The past few weeks have opened our eyes and we’ve learned a lot of things.
Realising how many people have lived a life subjected to systemic racism, how privileged many of us are to have not experienced it and the power we have to make change in the future.
Today we're handing over the reins to one of our own, Indigenous artist and club legend Josh Wood. Whose experience is one we could all learn from. This brand has and always will belong to the people.
This is his story.
"I live in a very racist and one minded town. Growing up I would get it all the time, daily sometimes.
I had left school because it got that bad. I remember me, my sister and 2 cousins got checked for lice in front of the whole school because we were black. That was when I was in year 2. I have been pulled over by cops and asked why is someone like you driving a car like this. I have been kicked out of shops and strip-searched and had security follow me. I’ve had a gun pointed at me when I went to visit my best mate’s pop. I was 8 and got called a black koon, I got told to get off his property, so I ran. I didn’t even know what that was.
I grew up in Taree. This wasn’t even the worst of it. I have watched my family been bashed and almost killed by cops when they had the wrong person. My cousin, who was 16 years old and 50kgs, 2 weeks ago was bashed by 5 cops because he was late to check-in. Australia is just as bad as America when you’re black. Since 1991 there have been over 434 deaths of Aboriginal people by police. Not one of those police were charged. I have been kicked out of taxis and had Uber eats in Parramatta not give me my food or not let me get a lift.
What makes it worse is the way our government represents Aboriginal and TSI people in the media, they whitewash the facts and give their white privileged perspectives on Aboriginal affairs.
People can help by supporting Aboriginal and TSI equality to their rights. Standing up with us, protesting with us, speaking out with us but not doing it to be trendy or overnight. I have fought for my rights as an Aboriginal man since I was about 6-7 years old, which was the first time I was stereotyped and dehumanised as a black boy.
There have always been different rules/ rights for white fellas than black. An Aboriginal or TSI is 10x more likely to go to jail then finish year 12. Aboriginal people have the highest incarceration rate in the world, even though we only make up 3% of our own country. We don’t even have rights to our own flag. We’re the only first nations people that haven’t signed a treaty under the crown.
The hardest thing to explain to someone that’s never experienced it is that it affects our daily lives. It affects how I can speak to someone, how I can speak in public. That I have to be 10x better than a white man to be recognised or held to the same social standards.
Thanks for listening with open ears and clear eyes. I honestly have been blocked and abused for a lot less than what I have said here."
As a brand, a community, a club, we stand against racism, together let's stand up and show it.
On Tuesday, we are dropping a special collaboration Tee designed by Josh and with his generosity, 100% of all profits will be donated to Bridging the Gap and Blackfit Fitness Foundations to support health and education opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Club stands in solidarity, Black and Aboriginal Lives Matter.