Stan Grant
Stan Grant delivers speech on racism in Sydney. Screenshot from YouTube. YouTube/The Ethics Centre

Indigenous journalist Stan Grant’s powerful racism speech has gone viral. The video, which has been viewed over 97,000 times on YouTube and almost a million times on Facebook, sees the Wiradjuri news anchor addressing an audience in Sydney and saying the “Australian dream is rooted in racism.”

Grant delivered the speech in December as argument on the topic “Racism is destroying the Australian dream” at the IQ2 debate series by the Ethics Centre. However, it was just recently uploaded online, a week before the Australia Day on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old journalist opened his moving speech with a reference to the boos the indigenous football star Adam Goodes received from the crowd at the Subiaco Oval in July. Goodes, who was born and raised in the country, was told by the jeering crowd he was “not Australian.”

“We heard a sound that was very familiar to us. We heard a sound of humiliation that echoes across two centuries of disposition, injustice, suffering and survival,” Grant described what he and other indigenous people had heard when Goodes was booed at the stadium.

He went on to say his people are not truly free. They were killed and locked up, and the situation only got worse since the British soldiers declared a war of extermination against aboriginals in the 1820s. They were recognised as subhumans and were treated worse than animals.

“Yes, a war of extermination, that was the language used at that time. … Martial law was declared and my people could should be shot on sight. On those rugged mountain ranges, my people, women and children were herded over those ranges to their deaths,” Grant said.

“The Australian dream, the Australian dream is rooted in racism. It is the very foundation of the dream. It is there at the birth of the nation.”

His own family experienced racism, even more than a hundred years after the “war of extermination.” His grandfather on his father’s side served in the military to fight for the country but came back in a segregated land. Police put a gun to his grandfather’s head and ran over the graves of his children because he was married to a white woman. His own grandmother was turned away from a hospital because she was giving birth to the child of a black person.

Grant admitted that he has done well, but not because of the Australian dream, but in spite of it. His father, who toiled in the mills because he was denied an education, lost three fingers just to feed his children.

“The Australian dream, we are better than this,” he said, later on continuing, “Of course racism is killing the Australian dream. It is self-evident that racism is killing the Australian dream. But we are better than that.”

His words have inspired viewers online, praising Grant for his passionate defence of the indigenous people and the history.

“Great speech,” a YouTube user wrote. “Unfortunately so true and unfortunately purposely avoided and ignored.”

“Passionate eloquence from Stan. History defines who we are and how we see things. We can do better,” another user commented.