February 12, 2008

New Australian PM offers apology to Aborigines (but no money)

And, no, they they don't get their continent back, either.

But, that's not the point. The point is that all the white folks in Australian politics feel really good about themselves today. The Washington Post reports:

In a historic vote that supporters said would open a new chapter in Australian race relations, lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously adopted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's motion to apologize to Aborigines on behalf of all citizens. ...

The apology is directed at tens of thousands of Aborigines who were forcibly taken from their families as children under assimilation policies that were not abandoned until the middle of the last century. ...

The apology ends years of divisive debate and a decade of refusals by the conservative government that lost November's elections.

Rudd received a standing ovation from lawmakers and from scores of Aborigines and dignitaries invited to witness the event. Many wiped away tears.

Rudd ruled out compensation, however ...

This popular "Stolen Generations" topic was the subject of Philip Noyce's acclaimed 2002 movie "Rabbit-Proof Fence" about three half-white girls in the 1930s who are forcibly taken from their loving, caring Aboriginal communities by a racist Australian official (played by Kenneth Branagh) and put into boarding schools, from which they run away to go back home by following Australia's long rabbit-proof fence that divides agricultural land from waste land..

What possible reason besides genocidal racism might Australian authorities have had for taking children away from the custody of their Aboriginal mothers?

Obviously, none whatsoever. Don't even think about anything you've ever learned about the home life of Aborigines. Force yourself not to think the word Alchoholism. Don't think about why Britney Spears lost custody of her children, either. That had to be pure racism, too.

If any explanation other than racial genocide even flits across your mind, then you're a genocidal racist.

The bizarrely ironic thing is that the star of "Rabbit-Proof Fence," an illiterate 11-14 year old half-Aborigine girl named Everlyn Sampi, hated working on Noyce's grueling movie and kept running away. She'd be found and returned to Noyce.

When it was over, Noyce, who had grown fond of his unruly star, became alarmed at the fate awaiting her if she returned to her alcoholism and sexual abuse-stricken community. So, like the evil Branagh character in his movie, he enrolled her in ... a boarding school. Noyce mused, "I found myself thinking, ‘I have to look after her. She can live with us. I’ll send her to school."

But, she didn't like Noyce's boarding school and, just like the character she played in the movie, left for home.

Australian columnist Andrew Bolt has the instructive story of Noyce and his star here, and historian Keith Windschuttle puts it in larger perspective in the New Criterion here.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

19 comments:

laughing said...

Well, that was a stupid thing to do. In law, once you confess to a deed, you are also financially responsible for any damages resulting from that deed. So I think the aborigines basically have a clear case for legally demanding cash. I hope the Americans learn from this w.r.t. slavery. If you want to confess in order to feel good, you better first shake down your constituents for the money you need to pay up the legal damages.

manindarkhat said...

To any persons of color reading: I'd like to apologize on behalf of the white race for posturing liberal narcissists like Kevin Rudd. They're going to be causing misery for a long time to come, but one day I hope the healing process can begin.

meathead said...

Will Hispanics, Northern Africans, and Asians apologize to European-descended peoples in the future?

I sympathize with Australian Aboriginals, and North American Aboriginals. They were crushed. I think many liberals secretly like the idea that the same thing is happening to Europeans, because in their minds it is "fair."

Squirrel Nutkin said...

In law, once you confess to a deed, you are also financially responsible for any damages resulting from that deed.

Tell that to Jerome Kerviel.

dearieme said...

When I lived in Australia I was happy to give the Aussies the benefit of my advice on every political topic save one. I didn't have the brass neck to recommend what should be done about the Abos.

Peter said...

My local newspaper (Newsday) has a picture of Rudd standing with five Aborignal leaders in Canberra. Two of the five are no more than light brown. I doubt if they are even one-quarter Aborigine. It looks as if Australia has now adopted a one drop rule just like America.

TGGP said...

Steve Sailer: nanny statist and feminist :)

none of the above said...

At least this is an apology for something that happened in living memory, as opposed to the slavery apologies/reparations kind of arguments. ("Hey, blacks, we're *real* sorry about that whole kidnapping, beating into submission, raping, and working to death thing we did to your ancestors. Our bad.")

I just flat find it hard to feel guilty about stuff done a century and more before I was born. Sort of like I feel about the holocaust, or the mass murder done by the Kamer Rouge, or the Armenian genocide. It was indeed nasty, but I didn't really have anything to do with it, and I'm not really clear on how I could owe anyone compensation for it.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: The bizarrely ironic thing is that the star of "Rabbit-Proof Fence," an illiterate 11-14 year old half-Aborigine girl named Everlyn Sampi, hated working on Noyce's grueling movie and kept running away. She'd be found and returned to Noyce. When it was over, Noyce, who had grown fond of his unruly star, became alarmed at the fate awaiting her if she returned to her alcoholism and sexual abuse-stricken community. So, like the evil Branagh character in his movie, he enrolled her in ... a boarding school. Noyce mused, "I found myself thinking, 'I have to look after her. She can live with us. I'll send her to school." But, she didn't like Noyce's boarding school and, just like the character she played in the movie, left for home.

This gets back to a point which Charles Murray has been trying to make to people: Once you get below an IQ of about 90, "formal" education is pretty much a waste of time.

Shortly after you head south of IQ 90, people simply are not capable of mastering the three R's.

You see this in the minority graduation rates here in the USA:

LOSING OUR FUTURE:
How Minority Youth are Being Left
Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis

WARNING: PDF DOCUMENT
www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu

Both the American black & American "hispanic" [i.e. mestizo/aboriginal] IQ averages are south of 90, and, sure enough, about 50% of them fail to graduate from high school [and I'd imagine that, of the 50% who do receive diplomas, some huge portion are themselves functionally illiterate].

After a point, formal schooling just doesn't make any sense to people with low IQ's - I imagine that, for them, trying to sit still and listen to a lecture on finding a common denominator for two fractions, or conjugating the subjunctive mood of the passive voice, is akin to torture [maybe even waterboarding].

Actually it might not even strike them as torture - it could be that they perceive it as simply being random noise, the way we would tend to dismiss and ignore the static on an analog AM radio which hadn't been tuned to any particular station.

Anyway, from what I've heard, the Australian Aboriginal average IQ is way down around what we'd consider "retarded".

Anonymous said...

If whitie didint land in Austaralia,what would have happened to the Abos? Wouldnt Australia have been colonized by(drum roll) Asians? Like Chinese or Japanese? And i dont mean Asians who are monitored and reined in by...WHITE PEOPLE. I mean full-metal we-are-superior
Asians as they used to be:think the Imperial Army! What would these conquerors do with the Abos???? Protect them from the sex abuse of their dads?? Theyd probably wipe them out,or ground them down so far they'd wish for death!! White people are such suckers!!! As for Noyce,what a integrity-lacking jack-ass. Josh?

dearieme said...

peter, when I lived in Queensland one of the local Abo activists was revealed to be 0% Abo; he was part white, part negro. One of the Maori activists in NZ was revealed a few years back to be entirely white: Irish, if I recall correctly.

Anonymous said...

Apologizing to minorities for anything is a huge mistake. It won't help you at all. Look at all the people who groveled and apologized. They still lost their jobs, like Watson, Imus, etc... and were screwed by other white liberals and the press who piled on to prove how righteous they are. You will be excoriated as a racist anyway and be on the hook for big $$$. But I guess if you are some spineless politican, it won't be your money anyway and you can be "rehabilitated."

MensaRefugee said...

Lucius Vorenus said...
Shortly after you head south of IQ 90, people simply are not capable of mastering the three R's.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Well, as Charles Murray or Seymour Itzkoff (I think) once said, they cannot even follow birth control procedures even when educated in them and provided with free prophylactics - under a certain IQ - it simply doesnt register.

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

Here are a few quotes from Liberal Party politician
Wilson "Ironbar" Tuckey
on Rudd's apology:

"I'm there to say hallelujah. Tomorrow there'll be no petrol sniffing, tomorrow little girls can sleep in their beds without any concern - it's all fixed.

"The Rudd spin will fix it all. I've read it, I'm convinced. I think it's wonderful."

Anonymous said...

On behalf of us all, I'd like to apologize to the Neanderthals, whom we drove to extinction by discrimination, or by eating them, or something.

-- Dr. Millmoss

Dutch Boy said...

The appropriate American comparison to this Aussie situation is the Indian, not the slave. Our aborigines were frequently sent off to boarding schools where Indian languages and religions were forbidden. This was a more-or-less open attempt at cultural genocide and evidence that the original British illusion about Indians (they're just white folks with brown skins and eager to embrace our culture and religion)is ineradicable.

none of the above said...

If only we'd been more discriminating in what we ate, the neandertals would still be with us....(OTOH, we *had* just invented the barbequeue.)

Lucius Vorenus said...

Alcoholic parents force children to suckle dogs
By Nick Squires in Sydney
Last Updated: 2:40am GMT 27/02/2008
telegraph.co.uk

Aboriginal children in Outback Australia are so neglected by their alcoholic parents that some have suckled from dogs' teats in a desperate search for food, it has been reported.

The shocking revelation came from a coroner investigating the appalling rates of suicide among Aborigines living in the remote and beautiful Kimberley region of Western Australia...

MCP2012 said...

Steve: Very good article! And very good comments! (Steve this is going to be a long, but hopefully worthwhile post---I hope you'll allow it).

What to do about the folks throughout the world (but especially indigenous people) who have IQs under 90. It's been a quandary more-or-less since IQ tests originated. Individuals with lower IQs---regardless of the particular nature/nuture etiology---have a rather different boredom/frustration/excitement threshhold and psychology than do people with higher IQs. Though not couched quite in the (Charles) Murrayan terms of IQ *per se*, the problem of boredom (and thus restlessness and frustration) in a technologically (and thus techno-economically) advancing/progressing society was a concern that the great Austrian-Swiss economist Wilhelm Roepke expressed in his great work, *The Humane Economy* (now back-in-print, btw, thanks to the Mises Institute). And the late great speculative fiction author, C.M. Kornbluth, was even more concerned (indeed rather pessimistic) in his classic short story (almost a short novelette), "The Marching Morons". And while genuine intelligence-enhancement (or augmentation) may, interestingly enough, be in the tech-offing soon, the question still arises: In a thoroughly robotic, cybernated system (which we're headed for), what will people with IQs of less than 90 (or, indeed, even less than 100) *do* with their free/leisure time?

Also, specifically as regarding Australian Aboriginals, see "Mocost's" discussion of recent neuroanthropological findings at http://neurophilosophy.wordpress.com/2006/10/07/neuroanthropology-culture-on-the-brain/ and my comment there. This blog has moved, btw, to http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/

As for Everlyn Sampi, she has, since *RPF*, guest-starred on the 4th (if I'm not mistaken...) episode of the Aussie miniseries, *The Circuit*. The subplot concerning her character was, however, rather truncated (unfortunately, as it dealt with "grog" and domestic violence), and so she didn't have all that especially much to do. She is, if I'm not mistaken, now attending Notre Dame Univ. No, not the one in Indiana, but the unrelated Western Australian Catholic-affiliated uni (specifically, the Broome campus), studying both theater and Aboriginal Studies. She *can*, fortunately, read, but rather slowly (and who knows what her comprehension and/or retention is). And she has little fondness for reading, at least not books, articles, etc. She does, however, manage to read her textbook (or other) class assignments. One can certainly empathize, even sympathize, with Phillips Noyce, whether or not one concurs with Bolt's labeling him a hypocrite.

Returning to the question of Australian Aboriginal illiteracy and poor literacy in general, there is undoubtedly some sort of cultural-memetic causal connection between such literacy problems and the fact that no Aboriginal language group (clan or tribe) was ever sufficiently environmentally-pressured to have WRITTEN language development be systematically *selected-for*. Consequently there is near-ZERO cultural-memetic support/appreciation for WRITTEN-language skills. The same may be posited (more-or-less) for American indigenous peoples as well. Yet in a technologically-sophisticated, tremendously techno-economically complex (in a Hayekian sort of way, mind), and, for the foreseeable future at least, WRITTEN-language-based, global civilization, the plight of such peoples remains a poignant quandary.

Cultural tourism, as has emerged over the last decade or two, is one possible answer, but so far, apparently, it is nowhere remotely near a complete solution, by any means, as there still are the plagues of "huffing" (inhalent abuse), alcoholism, perpetual stonedness on "ganja" (marijuana), physcial-violence and sexual abuse.

Would that I could, but I have no salvific suggestions to offer at this time...

THANKS MUCH for your work here on this blog, Steve; and THANKS MUCH for allowing me to contribute a comment!