They’re gonna die out anyway

There’s been a lot of talk about racism in this country and how it is being applied in the political and social landscape.  This is not a recent phenomena.  Rather, an ongoing one that has weaved throughout our society for over 200 years.  To understand our racial attitudes I thought I’d take a look at our racist heritage.  As an historian, I’m not interested in what our forefathers did on such-and-such a day, but what was in their minds that drove them to do it.  In particular, why were they intent on ridding the country of the first Australians.  My research concludes that in the minds of our colonial forefathers the demise of the Aborigines was ordained by a higher order, and with due thanks to Mother Nature the pair colluded to wipe them off the face of the earth.  The colonists were quite happy to hurry things along, content with the notion that “they’re gonna die out anyway”.

This is not a short read, but I hope for those who have the time and patience to read through it will gain something.

Here goes.

Australia was determined to maintain what it believed was its racial homogeneity.  If the indigenous peoples continued their perceived decline towards extinction (and other migrant races were excluded or expelled), a ‘pure race’ could logically result.

Even before colonisation, the construct of the Aborigine saw them positioned in the landscape as a savage: a subsequent depiction that evolved in the minds of European imagination.  The English, especially, considered themselves well credentialed.  As the first Englishman to encounter Aborigines, William Dampier instilled in other Englishmen’s minds the preconceptions about these people when he wrote that they were “the miserablest people in the world.”  And the image of the Aborigine was to leave no impression of excitement or significance on James Cook, a later visitor, merely accepting the Aborigines as Dampier had earlier reported.  Cook had also brought with him images of indigenous peoples as noble savages, largely the antithesis of Europeans.  Cook was probably influenced by the writings of Rousseau, whose saw native peoples as unadulterated by the evils of civilisation.  These idealistic views were modified after 1788.  However, these early explorers saw no, and reported no positive attributes among the Aboriginal people and believed in their own superiority. The land was declared terra nullius . . . and the various Aboriginal nations declared uncivilised.

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Here we go again

News.com reports what everybody should know by now, that the United States, France and Britain have launched strikes against Libya from the air and sea today, the opening salvo in an international military campaign against the regime of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The response from Gaddafi was not unexpected, claiming:

“I have all the Libyan people with me. I am prepared to die … they are prepared to die for me – men, women and even children.”

The Libyan leader said the Mediterranean had been turned into a “real battlefield” and that arms depots were being opened to his people to defend the country.

He vowed to retaliate with military and civilian targets in the Mediterranean, warning that the interests of Mediterranean and North African countries were now “in danger.”

“The Mediterranean region has become a real battlefield,” he said. “Arms depots have been opened and all the Libyan people are being armed” to defend the country against Western forces.

It was a showdown that had been building for weeks and was finally triggered when Gaddafi ignored a cease-fire and a UN resolution establishing a no-fly zone, instead warning the heads of Britain, France and the UN, “you will regret it if you take a step to intervene.”

Is this madman suggesting another Mother of all Battles?  If so, how long before we see troops on the ground?  And what thought bubbles does he possess to think that the children of his country are willing to die for him?  The people are rebelling against him and he’s happy to kill them for it for goodness sake.  I feel we have a more dangerous madman on our hands than Sadam Hussein.

As much as I don’t like war, I feel that this would have much more legitimacy than the invasion of Iraq under the false premise of weapons of mass destruction, or the invasion of Afghanistan as a result of 9/11.

What do you think?