Anonymous asked: What are your views on scholarships that are designed to increase Aboriginal/TSI attendance at universities being given to privileged students who are 'slightly' Aboriginal/TSI? Do you think these scholarships should be given to students who are disadvantaged due to their Aboriginal/TSI heritage?
First of all, I’m going to to need you to write out “TSI” to “Torres Strait Islander”. It’s incredibly disrespectful and offensive to reduce someone of that heritage to just an acronym whilst fully spelling out ‘Aboriginal’.
All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are disadvantaged due to their heritage. It only takes one look on your enrollment papers if you’re trying to get anywhere in education and even just jobs. One look at the box that says “tick yes if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander” and people can deny you acceptance, admission ect.
You can’t be “slightly” Indigenous. You are or you aren’t. Aboriginality or your Torres Strait Islander status is not a matter of skin color, which is what you’re implying here.
Don’t forget that we were attempted to be bred out. So an Indigenous person who is biracial or mixed in Australia would have a very difference experience from the rest of the worlds biracial/mixed students. There were a number of racist policies that were meant to harm all non-white people - with a specific focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples since the British first arrived in Sydney. Australia also banned non-‘Caucasian’ people (correct term would be white, as Caucasian does not mean white) from entering Australia in September, 1901. This proves how truly racist and xenophobic Australia was and STILL is. There are policies and actions in place that still openly discriminate against Indigenous persons today.
Many students at my school who are Indigenous are incredibly disadvantaged even if they are white-passing or as you put it “slightly” Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Tutoring is one of the big things that Indigenous students - regardless of skin color or “percentage of Indigenous blood” are going for right now at my school. Education statistics and outcomes are not passed down from each “fully” or “visibly” black person to another whilst skipping the kids who could pass as white. It doesn’t work like that.
The exact same can be applied to a university attendance or scholarship. Yes, it is important to focus on Indigenous Australians who cannot simply take the disguise as passing for white in most settings - because they are obviously discriminated on a larger scale.. but to imply that darker skinned and lighter skinned Indigenous peoples do not deserve the same opportunities as each other OR to imply that peoples who aren’t “fully” black shouldn’t be receiving financial or an extra hand in their education is really wrong and quite offensive.
Stop asking me these type of questions. They make me feel very uncomfortable because of the fact that people question and try to pick at one’s identity and to imply they don’t deserve the same opportunities as others because of their (lighter) skin color. As I send before, it does not work like that. We are a people so diverse and different yet ultimately the same in our struggles for our rights and recognition as people.