Northern Territory

Sep 10, 2009

‘White power’ t-shirts for sale in Alice Springs

As Alice Springs grapples with the alleged bashing death of an Aboriginal man by five young white men, one man has begun selling "Alice Springs White Power" t-shirts and caps. Outside the Council offices...

Chris Graham

Tracker managing editor

As Alice Springs grapples with the alleged bashing death of an Aboriginal man by five young white men, one man has begun selling "Alice Springs White Power" t-shirts and caps from his car. And it’s all happening outside the Alice Springs Town Council offices, with local police and council officials refusing at least two requests by local residents to shut the man down. The t-shirts and caps were yesterday on display in the passenger side window of a 4WD ute parked directly across the road from the council chambers. The t-shirts include a swastika motif:

The number plates on the vehicle read "GANGSTA", and a hand-written sign was taped to the back passenger window advertising the shirts and caps:

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63 thoughts on “‘White power’ t-shirts for sale in Alice Springs

  1. Jon Hunt

    Clearly there are a few anti-social traits on display here. It won’t matter what you say or do, they will still be the same. Admittedly it would be better if people such as this were put somewhere safe where they can not cause too much trouble, preferably somewhere where they can’t escape from.

  2. james mcdonald

    I suppose it would be stupid of me to ask if the police checked with a prosecutor before shrugging off multiple complaints. Council by-laws? What has inside/outside the car got to do with anything?

    Or is it me who is caught napping and the Racial Hatred Act is also suspended in NT?

  3. james mcdonald

    Well, bugger me, looks like it is me that is caught napping, and maybe the Racial Hatred Act is indeed suspended in NT. That act is just an amendment to the Racial Discrimination Act.

    Does that mean you can now legally hold KKK anti-black rallies and burn crosses on Anzac Hill?

  4. Hugh Ripper

    Are this guy’s sentiments popular amongst the non-aboriginal population in the outback? We city dwellers tend to be a bit isolated from what people think in the bush. If so, it sounds like a pretty scary place to live, especially if your black.

  5. stephen martin

    I don’t know about Alice Springs by-laws regarding For Sale signs in, or on, cars but it certainly illegal in Darwin to display For Sale signs in cars, but it may not be actively policed.
    There was a clamp down by the Darwin City Council against For Sale signs on cars parked on vacant land advising of car sales, a year or so ago. At the time the council also mentioned For Sale signs on car on the road as being illegal.
    It’s a pity that the same is not the law in Alice.

  6. Alison

    I was going to make the same comment as James – surely there are grounds of racial villification here? If this red-neck was targeting Jewish people, or some other ethnic minority, he’d be hauled before the courts for inciting racial hatred.

    I note that the NT has an Anti-Discrimination Act, but not being an expert, it isn’t clear to me whether this kind of activity falls under “discrimination” given the vendor may be just as happy to sell his wares to aboriginal people as he is to “whites” (though heaven knows why anyone of any creed or colour would want them).

    Just one more reason for the Commonwealth to hurry up and un-suspend the RDA. I wonder if the suspension really has the unexpected side-effect of protecting perpertrators of hate crimes, or if the suspension had limited application – does anyone know?

  7. Aphra

    Those of us who have travelled the length and breadth of the Wide Brown Land, know that this is only the tiny tip of the racial abuse and degradation which is endemic, especially in country areas.

    In fact, if the poverty, destitution, hatreds, violence and utter despair which is visited upon many indigenous Australians, shamefully, in their own land, were known throughout the world, we’d probably be regarded as perpetrating genocide and on a par with the most shocking excesses of rogue African and Asian states. And those of us who’ve visited and seen the despicable racism still practised in the southern states of the US are given pause when we witness much, much worse, in so-called liberal, tolerant Australia.

    On the other hand, I believe that the majority of ordinary Australians have absolutely no idea of what’s going on in their own country. For this, I blame the press which is generally silent on the atrocious third-world conditions in which so many of our fellow Australians struggle to survive. Maybe Crikey could commission a photographer to visit some of these Aboriginal communities and show how some are actually reduced to living in one of the world’s richest democracies.

    Of course, one can’t really change ingrained hatreds and senseless racist hostilities but we shouldn’t, passively, allow them to flourish, unhindered.

    The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the Nationals, Minister Macklin, whatever clown is currently Chief Minister of the NT and the mayor of Alice Springs should make a televised joint-appearance decrying this aggressively hateful behaviour. If there are no laws which proscribed encouraging racism, then all representative political leaders should not hesitate to make it abundantly clear that Australia will simply not tolerate it. And freedom of speech doesn’t come into it, or if it does, then balance that against the basic rights of every Australian to simply live, not be abused and humiliated, and not made to apologise for the colour of their skin nor their social norms and religious beliefs.

    But I guess that all will shrug, Beckett-like, braying, ‘nothing to be done’.

  8. james mcdonald

    I agree Aphra, I’ve been out of touch with the outback for some years but Aboriginals were being widely vilified in the 80s and 90s outside the big cities, and things don’t change very fast there.

    I remember a popular joke about a policeman giving a priest a lift when he swerves to kill some Aboriginals walking along the road, the policeman blasphemes about having missed one, then apologizes to the priest, who replies “Don’t worry I got him with the door.” With a few notable exceptions, whole pubs could roar with laughter at that one.

  9. Most Peculiar Mama

    They were also flying white balloons in Darwin on Tuesday.

    Should someone notify the police and UNHREOC?

    Sometimes free speech means defending the indefensible.

    I smell a beat up.

  10. james mcdonald

    MPM, you lost me, some of us can’t keep up with your brilliance. Free speech has never meant unlimited speech. In what way do you smell a beat up?

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