It’s been a tumultuous week with insults on all sides, with the left outdoing itself in righteousness and virtue signalling and the right sewing more fear and doubt. Of course, they have stumbled badly on this referendum by not working out what the Voice would actually be before going to to the poll. It’s easy to use scare tactics about an unknown entity.
Jacinta Price said something in her address to the National Press Club which made me sigh and think ‘she’s so young!’ About Aboriginal people benefiting from colonisation and the convicts being treated with perhaps equal inhumanity. Of course she has been roundly criticised for this.
I think what people forget is the issue of class. The ruling classes have almost always treated the lower classes as less than fully human and their sufferings as not counting as much. It’s also used to justify wars with the other side being downgraded to deserving cruelty.
The upper classes sent their children to boarding schools from an early age, so they could see no harm in separating children from parents generally, believing that institutions could do a better job of raising them. To get a good education children from remote communities still consider whether to send children to boarding school. Indigenous and non indigenous children regardless.
Listening to my Aboriginal friend Wesley Aird as speaking for the majority of Aboriginal people who are doing OK, have homes and jobs and send their children to school like other Australians one could perhaps argue that the way out of being dehumanised by elites is to escape to the upper working class/lower middle class where one still doesn’t count for much, but at least can escape being abused or patronised by the upper classes.
And class was a much more obvious feature of life in those days. it hasn’t gone away though and of course it comes down to money.
I read one writer who said that the reason Meghan M. and Harry didn’t get much sympathy from African Americans when they did their Netflix series is that she’s too rich to be relatable. Only other mega rich people could relate to their ‘suffering’.
Monty Python have a sketch in the Life of Brian where the question is asked ‘what have the Romans ever done for us’ and one by one the group come up with ideas. Basically, along with repression came the benefits of Roman civilisation. Someone has even written a song about it. Because Britain was once colonised by the Romans along with so much of the world and the Indigenous people were oppressed.
So, I think this is what Jacinta Price was getting at, that along with the bad things about colonisation there were benefits. Aboriginal people no longer live the harsh lives of hunter gatherers even if they live in remote areas. Life can be harsh due to poverty, but people are not reverting to a hunter gatherer lifestyle because that would be much worse.
And of course there were good stories as well, but they don’t get told as part of the ‘truth telling’. Here I’m also channeling Ainsley Aird in one of his videos.
I’m including the link to one of his videos, but he is putting them them out regularly. He doesn’t tell people how to vote, just tries to put things into perspective with his quiet, gentle and authoritative manner. ‘When you vote Yes or No know why you are voting that way. Do your own research.’