Karla Hart

              Karla Hart

Well what can I say...

What gives me the right...?! ;-)

So I have been public transporting it and as much as I thought I'd hate it I'm loving it.

But one day I didn't love it was yesterday.

So I'm travelling from Perth city to Leederville and a group of young Noongar boys aged approx 12 - 14years were in the same carriage as me, a couple of whom were faintly recognisable from there facial characteristics from families down south.  ( Us Noongars we can pick each other out from looks at times )

Anyway the boys were obviously cruising, school holidays and all and no doubt entertaining themselves.

One boy sitting across to my left started talking very loudly about how 'black' a young African girl was who was sitting about 5 seats down from him.  Most of us could hear.  I saw in her face although she showed no reaction I saw the flicker of hurt through her eyes only momentarily as she really did have the best poker face.  But to a woman who knows pain I saw it.  

I hoped he would stop but he didn't, he got worse -  much to the loud amusement of the other boys who probably thought he was pretty daring to be so blunt about his thoughts and no doubt his not caring attitude would have lifted his popularity in the group momentarily.

So those that know me know what happened next.

I asked him how could he be so racist to another person on the basis of their dark skin when our people face racism everyday in regards to our skin colour and bad stereotypes.  He replied he was Noongar so I replied so was I, he replied he would say what he like, I replied that so would I and I proceeded to tell him how ashamed I was of his behaviour and how disgusting it was when our grandparents fought for our rights only to have a silly boy like him be mean and nasty and racist on top of it.  (And his skin was brown???!!! why be saying how black she was??!!) I then gave him the stare to say don't respond you have been told son. 

So it went something like that, I had the other boys start to call me Aunty and a couple say "ay shutup man" or "hey Aunt you from Albany una, we know you I'm sure".  I'm sure they would have however I had my glasses on and no doubt they would have recognised my voice from radio etc and definitely would have recognised my face had I taken my glasses off (Noongar community very small everyone knows everyone).

Had a couple of thanks looks and caught the eye of the beautiful young African girl ONLY for seconds as I was getting off and she was still playing deaf but she gave me thanks too.

I didn't do it for thanks I did it because if this was my son I would hope someone would tell him straight too in a straight out Aunty kind of a way. 

Most young Noongar kids I meet and I work with - And I work with  hundreds (probably thousands) of kids across the state too - are beautiful, caring souls.  I'm sure these boys are too deep down hence the Aunty later but probably just bored and trying to get some street cred for the wrong reasons.

Many kids act silly together and often don't know the pain they can cause.

Was I right to pull him up? I felt I had no choice.

Would I say something if it was a different nationality - damn straight.

I think we as local fullas know how to talk so they know we know them and that helps get respect and be listenened to and even if this one child didn't act as if he cared he was pulled up and I bet he will think twice next time ( well I hope so ).  

We say nyorn in Noongar how sad and that's how I felt for this young girl with no one saying anything like it didn't matter or too uncomfortable incase of babd reaction or hate turning on them.

I think God put me on that train at that time because I can and I did say something because I'm Noongar and I know deep down these kids respect that. (hence the Aunty later)

So I got off the train boiling mad at the kid but proud I didn't say it like I'd tell my son (I'd have really put him through the mill-lecture, educate, grrrrrrr you name it) but enough to give it meaning and him a jarring up.

Anyway coonyee (dag) that I am didn't tag off so walked up the stairs, down the ramp and up the street till I realised.  Then I called my niece "hey babe i didn't tag off does it matter" then walked back up the street, up the ramp and down the stairs to tag off.  Then you guessed it started again.  I found my 20mins of excercise which I bloody need the lazy ass I've been.

Anyway what can I say lots, another day in the life of Karla Hart.

Lotsa love to ya xo


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