In The Media – Protecting a cultural right to abuse

 

The ‘comments’ that appear following many mainstream articles regarding Aboriginal issues (regardless of the content) made by ‘mainstream Australian society’ are what interest us the most!

This is where we can clearly see the work that still needs to be done to educate the masses truthfully and attempt to eliminate the glaringly stereotypical views lurking in the shadows of a demoralising ‘national psyche’!

Is this ‘national psyche’ a conscious, subconscious or unconscious reckoning?

Either way we feel all three options are equally dangerous.

The cultural safety of our Aboriginal and Islander (including the Torres Strait) children and future generations in their ability to gain equality (closing the gap etc., etc., etc.) and to be given the opportunity to reach their full potential is at stake in devastatingly dire proportions.

We must not allow ‘ignorant’ Australia to continue holding these demoralising and misguided views of our First Nations peoples.

We agree with ‘sad realities’ post, well said:
“Let’s get beyond the blame game – any fool can see the damage white culture has done. Any fool – if they took the time – can also see the complex, caring, life-affirming cultures that Aboriginal people had before then. There’s been so many years of biased reporting from the media that the majority of non-Aboriginal people, who’ve rarely met, let alone shared friendships with, Aboriginal people, have no way of judging the reality of the absurd statements made about Aboriginal people and culture. Where are problems with drunkenness and violence worst? In closest proximity to white dominance? Where is respect, order and nurturing environments strongest? In the remoter communities, where so-called ‘traditional’ culture is strongest. This is not to blame individual non-Aboriginal people, but it is clear that white culture has been, and continues to be, very destructive to Aboriginal people – some of the disgusting comments above [BELOW] should help to explain why! The ‘answer’, if there is one, is to nurture Aboriginal culture and support Aboriginal people to adjust to the new circumstances they find themselves in. And while we’re about it – let’s start closing the gap. The gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal knowledge of this country, importance of family and rich philosophical traditions from this land. ~ Commenter sad reality

Are we really continuing to see the views following this article rear their ugly head in 2013, is the bus completely in reverse???
~ Lateral Love Australia

NB We would like to add that we are not condemning all of society in this post and not all of the comments following this article are negative but the ones that are, well, we will let you decide for yourself.

Protecting a cultural right to abuse

Date April 11,  2013      
Elizabeth Farrelly

Elizabeth  Farrelly

Sydney Morning Herald columnist, author, architecture  critic and essayist

<i>Illustration: Edd Aragon</i>

Illustration: Edd Aragon

At what point does autonomy slide into apartheid? Do the rights of a culture outweigh those of its people? Why can’t we talk about this?

The Aboriginal war memorial in Canberra is a small bronze plaque pinned to a  rock in scrubby bush, 10 minutes – a universe – from official Australia’s  pompous mausoleum and inscribed with words you have to squat to read.

It’s almost like deliberate symbolism: ”We tolerate you blacks but,  basically, what goes down in the bush, stays in the bush.”

We are people of conscience. Every week we’re shocked by another Indian rape,  sharia stoning or fresh evidence that the German people ”must have known”.

  As Anzacs we stand (and fall) for decency and truth. A fortnight hence we will honour the fair go, the level ground, the open heart, the unforked tongue  and the clear eye. So we like to think.

Yet there is a snake writhing in our midst that we cannot bring ourselves to see or even name.

To the pack rapes, genital mutilation, arranged marriages, wife beatings and  routine child sex at the heart of our continent we turn a blind, terrified and –  truly – conscience-stricken eye.  A recent Sydney Institute talk by academics  Stephanie Jarrett and Gary Johns laid it bare. Indigenous violence, they argued,  is not ”our” fault. Although alcohol-exacerbated, it is endemic to pre-contact  indigenous culture.

They are not the first. Many distinguished writers including Peter Sutton,  Louis Nowra and Nicolas Rothwell have documented these horrifying stories,  supporting observation that goes back to the First Fleet’s Watkin Tench. These  writers had nothing to gain. They must have known they’d be reviled by their own  demographic, so it’s hard to impute motives other than frankness.

In Another Country (2007) Rothwell wrote that “a pathology of  violence, pornography, promiscuity and sexual abuse has taken hold”, in remote  indigenous communities. The book shone with a love of Aboriginal people and  culture, yet Rothwell was accused of being an assimilationist-sympathiser.

The same year, English teacher Jenness Warin and UNSW mathematician James  Franklin wrote a paper entitled Aboriginal Communities: Why the Trade in  Girls and Other Human Rights Abuses Remain Hidden. Warin was accused of  trying to empty Aboriginal lands.

Also in 2007, Nowra wrote Bad Dreaming, his unflinching omnibus of  misogynist violence and routine child rape in central Australia. Reviewers,  although shocked, continued to blame European impact and insist that Nowra’s  white-male view was inherently skewed.

What, does rape look different if you’re brown? Does it feel different?  Matter less? Is that what we’re saying?

Reviewer Jan Richardson voiced the standard view. Rather than seek the root  of violence, she argued, we should try to improve indigenous men’s grasp of  capitalism, hoping that “social inclusion and … positions that bring men the  kind of esteem and authority they earned when their cultural milieu was  unhindered by a foreign philosophy might promote fulfilment and reduce anger”.   Our fault, our responsibility.

But Nowra’s question – whether indigenous male violence was intrinsic to  pre-contact tribal culture – is core, and should shape our entire policy  approach to indigenous development.

If  violence is endemic, self-determination emerges as an error of tragic  proportions.

White liberalism habitually sees all criticism of indigenous culture as  right-wing racism. This effects a self-censorship that is profoundly racist –  talk about anything, just not this – and, argue Jarrett and Johns,  breathtakingly cruel.

We’ve had the stories. With a care and acuity one can only wish was more  typical of academia, Jarrett and Johns array the evidence. Sadly, it is  compelling.

Alice Springs politician Bess Nungarrayi Price, who writes the foreword in  Jarrett’s Liberating Aboriginal People from Violence (Connor Court  Publishing 2013), was raised in traditional culture and has the scars to prove  it. “Men had the power of life and death over their wives,” she recalls. “Young  girls were forced into marriage with older men.”

Jarrett documents many current instances of the “customary rape of young  women (often as part of a group deflowering ceremony) and sexual abuse of  children”.

Official statistics show black-on-black violence to be three times higher in  remote communities than urban, and four times higher against women than men.  Hospitalisation for family-related violence is 30 times more likely for an  indigenous person than a non-indigenous.

There’s also paleopathology showing that cranial injury from attack was  almost four times higher, pre-contact, in women than in men.

It’s not just booze. Indigenous alcohol consumption is falling, but the  violence rises. Men who are peaceable in the city revert to routine violence in  remote cultures. Women who are young and successful in the city return to tribal  culture, becoming trapped in violence and coercion.

Therefore, argues Johns in Aboriginal Self-Determination, the Whiteman’s  Dream (Connor Court Publishing 2011) current ”self-determination”  policies are not only massively wasteful – throwing billions of dollars into a  black hole of impossible service provision in remote areas – but condemn women  and children to lives of unconscionable brutality.

They could be wrong. This could be a massive conspiracy. There could be other  explanations of the damaged skulls, the violence, the abuse.

If so, these counter-arguments should be put.  Instead, we have emotion,  ridicule and snide personal attack.

The Monthly’s John van Tiggelen wrote a snarky, gossipy review  dissing Jarrett (”tremulous”, ”slightly posh”), her PhD (”human rights  before cultural rights”), Johns (”a Howard man”), their publisher (”a bush  operation”) and their audience (”white-haired white men”), as though ipso  facto outing their secret belief that, in his words, “once a savage, always a  savage”.

But to talk truthfully of violence is not to undermine Aborigines. Two  centuries ago white Australia was also violent and abusive. It is the rule of  law that dragged us out, protecting weak from strong.

And that’s the crux. Endemic or not, this violence is illegal. Condoning as  ”customary law” what we would never countenance for ourselves is not autonomy.  It’s apartheid.

As Price notes, “the best thing about acknowledging … our own traditional  forms of violence is that … we can fix ourselves. We don’t need to be told what  to do by the white man.”

So let’s have the discussion without the ridicule, since if it can’t be  discussed, it can’t be fixed.

23 comments so far

  • Despite your predictable apologetic White Guilt introduction (“I better say  this to prove I’m not racist before I dare to talk about race”), one sentence  sums it up, “Indigenous violence, is not our fault. Although  alcohol-exacerbated, it is endemic to pre-contact indigenous culture.”

    It has always been there, always will, no matter how many billions of dollars  and interventions etc are enacted.  It is the ugly fact for those on the New-Age  Left continue to deny as they idealise pre-contact aboriginal “culture” as  somehow some kind of utopian, morally and environmentally superior alternative  to British settlement and resulting civilisation, the latter continually derided  by left wing commentariat in the media, schools and unviversities and ultimately  in the government.  Maniestations of this are the annoying, tokenstic “Welcome  to Country/Acknowlegement of traditional “owners” cermonies at any official  function where more than two people meet, NITV, Sorry Day, the slander of  Australia Day as “invasion day”, Abstudy, etc.

    Commenter
    Jon
    Location
    Reality
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 6:38AM
    • Actually that is two sentences that sum it up, I think you mean. But  seriously, it is horribly complex issue and while I’m all for Aboriginal  communities taking responsibility and acknowledging problems within them and  practices that should be eradicated, I’d also like Australia Day to be on a day  other than Jan 26; you can’t get away from what it represented to Indigenous  people. That has nothing to do with white guilt.

      Commenter
      Bemused
      Location
      Clovelly
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 7:10AM
    • I suspect climate change, gay rights and “boat people” would all similarly  provide you the oppurtunity to rant about the “New-Age Left” and the  “left wing  commentariat”.

      Commenter
      melgibson
      Location
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 7:35AM
    • Yep.

      Commenter
      Jon
      Location
      Reality
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 9:45AM
    • German Nazi’s were white too do you draw the line and say your colour is  different from them. Defining human decency on basis of colour is inherently  racist. By the way the Nazi’s ate toast too in the morning and then proceeded with their work in the camps..much like most of us.

      Commenter
      J Bingham
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 10:10AM
    • There is distinct agendas to destry the foundations laid by Protestant  rule  ,and its generally white caucasian origins.Its actuall y much deeper than you  acknowledge , in its religious political divisions, and the “hidden’ battle for  control by opposing forces, using racism,nationalism ,economics and  ideology(political),nowadays–indicating one players triumph in one area) as  their disguises to mask the reality of the core disputes.

      Commenter
      Kane
      Location
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 10:13AM
  • Couldn’t agree more with this article. By ignoring the factors in the high  rates of violence and crime in indigenous communities we are trapping another  generation in this cycle.

    Commenter
    Anthony
    Location
    Ryde
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 6:48AM
    • We HAVE to break the cycle.  Didn’t we try once? The stolen generations?   All those aboriginal lawyers and doctors crying over their lost parents…  and then seeing them in the bush and being thankful for the the life that   ‘whitey’ gave them.

      Complex issue!

      I am a simple person without much compassion. One strike rule!   Abuse your  child, we take it. Do it again to another child, life in GOAL. Rape a  woman or child, castration.

      There is NO soft and fuzzy way to break the cycle.

      Commenter
      cranky
      Location
      pants
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 10:49AM
  • Thoughtful, well-informed and beautifully written, as usual. I hope this  piece helps to really get that discussion going.

    Commenter
    Ochard
    Location
    Redfern
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 6:51AM
  • Excellent article! By actively preserving cultures that embrace human  abuse at their core we are contributing to the problem. Instead of spending  money on preserving Aboriginal culture we should shut it down. The same  should apply to Muslims and any other culture that violates the rights that we  hold core to our society.

    Commenter
    M.
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 7:09AM
    • The tough part here is defining the culture.   The religion of Islam is not  much different to christianity. The culture of the people who happen to be  muslim has barely crawled from the dark ages. I question WHY we import these  people but that is another matter. They are here now.

      A tough stance is the only way.  Zero tolerance. Human rights and the law  MUST see EVERYONE equally.

      Commenter
      cranky
      Location
      pants
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 10:55AM
  • The sad “reality” is, alcohol, or better put, the abuse of it is the mother  of all the problems and the people who deny that are simply fooling themselves!  Just go out on Fridays & Saturdays nights and see for yourselves the cheap  Violence fueled by alcohol on our streets and without any discrimination!

    For the Aborigines, the same as for the American Indians, the destructive  alcohol was introduced to them by the white invaders and that is History! And  for the right reasons, the whites should always remember that and feel guilty to  some degree for destroying the well-being of these ancient cultures!

    Commenter
    majid
    Location
    highgate hill
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 7:21AM
    • Did you read the article or do you have another agenda?

      Commenter
      Ben Pensant
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 9:53AM
    • Alcohol is no doubt a problem. But I don’t think it’s the root cause, it’s  more symptomatic in my experience. With no job and nothing to do all day comes a  lack of purpose, self respect, poor self worth, lack of confidence, welfare  dependance, loss of ordinary routine, lack of responsibility and boredom.  Alcohol becomes a distraction, an outlet, a bonding ritual and a medication in  remote communities. Not just for aboriginals, but for all walks of life living  in communities with high unemployment. Yes there are biological factors at play  in regards to evolving enzymes to process alcohol that make some groups more  vulnerable.

      But I believe the root issue is an employment issue, not a race issue.

      Commenter
      Jed
      Location
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 10:24AM
  • Brave article Elizabeth. You are going to cop it though for telling the  truth. The politicisation of this issue has resulted in generation after  generation of our Aboriginal people being abandoned to violence and abuse.

    Commenter
    cherish
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 7:27AM
  • A stone age people is, let’s be honest, living on the edge of survival. The  culture that goes with that is likely to be violent and abusive of the weak and  the vulnerable. Why is that even slightly surprising? What is surprising is that  the violence is now being defended as acceptable, or as exclusively a white  problem, or a problem that white people caused. Plainly nonsense.

    Commenter
    Mark
    Location
    Capalaba
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 7:29AM
  • It’s not just Aboriginal Australian culture.  That’s any tribal culture.

    Commenter
    Mike
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 7:36AM
  • Marcia Langton urged Australians to consider the relationship between white  and indigenous Australia as a political question rather than a race one. Perhaps  a similar argument can be used here. Are we all, black and white, able to see  this as a legal or political question that concerns us all? Perhaps we are all  not ready for that yet, but it might provide and answer.

    Commenter
    zara
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 7:49AM
  • Finally someone has had the guts to say it. The Little Children are Sacred  report into remote indigenous communities found a 100% problem with child sexual  abuse. Every town they examined. Where are the prosecutions? What has been done?  There is so much fear of another “stolen generation” that no one wants to act.  Yes, aboriginal men will go to gaol. That’s what happens to child abusers. Ask  the women & children if they feel safer.

    Commenter
    Carmine
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 7:57AM
  • Finally someone has had the guts to say it. The Little Children are Sacred  report into remote indigenous communities found a 100% problem with child sexual  abuse. Every town they examined. Where are the prosecutions? What has been done?  There is so much fear of another “stolen generation” that no one wants to act.  Yes, aboriginal men will go to gaol. That’s what happens to child abusers. Ask  the women & children if they feel safer.

    Commenter
    Carmine
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 7:57AM
  • The visceral backlash is because this sort of thinking tears at the heart of  a liberal sacred cow. Multiculturalism and the concept that all cultures are  equally valid.

    Commenter
    Nicho
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:04AM
  • I shot a Doco in a far western NSW aboriginal community once as a film study.  I didn’t know what the story would be or what Id get from talking to locals and  community leaders. In less than three hours I had heard dozens of stories about  sexual abuse, violence, rape, under aged sex, drug abuse, and suicide. I saw  half the town line up outside the pub waiting for it to open on welfare day, and  by lunch time strung out adults laying on mattresses drunk and fighting in the  park. Most distressing I saw two kids one maybe 7 or 8 the other around 5 or 6  with snotty noses, glazed eyes, staggering around with tin cans hanging around  their necks full of petrol looking for a cheap high (and brain damage). We saw  malnourished kids sick and bloated like scenes from hunger appeals but drinking  soft drink and eating junk. We talked to school teachers about the issue and  they said the kids had money but only bought junk food, they werent getting a  balanced diet or meals at home. They lived on take away. volunteers had started  a breakfast program to attempt to curb this. We were told by two 14 year olds  they lost their virginity to older men when they were 10 and 11. They called it  “having a scrape”.

    I don’t know if any of this is pre-settlement cultural behavior (the drugs,  alcohol, petrol sniffing, welfare dependance and junk food obviously isn’t). But  I do know some of these communities are violent, abusive, and broken and need  help.

    Commenter
    Witness
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:08AM
  • Dear Elizabeth – You need to subscribe to the SMH – they had a really  interesting article about a group of whites living in a remote community in  northern NSW who addled on drink and drugs, bashed and tortured to death one of  their own who they thought (wrongly) was a paedophile.  Maybe race has nothing  to do with violence, substance abuse and pornography in remote communities and  we might get some better insights if we took our colour glasses off.

    Commenter
    LGM
    Location
    ST PETERS
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:08AM
  • The colonialistic, holier than thou coz we’re “white” philosophy applies to  all “non-white” peoples of the world. Why do you think all lands inhabited by  “non-whites” suffer a never ending purgatory of exploitation, poverty and  subsequent violence? So that the “whites” can fully enjoy the fruits of their  “superiority”.

    Commenter
    smite
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:13AM
  • Evidence from the Channel country indicates that older trustworthy men were  given the responsibility of guarding the women and their children, and assisting  in women’s business. The young women’s / children’s camps were kept away from  the young men’s. This information has been recently published in the Women’s  ceremonies book “Karani Bunpi”.  Indigenous people can rise to their challenges  and encourage men and women of integrity to once again protect the  vulnerable.

    Commenter
    cudgeracreek
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:17AM
    • True. But there was no “Aboriginal Nation” as such. Aboriginally was not a  homogenised culture, it was wildly diverse. There were different practices  across various tribes. Some as described, some practiced patriarchal polygamy,  some had deflowering ceremonies or elected elders who’s job / right it was to  deflower young women, others practiced arranged marriage, there’s evidence that  some tribes allowed young people to partner with whom ever they wanted to and so  on. In the same way not all Aborigines were nomadic. Some lived in settlements  on the coast and practiced aquaculture, other’s flooded grass planes and stayed  nearby the food source practicing a form of early agriculture. There were as  many cultural practices as there were languages and tribes. There are common  problems in remote and Aboriginal communities, but they should be viewed on a  case-by-case basis. A single solution is not what’s needed because there isn’t a  single cause (pre or post settlement).

      Commenter
      Jed
      Location
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 10:35AM
  • Another thought provoking article from Farrelly.  I guess I am one of those  who hold a utopian view of pre European settlement Australia, and maybe that  view does need challenging.

    Commenter
    64 magpies
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:19AM
  • I’m no supporter of the Howard government, but the intervention he started  was justified. There are high levels of violence in those remote communities.  Some members of those communities think it’s safer now.  It’s hard to see what  sustainable level of government support for those communities there could ever  be.

    Commenter
    beria
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:23AM
  • Yeah – it’s all whitey’s fault. For generations, Aboriginal men have behaved  appalling to their women relatives and their children and excuses are made for  them on the grounds of traditional culture or whitey taking their land off them.  Rape is rape, child abuse is child abuse, whether it is by an Aboriginal man in  a remote community or a priest in a suburban church. Have we forgotten that the  original reason for  intervention in the NT was the 2007 report Little Children  are Sacred?

    Commenter
    Dave
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:52AM
  • The problem is highlighted by the fact that there even exists an aboriginal  war memorial. I would’ve thought all Australians are represented at the official  war memorial, and so there is no need for a second tier of Australians. The  sooner that indigenous Australians are treated like every other Australian, the  sooner they can break the cycle of poverty, alcohol and violence. Welfare in  Australia should be distributed by need, not by race.

    Commenter
    liklik
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 8:57AM
  • Elizabeth, you write: ‘We are people of conscience. Every week we’re  shocked by another Indian rape, sharia stoning or fresh evidence that the German  people ”must have known”. As Anzacs we stand (and fall) for decency and  truth.’

    Where is your supporting evidence?

    You could come and I will show the homeless around Sydney, and perhaps you  could show the community housing for those on  low incomes, the single mothers  and the ailing, that p have somehow missed.

    The charges that have been laid against those involved in the horrendous  goings on in various institutions recently, and those who covered for them. Or  the changes in laws regarding sexual assault replacing those which have seen 90  percent of the charges laid against reported rapes, fail.

    The compassion and assistance extended to those lucky few who make it here,  the majority fleeing the broken lands in which Australia has assisted in the  destruction of their country and their society — NOT!

    Nary a mention of the Palestinians, who have been subjected to brutality as  great as any in the twenty and twenty first century, subjected to mass semi  starvation, rape, murder and ongoing destruction of the little that they have  left — is it that these people are invisible?

    Again, where is the evidence?

    Commenter
    Peter Hindrup
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 9:11AM
    • Peter, this is Elizabeth’s platform, you are trying to hijack the discussion  and turn it away from discussing Aboriginal issues.

      Commenter
      koob
      Location
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 9:55AM
    • Peter, I read this differently. Elizabeth was making a point about our  hypocrisy in her introduction I thought – and a good way to get us thinking and  to read the rest of her article. My conclusions were therefore quite different  to your points that, although valid in another context, don’t fit easily here  for me.

      Commenter
      Ted
      Location
      Date and time
      April 11, 2013, 10:15AM
  • This is a brutal country where ever one lives. More so in country areas due  to fears and prejudices. Some rude heavy people in the cities but the numbers  tend to smooth each other out because they have to. There are a hell of a lot of  crooks and shysters in the cities though….rip your arm and leg off types,  mostly whites from elsewhere orginally from what I have observed. Pardon any  racist over or under tone but….do it the wog way means don’t observe the  rules. The arts stand out and up high for the indigenous people. and they get  wonderful kudos overseas and more so now after the art galleries here have seen  this. It has all been a long time coming with the appreciation for our original  inhabitants talents. And then there is Gamage’s boook “The Greatest Estate on  Earth” where it looks like the whities have let the environment go to wrack and  ruin. Poor fools we are. The powers that be, British Royalty? did not want  Victoria settled for good reason it seems, mostly likely for the purpose of  retaining the parks the indigenous people had created. All gone now though, and  huge bushfires burn every second year it seems or every year now.

    It you are going to sit around going troppo in the bush, white or black, one  might as well be an artist, an artisan a writer or a musician and have a good  subsistence garden going. It is a joy to see the people up north WA getting  things together a lot better re growing indigenous foods etc. and creating tasty  morsels for us all.

    Appreciation, thanks and good manner go a long way to making people feel good  in themselves and comfortable in our communities where ever we are.

    Commenter
    Ros
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 9:36AM
  • Truth hurts

    Brave article, pity it’s taken so long to publish it here by a stablemate of  the Left.

    Commenter
    Ben Pensant
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 9:42AM
  • The sad reality for southern urban-based writers like Elizabeth Farrelly is  that she is talking absolute rubbish. Let’s get beyond the blame game – any  fool can see the damage white culture has done.  Any fool – if they took the  time – can also see the complex, caring, life-affirming cultures that Aboriginal  people had before then.  There’s been so many years of biased reporting from the  media that the majority of non-Aboriginal people, who’ve rarely met, let alone  shared friendships with, Aboriginal people, have no way of judging the reality  of the absurd statements made about Aboriginal people and culture. Where are  problems with drunkenness and violence worst? In closest proximity to white  dominance? Where is respect, order and nurturing environments strongest?  In  the remoter communities, where so-called ‘traditional’ culture is  strongest. This is not to blame individual non-Aboriginal people, but it is  clear that white culture has been, and continues to be, very destructive to  Aboriginal people – some of the disgusting comments above should help to expain  why! The ‘answer’, if there is one, is to nurture Aboriginal culture and  support Aboriginal people to adjust to the new circumstances they find  themselves in. And while we’re about it – let’s start closing the gap. The  gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal knowledge of this country, importance  of family and rich philosophical traditions from this land.

    Commenter
    sad reality
    Location
    Central Australia
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 10:10AM
  • [Men who are peaceable in the city revert to routine violence in remote  cultures. Women who are young and successful in the city return to tribal  culture, becoming trapped in violence and coercion]

    Surely the answer, at least in terms of a slow improvement, lies in Johns’  view – they need to be progressively moved to city areas – but not in a way that  they group together and destroy the peace of others living close by (as has  occurred in many towns).  In Tamworth many  aboriginal kids are running rampant  – too much gang behaviour is tolerated.  Zero tolerance with social educational  and hard work boot camps as the penalty is needed.

    What point is a cultural heritage if all it does is make life horrible? It  continually refreshes the victim mentality.

    To be honest I’ve always thought that many of the stolen generation ended up  a lot better off than they would have otherwise. I think we need another  SEMI-stolen generation for those  communities where the bulk of kids are being  harmed – except this system would be  completely open, providing for part of the  year to be spent with family. The child could choose after 2 or 3 years whether  to continue living away from the community. The idea would be to get these  people as young adults to reject what is occurring in remote communities, and to  work against it.

    The capitalist viewpoint is also correct – when we see a much higher  percentage of aboriginals making a life for themselves, then the rejection that  they see in our eyes will decrease.

    Trying to fix remote communities where employment is impossible by using  social workers is pointless, it will just result in continued dependence.

    Commenter
    jimhaz
    Location
    Occupy Cronyist Cronyist
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 11:00AM
  • It is obvious that funding is not the issue.

    Sometimes it is hard to admit that it is nigh impossible to drag some  cultures that are hundreds of years behind in their thinking & customs, into  the present.  Nothing can substitute for the learning curve that time,  experience & evolution produces.  We are complex creatures…

    However, as a country/society there are some human rights breaches in or  midst that we should not ignore, and cultural & political correctness can go  to hell.  Throwing money at Aboriginal settlements will not solve child abuse.   Every child and every woman in our society should have the right to the same  protection under our laws, no matter the creed or colour.  Every abuser/criminal  should be should be subject to the same laws, no matter their creed or colour,  no more loopholes.

    That is something we should never compromise on, no matter what it takes, for  the sake of our future generations.

    Commenter
    am
    Location
    Date and time
    April 11, 2013, 11:09AM

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/protecting-a-cultural-right-to-abuse-20130410-2hlnk.html#ixzz2Q755pvcB

 

6 thoughts on “In The Media – Protecting a cultural right to abuse

  1. I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my website :).

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  3. I am not sure being ‘progressively moved to city areas’ would help. I live in a country village and would hate to live in a city, and i am white. Any tribal culture that is used to country life would probably feel the same – trapped, enclosed, restricted, choked etc. I feel cities are inherently unhealthy due to high volumes of people and traffic, and I cannot stand the constant noise around me, and the hustle and bustle. I have to live in a village and have the freedom to walk in the quiet of nature, without the energy and the noise of many others.
    Has any research been done as to why those Aboriginals who come to the city relocate to the country again later? Do they return due to family pressure or their own claustrophobia from being out of their natural, known environs? Is the violence that they then get embroiled in due to the group feeling resentful of that persons progress outside of the culture? Does the group feel that the returnee has failed in some way by coming back instead of bettering themselves for whatever reason, and do they take that frustration out on them?
    Violence etc has always been part of any culture, and due to migration of the masses, we are now more aware of this around the globe. What once was ‘in-tribe’ and unknown outside of those boundaries of land that they inhabited, is now open to judgement from anyone. Everyone gets involved in everyone else’s business and judges whether its right or wrong. But in whose eyes is it right or wrong? I don’t condone the violence or abuse in any way, as any culture, tribe or individual is able to conclude that this is unacceptable, but I do wonder at society as a whole, and why they chose to interfere with other peoples ways of life in the past and didnt just allow each culture to have its own practices, justice, and traditions. who are we to say that something is right or wrong when we have no idea about it because we dont live it. If, in the past, everyone had let everyone else just ‘be’, none of the current conflicts would have arisen.
    if you decided to move to another country or area, then really you should abide by their rules etc. isnt that why Australia has its policies about immigration? and other countries too. You try to keep your belief system etc intact because of your culture, but every other tribe/culture etc has the right to do the same, whether they extend that right or not.

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