So some views were raised and thrown around. As the barman keeping order and serving ale, I listened and occasionally muttered under my breath.
Both Indigines lived very different, often nomadic lives. They did not have towns or cities.
Their ways of life were very different from 'ours' but we tend to lose sight of the plain fact that for much of human existence, most people have lived in poverty. Our civilisation included.
The first customer up was some anonymous 'person' from the 'Age' newspaper bemoaning and blaming in the usual Age fashion, and commenting on a speech made by a part-aboriginal chap, Stan Grant.
Now it has to be kept in mind that Stan is just as able to call himself a European as he is an Aboriginal. He is both of course. But there is whiner-rights in being aboriginal. Victim status.
He has done rather well for himself too, being a 'face' and a 'name' in the television Industry, well paid and lauded. He is a media darling. A Journalist. A lefty of course. But put those aside as he does and focus, as he and the Age do, on him and all aboriginals being victims.
Here he is in the speech referred to.
The speech itself was so dripping with faux-angst and so replete with mendacity that even dark skins should blush. Holding up Adam Goodes as a victim was ridiculous. No other aboriginal footy-player was treated to disdain as Goodes was, which says more or less about Australian racism depending which direction you come from than the boos Goodes received for his appalling sportsmanship and uncanny ability to pick on vulnerable children to vent his spleen.
The Age fellow had this to say before 'The Prof', J.J.Ray, took him to task.
Justice Should be Australia's Dream.
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.
What on earth has he had in his experience of an indiginous man that pretty well everyone else has had? Apart from the leg-up the media ladder of course.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.
But let us not mention that men die seven years earlier than women, eh. No-one puts that down to the real discrimination that it is.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.
Throughout, Grant makes absolutely no mention of Character. Bear that in mind. I was cleaning glasses, serving ale, wiping the bar-tops while he whined.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. 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.
No mention of Aboriginals closing the gap.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.
I had to put a glass down at that last whine lest I succumbed to the temptation to throw it.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.
Disadvantage foisted upon a nomadic people who had a life expectancy of 30 and now, after 'invasion' 70, complaining it isn't 80!! And somehow this is Australia's 'fault'. ! White Australians' fault.
J.J took him down.
The self-righteous bleat ..
(above) 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 (for the Age) 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 foolThe 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.
Fine tun of phrase, JJ. I cheered up and continued washing glasses. For the common good.It's just a verbal fart.
Heck, even Stan Grant has no experience of poverty these days. I wonder how much of his huge salary goes to help his fellow aboriginals.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 second generation Italians and Greeks -- the Iemma administration. And they were put there by the NSW voters.And note that most Italians who migrated to Australia in the early to mid 20th century were poor peasant people trying to escape poverty. They were by most criteria very "disadvantaged" people. But they thrived in Australia, as they did in the USA. In one generation they leapt to prosperity.
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 systematic disadvantage inflicted on anyone by prejudice and discrimination. One could more plausibly argue that it spurs people on to a high level of achievement.So our brainless Lefty editor is plain WRONG in his explanation of Aboriginal backwardness.
Which begs the question. Is modern life or other, older verions of life, the issue at all? What of the Character that peoples develop? That came up a little later.That leaves Aborigines responsible for themselves. Self-responsibility? What a horrible thought to a Leftist! The State is their solution to everything.Over 40,000 years, Aborigines evolved 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 while the young ones are plagued by every conceivable problem. Why?
I take issue with that. Policing is certainly needed but it is hardly the only possibility left. Again, Character: its formation and maintenence. Socialist interventions only exacerbate the problems and take away personal responsibility - and Manliness.Because when the older ones 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.
Billions upon billions of hard-earned Taxpayer dollars have been spent on non-taxpaying aboriginals. Thank goodness they are only 3%. Closing the Gap strategies (albeit ineffective to date) all seem to come from one side of the gap; the white side. Maybe that is why they are ineffective. We pour money into a deep hole in the sand.The casual 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. Where would he get a warm glow out of that?
But let us turn to the nice couple who were sitting quietly. Brett & Kate McKay.
They had a lot to say about American Indians, but of quite a while ago. Not all Indians, mind you, so I did not take it as 'typical'. But I do not know.
What I do know is the emphasis on 'Character-formation' when I see it.
And I could see something else too: the similarity of the life of Charles Alexander Eastman, a Stan Grant of his day. See if you can see it too.
Further, a close reading will show what I would recognise as 'Community' amogst the Indian tribe discussed. Nowadays they have 'socialism' and 'government' interference. Both Oz indiginese and American have suffered accordingly from this 'creed'.
Lessons from the Sioux in How to Turn a Boy Into a Man
It has sometimes been said that the life of the American Indian has been overly romanticized by those who lack firsthand knowledge of what that life really consisted of, and are merely looking back through the hazy mists of time.
How many of the Stan Grants of Oz would say that?Yet one who was not long removed from growing up immersed in Native American culture, remembered it as wistfully as anyone, saying, “The Indian boy enjoyed such a life as almost all boys dream of and would choose for themselves if they were permitted to do so.”
The writer of this sentiment was a man known at his death as Charles Alexander Eastman. But that was not his original name. He was born a member of the Eastern Dakota (or Santee) Sioux tribe in 1858 and dubbed Hakadah, or “pitiful last,” for his mother died in giving birth to him.
The boy’s father, Many Lightnings, was thought to have been killed by whites during the Dakota War of 1862, and he (the boy) was raised by his grandmother and uncle in the ways of traditional Sioux life; this included being given a new name when he became a young man: Ohiyesa or “always wins.”
Before this boy’s life would take a dramatic and unexpected turn, and Ohiyesa would became Eastman, he would nearly complete the Sioux journey from boy to man.
I am conscious here, before we even look at some of the elements in the Sioux way of manhood, that very little is known or lauded about Oz Aboriginal 'character formation'. It is not as though it was known and has been forgotten. It barely appears on the whiner's radar. They certainly never mention it.The elements of this journey contain much wisdom for young men in the present day, and the grown men who wish to see them raised to honorable manhood.
You can see that I am quoting just a little here. I urge you to read further by following the link. There are lessons and perspectives to be learned.“From childhood I was consciously trained to be a man; that was, after all, the basic thing; but after this I was trained to be a warrior and a hunter, and not to care for money or possessions, but to be in the broadest sense a public servant. After arriving at a reverent sense of the pervading presence of the Spirit and Giver of Life, and a deep consciousness of the brotherhood of man, the first thing for me to accomplish was to adapt myself perfectly to natural things — in other words, to harmonize myself with nature. To this end I was made to build a body both symmetrical and enduring — a house for the soul to live in — a sturdy house, defying the elements. I must have faith and patience; I must learn self-control and be able to maintain silence. I must do with as little as possible and start with nothing most of the time, because a true Indian always shares whatever he may possess.” –Charles Alexander Eastman
“No one who is at all acquainted with the Indian in his home can deny that we are a polite people. As a rule, the warrior who inspired the greatest terror in the hearts of his enemies was a man of the most exemplary gentleness, and almost feminine refinement, among his family and friends. A soft, low voice was considered an excellent thing in man, as well as in woman!
How very different from the Aboriginal squalor and theft-culture. No-one can accuse the Oz Aboriginals of being gentle, polite people who respect the possessions of others !Indeed, the enforced intimacy of tent life would soon become intolerable, were it not for these instinctive reserves and delicacies, this unfailing respect for the established place and possessions of every other member of the family circle, this habitual quiet, order, and decorum.”
Yet.... both are people living in comparative poverty - compared to modern civilisation. So where is the difference?
“The truly brave man, we contend, yields neither to fear nor anger, desire nor agony;
he is at all times master of himself;
his courage rises to the heights of chivalry, patriotism, and real heroism.
I could show you more, but again, I urge you to follow the link. Look at the life described by this man.‘Let neither cold, hunger, nor pain, nor the fear of them, neither the bristling teeth of danger nor the very jaws of death itself, prevent you from doing a good deed,’ said an old chief to a scout who was about to seek the buffalo in midwinter for the relief of a starving people.”
The native American Indian today is in a parlous state, so I am led to understand. Perhaps someone might like to say something about that.
Meanwhile, I will smoke my pipe of peace and drink of good Grace.