News August 18, 2020

Rapper Ziggy Ramo calls out ABC’s “censoring” over Anzac song

Rapper Ziggy Ramo calls out ABC’s “censoring” over Anzac song
ABC / YouTube

First Nations rapper Ziggy Ramo appeared as a panellist to discuss the broadcaster’s ban on his performing the song ‘April 25’ because of its refrain “fuck the Anzacs”.

The ABC thought the song “inappropriate” but invited Ramo on the panel in the spirit of debate.

The Arnhem Land-raised Sydney based rapper (full name: Ziggy Ramo Burrmuruk Fatnowna) explained the song was written to explain the disparity between the veneration of the Anzacs legacy and the country turning a blind eye to the genocide of First Nations.

It also questioned how history downplayed the role of Indigenous soldiers in various wars.

He contextualised the controversial Anzac reference by noting the song also included the lines:

Fuck those wack blacks, screaming
Fuck those wack blacks
Fuck those wack blacks
But we love the ANZACs

What you got to be sorry for?
You wasn’t here before those savage blacks were on the seashores
As free people
You weren’t here when they were not equal
And now they surely are
So fuck their cross-generational traumatic scars

Ramo told the show: “I do celebrate the Anzacs. I’ve gone to the other side of the world on Anzac Day to celebrate what our people have laid down for us.

“So if we’ve done that, we can’t just pick parts of our history that we want to recognise and bury the others.

“If in World War II we fought against genocide, yet we don’t recognise the genocide in our own country, that’s a double standard.”

Ramo’s debut album Black Thoughts was devised as a catalyst for debate with his raw expression of subjects as systematic racism, rewriting of Australia’s history, dispossession and trauma.

In fact, Black Thoughts was made five years ago when Zamo was hospitalised for suicidal thoughts and was actually written as a farewell note.

He scrapped the album then thinking that non-Indigenous weren’t ready for such a debate, and instead focussed on making a difference through Indigenous health.

However this year after the Black Lives Matter movement reignited following the May 25 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis – and the inter-colour discussions that followed – Zamo decided Black Thoughts needed to come out because of its continued relevance and rushed it out in June.

The rapper contributed to Q&A’s discussion last night on Media Diversity Australia’s new report on the lack of people of colour on mainstream media and the effect on what stories are chosen to run, and finished off the show with an emotional and anthemic ‘Stand For Something’ with his band.

The full episode is available to watch on YouTube.

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