Living the Nightmare

Dear Shaft: I am an Anglo-Australian. That’s just how I was born — son of a father with a Scottish mother and a mother with an English father. But I grew up on a street in a rural town with people whose immigrant backgrounds were Dutch, Italian, German, Chinese and Indigenous — apart from English and Scottish — not only my ancestry. My mother seemed to be friendly with everyone — I developed something called empathy for difference — as much for my neighbourhood friends in and out of whose homes we all roamed — as for the fundamentalist protestant sect within the narrowness of which I was raised -= giving me my own personal lessons in believing differently from mainstream others. Over the past five years my wife and I have made four visits to different corners of the US — our eyes alert to police in the streets — especially in NYC where it seemed quite regular to find cars driven by Black men/men-of-colour pulled over and the police frisking their bodies either up against their car or against the wall of the building next to their car. I feel certain that some of those young men of colour and I would share the same Anglo-genetic material. And in fact I have cousins in Australia whose ancestry is from a Jamaica, Borough of Queens NY born man — Billy BLUE — born it is believed around the latter 1730s. Died in 1843 in Sydney — five children born in Sydney. There is a point just west of the north-side of Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge known as Blue’s Point. Google it. In any even — my point about seeing my connection to people suffering injustice is not an idle gesture/thought. It is how I see it. Well done all your essays raising awareness on such issues! And for those who believe in Jesus — he would not have engaged in the kind of bigotry, stereotyping and discrimination we find in lands whose politicians so loudly voice their (apparently) god-sanctioned racism. On one of ourvisits to Jamaica — we were invited to enter First Presbyterian — a wedding about to take place — we were befriended by a woman originally many decades earlier from Nigeria. Just recently I read this church was where Mr Trump attended as a boy — until he attended others pursuing various interests in/on Manhattan.

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