MEMBERS of the Aboriginal community say a racist comment scribbled on a Coledale bus-stop is a sign of “continued oppression” of the Gomeroi people.
A bus stop on Warral Rd decked out in Aboriginal artwork, painted by a local artist was vandalised with a comment written in black ink, which read “black life doesn’t matter white rights”.
Coledale locals were shocked by the “disrespectful” comment, while Gomeroi man Marc Sutherland said the act has a huge impact.
“The actions of a few that remind us of the continued oppression of Gomeroi people,” Mr Sutherland told The Leader.
“It’s more than graffiti to us.”
He said the the act was a “slap in the face” to everyone in the community, from all backgrounds, actively working to improve lives.
“We’re constantly reminded black lives don’t matter,” he said.
“Look at our health situation and life expectancy and in the conversation around deaths in custody.”
He said working together was a way “to get through this”, but the bigger support comes from people trying to understand the Aboriginal perspective and “how we feel”.
“It’s hard to have a meaningful conversation when people are not listening,” he said.
Councillor Phil Betts sits on the Tamworth Aboriginal Community Consultative Committee and condemned the bus-stop comment.
“What’s of concern is the acts of a very small minority of the community being totally irresponsible and spoiling the work of a lot of people,” he said.
Cr Betts said the committee was currently working to establish an Aboriginal cultural centre in Tamworth.
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