Friday, February 05, 2016
Australia should do more for Aborigines? If so how?
The self-righteous bleat below is an editorial from the Left-leaning Melbourne "Age". It exhibits all the brains of a flea. It shows no awareness of Aboriginal life or of the unending stream of government efforts that have been made to better the lot of Aborigines. I would be surprised if the writer had ever set foot in a black's camp. I have. I grew up with Aborigines around the place. They were in my Primary school and down the end of the street where I lived.
So the writer below has only his self-righteousness to put forward. He puts forward not a single suggestion about what to do to help Aborigines. He doesn't know what has happened and has no idea what should happen. He is just a brainless Leftist fool
The best he can do is end up with an unsubstantiated accusation. He speaks of "The disadvantage foisted on Indigenous Australians by ignorance or prejudice." Where is his evidence that the poor situation of Aborigines is due to "ignorance or prejudice". He has none. It's just a verbal fart.
There are many ethnic groups in Australia and many of them came here when there was indeed prejudice against them. My mother's father told her when she was young that he would cut her off if she married an Italian. So did that hold Italians back? Hardly. Not long ago, Australia's most populous State -- NSW -- was run by Italians and Greeks -- the Iemma administration. And they were put there by the NSW voters.
And look at the Jews. Can any group ever have been more hated than the Jews? If you want to talk about prejudice and discrimination, look at the experience of the Jews. Yet Jews ride high wherever they are. Israel even prospers despite constant attacks on it by Muslims.
Plainly, there is no sytematic disadvantage inflicted on anyone by prejudice and discrimination. One could more plausibly argue that it spurs people on to a high level of achievemrent.
So our brainless Lefty editor is plain WRONG in his attribution of Aboriginal backwardness. That leave Aborigines responsible for themselves. Self-responsibility? What a horrible thought to a Leftist! The State is their solution to evertything.
Aborigines developed to lead a hunter-gatherer life and they are superbly adapted to that life. They are NOT however adapted to modern life and nothing will make them that. There are however some ways that they can be helped.
I see it in the contrast between elderly Aborigines and young Aborigines. The older ones are much better adapted to white society. They lead reasonably clean, orderly and sober lives. Why? Because when they were growing up, the Aboriginal settlements were run by missionaries. And Aborigines are a very spiritual people so religion has a big effect on them. It gave the missionaries the leverage to teach Aborigines habits that would be to their advantage.
But there is no political will to bring back the missionaries so is there anything else to be done? Just about everything that could be tried has been tried by successive State and Federal governments of all political stripes so there is really only one possibility left: Better policing. The violence towards women and children by Aboriginal males is horrific. I have seen it. But if the women had somewhere to run to in their settlements, many could escape that violence. Most settlements already have a police presence but it is woefully inadequate. More cops are what is needed but I am quite sure that would not suit our brainless Leftist editor.
If you are yet to take the 8½ minutes to watch journalist Stan Grant speak on the topic of "racism destroying the Australian dream," make the time. His words are searing, a much-needed jolt to national complacency towards Aboriginal Australia, and a powerful statement of reality, both historical and present day.
But more than words, the accompanying passion – Grant's face and tone deeply imbued with sorrow, anger, hope and regret from personal experience as an Indigenous man – points to the emotional toll of unfinished business on the first people of this country. We must all strive to better acknowledge this suffering, even if it remains a lived experience most people can never truly understand.
Grant's speech, delivered in October, won prominence last week when released as an online video during a traditional time of introspection, both for the community and in our personal lives.
The new year is often a moment when people choose to take stock of goals, to resolve a fresh beginning, or rededicate themselves to cherished dreams. The symbols of nationhood are put on overt display just as languid summer weeks are about to be swamped by the reality of busy lives. As if to warm up dozing political muscles, we have developed a habit of adorning Australia Day with a ritual debate about changing the flag and becoming a republic.
But Grant's speech challenges the country to do more. Much more. His is a reminder that the personal and national experience is deeply intertwined for Indigenous Australians. The "Invasion Day" protests to mark the anniversary of the arrival of white settlers are illustrative, but cannot alone convey the discrimination felt each and every day in the Indigenous community.
"My people die young in this country," Grant reminds us. "We die 10 years younger than average Australians and we are far from free. We are fewer than 3 per cent of the Australian population and yet we are 25 per cent, a quarter of those Australians locked up in our prisons .hs.hs. If you are a juvenile, it is worse, it is 50 per cent."
Statistics that alone are distressing, but in what stands as a national shame, Grant observes "an Indigenous child is more likely to be locked up in prison than they are to finish high school." What a indictment on the supposed ethos of a fair go.
Australia can do and must do better. The steep difference in Victoria, where Indigenous children are more than 12 times as likely as non-Indigenous children to be placed in state care is another indicator of woeful disadvantage. We have become far too comfortable with pledges to "close the gap" that the action necessary to make this a reality is rarely a priority.
Complacency also marks our debate about the place of Indigenous culture in our national story. We have become fixated on a slogan, "recognition", too often ignoring the concepts many Aborigines would prefer be debated, such as "self-determination", "sovereignty" and "treaty".
It is not that the proposal to change the constitution to acknowledge Indigenous culture is without merit. But the country must properly decide what such a change is meant to achieve. Megan Davis, a legal professor and member of the Prime Minister's Expert Panel on recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the constitution, has warned the idea has become mired in "bipartisan stage-managed process". We should be aspiring to more than piecemeal reform, but justice.
Like Grant's speech, Davis' essay "Listening but not hearing", published in the latest edition of Griffith Review, is a further reminder the country can grow from a frank, and importantly, inclusive debate about the life of Indigenous Australians. The disadvantage foisted on Indigenous Australians by ignorance or prejudice is holding the nation back. To do better, the voices of the Aboriginal community must be listened to, and heard.
Europe must copy Australia and stop the refugee boats
Britain needs the former Australian Prime Minister to help tackle the migrant crisis, and should give him a peerage to make it worth his while
The Australian Liberal Party has already done one great service for David Cameron: finding, funding and preserving Sir Lynton Crosby. The knighthood alone symbolises the debt the Conservatives owe Crosby for their first majority in nearly a quarter of a century. Now it is time for the Prime Minister to return the favour to the Liberals by giving a peerage to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
There are three good reasons for this. First, it would relieve the current Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, of his single biggest political management problem - the continued presence of a former leader on his back benches. If recent Australian political history tells us anything it is that former leaders - particularly when deposed - often attempt to return to leadership in the most spectacular fashion. Outplacement really needs to mean outplacement.
Second, and this is a critical part of solving Turnbull's headache, Abbott would not disdain membership of the House of Lords. He was born in London and his respect for the United Kingdom stretched to him giving a eulogy to Margaret Thatcher after her death.
The third, and best, reason is that once back in the UK, Tony Abbott could tell Britain and the European Union how to "stop the boats" - and we do need to learn how to do that.
There is a bluntness about the phrase "stop the boats" that sounds coarse to European ears. And the harshness and the brutality of its articulation as a proposition by Abbott is a tone which is absent from our mainstream politics, but not from our politics as a whole. Anger, and indeed confusion, dominate and at times define our political discourse.
But it is an anger exploited and channeled by populist parties of the Left and Right - it finds no home in the mainstream. But it needs to.
The trajectory of European policy on refugees and asylum seekers has been a masterclass in how a very human, in fact humane, and emotional response has led inexorably to human misery. No one with a heart can have failed to be exhilarated when Angela Merkel opened Germany's borders to refugees.
The sight of a German Chancellor posing for selfies with refugees was in one way a symbol of a very different Europe. But in the world of people smuggling and human trafficking, it was received very differently. Angela Merkel was - inadvertently - the poster girl for their exploitation and exacerbation of human misery.
For once you signal that Europe is open for refugees then you no longer control your borders - they are managed by criminal gangs.
There's an Indonesian phrase for this incentive for people smugglers - "sugar on the table". And so we return to Tony Abbott. Australia has faced a similar challenge from people smugglers. The same desperate families. The same criminal gangs.
The same risk to life - a one-in-twenty chance of death if you boarded a boat in Indonesia. That's why there was bi-partisan agreement to end the trafficking and why there is strong Australian support for the policy of the Navy turning back boats. When boats are scuttled by smugglers then "passengers" are rescued - but they don't come to Australia.
They go to refugee camps off shore. They don't, in popular parlance, "jump the queue". The result has been an end to the trade in lives.
The contrast with Europe could not be starker. The winter is ending. More boats are coming - and people are still drowning. There are predictions of over a million refugees coming into the EU this year. Whether or not the number is sustainable economically that number is unsustainable politically. And the larger the traffic, the greater the number of deaths.
Stopping the boats on its own is not the whole of the solution. But it is a start. Ending the inhuman trade requires and end to the conflict that dislocates and a solution to the poverty that drives Africans north across the Mediterranean.
But the push factor can be ended and the loss of life can cease. It can be done - Tony Abbott knows how.
Rabid feminists have proved the dictionary right
This week, Oxford University Press (OUP) drew criticism from feminists after ‘responding flippantly’ to an accusation of sexism. Michael Oman-Reagan – an academic who made the initial complaint – took issue with the Oxford English Dictionary’s choice of example for usage of the word ‘rabid’ – ‘rabid feminist’. He also complained about some other ‘sexist’ examples. The OUP’s initial response (a sarky tweet) was well received, but, after some Twitter feminists piled in, it issued an apology and promised to review its examples.
What remarkable times we live in when a small minority can influence how the English language is presented in the dictionary. Using the example ‘rabid feminist’ is perfectly acceptable. How ironic that Twitter feminists sought to challenge it by behaving in such a rabid way.
It may be tempting to write this off as just another Twitterstorm, but there is a sinister, censorious undertone here. Not only did a small group of people feel it was their place to cherry-pick things they didn’t like from the dictionary and demand they be changed, but, worse still, they were pandered to. Cowardly institutions like the OUP are not the kind of custodians the English language needs.
The dictionary exists to define words, not push so-called progressive narratives. The fact that feminists see the offending examples as personal attacks on women betrays how mired in a false sense of victimhood they are. Let’s be clear, the phrase ‘rabid feminist’ isn’t an attack on all womankind. Feminism is not a gender – it’s an ideology. To give an ideology gendered status is to attempt to place it above critique.
To borrow the OED’s current slogan: language matters. This is exactly why all attempts to sterilise and neuter it must be firmly resisted.
Fury in German town after mayor tells families to keep their children away from migrants to avoid 'provoking them' when they wear fewer clothes in the summer
Residents of a small German town have reacted with fury at their mayor's response to a resident's concerns migrants have been sexually harassing his granddaughter.
About 100 people from Bad Schlema, in eastern Germany, were gathered at a town hall when the mayor told them to tell their children not to 'provoke' the asylum seekers, it was reported.
This prompted outrage among those in attendance as they claimed they should be allowed to walk wherever they liked.
It comes just weeks after a spate of sex attacks across German cities saw hundreds of women report to police they had been sexually assaulted by 'Arab or North African men'.
The video shows an elderly man raising concerns about his granddaughter with mayor Jens Muller, from Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party, Breitbart reported.
According to the translation, he states: 'I have a question regarding the school - about physical education in the school gym.
'She's under 10 and it also happened in a nearby town. The girls have been harassed by the refugee children... The asylum seekers, and they get harassed from the windows [of the shelter] and things like that. 'How will this be in the summer when the school girls wear less clothing?'
Attempting to bat away the question quickly and easily, the major responded: 'That's easy, just don't provoke them and don't walk in these areas.'
But his response caused outrage among the audience, with many jeering and lambasting him for the dismissive response.
Members of the audience could be heard crying out: 'You cant even walk in your own city anymore!' and 'go home, boy, who the hell elected you?'
Others were heard shouting: 'They [the migrants] come here and we're not allowed to walk here anymore!' and 'boy oh boy, you've got some nerve. What kind of mayor is this? He should step down!'
Despite the poor reception his comments received, Mr Muller continued enraging the audience. 'Well, it's not technically necessary for the girls to walk there. There are alternative routes for going to school.'
An audience member responded: 'It doesn't f****** matter if there are other routes!'
The mayor then quipped: 'Do you think this doesn't exist among Germans?', only to be told: 'That has nothing to do with this! Germans go to prison for this,' by a resident.
In recent weeks German authorities have attempted to mitigate the fears caused by the waves of sex attacks at New Year that were blamed on migrants.
Social workers in Cologne have been giving migrants special training to prepare them for the city's traditional, and boisterous, Carnival celebrations.
The effort comes in the wake of a string of robberies and sexual assaults on New Year's Eve in the city that police say were committed largely by foreigners.
German authorities are keen to avoid a repeat of those events during the five-day street party starting Thursday.
Caritas, a Catholic welfare association, hosted a lecture Tuesday for 150 migrants who got a crash course from teachers dressed in costumes and with performances by local musicians.
Hundreds of thousands of revelers are expected to party on the streets and in the city's pubs and bars until Ash Wednesday.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.