The First Australians
A poem by Troy Hopkins, Oxley, Queensland
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They invaded us, and took our land, then labeled me a criminal. We are the first Australians here, don't call us Aboriginals. They want to assimilate us now, and they will never stop. While our blood is spilt on sacred ground, they give medals to the cops. I met Lex Wotton the other day; he is a strong black man. Our people need leaders and warriors; he hopes you lend a hand. He inspired me through his words; I wished him all the best. If the innocent are condemned, that shows we are oppressed. How can justice be served, when the jurors were all white. Can you see the hypocrisy here; he would never win that fight. I hope he is vindicated soon, that's just the right decision. A life was lost through negligence, while our brother sits in prison. My thoughts are with Richard Saunders too, much love and much respect. You're a warrior amidst our Dreamtime now, your people will never forget. No one is held accountable, for Black Deaths in Custody. If you're black you're expendable, we all endure this tragedy. They said that we were primitive, and we survived for thousands of years. They don't teach the youth our history; it's something that they fear. I have seen a pattern towards my skin colour, we are persecuted worse. We get more years than half-caste mob; it seems we are truly cursed. They are saying if you're dark in complexion, we are the worst offenders. It's not us who commit the serious crimes, have a look through prison centres. My daughter wished she was my skin colour, I told her you don't want this. This country hates me 'cause I'm black, I'm glad I can't grant this wish. There are those who are black when they can benefit, through the colour of their skin. They have no pride or identity, to me that is a sin. Too Black Too Strong is a way of life, my daughter has much pride. Those blacks could learn a lot from her, her colour is inside. Where are all the academics now, with their masters and PhDs. If their education was about money, who will set our people free? This country has always been a dictatorship, the police are their enforcers. K-Rudd needs to be more proactive now; he has the power and the resources. I hardly read the paper, or watch the news on the TV. The only news you will read about us, is slanderous negativity. I do commend SBS, for the The First Australians and the facts. You've kept it real for my people, there's also Living Black. So before I press, I need to tell you, something I was told. It upsets me, and frustrates me, white man is very cold. Aboriginal is abbreviated, it means Abolish Original. We are The First Australians here; they are convicts, which are criminals. 
Homework: Reflect on the poem
- Who are Lex Wotton and Richard Saunders, and what happened to them?
- What do you know about black deaths in custody?
- Why do you think the "half-caste mob" gets less severe sentences?
- What is the author's daughter telling her dad when she wants to have his skin colour?