your people, never asked of your stories, never thought where you’ve gone
“I have done nothing wrong, it is mine, I have bought it.” But what cost do you pay for my right?
Every day in my car, I heedlessly race, cross your paths, your slow ways, your land covered now with pollution, construction, and haste
I buy food grown on your sacred places, burn energy mined from under your dreaming, learn esoterica in torpid advantage.
I partake of a culture that assumes I am white. Red, White and Blue, Aussie mate.
No one walks toward me, looks at my skin, furtively wondering “Is she drunk, violent, bludger, or stoned?”
I’m lucky, I don’t have to wake, being black, on the margin, excluded, derided, denied.
Nearly 200 years my family has walked here
Trodden with confident right,
Today I say sorry, with all of my heart, for what we have stolen, what we’ve claimed for our own,
without thought, without care, to your loss.
“I have done nothing wrong”, I used often to think
Defending, “I’ve no other home”
But I missed the point and I’m here to confess: I’m racist, I’m privileged, I’m white.
I have never consciously done you a wrong.
I have every day thoughtlessly done you great wrong.
Aboriginal Australia, I’m sorry.

Author: Wendy's Out of Station

I write as a way of processing and reflecting on experience, and as a way of sharing that experience. When I travel I used to write email journals back to friends, family, anyone who’d read and risk immersing themselves in my reality for a while: writing for them was a way of writing for me. Borrowing from Graham Greene in a flip of Travels with my Aunt, I imagined writing letters to my nieces, as their travelling aunt. Crafting the sentences became a way of extruding the experience, giving it birth, drawing its meaning from my soul, nurturing it into something tangible with a life of its own. The aim of my blog is to open the world to my thought-children, to let them out of the safety of my friends and family and let them experience the world. And in the process I get the honour of taking a larger group with me when I’m wandering around India and beyond, or just reflecting on parallel truths, thinking thoughts that take me to new places new beginnings. Please journey with me

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