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   Tony Shepps  Sunday Jul 8 01:30 PM

7/8: Aboriginal justice


I hope Jag isn't bored by this one but we get little news of the Aussie situation with the aboriginals, and it is very interesting stuff, IMO.

This is Charlie Walapayi Tjungurrayi. He is a Pintupi elder from Kiwirrkurra, a community in the western desert. He is showing off a scar, which he got after he was "speared" through the arm and chest. He was speared by his own community after they found him making "sneaky love" to his brother's wife.

This tribal system of "payback" is central to a lot of aboriginal communities, but it's often quite different and quite against the white man's law. And here we have the clash of cultures.

As a USian, it's striking to consider the similarities between their situation and the situation that faced American settlers in the 1700s. Our answer to the problem of civilization taking over the new land was to radically, uh, KILL the savage indians at all costs. Only over the last few decades have we looked back and wondered how civilization could be so, uh, uncivil.

I suspect that we are not getting the full story and don't understand the historical mindsets that said killing the natives was the right approach. But I would love to understand it and how it came to be. And I'm thinking that the cultural clash down unda could give us a few clues.

jaguar  Sunday Jul 8 08:29 PM

You had me to reply on this one =)

I have to say, tip of the iceberg, this an enormous issue that cuts at teh heart of australian culture, the individual arguements, debates, slanging matches and levels is almost limitless, every week another indicent seem to accour (the latest is the rape charges leveled at the head at ATSIC (Aboriginal and Torries Strait Islanders Comittee, which deal with the govt on all Aboriginal issues)

I'm going to outline a few key FACTS then ramble on for a while =)

1: When we got here we slaughtered them in large numbers.

2: After that we took them from thier mothers and put them in orphanages in an attempt to make hte assimilate to our culture.

3: NOw they are virtually second class citizens.

4: Our Prime Minister refuses to say sorry, on the basis that he refuses to appoligise for what thsoe before him did.

There was, and still is that blacks are lazy, useless and often dangerous. I mean geez, all we did was take all their land and slaughter their people and they start stealing our sheep!!!

Now this is continued because they live in terrible conditions, with astronomic unemployment and crime is the obvious soltuion, drug and alcohol abuse are widespread.....In recent times there have been large reconciliation moves, but most of it is purely symbolic (half a million people marched over the Sydney Habour Bridge in support of reconciliation, real kodak moment, didn't really achieve anything though. Better if they'd all give a a dollar.

Now that we've stopped trying to stamp them out we might be able to slowly change things, but its going to take a long, long time.

This is such a.........topic i've never really paid *that* much attention in the end....

Daveman  Sunday Jul 8 10:44 PM

The American Indian

I believe was slaughtered mainly out of blind fear. We could not understand them. It only took a few horrible stories to get back to the colonies before it became necessary in the minds of men to kill these peoples before they killed them. They were of course no match for the colonists' modern weaponry, except in a few instances, and the rest is history. Tragic and dreadful, but there is little to be done about it now. Except to learn so we should not repeat.

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