Watch This Aussie Actor Tear Apart Everyday Racism In Last Night’s ‘Q&A’ Episode
"I'm always gonna be your black friend, aren't I? That's all anybody ever sees."
Actor Meyne Wyatt has been hailed for delivering a powerful monologue on everyday racism on last night’s Q&A — and it’s something all Australians should see.
The episode shone a spotlight on the Black Lives matter movement, Australia’s own Indigenous deaths in custody, as well as the micro-aggressions that Indigenous Australians face every day.
It was something Meyne and his fellow panel members spoke passionately about throughout the evening, but in the last four minutes he stole the show with a powerful soliloquy from his play City Of Gold.
“I’m always gonna be your black friend, aren’t I? That’s all anybody ever sees,” he starts.
“I’m never just an actor. I’m an Indigenous actor. I love reppin’, but I don’t hear old Joe Bloggs being called quite white Anglo-Saxon actor.
“I’m always in the black show, the black play. I’m always the angry one, the tracker, the drinker, the thief. Sometimes I want to be seen for my talent, not my skin colour, not my race.”
— QandA (@QandA) June 8, 2020
He goes on to touch on white privilege, Australia’s treatment of AFL player (and Australian of the Year) Adam Goodes, the flagrant racism he experienced as a kid, and the subtle, insidious racism he still experiences as an adult — “the kind of shit I let them think they’re getting way with”.
“‘Nah, we’re progressive, now, we’ll give you the small, subtle shit’. The shit that’s always been there. Not the obvious, in-your-face shit. It’s the ‘we can’t be seen to be racist’ kind of shit,” he said.
“Security guard following me around the store, asking to search my bag. Walking up to the counter first being served, second or third or last kind of shit. Or hailing down a cab and watching it slow down to look at my face and then drive off.”
— Benjamin Law 羅旭能 (@mrbenjaminlaw) June 8, 2020
Wyatt finishes the monologue by talking about the exhausting act of trying to educate people about race.
“To be honest, I can’t be bothered. I can’t be bothered teaching their ignorant arses on a daily basis. I don’t have the energy or the enthusiasm. It’s exhausting, and I like living my life,” he said.
“But on occasion, when you caught me on a bad day where I don’t feel like taking it, I’ll give you that angry black you’ve been asking for and I’ll tear you a new asshole. Not because of that one time, because of my whole life.”
Instead, he asks for help from people to challenge everyday racism when they see it.
“Be crazy, take a risk, be different, offend your family. Call them out,” he said. “Silence is violence. Complacency is complicity.
“I don’t want to be quiet. I don’t want to be humble. I don’t want to sit down.”
— Nazeem Hussain (@nazeem_hussain) June 8, 2020
Such passion. That bought me to tears. Incredibly moving and powerful. Loved the whole show tonight beautifully topped off by Meyne 💪🏻🙏🏻
— Mrs Hoom (@mrs_hoom) June 8, 2020
My sister said to me that she found this very confronting. I replied “Good! If you’re feeling uncomfortable hearing it, how do you think he feels living it??!” #qanda
— Pierrette (@pierrettec76) June 8, 2020
The episode also featured Leetona Dungay, the mother of David Dungay who died in police custody in 2015; actor Nakkiah Lui; lawyer Nyadol Nyuon; Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers; and NSW Liberal senator Andrew Bragg.