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Reconciliation Week 2021 has come and gone, and WOW! What a week! We actually solved racism this time. People of all races are running around the streets, holding hands, and singing kumbaya! By Dave Woodhead, Torres Strait Islander, comedian and Triple j presenter.

Alright … that might be a pipe dream, but when it comes to racism I personally believe we’re moving in the right direction. Sure, we may be moving at the pace of a turtle high on codeine, but at least we’re moving. 

I don’t know if it’s possible to solve racism, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to be better. It’s easy to deal with the loud and proud racist people. You know, the kind who post weird memes of Paul Hogan smoking a cigar with the caption “Remember the old Australia?” Yes, this is a real meme I saw someone share. You deal with these people like you would a child – sternly tell them off or ignore them until they tire themselves out. 

But how do you deal with the type of white person who shares photos of MLK with the caption “RIP George Floyd”? Sure, they’re not doing anything particularly wrong, but they’re also not doing anything right. 

If you’re one of those types of people or you know one (believe me, they’re everywhere), here are some tips:

Don’t touch my hair

I know my hair is curly and looks fun to touch, but don’t come up to me at a bar, 10 bundy cokes deep, and ask to touch it. Especially if you’re a gross, sweaty dude named Trav. 

Don’t offer to do a ‘Welcome To Country’ at morning tea 

White people shouldn’t do a Welcome to Country. Not only is it cringe, but Welcomes to Country are only to be conducted by a Traditional Owner of whatever land you happen to be on. Not Carol from marketing. Stick to an acknowledgement.

Stop saying ‘deadly’

That black guy at work doesn’t think it’s cool when every morning you pass him and say, “Hope you have a DEADLY day, Tim!” He thinks you’re lame and wants you to stop. Please, for the love of Tim, just stop.

Don’t ask how black I am

I am what they call ‘white passing’, which really means my dad slept with a white woman 23 years ago. I understand the shock when I tell people I’m Indigenous, but please don’t ask, “But what per cent black are you?” Do I look like a calculator? I don’t ask you how white you are. 

Don’t tell me how black you are

A lot of white people are champing at the bit to mention that they’re in fact 10 per cent Aboriginal … Cool, what do you want me to do with that information? Throw you a blackfella parade? It’s just weird. Do you think this is what black people do? Go around telling each other how black we are? No, we have much more important stuff to talk about, like footy scores and trading curry sausage recipes.