He was confused with his Aboriginal identity. First of all, his mother was Aboriginal, and she was taken from her parents and taken to a home with another family. It was before the policy law, in the time leading up to it. But she got out, and she married an Aboriginal man, had two kids and he had two abortions. They were his older brothers and they were really dark. They were taken from his mother, he didn’t know everything that had happened, because his mother wouldn’t tell him. She then married his father, a white man, and got her children back. She lived with him for twenty years and then they got married. He also had a sister, a bit black, who was given back from his grandfather. He was a lot like his mother.
When he was a teenager, he started hanging out with other Aboriginals. At first, when he waved at them down the street, they thought he was being rude, because he was a white boy waving to black people. After a while, he didn’t want to have anything to do with them. He thought that they were drinking and fighting all the time. But as he got older, and had been to jail and stuff, he learned more about it.
It’s a hard issue but it makes it even harder if you are drunk the whole time. All the time it had been about rights and recognition - that they were not stupid, they weren’t useless and they were not alcoholics. But still they sent them to the pub to get drunk. He lost his self-respect because even at places where he worked, people were saying “dirty black bastards”, “Abo bastards” and stuff like that. Even though he was an Aboriginal, his skin was white.
Because his skin is white, he can hide in society, if he doesn’t bring up his Aboriginality. But that is like being split in half, and trying to be another person. He can see how it’s like a slippery pole, for black people who are fighting for that. Every time they think they fit in, they don’t, because they don’t fit in with white society. There is not a chance that a black man is going to be a...