• Yorta Yorta musician educates racist Uber driver who said 'black people should be shot,' during a trip in Townsville. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
Scott Darlow, a Yorta Yorta musician has used his special mantra to survive an Uber trip with a racist driver in Townsville.
Laura Morelli

30 Oct 2017 - 5:36 PM  UPDATED 27 Nov 2017 - 9:39 AM

Scott Darlow is a singer, guitarist and didgeridoo (yidaki) player from Melbourne. The Yorta Yorta man says his fair skin often has people unaware about his Aboriginal heritage, which he uses to his advantage.

“People tell me I don’t look Aboriginal, so I joke and say I’m undercover for finding redneck racists.”

However, during his tour in Townsville QLD, Scott didn’t have to travel too far to find just that.

“I’m a pretty talkative fella so when I jumped in my Uber I said, ‘how are you going brother?’ And he replied, ‘It’s alright except for all these black so and sos’,” the musician told NITV.

“He told me he could sort all the problems in Townsville by taking the ‘black bastards out the back and shooting them’.”

Not knowing Scott was Aboriginal, the driver continued his racist rant.

“He told me he could sort all the problems in Townsville by taking the ‘black bastards out the back and shooting them’.”

Scott then took to social media, saying this is a reminder of how much work needs to be done in Australia to combat racism and educate people about the nation’s history.

“It’s had 12 thousand views over the weekend; we haven’t had that sort of attention since we did the video for solid rock.”

Although he did admit he initially wanted to give the man a hiding, Scott knew that by providing context and truth was the only way to change someone’s perspective.

“I could have given this man a wack but all that does is reinforce his stereotype. I gave him empathy and love and hopefully that will change his heart.”


Education, Empathy, Change

Scott decided to take him back to basics and explain intergeneration trauma and the reason why Aboriginal youth skip schools. He believes by looking at the past, understanding behavior from an empathetic perspective will facilitate change.

“The long-term solution is that we need to get people looking at reasons and facts and understand why things the way they are. History connects history and that’s why things are the way they are today. Everything is joined.”

During the trip, Scott found the courage to inform the driver that he was Indigenous and provided a deeper more enhanced contextualised understanding of the difficulties Aboriginal people facing intergenerational trauma endure. He believes his educative and calm approach helped change the older man’s perspective of Aboriginal people.

At the end of the trip he actually got out of the car, helped me unpack my guitar and said to me, ‘I like meeting people like you. You guys broaden my horizon.’ He thanked me for giving him a new perspective,” he said.

“I hope the next time he sees a couple of Aboriginal kids running around he has a different view on them. I really do hope it does.”


Scott's FLUTE Mantra

When Scott isn’t singing, the former teacher is educating youth across the country and globe, about Australia’s black past, where he’s able to spread his message and beliefs of FLUTE - Forgiveness, Love, Understanding, Tolerance and Empathy.

“My mantra is we can all be history makers and change this country, make it better if we can show every single person we encounter FLUTE. Whether it’s your wife, colleagues or some racist you meet in an Uber…Forgiveness is key, it’s the biggest thing for me, the reality is if you don’t forgive people the only one it hurts is you.”  

During his time in Townsville, Scott visited Cleveland Detention Centre a maximum prison for 10 to 18-year-old youth, where he explained that out of 80 children, two kids out of the whole lot weren’t Indigenous.

“I go in prisons to encourage kids, give them a good role model and tell them they’re loved and not forgotten.”

Utilising his music as a platform to advocate for social justice and Indigenous affairs Scott proudly represents his Yorta Yorta heritage be it through singing in language to keep culture alive, or playing didgeridoo to showcase Aboriginal art across the world. Now his main message is to spread the meaning of his creation FLUTE.

“For us as Aboriginal people we need to start taking the bull by the horns. I think this whole concept of FLUTE needs to be shown by blackfellas to each other and to broader communities around us,” he explained.

“We need to show people who don’t understand our journey tolerance, otherwise we sit around feeling bitter and it grows like a cancer-consuming individuals, communities and our mobs.”

Apart from working on new songs and touring with Mark Lizotte, Scott has also been doing reconciliation and Indigenous culture sessions that he’ll be taking over to Hong Kong and China.

“I take my message all over the world and people dig it they connect with it. I pull out the yidaki in other countries and they appreciate it more than people here. I used to think maybe that’s because we just live in a country of racists. But now I believe that we live in an uneducated country,” Scott described.

“For hundreds of years people have believed Aboriginal people are worth less or aren’t the same. Unfortunately, that’s been passed down to some of today’s generation. Years ago the law said we weren’t recognised as humans, so it is going to take a lot of time educating people.”

Scott hopes one day Australia will combat racism, especially for all First Nations people who will always carry the demons of the past with them into the future.

“Hopefully my little fella who is 9 years old will never have an experience like I did and that it will just be another shocking thing of the past.”

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