Racist HS Students Abuse Award-Winning Indigenous Poet In Australia

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Ellen Van Neerven was targeted after one of her poems was featured in a final-year exam question. A racist post even depicted the indigenous author as a monkey.

 

 

Education authorities in Australia were left "appalled" after a bunch of racist high school students in Australia racially abused an award-winning indigenous poet.

Ellen van Neerven was targeted after one of her poems, "Mango," was featured in a final-year exam question.

Of the many racist posts targeting van Neerven, who won the Queensland Literary Award in 2013, one depicted the indigenous author as a monkey.

 

 

“We were asked to analyze your mango f****d poem — and I’m asking what the fuck was the point of your mango bullshit,” read a message directed at van Neerven was posted on a HSC discussion forum.

 

"I am appalled by the abuse of the author," said NSW Education Standards Authority chief David de Carvalho in the wake of the racist abuse. "This is a completely inappropriate response and I hope those involved see fit to apologize to Ms. van Neerven."

Other authors rushed to van Neerven's support:

 

 

 

 

Melissa Lucashenko, an award-winning First Nations author, told BuzzFeed News such abuse against indigenous authors is not uncommon.

“I’m not at all surprised at these children who think and act in this way, because we’ve got an attorney-general who has explicitly given the green light to this," Lucashenko said. "He’s said people have the right to be bigots."

Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters

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