The group were returning from a vigil at the Anglican Cathedral in Perth when they change trains at Murdoch Station.
‘They got on the homeward bound train, with a pram, four children. Two of the adults were carrying their flags, rolled up.
“We got these dirty gestures and looks. We live with that sort of behaviour.”
“One lady gave us the finger. I couldn’t believe it.”
“I shouldn’t have been surprised but well I want to think better of people because there are really good White people too,” said Ms Mackay.
“Then there started some of the racist comments, the usual stuff, in line with the get over the invasion stuff.”
“I am one to talk to people and I tried to talk to them, talk to them about our peoples, what we have been through, what we go through but it didn’t resonate. We just got more garbage hurled back at us.”
“You’d think they’d have some honour you know, with my kids with me, but you know we get put down all the time.”
“But we have to be strong, stay strong, so the children grow up strong.”’
Two rail officers boarded the train at Cockburn Central in response to a call from a passenger. They ejected the group of Aboriginal women and children from the train.
‘Ms Mackay said, “I asked them why they were targeting us? I asked them what is it that we are supposed to have done. They came back with the obnoxious argument that we were being ‘loud’. Someone phoned them and complained about us being ‘loud’. The train guards would not listen to anything we had to say.”’
This story is not over as two White men approached the rail officers and told them they were wrong about their assumptions. They later filed a complaint to TranPerth.
‘But there were two young White men on that train who did not want to have a bar of the racism and who stood up to be counted. As the Railway Patrol Officers were forcibly removing one of Ms Mackay’s companions from the train - Nicole Culbong - the two young men jumped up from their seats and told the Officers that they were wrong in their assumptions. They stated Ms Mackay’s party had not done anything to justify their ejection from the train. One of them was allegedly pushed back and both were told by one of the Officers to “stay out of this”.
However they would later file complaints to TransPerth.’
Moreover, Mrs Mckay had called the reporter (Gerry Georgatos) and he listened in on the conversation. He asked to speak to the officers but they refused. Gerry later contacted TransPerth and will publish TransPerth’s response in The Stringer once he has received it.
Please check out the full article.
I’d like to end today’s blog with today’s Elder’s quotation and meditation from Meditations with Native American Elders: The Four Seasons by Don Coyhis.
“The first thing that we want you to understand is that spirit has no color or race to it. It doesn’t matter whether your skin is white, black, red, Hispanic, whatever. No one out there is any better than you and you are no better than anyone else out there.” John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG
‘We are all created to be of equal worth. We may be different sizes, different heights, different ages, different colors. We may have different beliefs and be of different cultures. In the unseen world, we are all spirit formed into different shapes and colors - but we are all worthy. For example, you can have water, you can have steam, or you can have ice. Which of these is not made up of H2O?’