The following has been written by Year 6 Wattle:
In Year 6, we have been looking at The Stolen Generation, Aboriginal Rights and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We have learned about the awful treatment Aboriginal people have been through in Australian History. While the way Indigenous people are treated has improved since the terrible events of the past, it is still far from equal to white Australians. As the young people in Australia, it is our responsibility to help educate people on the importance of tolerance and kindness, and to stand up against racism. We have compiled these answers together to help educate people about the importance of equity and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Please drop by the Year 6 area if you would like to see our display!
What is the #BlackLivesMatter movement?
The #BlackLivesMatter movement is an organised political and social movement seeking to protest and educate in a non-violent manner about basic human rights and equality for black lives. They aim to bring justice, healing and freedom to black people across the globe.
But don’t all lives matter?
Yes, of course, all lives matter! It is because all lives matter that this movement is so important! At the moment, many black lives are not receiving equal rights, so if we really believe that all lives matter, we need to focus on black lives right now. If we look at an example scenario where if there were twelve houses in a street and one of them was on fire. We would not hose down all the houses, we would attend to the one burning before we went to the other ones. This is called equity. Equity is about giving each person what they need to be successful, rather than equality, which is about giving everyone equal amounts. Equity is very important here, as we need to make sure we are giving all people what they need to survive, meaning black lives need our attention now.
As Catholics, why is the #BlackLivesMatter movement important to us?
As Catholics, we believe that everyone is important and that we are all God’s children. The Catholic Social Justice Principle of ‘solidarity’ is important to us. Solidarity means that everyone is equal, we are all one big human family and that we stand together to help anyone in our family who is in need. Solidarity tells us that we have a responsibility to stand up against oppression and speak out when someone is being hurt. This shows us the importance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement as our brothers and sisters with darker skin are being treated badly, so as Catholics we need to stand up and help.
Why is the #BlackLivesMatter movement just as important here in Australia as it is in America?
Although we don’t see much of this in the media, our Indigenous people are not treated with the same respect that white Australians are. Aboriginal people make up 3% of Australia’s population, however, they make up 29% of the prison population. As an Aboriginal adult, you would be 16 times more likely to go to prison than a white Australian. These numbers are very upsetting and drawing attention to these by using the #BlackLivesMatter movement may help to bring about positive change for our Indigenous people.