Some of Australia’s hottest urban talent have banded together with national anti-racism organisation All Together Now to bring LOVE MUSIC HATE RACISM to Australia for the first time on Friday 1 June, bringing the national conversation around race to the forefront using the global language of music.
YouTube Creators for Change alumni L-FRESH The LION, who recently sent waves through the industry for his Tribeca Film Festival debuted single Raci$t/Our World will be headlining the show. He will be joined by outspoken Bad Apples Music rapper NOOKY, 2017 FOMO festival winner SOPHIEGROPHY and IMBI THE GIRL whose latest single was described by Purple Sneakers as “the sexiest song ever made”.
Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) was founded in the UK in 2002 in response to rising levels of racism and the growth of far-right extremism. There have since been hundreds of LMHR events around the world, and All Together Now is excited to be bringing this global event to Sydney for the first time.
“Music has the power to bring people from all walks of life together, regardless of their differences,” said L-FRESH The LION, who is headlining the show. “A live show can be special in that it has the capacity to spark meaningful conversations and unite people towards a common cause.”
LMHR is designed to promote a national movement against racism through music.
“We believe everybody needs to have a good understanding of what racism is so that they are empowered to act when they witness it,” said Priscilla Brice, All Together Now’s Managing Director.
“One in five Australians experienced racism over the past year, and we know from research that one way to reduce this statistic is by all of us challenging racism wherever it occurs.
“The LMHR campaign has a renewed importance with the increase in Islamophobia, hostility towards immigrants in Australia, and the continued degrading treatment of Indigenous Australians. We think it is time to reignite our national movement against racism through music.”
Love Music Hate Racism will take place in Sydney on June 1st at The Factory Floor at 105 Victoria Road Marrickville with an exciting line-up of artists that have taken a brave stance on the subject. Tickets can be purchased from The Factory Theatre website.
All Together Now is expanding its team, and is now looking to fill two paid part-time positions:
The Office Manager is responsible for the administrative details of the organisation. S/he reports to the Managing Director and works 11 hours per week.
This is a 2+ year contract starting in May or June 2018. The Office Manager will work 11 hours per week from All Together Now’s office which is close to Central Station. Specific hours and days to be worked are negotiable.
The Office Manager will be paid a gross package of $60,000 per year pro rata, which is inclusive of 9.5% Superannuation. The gross package will be increased by 2.5% from 1 July 2018. In addition, the Office Manager will have access to Flexi-time and bonus holidays over the Christmas/New Year period.
Since mid-2016, All Together Now has sought to monitor and report on racialised discourse perpetrated by the mainstream media’s opinion leaders. In December 2017 the organisation released a report of findings and recommendations and has since received funding from the Department of Social Services to continue this work.
The Project Manager is responsible for delivering the project in line with the funding agreement, including managing the project staff and volunteers, budget, and timeline. S/he reports to the Managing Director.
This is a 3 year contract starting in July 2018. The Project Manager will work 4 days per week (preferably Tuesday to Friday) from All Together Now’s office, which is close to Sydney’s Central Station.
The Project Manager will be paid a gross package of $71,750 pro rata, which is inclusive of 9.5% Superannuation. The gross package will be increased by 2.5% from 1 July 2019, and again in 2020. In addition, the Project Manager will have access to Flexi-time and bonus holidays over the Christmas/New Year period.
New research conducted by All Together Now and University of Technology Sydney has found that 62 opinion based reports potentially breached at least one of the media Codes of Conduct due to racism.
The full research findings are available at alltogethernow.org.au/media-monitoring.
Priscilla Brice, the Managing Director of not-for-profit organisation All Together Now said, “Among the publications we tracked during this six-month study, negative portrayals of race were most frequently published on News Corp’s online newspapers Daily Telegraph, The Australian and Herald-Sun.”
The research conducted between January to July this year, found that Muslims were mentioned in more than half of the opinion pieces, and more than twice as many times as any other single group mentioned. Of these, 63% of reports about Muslims were framed negatively.
“Anecdotally, we know that negative portrayals of Muslims in the media is having adverse effects in communities, with Muslim families (and particularly women wearing hijab or other head coverings) being victimised. All Together Now’s research provides data to show that of the highest-rated news outlets, News Corp is the primary perpetrator. News Corp has a lot of work to do to improve their editorial policies to ensure their journalists don’t target people based on their race, nationality, religion or other cultural attributes.”
The study focused on opinion-based articles published by the four most-watched current affairs TV programs, and the four most-read newspapers nationally, as determined by ratings agencies.
Currently, under some media regulations, audiences have only thirty days in which to make a complaint. The research report recommends that this deadline be removed to allow audiences to make complaints about racist media content at any time, and for the definition of racism be broadened in the Codes of Conduct to include covert forms of racism.
It also recommends that news agencies support journalists to discuss race sensitively. They can do this by providing training, recruiting more journalists of colour, and ensuring that their editorial policies are racially aware.
The full research findings are available at alltogethernow.org.au/media-monitoring.
IMPORTANT! Please note that this gig has been postponed until Thursday 22 March 2018.
All Together Now is proud to present our first Rock Against Racism gig in Sydney. This music event will take place on the 7th of December at Manning Bar in Camperdown, NSW from 8:00 p.m.
Sydney’s soulful NGAIIRE will be joined at Rock Against Racism by YouTube Creators for Change alumni L-FRESH The LION, who is tackling systemic racism head-on in his Tribeca Film Festival debuted single Raci$t/Our World. The rest of the night will be in the capable and very talented hands of hip hop artist BWISE, captivating songstress THANDI PHOENIX and outspoken Indigenous rapper KAYLAH TRUTH.
2017 has been a polarising year for the topic of identity and race in Australia. With a range of views cutting through the media, Rock Against Racism is designed to bring the national conversation out of the shadows and to provide a safe space that inspires more people to speak out.
“We believe everybody needs to have a good understanding of what racism is so that they feel empowered to act when they witness it, and we know music can be so powerful in that respect,” said Priscilla Brice, All Together Now’s Managing Director. “One in five Australians experienced racism over the past year, and we know from research that one way to reduce this statistic is by all of us challenging racism wherever it occurs.”
Rock Against Racism will take place on December 7th at Sydney’s Manning Bar with an incredible line-up of passionate artists who have maintained a brave stance on the subject.
Ben* has lived across Australia for nearly a decade now. He has called Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne home, yet he has faced overt as well as subtle instances of racial discrimination and harassment across all three cities.
Sydney was in some ways, the most brutal where Ben felt a near-constant undercurrent of resentment. He believes that the rise of populist nationalism around the world certainly seemed to have a direct impact on the sentiments on the streets about “outsiders”, here in Australia as well. The harshest incidents of abuse Ben faced were in the wake of Trump rising to power and the terrorist attack in France. Something as seemingly simple as sporting facial hair turned him into an easy target for harassment. Ironically, while a beard on an Anglo Australian man is considered trendy, the same beard on Ben made him the subject of name calling and abuse.
Ben was commuting by bus to work one morning. He was listening to music on his headphones and reading a book. He noticed that a man who had been sitting up front moved to sit in the seat right in front of Ben when it became available. Soon, just before this man’s stop arrived, he turned to Ben and asked him if he was South American. When Ben said no, he snarled “get out this f****** country” and got off the bus. Nobody else on the bus said anything – either to comfort and support Ben or to the man.
Another time, when Ben was travelling by train, in a similar vein, another man, walked up to Ben, spat on his face and said, “Get out of this country, you terrorist!” Determined that he ought to do everything in his power to help prevent such incidents from happening, this time, Ben decided to lodge an official complaint. He went to the police station, requesting that the cops look at the CCTV footage from the train cameras and provided them with specific details around the time of the incident and which train he was on. The police, however, refused to register a complaint, and treated him with indifference. Ben struggled with a sense of shame after this incident, and grappled with the validity of his choice to be in Australia, for a while.
He continues to live and work in Australia, and hopes that someday, people of colour won’t have to work so hard to survive and thrive here.
*name changed to protect privacy
A ticket to ride
Sandy and her husband, originally from Africa, had moved to Australia after living across different parts of the globe. One of Sandy’s first encounters with the constant undercurrent of racism in Australia was at a Sydney train station. As people queued at the ticket counter to pay their fares, Sandy observed the man servicing the ticketing desk being conversational and polite with the people who stood ahead of her in the queue. When it came her turn to purchase her ticket, she was taken by surprise when the man was downright rude, and went on to abuse her and her husband, saying, “You lot – we don’t need you here.”
“The person I am on the inside…”
Sandy had taken her five-year-old son, Sam, to the local public swimming pool for a dip. They happened to be the only people of colour at the pool. Another little boy at the pool kept swimming up to Sam, saying, “Don’t play here. You’re the colour of poo.” Sam ignored the harassment. Eventually, the boy dove underwater, and came up with a mouthful of water, and spat it in Sam’s face. Sam took this in his stride and talked about it with Sandy. He didn’t understand why the colour of his skin offended the other little boy so much. He said to his mum, “It’s the person I am on the inside that is important.”
“You little brown boy…”
At a local park, while Sam played on the swings, a little girl kept coming up to him and picking on him. She kept asking him to get off, and play somewhere else. Sam ignored her taunts and continued to play. When she yelled, “You little brown boy, get off the swing!”, Sam ran to his mum in tears. Everybody else at the park looked away, and the girl wasn’t confronted by anyone – not even her parents. When Sandy asked Sam what had happened, he explained to her, “I’m a BIG brown boy, not a little brown boy – that’s what she called me!”
Sandy was once told by a man at a pub that she was “very ugly”. She has encountered such blatant racism very frequently. People have made monkey sounds at them, yelling, “Go back, you’re taking our jobs.” However, Sandy has also encountered a far more insidious version of racism frequently – everyday racism. When at a consultation with her GP, she was once asked why she had chosen to live on the north shore rather than in areas where there is a larger coloured population. The doctor was probably attempting to be sympathetic to the reality of Sandy being among a minority in the area. Sandy replied, saying, “I have found my home here. We chose to come to a place where the people are different from ourselves. How does where I live make a difference? Isn’t that the assimilation that everyone talks about? Where I choose to live simply suits my needs best.”
Sandy has often been told that she goes on about racism too much – that it is a chip on her shoulder. People have remarked that being a minority, she is overprotected as well. However, Sandy’s reality has been quite different. When Sandy started work in Sydney, she found that her boss was very passive aggressive. She would justify many of the patronising things she said to Sandy with, “In Australia, we do this.” Even though there were immigrants from other nations like England and Ireland, the only one who was educated in what her boss called Australian culture, was Sandy. She would publicly undermine Sandy, interrupt her in meetings and “correct” her pronunciation constantly. Sandy developed depression and found herself helpless and unsupported. The bullying continued and Sandy was eventually fired. Sandy’s boss had once dropped a veiled threat that her husband had belonged to a gang. Fearing for herself and her family’s safety, Sandy didn’t pursue any action against her boss.
Sandy is currently working with an ombudsman currently to address other episodes of racism that she has been subject to at work. As for her son, Sam, Sandy believes that the unfortunate reality is that he will continue to encounter racism in Australia. She quips that she has learnt much from Sam in the grace and unusual maturity with which he responds to children who have harassed him. Sandy continues to equip Sam to deal with racism by having open conversations about racism, and countering it with kindness and taking pride in who he is.