Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The right kind of immersion?

My old school now offers cultural immersion tours for Year 9 boys. No, they are not being immersed in their own culture, they're being sent off to live with South Australian Aborigines for a week.

What did the boys learn from the experience? In short, that white Australians were evil and violent, in contrast to the nature loving and spiritual Aborigines:

The most positive thing I gained from the journey was an insight into the amazing, undiscovered, indigenous culture ... The ways the Aborigines respect nature at such a spiritual level ... Our whole group was transformed ... We learned about the horrors which occurred in the early settlement of Australia. At one stage the group was very disturbed, and we were fighting back tears of sorrow. Our indigenous tour guide Quenten told us that some indigenous elders were forced to dig their own graves before they were shot and buried in them. We also came across an old barn where aboriginal men, women and children were herded like sheep, and massacred like lambs to the slaughter.

At other times we were fighting back tears of joy. We became a part of spiritual dances and rituals ... I will never be able to forget that week which saw me and the rest of the group come right out of our comfort zones ...

As I've written previously, this kind of thing is dangerous. There are conscientious whites who lose a sense of their moral status and authority in society when they accept such vilification of whites as the truth. Their path to redemption is then to break ranks and to identify against their own tradition in favour of the other. As I wrote in a recent post:

Such people will want to speak with moral authority in society, but how can they as white oppressors? The path to redemption is, again, to break ranks and to identify with the non-white other in opposition to other unenlightened whites.

This helps to explain why some liberal whites are so obsessed with an anti-white/pro-other agenda. It comes to express their self-concept and identity. It lies at the heart of how they see themselves and the ground on which they stand.

And what of the massacre claims? It's not likely these took place. I searched a list of claimed massacres of Aborigines during the period of settlement and there is no mention of such events in the Yorke Peninsula. The claims of massacres often turn out to be false when they are properly investigated.

Keith Windschuttle is one person who has undertaken such investigative work. I'll give just one example from his book The Fabrication of Aboriginal History. Sir William Deane, as Governor-General, once apologised on behalf of the nation for a massacre by whites of Aboriginal women and children at Mistake Creek in the 1930s.

However, when the massacre was investigated it turned out to have taken place in 1915 and to have been perpetrated not by whites but by Aborigines (the outcome of a dispute over an Aboriginal woman).

What those Year 9 boys should really be taught is to ask for evidence before accepting claims of massacres. They should also be made aware that frontier violence did not go all one way. I wonder, for instance, if they know of the Maria massacre of 1840, when a group of whites was shipwrecked off the coast of South Australia and then massacred by Aborigines, their bodies being later found stuffed down wombat holes.

Do the boys know of some of the less environmentally friendly practices of Aborigines? Such as the deliberate burning down of forests to flush out animals which transformed the type of vegetation cover over much of Australia?

Are they taught to appreciate the great nature poets and landscape painters of their own tradition? Why not, for instance, immerse them in Wordsworth?

And why should they be taught to associate Aboriginal culture with spirituality rather than their own? Particularly since they are attending a Catholic college. Doesn't Catholicism have something to do with spirituality? Or doesn't that count?

I'm not at all against the Year 9 boys learning to appreciate what Aboriginal culture has to offer. But it should be from a strong, confident, positive awareness of their own culture that they engage with others. Otherwise their school is failing them.

15 comments:

  1. Another liberal program to dumb the masses.

    I wonder if they get taught the Glorious Revolution and the Bill of Rights. Or the fact that Aborigines effectively have allodial title over a good chunk of Australia.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And this is a purportedly Catholic school. The thought of what overtly pagan schools (to which the vast majority of sheeple send their offspring) must be like in Australia now, staggers the imagination.

    As another totalitarian gangster - albeit a less sanctimonious one than whichever mountebank organised this particular "cultural immersion" drivel - said to people like us, "We will bury you." And so they will, until every last cent of their taxpayer funding is cut off. Now.

    Possibly even that measure will be insufficient to prevent such nonsense. But at least the nonsense will be carried out with the nonsense-makers' own money, not with ours.

    Happy Christmas, Mr Richardson, and I hope that you can avoid despair as to what Australian civilisation is coming to. I find it hard, for that very reason, to get out of bed sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you. Happy Christmas to you too.

    I think I had better write some more upbeat posts, though. It's not easy living through a period of civilisational decline, but I still think there's a decent chance that liberalism will come to be challenged by intelligent Westerners in the years ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "I'm not at all against the Year 9 boys learning to appreciate what Aboriginal culture has to offer. But it should be from a strong, confident, positive awareness of their own culture that they engage with others. Otherwise their school is failing them."

    Well said.

    I don't think it's good to claim that whites never committed violent acts against Aborigines. The important thing is to be aware that throughout history, violence has been the norm, not the exception. Europeans were not more violent than other races when they colonised new areas; killing people and taking their land is a near-universal; they are unusual only in that they often feel guilty about doing it!

    Likewise there may be much of value in Aboriginal cultures, but their main value to us in is helping us reconnect to our own roots, not in self-vilification.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "I have not the least belief in the Noble Savage. I consider him a prodigious nuisance, and an enormous superstition. His calling rum fire-water, and me a pale face, wholly fail to reconcile me to him. I don't care what he calls me. I call him a savage, and I call a savage a something highly desirable to be civilised off the face of the earth. I think a mere gent (which I take to be the lowest form of civilisation) better than a howling, whistling, clucking, stamping, jumping, tearing savage. It is all one to me, whether he sticks a fish-bone through his visage, or bits of trees through the lobes of his ears, or bird's feathers in his head; whether he flattens his hair between two boards, or spreads his nose over the breadth of his face, or drags his lower lip down by great weights, or blackens his teeth, or knocks them out, or paints one cheek red and the other blue, or tattoos himself, or oils himself, or rubs his body with fat, or crimps it with knives. Yielding to whichsoever of these agreeable eccentricities, he is a savage – cruel, false, thievish, murderous; addicted more or less to grease, entrails, and beastly customs; a wild animal with the questionable gift of boasting; a conceited, tiresome, blood-thirsty, monotonous humbug..."

    Charles Dickens

    ReplyDelete
  6. "I don't think it's good to claim that whites never committed violent acts against Aborigines. The important thing is to be aware that throughout history, violence has been the norm, not the exception."

    I don't think any serious historians are claiming whites haven't committed violence againsts Aborigines, what they are claiming is that the left liberal idea that whites deliberately exterminated defenseless Aborigines on a large scale is a myth.

    Most Aborigines died of introduced diseases (some of which may not even introduced by whites) and the vast majority that were directly killed by whites were killed during disputes that turned violent. The Aborigines came off worse because they lacked guns and horses, not because the whites were more ruthless or aggressive.

    The extermination myth is widely believed outside of Australia, and negatively influences the way many whites in other parts of the West view the country.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mike Courtmann:
    "What they are claiming is that the left liberal idea that whites deliberately exterminated defenseless Aborigines on a large scale is a myth."

    Well, I don't think the whites deliberately exterminated the Aborigines; being hunter-gatherers the Aborigine population was always low enough to make that unnecessary even if the whites had been prepared to do so.

    OTOH the demise of large numbers of aborigines through disease and violence was the result, I'd think the inevitable result, of white colonisation.

    I'm a bit uncomfortable with "Well, there were arguments, and the Aborigines came off worse" - technically true, but there were arguments because the whites were colonising the area. It's no fun being on the receiving end of colonisation, and I don't blame anyone for trying to fight back.

    Currently of course it's the whites' lands that are undergoing colonisation. The Left sometimes says we morally deserve it because of past 'crimes', but I don't buy that anymore than I'd buy that Aborigine tribe X morally deserved to be wiped out by whites because they had previously taken the territory of tribe Y, who took it from tribe Z, and on back for tens of thousands of years.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What age group is "Year 9"?

    Europeans were not more violent than other races when they colonised new areas; killing people and taking their land is a near-universal; they are unusual only in that they often feel guilty about doing it!

    I don't. =)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm not at all against the Year 9 boys learning to appreciate what Aboriginal culture has to offer.

    Which is what, exactly? A nasty, brutish, and short existence, eating grubs and scratching at the earth with a stick?

    Aboriginal culture seems self-evidently inferior to me, and it baffles me that anyone is in love with those stone-age primitives.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What age group is "Year 9"?

    Fifteen or thereabouts.

    What does Aboriginal culture have to offer?

    I do like the very distinctive style of Aboriginal painting. The dreamtime stories too.

    But there is so much for these boys to learn to appreciate in their own culture and civilisation.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "I'm not at all against the Year 9 boys learning to appreciate what Aboriginal culture has to offer. But it should be from a strong, confident, positive awareness of their own culture that they engage with others."

    The Anglo-Celtic majority in this country is told that it has no culture or, at least, no culture worth preserving or celebrating. Our Anglo-Celtic and, more broadly, Western heritage is consistently ignored and sidelined in favour of "Indigeneous" and non-European immigrant cultures.

    It is therefore no surprise that we now have entire generations of deracinated Australians completely unaware or otherwise ashamed of their ethnic, cultural and civilisational heritage.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "The important thing is to be aware that throughout history, violence has been the norm, not the exception. Europeans were not more violent than other races when they colonised new areas; killing people and taking their land is a near-universal.."

    As Paul Sheehan put it:

    "Nation building is invariably bloody. Australia was going to be colonised. And if it had been occupied by one of the imperial cultures of Asia (with their long record of fratricide, liquidation of dissent and ethnic chauvinism), there would probably be no revival of Aboriginal culture today owing to a shortage of Aborigines."

    ReplyDelete
  13. Off topic, here's a curly one to diagnose: Red-head Ben Jones gets Indigenous All Stars start. At first I thought it was a mistake. But the SMH reports it too. And the Roosters NRL website has more detail:

    Sydney Roosters utility Ben Jones has gained an eleventh hour call-up to the Indigenous All Stars squad after PJ Marsh withdrew through injury...

    The fair skinned read head with Indigenous bloodlines was thrilled by the news of his selection as he rushed home to pack for an immediate departure into camp tonight.

    “I‘m very excited and honoured to play in the inaugural game for the Indigenous All Stars,” the 19-year-old said.

    “I was stoked when they rang, obviously I wasn’t expecting it.

    “I’m looking forward to running out alongside guys like Jonathan Thurston, Wendell Sailor and Preston Campbell.


    Obviously no-one was expecting it. Although, there are more Anglo-looking players in the list of Eligble Indigenous Players. Luke Walsh looks Anglo too.

    My diagnosis? What started out as an idea for an Indigenous team to play a game and lift the pride of their community has fallen victim to the non-discrimination principle. So, anyone with a speck of Aboriginal DNA has to qualify. Otherwise, they would have to use the usual method of determining identity: the visual one. But visual discrimination is the 'greatest sin of all'.

    So, what started as a game the Indigenous could feel proud of, has now descended into a farce. And here I was thinking the Indigenous were about to get one of those liberal exceptions.

    Here are some more pics of "Indigenous" Ben Jones: here, here, and here.

    Liberals ruin everything.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Apparently Ben Jones' mother is a full Aboriginal, his father is white and, by a quirk of nature, he got all his father's DNA and red-hair to boot. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.