Aamer Rahman on Reverse Racism

“A lot of white people don’t like my comedy.”

The beauty of Aamer Rahman’s routine is that people are laughing at the kind of absurd scenarios that are everyday experiences for non-white people in Australia. He would barely have to write any material – there is/always has been a never-ending stream of mind-bendingly hilarious content flowing directly from the lips of white Australia to the ears of the rest of us. God bless the bigots for they have made this man what he is and I am grateful.

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Aamer Rahman on Reverse Racism

  1. sojourner says:

    As hard as this is to hear, I cannot deny the validity in what this young man is, in a humorous way, stating: the awful truth.

    I think there are many of us white people who would, if they could, get in that time machine he spoke of, and then go back in time and try to stop this nightmare from ever beginning. And then there would be no need for him or any other person of color to “reverse” the situation. Then there would be no white or people of color, there would just be people, there would just be humanity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jamborobyn says:

      You have no idea what it means to me to hear you say that. Here in Australia, I don’t know anyone who would say what you just did. Thank you. I agree with you. In my heart there is only humanity and everyone is my brother or my sister.

      Day-to-day reality in Oz creates a buildup of tension around un-discuss-able issues for which this kind of humor provides relief.

      I still don’t know any black people in Australia. Those that I have met here are from entirely different cultures and the majority feel they are higher in the pecking order than I. I wonder what Aamer Rahman would say to the extent of racism I experience from light-skinned Indian people in Australia? So much unfathomable hatred is sent my way from that particular group that I often wished I could disappear. I’ve got way more experience at dealing with white racists so that stuff doesn’t cut as deep as the arrows coming from the brown ones.

      To be honest though, in my mind it’s futile to blame any one particular group for the current circumstance. To resolve it, we need community between all the peoples and blame will not help us achieve that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sojourner says:

        I spent the last half day wondering if I should have commented on this. So thank you, Robyn, for your response here. I appreciate it, and you, more than you know!

        I did not want to offend you or anyone else. And it’s easy to offend others, when attempting to communicate on this issue.

        I am so sorry that you are experiencing this kind of idiocy. And I had no idea racism was this bad in Australia. I tend to think only of my own country, South Africa, and a few European countries, when it comes to racial inequality and hatred.

        You wrote:

        “To be honest though, in my mind it’s futile to blame any one particular group for the current circumstance. To resolve it, we need community between all the peoples and blame will not help us achieve that.”

        I actually erased a paragraph, yesterday, that was very much like what you’ve written here. So I couldn’t be in more agreement with you! We the people of this world could rid ourselves of this system/order, and have peace and plenty for all of us, but if we will not give up the past and present pain, racism and hatred, then how will we ever move on towards the unity we all need so desperately, the unity the planet needs so desperately.

        In fact, I don’t believe we can overcome the more than difficult issues facing us in this troubled world, if we (all of us) cannot come together as I believe we were always meant to be.

        You’re a rarity in this world, Robyn, and Australians are blessed to have someone like you in their presence. You are a loving, thoughtful person, and god knows, we all need more people like you!

        And I’m not blowing smoke here! My mother was a loving, caring person, who was quite often abused, because she was so loving and open. People mistreated and used her, just like they are doing with you. But don’t you ever give in, Robyn! History shows that it is people who are different, and who pay a price for their difference, like you, who have impacted this old world the most!

        So you hang in there, Robyn, because we all need you, and those like you! And one day, we’ll all awaken to the truth that is inside of you, and then we will all be together!

        Liked by 1 person

      • jamborobyn says:

        I am so sorry that I did not respond sooner. Your words have had a curious effect on me. Thank you so much. I don’t properly know how to explain that the outcome was simply too much reality for me to handle and respond to. I get by every day primarily by diminishing the importance of negative interactions with the people around me. Somehow your words pushed me so far back upon myself that I am once again fully aware of my predicament and I can barely breathe for the pain of it. This will pass, but to give you that feedback at the time you wrote this message. It would be so unfair and unnecessary because I truly appreciate what you have done here. I hope you have been well and happy and that I didn’t worry you too much with my silence. R.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, he’s funny. This topic could be talked about endlessly but is only politically correct to view from one angle. He’s got that right lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nothing but admiration for your positive impact on the world Robyn!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Robyn,

    I have been thinking about this hard for three days. Please forgive me for writing a post disguised as a comment.

    You have the basis for asylum status in another country. You have suffered numerous forms of abuse that have added up to the equivilant of being sentenced to life in a war zone. You were just as traumatized as any war refugee. You can PROVE that you were denied all the protections of citizenship and are thus entitled to refugee status, as well as monetary damages from the Australian govenment,

    Never mind being noble, That’s just another way of shutting you up.
    Australia OWES you – and it owes you big time. Since when can Australia deny citizens of sovereign nations legal rights to their own children? In fucking 1970?? No way.
    Australia broke numerous laws in denying your father custody – worse yet, the chance at custody, And that’s just the beginning. Basically, you were treated as if you were Indigenous, not African: they had a system for Black babies, and they stuck you into it with absolute disregard for your personhood. This is racism in its purest and most brutal form

    That’s a lawsuit right there! Because Australia is still getting its sorry ass sued for the cultural devestation its “child placement” policies cause Black Australians to this day .An Indigenous leader emailed me re. a story I worked on. “Basically, we all have PTSD”.he wrote.
    So that is a history that you do share in part with virtually all Black Australians,
    Not that every child was removed, but a huge percentage of lighter skinned children were either forcibly adopted by whites or forcibly placed in an actual governent breeding program that wasn’t shut down until 1971. Known to their many and various peoples throughout Australia as the Lost Generation, the children were trained in boarding schools until age 14, when they were placed in jobs as agricultural, industrial, and construction workers, house servants, nannys, cooks, mechanics, seamstresses, ,etc, forbidden to speak their languages, taught to despise their cultures and actually forbidden to marry dark-skinned people!
    Every national Indigenous group and almost every family was effected, They are still reeling. But not like you,
    Unlike the Lost Generation, you were cut off from ANY chance at cultural identity, as they knew their nation or tribe (? sorry) and where their land and families were: something the above leader described as “absolutely essential to our healing.”
    On top of this horrific loss, and years of abuse, you were denied an education, (see above), abandoned while still a child, and later unadopted – via a form mailed from a Tasmanian police department!

    All illegal! Adopted children have the exact status as natural children under Australian law, which means equal inheritance rights, You have to go to court to cut legal ties with ALL your children, adopted or not,
    .
    Please ,please forgive me for sounding like an Authoritative Voice. It;s one of the hazards of being both Irish and a reporter, AND of growing up in an interracial Communist family. But I say fuck individualism. It’s a capitalist myth and it”s not the way human beings organize their experience: of course you must have relationships with other Black people, Your white readers shouldn’t mince words about that. I mean, good god, you grew up in a racist hell hole. You don’t need to be anybody’s inspiration as well.
    Fuck suffering. Fuck racism, Fuck being six times more aware of white people than we are of you.. You are an artist, not a saint,

    Your story is not common. It is outrageous,

    I propose that you demand redress and that we support you in doing so. Let’s start a Twitter campaign to Cornell West. Send him your story. He doesn’t have to be told twice that you are 47 years old and don’t know any Black people. He knows how to get things done!! He has a heart as deep as an ocean. Yet, he’s not as famous as he appears to be – he’s accessable.
    Let’s ALL ask him to arrange to meet with you before he even leaves the U.S. We just have to get his attention. If we do, by the time he gets to Australia, he’ll know what organizations will help you and they will know your name. We just have to persevere – I’m convinced that he’ll assist you in some way.
    He can be emailed at that divinity school he teaches at in NYC. I’ll get
    the address.
    Let’s all tell everyone we know to tell everyone they know to tweet and email.
    What do you think? You are, of course, the boss.

    PS I promise to never, ever write a comment half as long as this one as long as I live. Please feel free to not approve it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      Claire, I thank you so much for this. Pushed me to decide where I stand. I have thought long and hard and I can’t see how it would be viable to contact Dr West with what I believe to be the world’s thinnest story about denied rights.
      From an Australian perspective, it seems I have no rights to deny in the first place. There are no organisations to help me because I am not indigenous, nor a migrant, nor a refugee. In fact, I have discovered there is no proof of my ethnicity outside of the way I look because they refused to put my father’s name on the birth certificate. I don’t know who refused because my mother is always changing details of the story. Let’s just say, I simply do not exist as part of any cultural group here due to the effectiveness of the White Australia policy.
      What you did cause me to realise is that the pain – the wound that won’t heal – is precisely around the fact that I have no cultural identity. I am not welcomed here and I have fair indication that I would not be welcomed anywhere else as “one of us”. (Tanzanian people I have met are horrified that I don’t behave like an African – not sure how I would even know what that means but all the groups have entry criteria.) More importantly, if I make a fuss or a complaint about anything an individual or organisation has done, I can kiss any kind of peace here goodbye.
      There is less than zero local support available from friends or family. I know because I presented your idea to some of the most tolerant people around me and it is obvious that they would rather I just got some therapy or drugs and simply shut up about this whole “racism in Australia” thing. Actually, pretty much every person responded with “I’m not racist, but…. blah, blah, blah… and no-one will ever forgive you.”
      The last part has me realising that any call for justice could equal a final swan dive in the current climate if I’m not careful.
      Not that I’m completely shying away, just that to present myself as a victim won’t work – I can’t be as strong as I need to be for myself and a victim at the same time – despite being female and awesome I cannot multitask. So to proceed I need an iron will and bucket loads of energy which I don’t seem to be able to find at the moment. Believe me I’ve tried, because my answer to your proposal is yes in my heart and not now from my body which is refusing to cooperate with all this stress. Dr West will be here in a week. Hopefully I get to shake his hand and hear him speak with heart and vision which would be like taking a holiday from my life.
      I had no words when I saw your note, then I made the mistake of asking other people what they thought. Then we had an orgiastic furore of ignorance last weekend because an indigenous footy player performed an indigenous war dance after a goal to the opposition supporters who had been booing him all day. It’s as though the entire white population of Australia is deeply offended by the sheer effrontery of the “Australian of the Year” expressing his culture during a game of footy played in the Indegenous Round during Indigenous Week. Clearly the title was too subtle and the Australian public needed more obvious pointers to the idea that there would be some indigenous-type stuff going on around the place.
      Somehow, somewhere along the way – if Australia was ever climbing the hill to sanity and equal human rights – we now seem to have lost all traction and are slipping down to the bottom again.

      I hope I get the words to thank you properly one day, Claire. The story is just beginning. r.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sojourner says:

    Robyn,

    You have no need to apologize at all.

    I went back and reread what I had written, and I cringed at the part about moving on and forgetting the past.

    I was speaking of the future here, when we the people of this world have come together, as truly free individuals, to take back our lives and our earth. I just want to make clear that I did not mean you are to get past, or get over, the pain these racist and bigoted people are, and have been, causing you.

    Being part of the race that causes all the hell in this world (white), I cannot begin to fathom what it is like to be treated this way, for this reason. I just know it angers me beyond words. It’s an ancient evil that needs to be eradicated!

    I understand, to some extent, what you mean about certain things said, or done, digging in deep, and us having to take the time to sort through all of the memories, pain and emotions we are experiencing at the moment.

    On my original comment bringing you to this place of deep introspection and pain, I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to apologize for fear you will think I am upset and offended, which I am not!!! I just hope my inadequate-at-best words, in the end, will bring you clarity and peace!

    The last portion of my original comment still stands, Robyn. You are a special human being, a special person, and the creator knows, whoever he, she or it is, that the rest of us sorely need the sanity, the light, people like you bring. And sadly, people like you and my mother pay a price for being what the rest of us need, which I can’t, to this day, really comprehend.

    I hope all of this harm and pain passes from you, Robyn, and quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      All good, Sojourner. During the process of healing, all the muck rises to the surface first and I am pretty resilient. Seriously, I wasn’t digging, memories just keep flying in from nowhere and hitting me across the back of the head. Your role in this seems to me to be that of the lighthouse keeper – you have done me a service. We have such amazing synchronicity – it’s as though we both knew what was coming next half a second before it arrived. As in, I posted the video… and was surprised by my response (or lack thereof). Then things got a bit tricky here in terms of race relations over the past couple of weeks (see my response to Claire). Aside from that, I knew the from the moment I had that black panther in my mind in Feb (power and grace poem) – all that was previously hidden was about to become significantly less so. I saw the way the last leaves of autumn had landed on the ground as though the trees had multicoloured shadows and was struck by the idea that all the “colour” or vibrancy in my being is lurking around in my shadow, waiting, growing and doing the work that can’t be done consciously. So I’ve essentially outgrown my box – comfortable as it was becoming. A quote from years ago that I don’t know who to attribute to – “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” This entire thing is positive because more of the truth is now available to me, so please don’t apologise, I need people as strong in spirit as you – to keep me on point. Particularly because the goodness in your heart is so very obvious to me that I am quite sure of your positive intent.
      Consider this – the friend who sent me the link to this video (I think he actually knows Aamer) is the same person who has invited me to hear Dr Cornel West speak next week. Aamer Rahman is the host of the evening. My response when invited months ago was “sounds interesting.” Now I can’t think of anything I have looked forward to more in my life. I keep thinking about the new space available within me to hear what this man will say and what it will be like to be around a group of people who are expressing very different opinions to those I hear every day. Years ago, this same friend took me to a talk by Dr Sara Roy, afterwards I find myself sitting opposite her at dinner, making silly jokes about Sarah Palin and laughing our heads off. It was an utterly transformative experience for me. I had not met many women whom I could look up to before. Women that could inspire me with the persistence of their efforts, their willingness to dedicate their lives to the big issues, their grace, wisdom, intelligence and sheer human-ness. They exist, but I hadn’t met them. At the very least, I will get to spend time with a dear friend who is far too busy and important, but the similarity of some our experiences of growing up in Melbourne and his non-stop advocacy and fight for justice and better conditions for his family and his people are positively awe-inspiring.
      I hope you can see why I consider myself so goddamn lucky! Much respect to you.

      Like

      • sojourner says:

        I am thankful that I have done you a service and no harm. And I am more than thankful for your friend, and that you consider yourself lucky! You are! And in the ways that count, for the good of your self and others!

        I also appreciate your kind words about me.

        There does seem to be a synchronicity happening here. I have had this sense of what’s going to happen next with other people, but not very many, and in particular, not with very many men. I find most men are either oblivious to or fearful of this sense, or at least fearful of admitting to it.

        Thank you for sharing what is on your heart with me. I’m isolated these days, and having a connection like this really is a blessing.

        Enjoy the lecture and Aamer next week!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Robyn/Please/forgive/the/delay/of/my/upcoming/answer.My/laptop/is/rapidly/collapsing/and/I/cant/turn/in/work/that/looks/like/this–and/this/broken//spacebar//is/just/the/tip/of/the/iceburg.I’m/afraid/Im/going/to/crash/and/only/half/my/files/are/on/exterior/hard/drive.
    Please/dont/make/a/final/decision/yet.Trauma/makes/us/think/in/thosvictim/hero/extremes/and/since/they/developed/as/survival/tools/it/IS/iimpossible/to/do/both/at/once.
    But/you/dont/have’to/do/either/one!There’s/a/world/of/real/experts/out/there/who/consider/it/impossible/that/you/dont/have/PTSD.The/facts/of/your/case/are/a/standard/of/proof
    I/think/what/you/really/want/to/know/is/how/reliable/any/help/will/be,
    .how/accurate/its/information/and/how/committed/it/will/be/to/following/through/and/not/abandoning/you/halfway/through/the/process./But/there/are/ways/of/getting/virtual/proof/of/that/before/risking/very/much.:
    Organizations/do/this/kind/of/thing/every/day.

    I/hope/your/readers/will/understand/that/Im/being/neither/bossy
    nor/disrespectful/when/I/say/that/prolonged/trauma/changes/human
    (and/animal)physiology/in/profound/ways.Trauma/alters/brain/chemistry/releases/harmful/stress/hormones/and/even/inflames/joints/and/organs.

    Prolonged/trauma/also/causes/hyper-vigilance//which/really/exhausts/the/brain,The/more/time/it/spends/off/sentry/duty/the/better
    I/recall/how/you/responded/to/the/poster/who/came/just/to/BE/with/you/Just/to/sit/and/be/present/for/you.

    Of/course/you/dont/want/that/all/the/time.Im/just…saying

    Liked by 1 person

  7. PS/I’m/sorry/I/have/to/go/get/help/w/this/evil/laptop.I’ll/be/back.
    XXXOOOClaire

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s