I Am John

I Am John

I Am John. And I am a proud. My family fought the English when they first came here, when they were making the bag, selling slaves from Africa and slaughtering us like cattle. That’s how they looked upon us. My family fought, and even if they’re all gone and I’m the only one left, I am proud. And even if I don’t even know my real name, I am proud. And do you know why?

Because they didn’t get me!

I met John at Mindil Beach in Darwin in 2009. He told me the story of how his mother hid him, how he was found and abducted and how he watched his own mother being beaten to death and his sister raped over and over again until she committed suicide. His family was in fact, part of the futile resistance towards the British, upon the full scale invasion reaching the Arnhem Land and what is today called the Northern Territory. And when the brutality finally ended, there was no uprising, there was of redeeming the lost generation. I met John drunk in body, a spirit washed away by the indescribable cruelty of what he had witnessed as a young man, even as a boy. And when people walked past John, they took an extra step away from him, they just took their safeguard against him and all the other black and drunk people at the beach. Like everywhere else in Australia, where groups of native people, crowd the street corners, parks and beaches in hopeless appearance.

The reason that these men and women are always drunk and in despair is that their missing a gene, that can tolerate alcohol.

That’s what most white people will tell you.

Of course.

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