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I'm Not Racist But... - by Dr. Anita Heiss


Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination please find below a


Poem by Dr. Anita Heiss on Racism


I'm Not Racist But...

I'm not racist but...
Why can't I climb Ayres Rock?
Why don't they get jobs like everyone else?
Did you hear the one about?
Why are Aborigines so angry?
Why don't they just get over it - the past is the past?
Why do I have to say sorry for something I didn't do?

I'm not racist but...
They're all drunks?
They don't wash?
The kids roam the streets at night?
They look dangerous!!!

I'm not racist but...
I wouldn't pick one up in my cab
I wouldn't want my daughter to marry one
I wouldn't rent my flat to one
I wouldn't employ one

I'm not racist because...
I played football with one once
I worked with one once
I use the word Koori
I let them sit next to me on the bus
I walked over the Harbour Bridge
I signed a hand
I gave money to one begging on the street

I'm not racist...
I'm simply privileged by being white
I'm just speaking from a position of power
I'm just observing the obvious

I'm not racist,
I'm just following the lead of my prime minister!

Canada, 2002
Dr. Anita Heiss,
author, poet, satirist, social commentator

Source: from the book by Dr. Anita Heiss: "I'm not Racist, but..."

Reproduced with the kind permission of Dr. Anita Heiss.