Stan Grant's speech on racism: Is this Australia's 'Martin Luther King moment'?

Indigenous journalist Stan Grant has declared racism is "killing the Australian dream", in an impassioned speech that has gone viral on social media. 

The powerful speech, delivered at the IQ2 Racism Debate in October, emerged online last week, with journalist Mike Carlton describing it as a "Martin Luther King moment" on Twitter. 

Declaring the Australian dream as "rooted in racism", Grant said the legacy of Australia's dark past continues today, citing the lower life expectancy and higher rates of incarceration still experienced by indigenous Australians. 

"The Australian dream - we sing of it and we recite it in verse: 'Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free'," he said.

"But my people die young in this country - we die 10 years younger than average Australians - and we are far from free."

Grant said Australians need to acknowledge the two centuries of "dispossession, injustice and suffering" faced by his ancestors. 

"We are in so many respects the envy of the world," Grant said. "But I stand here with my ancestors and the view looks very different.

"Every time we are lured into the light, we are mugged by the darkness of this country's history," Grant said.

The speech was published online just a week before Australia Day, a day commonly mourned by indigenous Australians as the anniversary of the British invasion.   

The Sky News journalist said he had succeeded "not because of... but in spite of the Australian dream", pinning his success on his family's hard work in the face of ostracism and discrimination.

"My grandfather, who married a white woman... lived on the fringes of town until the police came, put a gun to his head, bulldozed his tin humpy, and ran over the graves of the three children he buried there. That's the Australian dream," Grant said. 

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

Grant urged Australians to acknowledge Australia's dark past and be "better" than racism.

"Of course racism is killing the Australian dream; it is self-evident… But we are better than that," he said.

"One day I want to stand here and be able to say as proudly, and sing as loudly as anyone else in the room, 'Australians ALL let us rejoice.'"

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