Two elderly women in a Fremantle cafe didn’t realise who was in earshot on Sunday when they began chatting loudly about their racist opinions of Aborigines.
Indigenous pop-rock artist Jarred Wall was sitting at the next table in the Zephyr Cafe, and served up some subtle yet sweet justice to his neighbours, in the form of a pot of tea.
Jarred is the lead singer of the indie-pop-rock band Jake and the Cowboys, winner of many awards and featured by Triple J’s Unearthed.
Jarred plays regular gigs and festivals in Perth with Jake and the Cowboys, whose debut EP was released in 2011. Their latest music video is a cover with his band of Justin Beiber’s What Do You Mean.
Being Aboriginal, Jarred knows a thing or two about the realities of racism in Australia. He wrote on social media yesterday that the two women sitting next to him at the cafe where he ate lunch spoke in derogatory terms about Aboriginal Australians. “The conversation was less than distasteful with words like assimilation thrown around,” he said in his Instagram and Facebook post.
Instead of reacting in anger, he chose subtle hospitality, ordering them a pot of tea with a note written on the receipt: “Enjoy the tea! Compliments of the 2 aboriginals sitting next to you on table 26”.
His Facebook post about the experience (above) has gone viral overnight, attracting 22,000 reactions, over 2000 shares and almost as many comments—many positive and some racist in nature.
Surprised by the reaction, Jared thanked those who commented and said he wanted the discussion to remain positive.
“I mean no harm to the elderly ladies and I hope their day ended well.”
“In a time where all we tend to see is negativity and conflict, my intention to share this experience was to highlight that there are alternative ways in dealing with matters, even when it’s in a not-so-pleasant situation,” he wrote. “Hopefully some will stop, think and potentially learn. I mean no harm to the elderly ladies and I hope their day ended well.”
His comment ended with the hashtags #letsallgetalong #itsnotalwayssoblackandwhite #shadesofearlgrey.