#NOTALLSUDANESEEmbracing the unembracable:

The pictures show families celebrating, and there is plenty to toast: weddings, graduation ceremonies, exciting careers, family dinners, and the most joyous event of all, the birth of a child.

The images, filed under the hashtag #africangangs on social media, have become a powerful campaign for members of Melbourne’s Sudanese community, who are taking back the term so often levelled against them.

Dozens of images shared using the hashtag show young Sudanese Australians graduating from university, working as doctors, serving in the army and enjoying AFL matches.

“Taking back the term”? Why on Earth would you? It’s like the Muslim community “taking back” the term “terrorist” in a “powerful campaign” to change the public perceptions.

Of course the African gangs in Melbourne represent a tiny minority of the African community, just like terrorists represent a tiny minority of the Islamic community. But neither problem is going to disappear by downplaying and wishing it away in a whimsical and light-hearted manner. The fact that a majority of African migrants in Australia are good citizens doesn’t make the issue of gang crime irrelevant or unimportant. And just as the Muslim community has the biggest stake in addressing the problem of terrorism which negatively affects the public perceptions of the whole community, so does the African community with the gang violence.

Note also this rather bizarre deflection from the man behind the hashtag, Maker Mayek:

“This generation are not at all connected to South Sudan, they don’t even enjoy South Sudanese cuisine. Apart from race, they’re Australian.

“They have friendships in school and their own networks and these networks have infiltrated these youths to act in a manner that does not conform with the law.

Not sure what it all means and what these nefarious infiltrating networks are, but it all sounds perilously close that somehow it’s all Australia’s fault.

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