Labor Senator for NT Nova Peris Photo: Peter Eve
Well what a depressing week in Australian race relations we have had.
Since celebrating the British landing and subsequent attempts at genocide last Tuesday, we've had Wagga Wagga's Citizen of the Year told to hand back his award for refusing to stand for the anthem; we've had more than one instance of blackface, we've had Indigenous people speaking out against blackface being told to 'get over it'; we've even had a former Premier profess his love of golliwogs.
And now, with what may be the most disturbing example of how far Australia has to go, Labor Senator Nova Peris has revealed on social media some of the viciously racist hate mail she has been sent.
Posting scans of threatening letters that was sent to her home address, Peris simply stated "Racism. It stops with me."
One letter contained a photograph of Peris with crosshairs shown over her forehead, describing her as a "black pawn of Gillard" and a "working class Coon" among other horrifically racist terms.
The letter concludes that Peris will find herself "cut down to size" by the political system "and put back where you rightfully belong, crawling on all fours out in the deserts of central Australia, pissed out of your mind and scavenging for food scraps while looking up your own arse."
Peris told ABC's Radio National on Thursday morning that her husband initially found the letter and was "hit for six" by the viciousness and violence of its contents.
"I've put up with racism for the 23 years that I've led a very very public life. But a lot of this stuff is anonymous, and I think, well you know what, this is what I have to endure as a federal politician and I'm going to call it out."
Peris said having three children and a grandchild made her particularly determined to stand up and call out this racism.
"We keep calling for a more inclusive Australia, I want my children to be proud Aboriginal people and I am going to stand up for us and our culture."
It's not the first time Peris has called out racism targeted at her.
Last year she shared a post sent to her on Facebook by a man who described himself as a "proud racist" before calling Peris a "bleeding heart coon". And speaking with Annabel Crabb on Kitchen Cabinet, Peris opened up about being racially abused while playing hockey for Australia - saying she was treated worse by some Australian players than those on rival international teams.
Asked this morning if she thinks this behaviour is reflective of Australia, she said "sadly, I think there is a large cohort of people who get off on this sort of behaviour."
And her only option, if she wants to make a difference, is to keep fighting. "I'll continue to walk out of those shadows of a horrible part of Australia... the only way to eradicate it is to continue to call it out."