Give equal attention to heartbreaking reality within our borders

In no way do I wish to diminish the scale of the tragedy in Christchurch, but another ‘social evil’ is happening in our own country that has nothing to do with Muslims or immigration. (“Suicide now ‘normalised’ among indigenous youth,” 19/3.) The weekly deaths from suicide this year of indigenous youth is heartbreaking, yet these deaths pass almost unnoticed by our politicians and the wider populace. At least The Australian placed this story on the front page.

Aboriginal health academic Gracelyn Smallwood points to the ‘widespread despair’ engendered by poverty, unemployment and high rates of incarceration within the community. She adds that racism is another contributing factor.

While we deplore the white supremacist ideology of people like Brenton Tarrant, we should all look into ourselves for hints of the same prejudice against indigenous Australians. It is imperative the grim reality of these youths be highlighted with similar emphasis to the terror attack in New Zealand and other attacks. The irony is that while hate of others may inspire terrorism, indigenous youth hate themselves, committing their own acts of self-destruction.

Advertisements