Friday, March 13, 2009

Aboriginal Self-Rule: An Example of How the White Australian Media is Racist and Sexist

I've been aware, in the white, white West, the way white male supremacist media is presenting "the problem of child abuse in Aboriginal communities" (in ALL of them??!) which is reportedly happening among some Aboriginal people in Australia. (How the hell would I know what's going on Down Under, particularly in communities I have no access to--and shouldn't have any access to? But I'm a white, so I get to sound off about everything, right? What?! You mean we're not experts on child abuse EVERYWHERE just because we're white and Western? Hmmm. What a concept.)

And let's please divert our eyes and media from the problem of child abuse among whites in Australia! As if we whites are the care-takers of those poor, poor people of color who don't know how to deal with big important matters like child abuse! As if Christian whites haven't been grotesquely abusing Aboriginal and other Indigenous children, globally, for a very long time, with little to no intervention by other whites.

This is EXACTLY the kind of condescending, patronising egregiously racist-misogynist bullshit that I think white/U.S. bloggers and other media dispensers ought to not be involved in, unless it's to support Aboriginal and other Indigenous self-governance and stand against any white intervention into the actions happening in places where we don't belong.

But the point is made better below by Amy McQuire. For the whole story, click here or go to the National Indigenous Times linked to on my blog roll.

What follows was written by Amy McQuire and was published on March 8, 2009 ECD:

They see the words “child abuse” and they think the type of solutions involved can’t be debated between Aboriginal leaders. And they won’t accept that the media’s darlings, the ones who get to air their frequent quotation, are not always the Aboriginal leaders accepted in Aboriginal communities nation-wide.

It seems a simple concept, but obviously it is not one that is easily understood by the media.

The radio presenter further goes on to question Kim Hill over whether Sue Gordon has the “right to speak”. That misses the point so much that it’s unbelievable.

No one is denying these leaders the right to speak. But they are asking for a format to air differing opinions. The media does not grant this right. If anything, I would like to ask most of the media, whether other Indigenous leaders, like Kim Hill, have the right to speak? Because so often their opinions are undermined, and so often they are silenced in the barrage of copy that only uses a few synonymous Indigenous voices.


Valerie said...

Andrea Smith, in Conquest, talks about the high rates of interpersonal violence in many indigenous communities in the US.

According to Smith, groups of Native survivors of child abuse have charted their family trees and family histories, with abusive behavior usually starting in the first generation to go to BIA schools.

Julian Real said...

Hello Valerie.

Yes. I highly recommend that everyone read Conquest as well as Andrea Smith's other work.

Christina said...

The problems Aborigines face in Australia is far worse then what most believe it to be.
Their unemployment rate and their living conditions make many third world countries look like heaven.
This leads to violence, crime, alcoholism, drug addiction etc.
When seen them in their current position it is hard to believe that they were once a proud people before the white males took their land and oppressed them and which is still happening today.

Julian Real said...

I question stating that the conditions--if of poverty, routine hunger or mass starvation, lack of clean water, rampant curable diseases that instead take life after life, along with economic, sexual, and racial oppression--of someone located in the Third World ought to ever be called heaven.

But the term "The Fourth World" I think exists to address the particular invisibility of the conditions many Indigenous people live with, by non-Indigenous people's societies, often due to Western white male supremacist genocidal practices. So I'm also not wishing to minimise the conditions people in the Fourth World live with, or die under.

I am repeatedly struck and enraged by the almost absolute silence and invisibilisation, within dominant society, of Indigenous North Americans here in the U.S. Instead we have towns, counties, cities, states, lakes, sports teams, and automobiles (among other items) named "after" people who in many cases still exist, and not as the "quaint name" or product in some white-dominated land.

Out of curiosity, do you have direct experience working with Aboriginal people on human rights and social/ethnic/economic justice issues? Regarding the many struggles Aboriginal people are engaged in for rights and self-determination, what sorts of obstacles to more sustainable, non-genocidal ways of living do you encounter?

From where does your awareness come? And, in your experience, why isn't this consciousness and call to responsible action shared more among non-Aboriginal people?

Christina said...

I am currently working in southern Africa educating rural black women to enable them to work so that they can generate an income.

I am therefore able to see first hand what white male supremacy has had on this continent and to say that it is hart breaking does not even begin to describe it.

What amazes me is that when I was back in the US I would often hear white males complaining (using very derogatory terms) how gays and non-white immigrants were polluting the US and should not be allowed in.

Yet it was white males who came into Africa totally unwelcome and destroyed a prospering continent.

They helped themselves to the natural resources, enslaved the local inhabitants, raped the women and imposed white male morel codes on the continent.

Not forgetting that families and lives were destroyed when the white males started taking the local people as slaves to America, because the white males had committed genocide by practically killing off the Native American population and now they needed someone to do the dirty work.

After destroying the continent for self-serving reasons the white males left leaving behind a continent that would never be able to pull itself together again.

Despite the fact the white males were and are still the cause of the majority of Africa’s problems, I have notice that the majority of people from western countries who are here in Africa trying their best to help the locals build their lives are women – both back and white.

There are a lot of western white male dominated multinational companies operating here in Africa. But they are here for the wealth and have no interest in helping the locals. Many times these white males will support bad African leaders or bad legislation because it is in their best interests, but the affects are often devastating for the local community often resulting in war.

In my opinion I think the best way to help Africa and the Aborigines in Australia is to totally destroy white male supremacy not just in Africa but at the root which is very much in America and Europe – in both government and the corporate world. As this would enable us to forge more sustainable relationships with Africa whereby we would both benefit as opposed to the white males benefiting and the local community loosing everything. But I guess that may be asking for too much.

Concerning your question about my experience with Aborigines in Australia, I am no expert with regards to their lifestyles, but I have been to Australia on two occasions and meet with some of them in their community.
I was totally horrified by what I saw. Australia is a fist world country dominated and controlled by white males who enjoy every benefit the country has to offer. And yet here was a community living in absolute poverty (just as bad as what I had seen in Africa).

One day I am going to comply a list of every crime the white males have committed against women and other ethnic groups. I am sure no other group on earth will come close in comparison.

Julian Real said...

If you haven't yet, I recommend reading Conquest, by Andrea Smith, and Yurugu, by Marimba Ani. I have found both to be excellent books dealing with the harm of white male supremacy.

MUCH good luck with your work, and please keep me posted!!! And of course stop by any time.

I agree: Western white male supremacy, both in the US, the UK, the rest of white Europe, and in Australia and So. Africa (among many other places that white men's corporations have uprooted, polluted, and destroyed cultures, people, and land. WWMS has been a set of incomprehensible atrocities against Indigenous women, non-Indigenous women of color, and white women. Also against Indigenous men and other men of color. And children. And other beings of the Earth. And of the Earth as well.

But I believe the focus must stay on white male supremacist harm to women of all cultures and ethnicities, because so many movements ignore the particulars of what happens to women that is oppressive... if it is even named as that by white men, which it usually is not; and this "invisibilisation" of atrocities against women, globally, by WWMS has to be named, seen, felt, by the masses. I am a white Jew who lives in a country that is perpetrating genocide and gynocide, in so many ways, in so many places, including between the shorelines of this country, but its leaders and too many others won't admit to doing either. That is a disgrace, and an on-going tragedy.

Julian Real said...

P.S. There is also an expose of how the U.S. and Europe have been and continue to destabilise many communities and nations of color, and, once destabilised and put in crises of various sorts, then arm those communities with munitions with which to kill one another. It's far past time for all those munitions to be aimed at CEOs and their Western white male supremacist supporters.