Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sole Sister

IN CATCHING up with all the news after a few days’ gum-scented respite from the Big Smoke, this splenetic from Marcia Langton set a few bells ringing, especially these sentiments:
For those people who persisted in identifying as Aboriginal, however ''fair skinned'' they were, to use the words of Mordecai Bromberg, life was miserable. This remains the case today, a fact of life for most Aboriginal people, and one that Andrew Bolt has perverted into a mythology based in lies and resentment.
Well, Marcia, folks who sling off at “white boys” would surely rank amongst the prime offenders. As for taking the nulla nulla to Larissa Behrendt and her fashionable footwear, not even white devil Andrew Bolt ever went quite that far.

The above video gets very interesting at about the 3:40 mark, when Marcia really does her ’nana.

Of course, now that Judge Mordy has set the bar, Marcia may be facing a legal assault by Jimmy Choo.


  1. "But speech is already restricted, for instance, by defamation laws that protect people's reputations and by the Trade Practices Act, which outlaws false claims about products."
    I presume that she has a special dispensation covering her column regarding the legislation she mentioned.


  2. Hilariously enough, the point (rant? diatribe?) about Behrendt in that video is spot on the money. Far too many aboriginal activists are the Behrendt type, overly educated at taxpayer expense and no real knowledge of the truth of the situation, and probably wouldn't be able to distinguish Santa Teresa from Somalia.

    Not nearly enough of them are the Bess Price type (and I've met Bess, and she is a delightful lady and very highly regarded). Its hard to remember that there isn't a single "aboriginal culture" given the 300-some distinct aboriginal nations that existed pre-colonisation, with their own ceremonies, languages, stories and warfare. I have no idea what relevance some Sydney based "dance group" has to the traditional ceremonies of centralian peoples, just as I have no idea what relevance the "cultural identification" of some person from Redfern who at most has one fullblooded aboriginal grandparent (and probably not even that much) to centralian peoples, as compared to the cultural relevance of a woman born and raised in Yuendumu, with her people's language and ceremony and culture. By God that was a long-winded sentence.

    TL;DR: unless you are living in the community and working directly for the betterment of your people, you shouldn't have the right to speak in the media as an indigenous person on their behalf.

  3. PhillipGeorge(c)2011October 5, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Through all of this Prof I never hear any invocations to the jurisprudence of the Great Serpent Snake. Wouldn't people have once just pointed the bone and gotten on with their collective corporate living? A quick and honest settlement?
    Shouldn't slights involving ethnicity, themselves contain a plethora of accurate historical cultural references to bear witness of the depths of cultural concerns felt for loved traditions lost; and now hard fought for.
    What evidence is there of the concept of racial discrimination from prior to European settlement? We are lead to believe that Maori had cannibalism; which perhaps involves some element of racial discrimination? Do white people make for a better meal? Were Aboriginal people ever inclined to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity; and what were their traditional means of settlement?

    It seems with everything being hybridized certain memories are overlooked - is it just convenient to do so? Is this pure escapism into fiction as to avoid the rigors of realism? It is 2011 after-all, with all the demands of modernity that numbers give us. 2011 AD or CE, it depends where you are sitting I suppose as to how this should be written. So I give the reader full license to rewrite it into any unrecognizable thing - for that in itself would make for a better metaphor than I can invent.

    Prof, with all your hunter gatherings of late are you thinking of a new flag for your own community? Perhaps there could be something in it for you?

  4. IRAG? Really?

    How insensitive.

  5. Is Miss Behrendt truly "...overly educated at taxpayer expense"? I have the impression she is no more than modestly educated. Her public pronouncements are about the standard you'd expect from a tradesman. I suspect her academic qualifications result from a quota system.

  6. When former generations of Behrendt's were making their way in 20th century Australia during The Wars, it was certainly more dangerous to be known as a German than as a (dinky-di) Aboriginal.

    Everything the judge said about repressed racial identities actually applies more to German migrants to Australia. The verdict reinforces the anti-German sentiment (The Age is conducting an anti-European pogrom now). 'Anti-racism' leads to more racism.

  7. Hilarious. god bless

  8. Walter, I had hoped to get across a sense of quantity of education at taxpayer expense, rather then the quality of it. I do agree with your observations regarding the Chairperson of the Review Panel for Higher Education Access and Outcomes for ATSI People.

    I'd be tempted to make a submission to the Review Panel myself, based on my experience working in communities in the Northern Territory, but I don't think "stop wasting time and money because the ones who need the most help are too busy worrying about eking out their day-to-day than pissfarting around with an arts degree that will at most provide them with a limited supply of kindling one cold night" will go over terribly well.