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Jonathan Sri

2015

Systemic Racism: Australia's great white silence

Racism is more entrenched and systemic than most of us realise. Using a range of practical case studies, Jonathan shows how Australia's white supremacist history continues to influence present-day political, legal and cultural institutions. Mainstream conversations about racism too often focus on overt bigotry, rather than covert structural oppression. The deeper issues are ignored and deprioritised. But pretending that race is irrelevant in the twenty-first century won't make racism go away.

Jonathan is a writer, musician and community organiser with a strong interest in democratic reform and non-hierarchical political structures. Much of his writing focuses on xenophobia, systemic racism and the normalisation of whiteness. Jonathan is a former Queensland poetry slam state champion, and was runner-up in the Australian poetry slam grand finale. He has performed poetry at the Sydney and Brisbane Writers Festivals and as far afield as London and Berlin. Jonathan has lived and worked in remote Aboriginal communities in north-east Arnhem Land as both a cross-cultural mediation facilitator and a community development worker. His views on racism have also been heavily shaped by his personal experiences as the son of a Tamil migrant. In his spare time, Jonathan organises underground community gig nights in houses and backyards around South Brisbane.

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