The Tinteán Editorial Collective stands in solidarity with black communities across the globe and the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the fight against racism.
The brutal killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last month was the latest in the decades-long ongoing police killings of black people in the USA. The incident highlighted the continued systemic racism in the USA and ignited protests against police brutality from Minneapolis to Melbourne and Dublin.
It must not be forgotten that the land on which we live was stolen from First Nations people by force. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were dispossessed, and sovereignty was never ceded. As Black Lives Matter protests spread across US cities, similar instances of police brutality against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been highlighted here. Worryingly, recent black migrants to Australia, particularly members of the South Sudanese community, have been subject to frequent and unjustified vitriol in the media causing a moral panic with troubling consequences.
Ireland has yet to be purged of the evils of racism and discrimination. Notwithstanding policy advances in recent years, members of the Irish Traveller community still experience extreme social exclusion and marginalisation, and are all too often viewed as a community to accommodate rather than a community to celebrate. Our global identity as the nation of one thousand welcomes is daily rung hollow under the carceral ‘Direct Provision’ system for asylum seekers fleeing persecution, war and economic disruption. Ireland has immense potential to face the challenges of an integrated, multicultural and multiracial globalised community, but it is a challenge that we have not yet stood up to address.
As Irish-Australians we stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, both in the USA, Ireland, and Australia. We recognise that as a magazine dedicated to the Irish diaspora, we have a responsibility to ensure that black voices are uplifted, that black writers are supported both in Ireland and Australia. We will strive to educate ourselves on how to practise anti-racism, moving from writing a statement of support to taking action by amplifying black and First Nations voices through our platform. For now, we encourage our readers to read material by First Nations and black authors and support black and First Nations organisations, not only in the USA, but also in Ireland and Australia.