By Luka Lesson

Poet and rapper Luka Lesson and Institute of non-violence have teamed up again to deliver a second poem and video: ‘Stereo. Type.’

The visuals for the poem premiered on Monday 22 March 2021, marking the International Day to End Racial Discrimination and National Harmony Week in Australia.

The words written and spoken by Luka align with our objectives, our mission and our values. We share Luka’s frustration around racism that is fueled by mainstream media and society without any responsibility or accountability for its impact on its target communities.

We invite you to keep this conversation going, work towards being #anti-racist every day and speak out against all types of racial violence.

The video is available for viewing and sharing on Facebook and YouTube.



By Luka Lesson



Before they lock you in a stereotype

speak words so deep 

they’re like burial rights

write lines that unite 

every side of the fight

so when you speak 

all they get is your 




See I don’t care about your lyrics 

I mostly care about your spirit

our words are just vessels 

to help our souls grow coherent 


That’s why plastic conversations 

just keep people in their places

boxes and cages

staying locked in a maze


These days 

a raised eyebrow in suspicion

can draw a straight line to a conviction 


A country so conditioned by racism

those most judged by skin colour 

and appearance

end up filling up our prisons 


And we’re pissed off 

when a shock-jock gets paid 

just to be a bigot

but our taxes have been paying for the same shit 

since the beginning


They pigeon hole us into body types

traditional dress 

sexual preference

or exotic sound bytes 

and they use every media stereotype 

to amplify their agenda 

as their political stereo mic 


So we’re stuck in the battle of the headlines

on the war of the magazine shelf 

they’ve taught us to see each other 

as caricatures of our real selves


From Cronulla to the Herald 

Channel 7 – the whole cartel 

the media mafia

making sure News Corp 

gets the sell


But the complexity of our lives 

doesn’t fit in their headlines

so they need bite-sized pieces of our bodies 

to feed on between dinner and bedtime 


So when we see each other on the street 

those headlines

in our head sets

become headnotes

become death stares

become death threats

become the next steps 

towards our best friends’ necks 

becoming breathless 


To divide and conquer 

we need a clear set of enemies

falsified identities

combined with our short term memories


They poison our communities 

to keep us preoccupied

so while we’re fighting each other 

– more land gets occupied


More services are cut

Adani gets up

another open cut mine 

another refugee gets stuck 


That’s why we need to take back the narrative

speak our own languages

keep our identities multifaceted

don’t simplify it for their arrogance


You are not all savages 

you are not all parodies 

to be used as their front page 



So before they lock you in a stereotype

speak words so deep 

they’re like burial rights

write lines that unite 

every side of the fight

so when we speak 

all they get is our


STEREO.       TYPE. 

Commentary on the lyrics