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I’m doing it for Jake

It had been a long, hot day by the time Jake and I arrived at a far north SA town where we were to stay overnight before heading home the following morning.

Unpacked and cleaned-up we did what most blokes in an outback town do after a long, hot day: we headed for one of the town’s two pubs.

In we walked, heading straight to the bar I couldn’t help but notice that all eyes were on us.

“I wonder why everyone’s looking at us,” I whispered to Jake.

“Think about it,” he replied. “You’re a white fella walking in with a black fella.”

Jake, as you’ve guessed, is Aboriginal.

Our cool reception nonetheless disturbed me. Jake was a talented footballer and cricketer who back home was held in high esteem. Jake couldn’t walk down the street without people wanting to chat to him about last week’s game. This was the exact opposite.

Back to the story…

After a drink and a meal, we headed off to the other pub in town – a new place – where we’d planned to catch up with workmates who were also passing through.

And what a much nicer place it was… until we left to head back to our motel.

Walking through the reception area we saw a young Aboriginal girl being abused by three drunk, young white blokes. Their language and insults were disgusting.

”You’re nothing but a half-caste bitch.”

”You’re probably a slut.”

”People like you are better dead.”

And on it went. It was vile.

The girl, as you would imagine, was distressed and in tears.

Then one of the blokes saw Jake watching the proceedings, walked over, stood in his face, and shouted, “What the fuck are you staring at, ya boong?”

I squeezed in between them, stared at the other bloke, and came out with something passive, “Hey, lay off him. How about we get out of here and go our seperate ways?”

And off we all went. Jake and I headed to our motel while I assume the aggressors went to the other pub to continue with more mayhem.

At 2am I was awoken by a knock on my door. It was Jake. He was crying.

”What the hell’s the matter?” I asked.

His answer floored me: “I’ve never had a white fella stick up for me before.”

(Damn near brought a tear to my eye, too.)

To me, it was just an incident. To Jake it was something stronger. My one small action seemed to help to right a lifetime of wrongs.

So I’m voting Yes for Jake. And the tens of thousands like him.


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  1. Steve Davis

    Nice one Michael.

    I hope this gets wider circulation. It deserves it.

  2. Ken

    Good on you Michael.

  3. Michael Taylor

    Thank you, guys.

    It was an emotional moment. Hit me like a sledgehammer.

  4. Bill Morris

    Those three drunk young white blokes should have been arrested and charged. Cowardly bullies like that need to be taught a lesson on responsibility for their actions and courtesy towards women. Sounds like much of that town needs a bit of name and shame.

  5. Clakka

    Good onya Michael.

    On can only wonder where such young’ns acquired their demonstrated cowardice and ignorant bigotry – From the other pub?. If they all bothered to think and learn anything outside their own small mindedness, history might reveal to them that many ‘whites’ would not have survived this land without the free help and care of the ‘Aboriginals’.

  6. Williambtm

    Gidday Michael, given that I still respect you, your story demonstrates the huge numbers of white trash that still dwell in our nation, my means of dealing with the white trash bastards would be to round up a mob of more conscionable whiteys, them taking their heavy duty batons into those types of places and laying into the rib cage of each one of the unruly bigoted bastards.

    Next morning each one would not be able to move out of their beds due the horrendous pain that would suddenly erupt within the whole of their rotten selves.
    Asking nicely or doing nothing is the stuff of fairyland.

  7. frances

    That’s so sad Michael… and to think such horrors are every day life for so many people.

    Unlike your friend Jake, Linda Burney feels betrayed – and by an Aboriginal woman.

    What will it take to right such an eternity of devastating, compounding wrongs?

    Just a YES to the Voice for starters.
    When YES crosses the finishing line there will be such great rejoicings across the land!!:)

  8. Keitha Granville


    If YES makes a difference for ONE indigenous person or community, it’s well worth it – it won’t make an iota of difference to the white population.


  9. New England Cocky

    I am voting ”YES”.

    Circulate this article of yours as widely as possible.

  10. Steve Davis

    Keitha Granville, that’s an excellent point.

  11. Canguro

    Bob Carr’s piece in today’s SMH. A worthwhile read… he nails it for the necessity of the YES vote.

  12. RomeoCharlie

    Just home from a ‘Yes’ rally of several thousand in Darwin. I reckon the outrageousness of the no spruikers, their increasingly hysterical claims and one of their leading speakers, an indigenous woman denying the bleeding obvious by claiming First Nations people were no longer disadvantaged but rather had a lot to thank us white people for, is starting to sink in as the bullshit it is.
    It is up to us, the 97% who are not indigenous to ensure the vote is yes.

  13. David Roskell

    This brought a tear to my eye. So am I,

  14. Phil Pryor

    Over twenty ministries get representation every minute, every day, always, a VOICE from those concerned who push, plead, plot. A VOICE is how it works, a form of interaction, conversation, dialogue, information giving and getting. Our indigenous people, descendants of the original occupants, need a special voice on relevant issues, which would be more efficient, civilised, open, honest, effective. The substandard arguments of the opponents of a “yes” voice are quite primitive, fantastical, fraudy and fluffy, negative.

  15. New Bruce

    Some white folk are very primitive. And ignorant, in the “unlearned” definition.
    I am voting YES. It has never been an “if”, but a “when”.
    We had a Stolen Generation kid at our primary school, and none of us understood what the situation was. Tim was just another kid to us.
    If this referendum gets the nod, and “the Voice” improves the life of just one single, solitary, person, it will be a success. I think it will achieve far more than just that.

    PS. Can someone please explain? When the balding decrepit little bastard exhorts “maintain the rage”, what is the lying rodent angry about?

  16. Canguro

    New Bruce, I’m not sure that I can rise to the level of Porleen’s well-known position of ‘please explain‘, but I’ll have a crack at it.

    I think the lying rodent and those of his ilk are somewhat atavistic inasmuch as they hold to a vision of how they believe Australia ought to be, in a utopian idealistic sense. Howard’s ‘white picket fence’ view is often quoted, as is his ‘safe and comfortable’ wish for the middle-class majority of this country. The fact that we live in a dynamic world and that we have an immigration policy that has allowed millions of migrants to come to Australia is somewhat threatening to those who would prefer that things remained the same, per their vision of what constitutes ideality in this society.

    In the face of these changes that occur in a way that does not conform with the utopian ideals of the atavists, the easiest reactionary recourse is to get angry. Things aren’t happening as I say they should! I’m angry! This shouldn’t be! It ought to be otherwise! And so it goes. Luddism as a phenomena has been around for some time now and probably isn’t about to disappear, such is the nature of our psychology. Howard is just one local example of this stubborn resistance against the natural elements of change in society as a function of the passage of time. And yes, I agree… he’s really nothing more than a balding decrepit little bastard, heading steadily towards dementia and accorded much more merit than he’s ever deserved. A shithouse rat, if ever there was.

  17. New Bruce

    Cheers. You are aware that there are now hordes of shithouse rats feeling mightily affronted by your comparrison, but such is life.
    I figured as much, If only “we” could go back to the old days, the lady-in-black in the big chair, horatio defeating all comers at sea, colonialism, work-houses full of children, a planet with edges in a geocentric Universe, and that black stuff scumbuckitt brought into the”house” as our source of everything good. Oh, and a sky-pixie to praise for it all, too.
    Bloody Progress.
    I blame the internet. It wasn’t around when I was a kid, and I turned out just foine, thanksferaskin’. Now it’s everywhere, and the world has gone to shite.
    When I vote YES, I’m going to mail the old fruntbum a picture of my ballot. In memory of my Mum, who always despised him. She NEVER forgave them for what was done to “our Gough.”

  18. Teiresias

    Michael, your story is rich with social meaning , reaching deep in time – but hopefully not far into the future.

    Going back a decade, onion-muncher Tony Abbot has just celebrated his brief two years as PM of Australia, making claim that “Australia is the only country, anywhere, that has successfully ended illegal immigration by boat.”
    It depends how one interprets “illegal immigration”.

    The onion man praises “Dutton’s decision to keep our Constitution colour blind.”
    Which depends on how one interprets “colour blind.”

    It remind me of when I somehow realised what it means to interpret the saying of the “drover’s boy”.

  19. Roswell

    I don’t swear much, but I don’t mind others doing it, especially when it has such a great message as this.

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