Saturday, August 31, 2013

Black-like meme

Time was when you could recognise an Aboriginal quite easily. They weren't wearing trousers.

These days, with loins covered, it is so much more difficult to be certain. This is important because no white Australian wants to commit the social faux pas of offering poisoned flour to the wrong sort of person, which can give grave offence.

The fetching young lady at the centre of the photo above, the fittingly named Ms Lilly Brown,  is an Aborigine for sure. You can tell because she is flanked by two other Aborigines, and if her tribal companions are not enough, then that Indigenous scarf is irrefutable proof. After finding a Business degree just a bit too hard, she packed her dilly bag and went global walkabout with a lovely blackfella scholarship to underwrite extended stays in Canada and Cambridge.

Still, racial identification would be easier if she left her trousers off, like the fellows below.

Seriously, as there is no indication either dancer has obtained a foreign-study scholarship, how would anyone know they were Aborigines otherwise?

(H/T to Nilk at Catallaxy for her remarkable clairvoyance.)


  1. That aboriginal amputee is making a pretty good fist of it.

  2. If I demonstrate skill at starting a fire with a bow drill, will that allow me to claim a significant measure of indigenousness?
    Having spent several years in the Army, I know how to apply face paint.


  3. It is always so helpful when people drape themselves in the aboriginal flag or some NZ possum furs. Otherwise one tends to have to rely on contextual clues such as taxpayer grants, overseas jaunts or affirmative action concessions.

    The English do have a long established history of having a few noble savages around for their amusement and idle curiosity.

  4. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.August 31, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Well, you can buy six pairs of men's underpants for around fifteen dollars in Target, Prof, and I do wonder why they are not used in traditional aboriginal dancing instead of those red nappies, which are about as untraditional as you can get. Who on earth thought red nappies were a good idea? Underpants would look much more authentic and far more aesthetically pleasing as a coverage for the loins during any transition being made from the Good Lord's nakedness to the modesty of modernity.

    As for the transition of those in the first photo. I bet they would not be caught out dancing in red nappies. So fully acculturated are they, indistinguishable as they are though in their aboriginality from their duskier brothers, that we can pretty well guarantee they have explored the joys of Calvin Kleins, or in the case of the ladies, they have sought out our own Elle's delights, or perhaps have headed to Dior.

  5. Warning to Viewers.
    People of Anglo-Saxon descent should exercise caution when viewing one of the attached photographs. It contains images of Litijus-Mordi tribes-persons. Some might find self identification distressing.

  6. Interesting that in the photo of the pale indigenes there is a poster containing part of the Union flag of Great Britain. Perhaps they are celebrating Invasion Day and the arrival of grants, funding, etc. Or is that too cynical?

  7. The issue for me here is not how a person looks, but how they identify with their aboriginality and what that means. If someone does that to embrace their history well and good, if they do so to antagonise and put their hand out then I am not all that happy. I know plenty of aboriginal people who are fair dinkum and are pretty white looking, others of darker complexion too. But those just after the handout who could do much better if they chose to we should all rail against. Much public discourse is stereotypical by suggesting that the white looking aboriginal people are ripoffs. Just like applying this to everyone else, this is a simplistic mistake.

  8. Any thoughts on what the 'Gr' in 'Knowledge is Gr....'. Grants, greed?

  9. Well spotted Prof. Unfortunately, Judge Roy Bean is no longer around to vouch for the bona-fides of Miz Lilly. But, not to worry, the Mail Online in your first link assures us of her authentic blackness, describing her as:

    "An Aboriginal girl who grew up in the Australian foothills"

    "The 27-year-old, from the Gumbaynggirr tribe of the mid-north coast of eastern Australia"

    Ah yes - "the Australian foothills" - well known to all of us east-coast latecomers as the cradle of all things indigenous. And surely, no-one could deny the blackness of a member of the Gumbaya-Nigger tribe (shame they didn't get the spelling right).

  10. True story
    A single father enrolled his child in anew school.He stated the non custodial mother was a West Indian. The following Monday the father again went to the school,but accompanied by a well known aboriginal agitator. This fellow did the talking and it went like this:The boy is aboriginal,and I vouch for this because his mother's grandmother lived beside my grandmother and I'll sign to that Now give the father the correct grants, don't ask him for any student levies contribution and the child is to go to the coming grade camp week, just claim it on the right form.
    This was but one such event that occurred in a western Victorian school around 1990

  11. If only she grew a Pat Dodson beard. Then we could be sure of her heritage.

  12. Isn't the Prof going a bit over the top concerning our fair Lilly? According to my recently calibrated Racial Tinge-O-Meter she does measure about 15% on the Brown Scale. For an aboriginal these days this is really quite dark, and she has black hair which is also unusual. She's clearly got everything she needs to become a successful aboriginal academic.

  13. Prof - I note in one of teh articles she mentions she met with her Canadian First Nation "brothers & sisters". Did she also say the same about the white indigenous folks during her extended junket in the UK?

  14. I have said for a while that it's a good thing that you can recognise aboriginal people these days because they tend to wear badges.

    The ochre, black and orange flag everywhere, or ochre, black and orange clothing, tell-tale possum skin coats, paint...