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.
Thanks mom for instilling #AfricanGangs values in me , been at my current employment for 7 years, run my own business and in the final stages of a double degree. #AfricanAustralian pic.twitter.com/BfszU05Po3
— Momo (@sheis_confident) January 9, 2018
— Flora (Flo) Chol (@FloraChol) January 8, 2018
— Agum (@AgumAguilAchol) January 8, 2018
— Akolde Mayom (@DeMayom) January 9, 2018
— Grace Abuor A. Jook (@aintyourmama89) January 9, 2018
Look at these members of #AfricanGangs up to no good, although I am not so sure about what is African about the two on either side. They were born in Australia! Oh wait, their skin colour. pic.twitter.com/8kXZTVpO7A
— UnWilling #AfricanGangs Member (@DhaaljMK) January 8, 2018
— Atima (@missalier) January 8, 2018
— Adut Dhol (@adutdhol) January 9, 2018
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.
I've rejoiced in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led hashtag movements in the past, in response to racism. How we all flipped the narrative, defused the power of the mis-powered and blasted colonial BS. And that is why I am loving and supporting > #africangangs ✊🏾
— Karen Wyld (@1KarenWyld) January 8, 2018
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.
— The #AfricanGangs Matriach (@TashaBelle) January 8, 2018
No "Gangs" here! 🤘🏼🇸🇸🇦🇺🤘🏿 pic.twitter.com/D03aDR18JU
— Emily Yuille (@Emz_tweet) January 8, 2018
— • (@chiefmadol) January 8, 2018
— Agok Takpiny (@ATakpiny) January 9, 2018