Down and Under
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Down and Under

2014, Crime  -   40 Comments
Ratings: 7.25/10 from 52 users.

According to statistics, each month, one Aboriginal person dies in police custody in Australia. Circumstances surrounding these deaths include instances where an Aboriginal person has been alone in a room with no visitors aside from Australian police. Inquiries made into the Australian police, by the Australian police, arrive at an answer that completely separates the authorities or conditions of the prisons from the deaths.

75% of Aboriginal people in Australia experience racism every day. This is one of the first statistics set forth in Down and Under, an investigative documentary that explores the history of racism in Australia; a history that began in 1788 when the British first came over to Australia and endures today as it exist in forms that go beyond hate speech and even physical attacks on Aboriginals. The unfortunate viral footage that was captured by vigilant citizens paints a picture of ironic xenophobia that isn't mutually exclusive when it comes to its aim at the Aboriginal people of Australia.

If the footage shown in the documentary is any indication, refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and China, as well as white people who count English as a second language, can be victims of racially motivated hate at any time, and it isn't just hoodlums on city buses who agree that blatant racism and objection to others is an appropriate way to deal with the perceived surplus of non-European immigrants.

The historical problem of racism in Australia, a problem that now mirrors racism from all over the globe at many different points throughout history, from internment camps to southern segregation, is one that presents us with a lot to think about. You'll want to look into the policies mentioned in Down and Under after viewing, and you'll get a new understanding of the dangers behind ideals that present assimilation as a necessity, especially when assimilation becomes important enough to a nation that they would take a generation of children away from their parents in an effort to not only build up the new Australian ideal culture, but to strip the Native Australian people from their culture, identity, and even their family names.

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40 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Susan

    I'm british by birth, American by paper with Australian roots. I find it rather sad that people are so unkind to each other in their posts back and forth. What's my part in racism? That's my question to you, what can I do differently ? How can I be kinder, slinging mud back and forth, really isn't particularly helpful. But I have enjoyed reading all the posts and this short documentary about a lost generation was not a surprise to me, very sad in many respects, but I'd prefer not to repeat history, I should be asking myself what "l" can do to change future behaviors on my side of the street. Thank you.

    1. Tom

      You can recognise non-Indigenous Australians continue to benefit from two centuries of systemic racism. You could support movements such as change the date, support adequate funding of public schools and the health and welfare systems. Your comment sounds like "I'm not responsible", "it wasn't me" and until we all unite to provide equitable health, education and employment for indigenous peoples, we are complicit in the ongoing consequences of the colonisation of this land.

  2. Roy

    Wow! Equally appalling to me is the way that some people on this post go off on one another with emotionally indulgent, unprovoked rudeness and slander. It's no wonder to me that things on this planet are not working.

  3. Rory

    Sometimes an accurate statistic in the absence of other statistics, can give an inaccurate view. Aboriginals are under represented. The percentage of white prisoners that commit suicide in prison in Australia is higher.

  4. Matthew Bennett

    It's amazing how powerful the racism against Aboriginals in Australia is. I feel a sense of discomfort even bringing the issues that affect them up, or even simply the group of people themselves, around anyone because I always fear they'll make some throwaway racist comment designed to keep the Aboriginal people in their place.
    The slightest Aboriginal-related image on TV is likely to cause disgust in a few of the white aussies watching. So many of us literally see these people and think that they are disgusting and we'd all be better off if they just died. The spirit of the stolen generation lives on. I've lost count of how many times I've mentioned their culture or their history to people I know and seen them screw up their face and say 'gross'. And these are nice people who react this way.
    The worst part is, so many people aren't even afraid to say their racist comments in mixed company. If it were any other race, they would know to bite their tongue. When it comes to Aboriginals, they know that no one is really sticking up for them in Australia, so they can feel free to say the most horrible things. This view is so at odds with my understanding of Australian values, I just can't see how white Australians haven't gotten past it.
    We all know what's right and wrong. We all know the right way to approach this situation. Can we just get the f--k on with it?

    1. Jo Walsh Dukarić

      The country that you see around you, the cities and country towns were founded on the theft of indigenous land, enslavement and slaughter of indigenous people, then the atrocities which came a bit later. White people here in Australia do not want to acknowledge this fact, much less make amends, because they know their privilege would be threatened. No justice, no peace. Australia is not a "peaceful" country, there is no peace just a very awkward silence, and white Australia wants it to remain so. This land is an illusion, based on lies.

  5. binkie

    S de Vere, that's pretty scary, "at the hands of their drunken, work-shy parents". Gee, I wonder what could have possibly happened to turn an entire race of people who have lived peacefully for millenia without any alcohol, into "drunken" work shy parents. Surely they weren't abused as children, or ripped apart from their families and put into institutions...right? We colonialize these countries, treat people like animals and use them as slaves, commit utter genocide, and then blame the aboriginals peoples for being all messed up. Toxic aboriginal culture? Look at the history. This is pure racism to the core. The toxicity was brought to them by 'civilized' people. That would be YOU. racist.

    1. jackmax

      Come on mate what country do you live and in what period.

      Why should the young Australian have any guilt for something they had no part in. At what stage does moving on start or do we have to keep hearing about these woeful acts for ever.
      I have done nothing wrong by my fellow Aussie my entire life so why should I have guilt for something that me and my generation had nothing to do with.

    2. Jesse

      When folks stand by and do NOTHING, thats worse! We have lots of racism here in the USA, and alot of white folks do not want to talk about it. It still goes on!

    3. jackmax

      Racism is something that should not be tolerated but my point is at what stage does the future generation have to be condemned for past acts that they had nothing to do with. My generation have done plenty for our country and our fellow country men

    4. dewflirt

      You're right, you're not to blame for the past but we all should share responsibility for the wrongs of the present. Isn't that how wrongs get righted? Also, if plenty hasn't done the trick, is it enough? :)

    5. jackmax

      G'day Flirt,

      There is still a lot of work to be done and I think that we are achieving more now than we have ever have of course it is anon going situation but for others that have never been here and have not seen what's going on in this country seem to have opinions of a situation that they have very little or no knowledge off. It would be like me condemning the English for the trouble they created in India, Ireland and many other countries they have invaded, or have something to say about what happened to the Native American when that country was first settled.
      both the above mentioned have committed terrible acts of violence to many different groups of native people over the years.
      I think that until others clean up there own backyard they should observe and either learn or teach but should also look at the progress of the problem and not make it worse.

    6. Jesse

      The problem with most pale-skins are they know nothing of past struggles with Native or Aboriginal folks. So how can one help if they do not know the needs of certain cultural groups. You can not push things that do NOT work. You must listen to those you want to help and UNDERSTAND the Struggle. This is why MLK, did not include pale-skin folks in the struggle. Plus its hard to see who the enemy is unless the person or group has the BEST interest of the people they help.

      For example: Here in Colorado the ONLY programs that really Help Homeless folks are the non-profits that are run by those who were once homeless themselves. What I see in the other programs are people who 'think' they are helping, when in fact they come from a place of ridicule, judgement and mis-understanding. IN the end the homeless person feels less than and in many cases causes more emotional pain for that person in the first place.

    7. jackmax

      I will not comment on the problems of your countries welfare system or aid programme as I'm not in a position to, however from what I've learned and know is that you're trying to compare the two countries that have two completely different systems. There are many programmes that are for all Australian that are managed by the whom ever the powers to be consider the best person for the job and colour or country of origin has nothing to do with the application, but when it comes to aboriginal services the majority of programme are run by the tribal elders and other tribal members.
      Both have faults as you would expect as not everybody will feel that the system is fair, which may be correct but our ever evolving system is improving over time through the advice and what is recommendation of the tribal elders.

      Every tribes has its own special needs and in many ways only our own community can and are willing to completely understand the slight differences. Of course many problems that we face are the same but that's going to happen everywhere through out the world.

      Your example is about homeless people not any one particular race of people so of course there are going to be major problems to try and cater for all their special needs but even poorly manage programmes are better than no programme at all would you not agree. And whilst those programmes are in place there is every opportunity for improvement, if the people present the case for change in a clear and factual way.
      You have implied that I,m not fully aware of the problems a few times now yet I have told you that I also have black fella blood running through my body so it would pay to take a deep breathe and actually try to understand that it is you that has no idea of the problems we face in my country.

      I have grown up knowing both sides of the coin all my life so for you to jump on the band wagon and condemn me is only showing me that racism is not a whites only problem as you have shown with in your posts.

    8. dewflirt

      Get me a broom that's about 3000 miles wide and I'll get the job done in no time ;)

    9. jackmax

      It would be fantastic if the solution was as easy as that..
      It seems that it doesn't matter where we live there is always going to be people that will always try and control others using what means they have available to them. We only have to look at any of the religions and the amount of bigotry that is associate with these people. There is many areas of humanity that need to be altered but it appears that will never happen as the controlling bodies don't want to lose their grip of the power they have over their followers.
      One area of concern is how we allow these organisation to control or manipulate the government of the day with in their own country.
      I find it quite disturbing that there is this image of Australia is full of racist which it's not, of course there are racists here but they would be a minority rather than a majority as I believe most countries would have.
      i think the USA promote racism due to the fact that if your a black American you state the you are an African/American, and Asian/American if your from Asian decent and so forth, there are no American they all ensure that there country of origin is acknowledged as well.
      To me that shows less tolerance to others from different backgrounds than anything I've had the misfortune of seeing here in Aust on a consistant bases. i'm not sayin there have not been events in the past that should not be tolerated in any country that have happened here but they are not to the frequency that we have been made to believe.

    10. dewflirt

      I have a steam mop... All the racism is driving me potty right now. We seem to be in some sort of anti immigration hate-spiral. Ukip lit the fire, the press fuels it and various politicians fan the flames. You're also right about lots of people having the opinion that you upside down folk are all racists, I guess that's a form of racism too in a way. Looks like every country has its idi*ts, could be the one thing we have in common ;) personally, i like open borders, they provide opportunities to meet people from all over and once you realise they're just like you its much harder to hate them for not being like you ;)

    11. S de Vere

      It's people like you who, under a cloak of wilfully-blind compassion ("look at me: i'm so enlightened and sympathetic to dark-skinned people") perpetuate the excuse-making and whining bloody-mindedness that sees Aboriginal children's lives destroyed in the poisonous welfare ghettos in both cities and the outback. YOU are the racist, condemning the innocent to poverty, hopelessness and a level of existence less than human. Barbarian.

    12. Jo Walsh Dukarić

      No, it is you that is the racist. It is people like you who will never acknowledge the horrors that were inflicted on First nations people, because if you did, you would have to question your own pitiful worthless existence on stolen land, and the ideology of the rancid right-wing maniacs whose racism you assist in perpetuating. You believe in black children being stolen from their parents rather than address root causes to poverty.

  6. S de Vere

    As in the USA, Australia's black population has a much greater rate of criminality and drunkenness than the rest of the society. It's inevitable that a toxic black "culture" will result in a much lower life expectancy, in gaol, or outside. There are no cases of blacks in Australian gaols being given harsher treatment by gaolers or police, though the civil rights brigade continually promote this meme. The most unfortunate consequence of a toxic aboriginal culture in Australia is the destruction of the lives of aboriginal children, at the hands of their drunken, work-shy parents, both with physical violence, sexual abuse and parental neglect.

    1. Jesse

      thanks for your opinion on this matter. However until you UNderstand the history of a people and the power struggle at the hands of the oppressors, you and others can NOT and will never help the situation. Ridicule and judgement are not ways to help. This is why there is NO moving forward in Native and Aboriginal concerns. Because the majority of Pale-skin culture is more concerned with Starbucks, Apple crap and Celebrities WAKE Up!

    2. TGOBP

      You don't seem to know the Australian situation or history very well. Even though it could be done at a much faster rate, your statement saying there is NO moving forward in Aboriginal concerns is false. Starting with the Whitlim gov. here in Australia over 40 years ago, there has been quite a bit of progress. Go look up the Marbo Case as one example. Sure there is more to be done, but its a case of all sides needing to step up and do more.
      While the 'us and them' mentality is perpetuated, which is what your ideas promote, there will never be a solution. Its about time we acknowledge needs in our community on a needs based criteria rather than a racial basis, and start being all 'Australians', rather than this or that race Australians. I hear that mentality emanating from the USA often, your posts are an example, and see that is no solution.

  7. Dravidian Invader

    "75% of Aboriginal people in Australia experience racism every day.This is one of the first statistics set forth in Down and Under, " reads the introduction.

    At one minute into the film the statement appears

    "75% of Aboriginal people experience racism in their everyday lives"

    The 1st statement is hysterical nonsense and the second partly true , but I'm not sure which part.

    Where do these "statistics" emanate from ? About as useful as me saying that 25% of aboriginals are alcoholic and just as fallacious.

    And for the record there are more white deaths in custody than black deaths in custody........but who cares anyway ?

    The "race guilt game " has become an acceptable way to attack whites in general rather than bigots in particular, and I have a number of friends, Australian Aboriginal,Chinese, Japanese, English, Indonesian - Christian , Muslim and Jewish who would be deemed racially aware by themselves and racists by others - nothing much has changed in a millennia or two .it seems.

    As disturbing as some aspects of this short film may be, and despite the injustice of the past it may be time to realize there is plenty of racism,sex slavery, child slavery & other hideous behavior going on globally on a scale that eclipses Australia's racist crimes real or imagined, past or present.

  8. sharpstuff

    This film is a a sad reflection of how the humanoids who deem to run the planet (into the ground) treat Humans. This film could be applied to all nations that many migrant scum of Europe have demolished. The same things happening to Australian indigenous people have happened in 'America', 'New Zealand' and elsewhere.

    You need to live in such a country to see this happening. I have spent over twenty years of my life in Western Australia as a teacher of students with disabilities and have worked with aborigines, of course.

    My nephew joined the police force in good faith and was promptly sent to Kalgoorli (WA). He saw first-hand the disgusting treatment of the many Aborigines that live in that area. He could not stand it and was not in the force very long and left to go elsewhere.

    I can't agree with Mr. Devil that we had a primitive past. If the present is not primitive especially in terms of human relationships (constantly being eroded by the psychopaths), I don't know.

    The indigenous peoples that the 'white' scum decimated and still do, is not a sign, in my book, that we are 'enlightened' or less primitive.

    1. Heg Emon

      You're a teacher and you spout this drivel?

      "migrant scum of Europe"? Just Europeans looking for a new and better place to live. Exactly like the Aboriginals who migrated from south Asia 40-60,000 years ago, or the Amerindians who migrated from north asia across the Bering strait. Unless you are an African living in the Rift Valley, we are ALL migrants.

    2. jackmax

      Do you think that it is right that the Aboriginal children get paid to go to school and the rest of the children don't or does you opinion of racism only go one way. Have you looked at the current policy and extra benefits the aboriginal community get compared with other Australian that are on welfare don't. Why is it that as an employer there are cash incentives from the government to employ people of aboriginal decent yet other born and bred Australian have none give from the government.
      I agree that the past has been tainted by the treatment of the aboriginal people, but the changes that have been made have improved there opportunities more than other Australian in the same situation. If you take into account the vast area that these communities live and the remoteness of the outback it appears that you have not learned to much in your twenty years of teaching. What do you know of the school of the air, the flying doctor service and other remote area services. If you look at where thre money goes and who is responsible for the distribution you may find that their own tribal leaders are the one that are not sharing their money and services out equally. Before you throw stnes at all other Australians it may pay for you to do a bit of research into the hand outs the government give these people and who actually controls the monies once it is handed out.
      Yes I would be the first to admit that the past has some dark days but to paint all Australian as racist is very short sighted of you and I find it offensive that you can paint all of us because of a few.
      If you think that I don't know what I'm talking about it may interest you to know that I have lived with and shared many years with many aboriginal communities and I have Aboriginal blood running through my vains.

    3. Jesse

      As a Native-American I dis agree with you. When you take peoples Land, Culture and way of life away from them.....what do they have left. To live in Your world and Your Culture the rape of a people is NOT something to be proud of and will never amount to any thing good. Unless something else needs to happen in all the countries this is done to.
      We can also look at the genocide of dark-skin people of Palestine who are at the hands of IDF.
      The genocide of Dark-skin folks has been going on for some time now...WAKE UP!

    4. jackmax

      Explain to me how you can say that my culture is rape, you don't know my culture and for you to imply that you have any idea about me or my culture seems to me to be very short sighted in your view.
      Have you been to Australia or are you going to watch some bias documentary and then think you actually know the full story on the history of this great land.
      For someone that promotes them self as a seeker of truth you have failed poorly.
      Why don't you actually do yourself a favour and research the current state of affairs here in Australia to see the rights of the Aborigine.
      You may be more aware of the benefits they get above all other Australians. I'm all for equal rights for all people, not just the minority that have been treated better than all others.

      Please show me the evidence of any genocide of dark skin.

    5. Jesse

      Review world events. Even Mormons believe that Cain was given dark skin for sin commited. These are man-made laws and have nothing to do with Spiritual Truths. Here is a copy of what your country men have stated regarding this article:

      Kansas Devil

      a month ago

      I suspect there are some half truths in this documentary. But racism
      is a known factor in Australia. The events noted in this documentary are
      not a surprise. Humans abusing humans is universal to the human race.
      Slaves to our primitive past.

    6. jackmax

      well there you go you have brought a religion into this topic and by doing that it shows me how stup1p you are.
      Have you ever been to Australia or are you just saying s*** without any actual knowledge of this great land.
      by the way we have never had a KKK here in Aust unlike the USA. If you would like to debate who has the worst record of human rights issues

      I'm sure your countries has a worse record. that being the case may be it would be more advisable to clean up your own backyard before you slinging s*** at others

    7. jackmax

      I've just noticed that you up vote yourself, what a f*cking loser. By up voting yourself, all you have succeed in doing in showing us all that you are full of your own self importance.
      If what you had to say was worth acknowledgement others will openly give it the acknowledgement it deserves.

      What evidence do you require to be classed as an Aboriginal or Torrent straight Islander here in Australia?

      Did you know that there are many non-black Aboriginals currently either rorting the welfare system or are in jail. If you were to actually look at the jails here in Australia you would know that upon arrival one of the first question they ask you is if you are aboriginal or Torrent Straight Islander, to which a majority answer yes, knowing to well that there are many extras the rest of the prison community are not entitled to
      Out in the community all you need is a tribal elder to say yes he/she is one of our mob and away you go you're now an Aboriginal in the eyes of the law. If you were to dna test many you would find that they have either none or less than the 1/16th blood running through their bodies.

    8. Jesse

      Thanks for Your opinion. However, harsh your words may be (or you think they are), they do not effect me. Neither does any of your opinions or subjective thoughts regarding who and what I AM or any other Native or Aboriginal person.
      Who the hell do you think you are?!
      I owe you NOTHING!

    9. jackmax

      You have no idea about the Australian Aboriginal and for you to condemn me without knowing my heritage and you have shown more racism in your posts than I've done in my whole life. By the way I have black fella blood in me and know the problem with racist and what I've seen is that blacks are racist against white, asians against blacks, whites against blacks and all other combination you can create.
      Racism in not a white action it is a human action the same as being a bigot.

      The problem is that rather than moving ahead to many people are living in the past rather than live for the future.
      I try to treat everybody equally and the country they come from or the colour of their skin has never been an issue for me. it seems that you have so much hatred towards others that your racism shines through.

    10. Jesse

      You think going to a 'controlled' by the government school system is good for Native and Aboriginal folks. When I was in this environment in the US, I hated going to school and the history of Native folks was ALWAYS one sided. So its another form of oppression. In California alone alot of pale-skins choose to home school because its so controlled. As a matter of fact they are teaching GMO is good and all.
      Everything is controlled and guess what I'm sure they would love to take all our guns away. WAKE UP!

  9. Kansas Devil

    I suspect there are some half truths in this documentary. But racism is a known factor in Australia. The events noted in this documentary are not a surprise. Humans abusing humans is universal to the human race. Slaves to our primitive past.

  10. Jimmy Jackas

    its funny dogs have more of a genetic diversity than us humans yet we say we are different races....humanity you believe all these stupid religious stories but the truth is is we came from a magical ball of nothing everything and after that we come from a 7 mothers of humanity which we all hold. brothers! sisters!

    1. JoAnn Barrick

      Yes thats exactly where YOU came from I'm sure ! No other way to explain your ignorance !!!

    2. Jimmy Jackas

      only relevant when you watch CSI? you can trace your ancestors back to the start lady you need to stop being so selfish. important and understand you came from nothing and so you will return. :P

    3. Heg Emon

      Yes and no, to the first point. Dog breed groups (eg. spaniel vs. shepard) are more closely related than human racial groups. It is only when looking at dog breeds themselves that human race is less diverse. Controlled dog breeding artificially increases this diversity.

    4. Jimmy Jackas

      no its yes some are obviously closer but there are breeds that have a fairly large difference in genetic make up. LARGER THAN THE DIFFERENCES OF HUMAN "RACES"