Watch Briggs Break Down What Indigenous People Hear When They Listen To The National Anthem
"We don't feel particularly free. And as for young? We've been here for 80,000 years."
The Australian National Anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair’ is back in the news after a group of Indigenous rugby league players announced that they would not sing it ahead of last night’s State of Origin clash, saying it does not represent them or their culture.
NSW stars Cody Walker, Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell, as well as Queensland centre Will Chambers, all declared their intention to boycott the anthem, with Mitchell telling Channel 7 the song “doesn’t represent my people”.
“We aren’t young and free,” Mitchell said last week. “We’re the longest-living culture in the world.”
During his latest appearance on The Weekly, rapper Briggs dissects the lyrics of the anthem to help explain exactly why Indigenous Australians aren’t identifying with the song.
“Advance Australia Fair has been the national anthem for 35 years, which white people think is a really long time,” he begins, really putting things in perspective.
He points out that the first and most egregious line is “for we are young and free”.
“Now, since all children in Northern Territory detention are Aboriginal, and we are the most incarcerated people on Earth, we don’t feel particularly free. And as for young? We’ve been here for 80,000 years — but I guess we don’t look a day over 60,000.”
Later, he points out that “history’s page” looks pretty good to white people “because you wrote it”. “In our version of history, you don’t even turn up until the last paragraph,” he says.
It’s a pretty thorough and convincing deconstruction of what’s always been a lacklustre song. Or as Briggs puts it: “the song sucks”.
Check it out below.
— The Weekly (@theweeklytv) June 5, 2019