Author Topic: Has Australia Reconciled With Its Colonial Past?  (Read 352 times)


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Re: Has Australia Reconciled With Its Colonial Past?
« on: August 14, 2022, 11:02:07 pm »

There’s a reason that so many Aboriginal people identified with George Floyd. Australia’s First Nations people—twelve times more likely to be incarcerated than white Australians—continue to see themselves as victims of state-sanctioned violence, often involving police.

Today, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 3.2 percent of Australia’s total population, yet they account for almost 30 percent of the country’s prison population. Their chances of dying in custody are almost six times greater than other Australians.
more than 500 Aboriginal people have died in custody since the Commission’s report was handed down.

Given the violent history of Australia’s colonization—Aboriginal lands were taken without treaty, consent, or compensation—and the protracted struggle for equality and justice, it’s not surprising that First Nations people view police with deep fear and suspicion. For more than 150 years, it was police and their trackers (both black and white) who were responsible for many of the massacres of Aboriginal people. It was governments and their police who often turned a blind eye to the vigilantes who “cleared” the country of its rightful owners. It was police who took children from their families and facilitated their “re-education” in state and religious institutions. And it was police who represented the brutal imposition of whitefella law over the laws and cultures of First Nations people. Despite numerous investigations and inquiries over the years, no police officer has ever been convicted for the murder of an Aboriginal person.

In 2019, at Yuendumu, an Aboriginal community in central Australia, Aboriginal teenager Kumanjayi Walker died after being shot three times by Police Constable Zachary Rolfe. In a disturbing echo of the events at Uluru in 1934, Rolfe claimed he had acted in self-defense when Walker resisted arrest and attacked him with a pair of scissors. In March this year, an all-white jury found Rolfe not guilty of Walker’s murder, a decision that sparked a wave of grief and anger at Yuendumu and in Aboriginal communities across the country.

Local elders pleaded with police to consult them and respect their law before entering their homes. They also asked them not to bring their guns into the community. If racial profiling and unnecessary deaths were to be avoided, policing, they argued, must be carried out in collaboration with community elders and without the need for firearms.

For many Aboriginal people at Yuendumu, the 1928 Coniston massacre, a wave of indiscriminate killings led by Constable George Murray (one of Bill McKinnon’s colleagues), was still in living memory. Similar stories of profound rupture and horror can be found throughout Australia.

In 2016, esteemed Yolngu elder and respected Indigenous leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu recalled how his father, Mungurrawuy, was present “when the massacres occurred in [East Arnhem Land] in the 1920s and 1930s.” He was also “shot by a man licensed to do so.” “These events and what lies behind them are burned into our minds,” he explained. “They are never forgotten. Such things are remembered. Like the scar that marked the exit of the bullet from my father’s body.” These scars—memories of forced removal, murder, frontier warfare, resistance, and survival—are etched into the bloodlines of Australia’s historical imagination.
Like Native Americans, Indigenous Australians suffered the dispossession of their lands. They were massacred and “dispersed” at the barrel of a gun. They were denied the wealth wrought from the white establishment’s appropriation of their lands. They were long denied citizenship in their own country, and they struggled against pernicious racial hierarchies and oppressive legislation, adapting creatively nonetheless, and ensuring their cultures’ survival. Although treaties allegedly accorded Native Americans the status of nations and sovereign governments, they were often little more than legitimizing devices for the colonizer’s appropriation of territory, or part of a strategy to ward off rival European powers. Indigenous Australians, however, do not have an established history of treaty-making to fall back on. More than 230 years after the first wave of the British invasion began in 1788, they are still waiting for their sovereignty as First Nations people to be recognized.
Australia has struggled to dispel the myth of peaceful British settlement—the idea that the land was simply “taken up” by settlers without fierce resistance from First Nations people. For many Australians, “war” is something that happened overseas. In 2003, Prime Minister John Howard told a gathering at the Supreme Court of Victoria that Australia had “formed a nation without strife or warfare,” as if the frontier wars were a mere “blemish” in an otherwise heroic narrative of widening democracy and material prosperity.

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Of course, importing the people with "high IQ" and able to read many pages from a thick book not change a society into a justice or better society. And only resulting in national-degeneration. The "colored" refugees enter Europe only resulting economic drop. But if the "whites" or other "colored" people who behave like "whites" enter a homeland, it resulting gentrification, capitalism, free-fight competition, and liberalism. But until today the ordinary people don't want to know the consequences from it. Ir. Sukarno, Idi Amin Dada and Hugo Chavez's expulsion policy on "high IQ" people were correct on that time...