African-Australians Are Using The #AfricanGangs Hashtag To Fight Racist Fearmongering

Take that, Peter Dutton.

Even though it’s been pretty clearly established that the media and political furore over so-called “African gangs” is dramatically out of step with reality, senior politicians are doubling down on the issue, desperate to plumb pathetic new depths of racist fearmongering.

Yesterday home affairs minister Peter Dutton reiterated his comments that people in Melbourne were so scared of gangs they were refusing to go out to dinner. When Dutton initially made the same allegation last week he was met with a chorus of ridicule.

Now African-Australians are fighting back against the dominant media narrative demonising their community. Reclaiming the hashtag #AfricanGangs, many members of Australia’s diverse African community have been tweeting pictures of their friends and families, as well as their life stories.

The online campaign has been compared to hashtags like #IndigenousDads that started trending in response to attacks on the Indigenous community by sections of the Australian media.

The campaigns are a pretty powerful rebuke to the media narratives around racial minorities in Australia, but ideally we wouldn’t have the problem of a lazy and racist media ecosystem in the first place, forcing members of the community to demonstrate that they are, contrary to what you read in the papers and see on A Current Affair, actually just normal people.