Some Words From Eva Lubulwa, Host Of Highly Melanated, And Areej Nur, Host Of The Rap
Read Eva Lubulwa’s opening statement from her show on Monday night and listen back to the full episode here.
“It’s been a week. It got to the point where I am officially racially tired, folks. My Instagram feed, my social media, my text messages, my WhatsApps are filled with evidence that apparently being Black and being human don’t go hand in hand in the eyes of some people in the world.
“A few years back, I did a show called POCNESS, which was really politically based. And I kind of had this little bit of a racial breakdown at the end of it. There is this video that a cousin of mine just sent me; it’s this chick in the States who has done this whole speech about police brutality in America, and the killing of Black people, and people just not being charged and let off and let free to do whatever they want and get a milkshake and whatever the hell. The anger, the anger. And I remember, I was doing POCNESS and all of this stuff would come up. And I would do the show and I would literally go home and cry.
“When I talked to Bec [Hornsby] about doing Highly Melanated, I said, ‘Not this time. Not this time. No. I would celebrate everything it was to be Black. I would glorify the cause. And I would not shed tears for other people’s entertainment.’ And so I’ve kept real quiet, because I knew that this would happen. And my cousin sent me this video of a chick doing an amazing speech in the States, and she wrote me a message and said, ‘Oh my god, I just saw this on the internet and I remembered when you told me about the racism over there. I hope you are OK.’ And it was a trip that I went to Uganda and I was trying to speak to her about racism and she just didn’t understand why I could take a deep breath and maybe reset and start again until this stuff happened.
“And it is not just Black people in the States; it is Black people everywhere. There are First Nations people who are dying in incarceration and nobody’s been charged. There are people in France, in London – this is happening all the time. South Sudanese brothers and sisters who are vilified in the media and by police daily.
“So before you say, ‘Not here,’ it is here. Before you turn around the mirror, take a long, hard look. And it is up to all of us to start making a difference. Just a small, small difference. And I don’t need to educate you about how I’m human. I don’t. That comes with the lungs and the heart and the brain. But what we really should be questioning is other people that don’t think that we’re human. Are we asking the wrong questions? Is the onus on the wrong people?”
Read Areej’s opening statement from her show this Wednesday and listen back to the full episode here.
“It has been an incredibly tough week for Black and First Nations people in Australia, the US and around the world. The murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white cop in Minneapolis, although a brutal occurrence far away, is a devastating reminder of the worth of Black life within the structures of white supremacy.
“On this show I speak almost exclusively with Black and Indigenous artists, organisers, rioters, thinkers, musicians, academics from here and around the world, and I exclusively play music by Black and Indigenous artists. I do this because I love us and I know we’re valuable and creative and intelligent and staunch, but I also do this because I want us to have a platform to share our work and complaints and triumphs in a sea of what I would consider a white supremacist media landscape. Australian media, Australian politics, Australian schools, Australian justice systems are inherently and violently white supremacist. Australian society is built on white supremacy.
“White supremacy is not a radical and far-removed movement. It isn’t just Nazis or the KKK or even certain fringe political parties that we have here. It is made up of structures that privilege white people and whiteness over the rest of us. It is the reason why our democratically elected Prime Minister had the gall to say on live radio just this week that there’s no need to import things happening in other countries here in Australia – knowing full well since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody in ’91 432 people have died in custody. 432 Indigenous people have died in custody. And that is more than one person per month killed in state care. It is why the rhetoric of “African gangs” in Victoria has meant youth prisons down here are full to the brim with African kids.
“It’s not just about negative media coverage. When people get over the outrage, Aboriginal people continue to die in custody. They continue to be taken from their families and put into the foster care system in a new wave of Stolen Generations. They continue to fill up prisons. Aboriginal, Pacific Islander and African young people in Victoria continue to find themselves dealing with the revolving door of the prison system. And in the US, Black people continue to die in the streets and in their homes and in prisons at the hands of white police officers and the system of white supremacy. Australia does not need to import anything. We have more than enough to deal with right here.
“Australia needs to step up. And most importantly white people in Australia, as the majority and as the group with majority power, have to step up. Do not listen to our music, watch our films, profit from our cultures, if you’re not willing to be on the frontlines when Black people in Australia and around the world fight for their literal, fundamental right to life. We cannot do anything or make any changes without everyone jumping on board. That includes progressive venues, it includes progressive music labels, it includes progressive festivals and radio stations and community groups. It is so important for all of us to do this together, because really there is no way that anything can change if we don’t.”