WATERCOOLER: Is this speech our Martin Luther King moment?

A powerful speech by indigenous Australian journalist Stan Grant in which he decries the Australian dream as "rooted in racism" has gone viral just before Australia Day.

Grant, who is Wiradjuri, was asked to debate the motion "Is racism killing the Australian dream?" at an event at Sydney's Ethics Centre in December, but the videos have only just been released - just a matter of days before Australia's national day on the 26th.



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In a moving, personal speech, he talked about the lasting impact of colonialism and discrimination on Australia's indigenous communities to argue that racism is actually at the country's heart.

The video has been widely praised and viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook and YouTube.

Australian author Mike Carlton has hailed it as the country's "Martin Luther King moment".

Grant opened by talking about a recent spate of incidents in which Indigenous Aussie rules football star Adam Goodes was booed at matches.

When we heard those boos, we heard a sound that was very familiar to us... we heard a howl of humiliation that echoes across two centuries of disposition, injustice, suffering and survival.

We heard the howl of the Australian dream, and it said to us again, 'you're not welcome'.

He went on to quote from the famous patriotic poem 'My Country' by Dorothea Mackellar, to show how Indigenous lives and voices have been swept out of history.

I love a sunburned country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges'.

It reminds me that my people were killed on those plains. We were shot on those plains, diseases ravaged us on those plains.

Do you think Australia is a racist country?

This poll ended on 09 February 2016.

Current Results

Yes. You only have to look at what happened to Adam Goodes


Yes. Look at the the protests over Muslim people


No. It is only a redneck minority


No. It is not racism at all


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Grant also talked about the fact that indigenous Australians die 10 years younger than the average citizen and even though the country is only three per cent indigenous, they form 25 per cent of the prison population.

His own success in life, the award-winning journalist said, was achieved not because of - but in spite of - the Australian dream.

If the white blood in me was here tonight, my grandmother, she would tell you of how she was turned away from a hospital giving birth to her first child because she was giving birth to the child of a black person.

The Australian dream... We sing of it and we recite it in verse; 'Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free'.

We are better than this.

Watch the sobering eight-minute speech below:

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