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White Excellence by Ellen van Neerven
Posted 09.06.2020

White Excellence by Ellen van Neerven

Let us breathe.

None of us can hide from what has been going on in America, in Australia, and in other places in the world. Black American man Mr Floyd and Dunghutti man Mr Dungay Jnr gasped for life violently taken from them. Their last words 'I can't breathe' have become a rallying cry, a call to action.

Last year, Yamatji woman Ms Clarke was shot dead by a policeman, name suppressed for concerns for his safety, on a street in Geraldton. Ms Clarke and I are the same age. This year I will celebrate my thirtieth birthday, but Ms Clarke will always be twenty-nine-years-old.

James Baldwin said 'Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.'

White people, it is your responsibility to face this by yourself, we cannot hold your hand and guide you through this.

Let us breathe.

White Excellence

after Thelma Plum’s ‘Woke Blokes’
and Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert’s ‘Visitors’


When it comes to having white people in my life, I choose the
cream of the crop. Not your average ‘woke bloke’. I’m talking
about White Excellence. White people at the top of their
game. You know, the ones you meet and you’re like, who’s
trained you
? If you’re a whitefella in my life, you have gone
through a very rigorous selection process. Congrats! And tbh
babe, I’m still testing you.

White Excellence comes in many forms but my favourites
are the ones who cook for me. Listen, make space. Buy
black books, buy black music. Never assume to know what
we think or what we want. Have the difficult conversations.
Pick up the slack. Share the physical and emotional labour.
White Excellence acknowledges other ways of being. White
Excellence should be a filter on Tinder. White Excellence
makes good guests because they know they are permanent
Visitors.