Rage for the Light!


Dreams of Orstraya Outback

And towns like Kalgoorlie, Western Australia,

where once gold fever ran molten along the streets and

where now the gold Super Pit operates 24 hours a day

coughing up the ore of dreams, lost hopes and nightmares.

Where men are men,

and women are skimpy barmaids, topless or in transparent lingerie,

or whores tucked away in Hay Street where you can go

And watch the women sitting in brothel windows.

Kalgoorlie – where the wide streets and heritage hotels

Hide the underbelly of this outback gold-mining town:

where a white man can run over and kill an Aboriginal boy

  – Joshua Doughty, 14 –

in a Nissan Navara SUV, because he believed the motorbike

Doughty was riding had been stolen from his home.

A white man gets sentenced to a pathetic three years in jail

by an all-white jury

and may be released just 18 months – 18 measly, pathetic months –

after taking the life of a son, grandson, friend to many,

because he’s got black skin.

That’s what is okay in Kalgoorlie – kill a child because a possession is worth

More than Elijah’s life.

The killer’s not alone in a town notorious for its racism:

A leaflet out the Kalgoorlie train station reads in large, red writing:

“If a thief was to steal my motorbike, I would run him down with my Nissan Navara”.

It then added “cull a thief day, justice is served”.

In this town swirling with the wealth of gold dust, a possession is worth more

Than a child’s life.

A black child’s life, that is.

Goddamn it, that child had the right to a life – to live, to laugh, to play,

To sing, to dance, to have a future, to be loved by his family.

Not to be crushed under an SUV for the sake of a thing, a possession.

Because when possessions outweigh human life

– a black kid’s life –

A society is sick, rancid and heartless.

Remember Joshua  Doughty!

A pox on racism. A pox on racists.

Rage against the darkness of hate.

Rage for the light of tolerance and love of humanity,

For a better, kinder, loving world.



The image above is of waterfalls, relating to emotions, and the galaxy, relating to the galactic web which unites us all in the bright songlines of shared, common humanity.

This post arose from seeing a photo of golliwog biscuits claiming it was okay to like this image, and bugger being political correct. But it’s not okay. Golliwogs arose from books by Florence Upton in the late 1800s when slavery operated in the US, with the image typically of black skin, eyes rimmed in white, clown lips and frizzy hair. In the UK it was used by the jam manufacturer, Robertson’s, and I remember collecting golliwog stickers and brooches as a kid. But the image is a stereotypical one of black people and the derivative “wog” was used as an insult to black people.

I quite often see posts or comments sneering at “political correctness” and, while I’m quite willing to accept that sometimes it’s over the top, on the whole I’ve noticed that, while some use offensive language without realising its history, all too often those who object to the term really mean that they want to live in the past where it was okay to make rude and rancorous comments about black people, Jewish people, women, LGBT people, fat people, short people, shy kids, kids with glasses, nerds, anyone who doesn’t fit into the white, patriarchal mores of the past.

It came from a time when, in the UK, it was okay to put signs in boarding house and shop windows: “Blacks, Jews and Irish need not apply”. And we all know the history of racism in the US, with the KKK, lynchings, murders of black people, Jim Crow and so on. Now we get Islamic people going about their peaceful business being called “terrorists” or, in the case of Donald Trump, threatening Muslims with incarceration, badges and banned from entry to the US.

Women who stand up for women’s rights are abused, bullied and threatened with rape, violence and murder along with disgustingly offensive language. In States in the US there is legislation allowing for the victimisation of LGBT people and those in mixed-race marriages. If you object, you’re accused of being politically correct, but sod that, it’s fundamentally about insisting on polite language and respect.

Just as it’s not okay to portray Jewish people as hook-nosed, greedy, world-dominating financiers, it’s not okay to use racist images of black people, use derogatory language for LGBT people, demonise refugees and asylum seekers, abuse Muslim people and so on. Too often this filters down into schools and the playground where bullying then becomes the norm.

Yes, it is a pain in the arse to have to change attitude, but the world turns, what was once acceptable isn’t any more, new society arises as it has throughout the history of the world’s development.

All that is being asked is that people are polite, respectful of differences and are courteous to people because, when you strip away colour, shape, religion and sexual preferences, under the skin we are all the same.  It comes down to that old adage: “Treat your neighbour as you would like to be treated”.

You’re the Voice!

You're the Voice

I was reminded of the issue of free speech when I did my previous post about Paul Robeson, the great American singer, actor, footballer, activist for civil rights, working people, black people and what I would call an all-round Renaissance man. But he was black, faced endemic racism in the US and he crossed the Establishment when he fought for workers and black people.

I first saw Paul Robeson when I was a young kid at the Saturday morning children’s cinema in Ramsgate, Kent, England. He was in the movie “Sanders of the River” which was a godawful grovel to British colonialism and which Robeson very much regretted once he saw the final cut.

After that he kind of disappeared and I never gave him much thought until he surfaced on a radio programme (can’t remember which after all this time) where he sang over a transatlantic link to a British audience.  It was introduced, if I remember rightly, by the actor, Alfie Bass, and it took place in 1957. But then researching this bit of information, I also found out that the 1957 transatlantic exchange also allowed Robeson to be heard at the Miners Eisteddfod in Porthcawl. The Welsh link came from the fact that Robeson appeared in a film, Proud Valley, as an African-American seaman who settles in a Welsh mining village.

The transatlantic link was necessary because Paul Robeson’s passport had been cancelled in 1950 by the US authorities because of his refusal to criticise the Soviet Union and to declare his political beliefs to the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee. Here’s a link to information about the transatlantic concert which was broadcast at St Pancras Town Hall, on 26th May, 1957:

Information on Paul Robeson transatlantic concert

And here’s a link to Wikipedia’s page on Paul Robeson:

Wikipedia: Paul Robeson

Robeson was virtually expunged from American history and I’ve been amazed at mentioning his name to my American friends, to find that so many of whom have never heard of this brave, courageous, highly moral man.

And that’s why I’m banging on about Paul Robeson because he was a man who stood by his ideals, voiced them and didn’t back down in the face of enormous pressure. I remember back in Australia seeing a documentary about Robeson’s life and being quite taken aback at the violence and threats he endured for standing up for his right to free speech.

Because free speech in the US, it appears to me, may be a constitutional right but only when it’s sanctioned by the Establishment. Robeson was denied his right to free speech. The Dixie Chicks were denied the right to free speech when they criticised the illegal war in Iraq by the Bush administration and subjected to boycotts. People were suddenly told to refer to “Freedom Fries” instead of “French Fries” because the French government didn’t knuckle under to US bullying to join the 2003 invasion – action which opened the Pandora’s box of violence now consuming the Middle East.

And now we’re seeing thuggery, threats and violence by Donald Trump at his rallies where he encourages his supporters to act violently towards people who demonstrate at his demagoguery or who oppose his views. At the end of the documentary I saw in Australia, Robeson’s son said he’d asked his father why he refused to criticise the Soviet Union. And Robeson replied that he thought the Russian people were capable of sorting out their own problems, but his biggest fear was that the source of world war would be the extreme religious right and racist bigots in his home country.

And so we are seeing that come true with Donald Trump and the other Republican candidates who are all right-wing zealots vying with each other to talk hawkishly and frighteningly in relation to foreign affairs. This isn’t confined to the United States. The rise of the ultra-right in Europe is just as appalling. It’s as if so many have forgotten the past, what fascism did and how so many millions suffered.

I worked on the digital art image above to create an image with a dark centre. Being a voice for reason, courage, compassion, love, tolerance,and peace – in the face of racism, sexism, xenophobia, islamophobia, homophobia and all the other hatreds around at present – is hard work and, in these times, can be a very dangerous business.

It takes guts and fortitude to the voice, but perhaps we can remember Paul Robeson, his moral courage, his stance to fight injustice and his refusal to knuckle under as a great inspiration for those today who courageously stand up against the thuggery of the extreme right and fight for the good and decency of humanity.

Here’s a link to a documentary about Paul Robeson (and yes, he’s my hero!)



Courage, Community, Compassion

Life - Wow, what a ride!

So far we’ve seen Donald Trump launch hate speech against Muslims, the disabled, women, Mexicans, peacemakers,  workers and anyone standing up to his fascist agenda. But hey! he has to check out the Ku Klux Klan who endorsed him because, ummm, he’s not certain about their credentials. Is this guy thick or what? The KKK are notorious for their bigotry, racism and murderous activities so when Trump doesn’t condemn them out of hand – as President Reagan did when they endorsed him back in 1984 – he’s bottom trawling (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) the murky waters of racism, white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia. (But let’s not also forget the Reagan got the KKK stamp of approval because of his anti-union attitude, his welfare-bashing and similar dog-whistling on race.)

I’m Australian. I remember when John Howard, when Prime Minister of Australia, started dog-whistling on race and ethnic origin. First it was Aboriginal people who had – rightly and justifiably – talked about The Stolen Generations (black children taken from their families supposedly to better their lives but with the intent of wiping out Aboriginal existence and culture) and which Howard labelled “black armband approach to history”.

And then Howard called asylum seekers and refugees legitimately seeking refuge in Australia “illegals”, accused them falsely of throwing their children in the water from boats trying to reach Australia, and started the process of demonising desperate people who, of course, happened to be a different colour to the majority of Australian people. Could anyone seriously imagine that boats with white refugees from South Africa or Zimbabwe would be treated the same way? Howard’s incitement of racism and prejudice kicked off Federal and State attacks on any progress made by Aboriginal groups on land rights and human rights, and also kickstarted the process of incarcerating those seeking compassion and kindness from Australia in concentration camps  on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and Nauru.

That’s why Donald Trump is dangerous, divisive and utterly contemptible. He is the love-child of all those Republic leaders who have denigrated the first black president of the United States since his first election,  who have deliberately and wantonly sabotaged any decision by Obama and the Democrats in the past eight years or so and who have pursued a white supremacist, racist, misognynist, anti-worker, homophobic agenda.

Nor are the Democrats free of criticism given the way so many of them cravenly tried to distance themselves from the president instead of standing up to the racism, bullying and thuggery of Republican leaders at a Federal and State level.

That’s why Pastor Niemoeller’s words are as valid in the US as they were in Nazi Germany. Those of us who live outside the United States need to support the courageous people in the US standing up for decency, tolerance, peace, a just society, and against the Establishment forces trying to perpetuate their enrichment of the minority at the expense of the great majority.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • Pastor Martin Niemoeller, Activist in Nazi German


Flying high

This is to honour the nine people who lost their lives in the shootings at at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

We all have a choice:

* to stand up and be counted against racist hate;

* to voice our opposition to racist hate;

* to have the guts to take action against racist hate.

* No sitting on the sidelines.

* No more leaving it to others to take action.

* No more tolerating open racism wherever it shows its ugly face.

* Each one of us has the responsibility to give racism an indecent burial.



Hearts Aloud against Injustice

Deborah's Double Delight


Michael Brown

Eric Garner

Tamir Rice

Akai Gurley

All the black American women killed extra-judicially by police in the US but who remain anonymous and disrespected because of their sex.

All black victims of US police violence

Aboriginal people who have died in custody in Australia or been killed extra-judicially

All victims of racial profiling – US, UK, Australia

(I haven’t mentioned white victims of violence in this post because the issue in question is the fact that black people in the US, the UK and Australia face institutionalised racism in a way not experienced by white people.)

I was castigated recently on Facebook by a Republican supporter living in the south of the United States for daring to comment critically on events in the U.S. But I am old enough to have grown up in the shadow of Nazi Germany when too many countries turned a blind eye to the mass killings in the concentration camps or refused refugees from Nazi Germany. I recall the photos in the newspapers taken in Bergen-Belsen, Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and many more death camps of the skeletons of those who died in those hell holes and the living skeletons of those who survived this appalling evil.

We live in an international world these days – wherever injustice now occurs, people around the world are aware of those injustices.  I believe it is my duty as a citizen of the world to stand up, speak out and be counted as much as I am able when social injustice occurs. I hope that if social injustice occurs to me, I will have people standing at my back too. Because we don’t belong to one country. We belong to the world. I may live in North Cyprus but I abide by the following three precepts:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

– John Donne –

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

– Pastor Niemoeller on Nazi Germany

(Pastor Niemoeller could also have included gypsies, the mentally and physically disabled, communists, persons of religion who opposed Nazism,  Jehovah’s Witnesses, among others, who ended up in Nazi concentration camps)

  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

British statesman, Edmund Burke

Ethics & Integrity

EthicsI created the above piece of art to show how dark it can be sometimes when you’re sorting out matters of ethics and integrity. The yellow flashes show us a path guided by Divinity and our own intuition, the darkness relates to the fears we sometimes face in making difficult decisions, while the red network illustrates the passion we need sometimes to stick to a path which is true for us and to trace what it is that for us is ethical and a decision which matches our inner integrity.

I was thinking about this post because today two other posts had enormous synchronicity for me – where I was doubting myself and wondering if I was being really fanatical (okay, I’ll admit I’m a bit fanatical!), the contents of the two posts spoke to my heart and validated what for me is an important part of my inner vision and truth-telling.

I have always been of the view that I will not laugh at racist jokes, I will not pass on hate or racist mail, nor will I post or forward mail or posts which I know are fraudulent. I do this because there’s enough hate and racism in this world without my adding to it, and because I find hate infinitely wearying and racism plain old disgusting.

I happened to point out to someone yesterday that a post reprinted on Facebook was in fact a concoction. It’s been doing the rounds for years. In essence it was dog-whistling on the Islamic faith but used the names of Australian and French Prime Ministers to give some sort of credence to the anti-Islamic views. Mind you, nothing was mentioned about Islam but it was quite clear from the post’s contents that Muslim people were the target.

The person who created this post was too gutless and cowardly to put their own name on it, but used – falsely – the names of ex-Australian Prime Ministers Rudd and Gillard, and former French Prime Minister Fillon to give credibility to a very unpleasant diatribe.

What amazed me is that when I raised this issue, the attitude was that the comments were okay, it didn’t matter that the whole post was fabricated, and it was okay to perpetuate what was basically a  lie.

It made me wonder about my own values. Am I setting the bar too high?  Is it wrong to detest dog-whistling on race or religion?  Am I being pious in saying that it’s wrong to repeat a falsehood even though you might agree with the thrust of the argument?  My feeling was that, if someone agrees with the post’s contents, print them under your own name, but don’t repeat a post which uses the name of famous people to give it credence and which also besmirches the names of the public people cited in the post.

However, today those two posts I mentioned earlier, which seemed to speak to me, talked of telling the truth, of going against the crowd if necessary, and not abiding by what everyone else thinks or what has always been done, because it’s your own ethics and integrity which are important. They might not be popular and it might not be an easy path to tread, but doing what for me is the right thing is important and part of being who I am.

I might also add that I am a Libran with Libran Rising which means justice, ethics, doing the right thing, social justice and so on are very, very important to me. I’m just heartened that synchronicity has given me back my self-belief and courage to tread my own path which may not be popular but which respects my own ethics and integrity. 

I also dedicate this to those of you faced with similar situations with regard to choices you need to make which accord with your own ethics and integrity.  Being popular is easy.  Being honest and standing up for your own beliefs may make life difficult but you at least know you have respected and honoured your own sense of what is right and wrong.