Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Stan Grant: the Australian dream is ‘rooted in racism’

Indigenous journalist Stan Grant has been praised for a ‘Martin Luther King moment’.

A powerful speech by Indigenous journalist Stan Grant in which he says the “Australian dream is rooted in racism” has gone viral.

Grant addressed an audience in Sydney on the impact of colonisation and discrimination as part of the IQ2 debate series held by The Ethics Centre.

The speech was made last year but was published online just a week before Australia Day. It has resonated with Australians, having been viewed more than 736,000 times on Facebook and 15,000 times on YouTube.

In his address Grant was asked to argue for or against the topic “Racism is destroying the Australian Dream”, and said racism was at its heart.

Grant opened his speech acknowledging when AFL player Adam Goodes was “hounded” and booed, and told “he was not Australian”.

“When we heard those boos, we heard a sound that was very familiar to us … we heard a howl of humiliation that echoes across two centuries of disposition, injustice, suffering and survival,” Grant said.

“We heard the howl of the Australian dream, and it said to us again, you’re not welcome.”

He said we sung of the Australian dream, “Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free”.

“My people die young in this country,” Grant said.

“We die 10 years younger than the average Australian, and we are far from free. We are fewer than 3 per cent of the Australian population and yet we are 25 per cent – a quarter of those Australians locked up in our prisons.

“And if you’re a juvenile it is worse, it is 50 per cent. An Indigenous child is more likely to be locked up in prison than they are to finish high school.”

Read the rest and WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Mercury: Walshy and Bruce French get an Aussie Day gong

ABC: Australian of the Year: David Morrison, former Army chief, given top honour for gender equality work … and WATCH the viral video …

Sign the Petition: Change the date of ‘stralia day …

• Bob Hawkins in Comments: Thank goodness we have the likes of Stan Grant to remind us of our failure as a nation to deal with the biggest challenge it has ever had to face — treating the continent’s original owners as we would want to be treated ourselves, and as equals. It’s time the January 26 Australia Day was consigned to the shit-can of history; and time that we demonstrated our democracy by drawing, willy-nilly, from a hat, a date for an inclusive Australia Day. At least that way, as long as the drawing was properly supervised, if anyone’s political interests were served it would be purely by chance, and, therefore, offensive to no one.

• Cassy O’Connor Media Release in Comments: Each year, on the 26th of January, Australia is a nation divided by its history. While many Tasmanians celebrate with pride, our First People feel only the pain of a country taken at the point of a gun. My Green colleagues, Andrea Dawkins, Nick McKim and I are joining Aboriginal Tasmanians at their Invasion Day march in Hobart today because we believe it’s time to change the date on which Australians celebrate who they are as a nation.

• Christopher Nagle in Comments: With respect, the whole racist narrative that is supposed to define our history is just that; a narrative; a story we tell ourselves to confirm our current beliefs and myths. The modern industrial world smashed into the settled beliefs and ways of life of everyone it touched. starting with the removal of millions of European peasants from their land and into places populated by dark satanic mills. And as this world globalized, it dealt with everyone according to where they stood on the timeline from when people moved into villages in the neolithic period to those who were on the cusp of industrializing anyway …

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Robin Charles Halton

    January 29, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I wonder about the relationship between the wider Circular Head community and the aboriginal community for which I believe is split anyway over festering land ownership and coastal access issues.

    Has Cassie the bravado to undertake a walkabout to visit the residents at Nelson Bay, Arthur River and Temma after the fires and thank everybody for theirs and the fire agencies efforts to prevent untold damage to properties and the environment!

    I’m feel that the Greens have burnt their bridges completely with the wider Tasmanian community over the forestry trivia at Lapoinya and for supporting of aboriginal protests over Australia Day while the north and north west wildfires were raging.

    Cassies O’Connor’s actions have brought down the aboriginal community too which clearly show neither is really interested in natural land management.

    If the aboriginal community really cared about “their natural environment” they would have been around the fires doing whatever they could to support the fire agencies efforts.

  2. Leonard Colquhoun

    January 28, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Big Ask in Comment 9.

    An even Bigger Ask for it to be not just another now stereoed photo-op with the now clichéd^ costumes.

    (^ “clichéd^” – SpellCheck made me do it!)

  3. Robin Charles Halton

    January 28, 2016 at 2:00 am

    #3 Cassie O’Connor, any chance of you meeting some of the Remote Terrain fire fighters at the Chudleigh Fire Station returning from a days hard effort after suppressing fires on WHA.

    Showing an appreciation for their ongoing efforts may go along way for restoring faith in the Greens.

  4. Christopher Nagle

    January 28, 2016 at 1:57 am

    With respect, the whole racist narrative that is supposed to define our history is just that; a narrative; a story we tell ourselves to confirm our current beliefs and myths.

    The modern industrial world smashed into the settled beliefs and ways of life of everyone it touched. starting with the removal of millions of European peasants from their land and into places populated by dark satanic mills.

    And as this world globalized, it dealt with everyone according to where they stood on the timeline from when people moved into villages in the neolithic period to those who were on the cusp of industrializing anyway.

    The late feudal Japanese reacted immediately to modernize and did so in a generation and a half, whereupon all the original humiliating unequal treaties that were forced on them in the first instant, were abandoned. The mesolithic Aboriginals of our sub continent were smashed to bits on contact. They floundered and so did everyone who had to deal with them.

    The history of the expansion of the industrial world was defined by adaption on both sides of the equation and the above examples lay out the extreme ends of the continuum. ‘Race’ was an incidental ideological construct which at the time seemed to explain the overwhelming dominance of Europeans.

    But how that adaption (or lack of it) occurred was what defined the relationship, not race.

    It wasn’t racism that scragged Australian aboriginals. They had a brutally sudden introduction to the rest of the world that they had been fortuitously (or not) insulated from while it convulsed for thousands of years in a process of constant and very substantial change. So the historical bridge that had to be crossed by both sides when Governor Phillip arrived in 1788 was an exceedingly formidably long one.

    Not surprisingly, aboriginal people had no idea how to respond or what they were dealing with. And neither did the other side. The relationship was chronically asymmetric.

    By brutal contrast, the Indian upper castes weren’t having the slightest trouble Anglicising and adopting new ways imposed by their emerging colonial masters. 150 years later they were able to boot them out and were able to take over and run a modern state.

    The modern industrial system cancelled to the social licence of everyone it touched. That is called ‘change’. It was very tough business all round and in the case of Australia-to-be meant the immediate importation of an entire suite that rendered hunter gathering hopelessly obsolete and redundant.

    How could it have possibly been anything else? Our aboriginal brothers and sisters were out of time, literally. And their now understandable incapacity to respond did endless amounts of reputational damage to them and took them into a cycle of increasingly fruitless and frustrating policy changes that proved in the end to be as ineffectual as they were discreditable (in retrospect).

    And the problem is, that change still eludes many of them and blaming everyone else and racism in the end is going to be an excuse that will run out of legs.

    It is incorrigible baloney that just won’t pass scratch for much longer. The racist card is going to run out of gas and soon because the narrative, its ideological sponsors and its victimology are all getting shop soiled with euphemism and cliches that aren’t particularly honest or even helpful to their clients.

    Maintaining relevance against change is always a bit like that.

  5. Leonard Colquhoun

    January 27, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    About this suggestion in Comment 9, “Most of the mob should be on the West Coast. making an effort to protect a part of their traditional territory”: my impression has always been that pre-settlement aboriginals had as little desire to live there as almost everyone in 20/21C Tasmania.

    Didn’t get much from googling. The 1965 ‘Atlas of Tasmania’ has a map on p 38 by W F Ellis showing people living in river valleys and along the coasts except, notably, along the coasts (clockwise) from SE Cape to Macquarie Harbour. Perhaps the next edition of the otherwise excellent ‘Companion to Tasmanian History’ could include some similarly plain maps and charts (while remaining mindful of keeping trendoid IT self-styled designers^ well penned inside their reservation).

    BTW, about maps: excellent story in the Saturday Mercury’s ‘tasweekend’ about the Tasmanian Map Centre in [it had ‘on’, but what the heck?] Elizabeth St.

    (^ Have you noticed how these dyscartographers manage to produce newspaper cutesy pastel-shaded maps in tones which are almost indistinguishable?)

  6. Robin Charles Halton

    January 27, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Usually I have some sympathy towards Tas Abs, but not this time.

    Most of the mob should be on the West Coast. making an effort to protect a part of their traditional territory.

    Where is their contribution to fire stick management and in this modern day age as trained teams to fight wildfires to protect the country they love in conjunction with other fire agencies.

    Protesting on Australia Day with the encouragement of Cassy O’Connor, I’m no flag waver myself and basically could care less which day our national celebration falls on but I am more than happy if there is to be a debate about becoming a Republic by the current Turnbull government so it be but first let us see it is not a political stunt as Bill Shorten sees it to bog down debate Parliament.

    My guess is the Greens would follow Labor.

    Most importantly PM Turnbull knows his most important task is to raise taxes to produce a budget that is worthy to service the broader community with the services that we all expect from a good government.

    Lets not get bogged down with local white versus black racism issues and invasions and so on, our history as a nation has to be seen in a modern context.

    We all should move on and cooperate with each other and not expect to receive handouts so we can go on our seperate ways opposing each other with this national racism rubbish.

  7. Scott Seymour

    January 26, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Here is the question nobody wants to address – The ‘Invasion’ of Australia, as it is called by many, began when the first ship from the first fleet arrived on the 18th Jan. 1788. So why can’t ‘Invasion Day’ be that date? Does an ‘Invasion’ not begin on the day when those said to be ‘Invading’ first arrive?

    Invasion Day — Change the date indeed.

  8. Leonard Colquhoun

    January 25, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Tasmanian Senator Lambie has invited anyone who doesn’t like Australia’s laws to choose another country to live in [Mercury 26 Jan 16], and she is not by herself in urging this, as reported in The Australian 12 Dec 2015:

    “Hassan Awada has a [similar] message for his fellow Muslims — if you don’t like it in Australia, he’ll buy you a one-way air ticket to a place of your choosing.

    “And Mr Awada is in a position to follow through. He is now a highly successful Sydney businessman — he and his eight siblings between them employ more than 200 people full-time. That in itself is extraordinary given that when Mr Awada came to Australia from Lebanon at the age of 22, he could not speak any English.

    “Today he is Deputy Mayor of Sutherland Shire Council, which covers Cronulla, made famous for its race riots 10 years ago this weekend.”

    As for Mr Awada’s “place of your choosing”, there are about 50 UN member nations where sharia rules are national laws, so if that is the law of your choosing, you are blessed with choice of places where you can live under it. So why stay here with our civil / secular rules and laws — you will only keep getting annoyed, irritated, and even outraged – and more unhappy.

    As another colourful identity linked to Australia Day used to say, you know it makes sense.

    BTW, about people getting stressed by the invasion which began on 18 Jan 1788 because the First Nations could not stop the boats in the First Fleet, shouldn’t they now be cheering that the Abbott government stopped another lot of boats carrying incomers with religious, social and cultural beliefs and attitudes so alien to people living here?

    PS: is ‘racist / racism’, like ‘fascist / fascism’ or ‘misogynism / misogynism’, being gutted of force by trivialisation, overuse and hyperbole?

  9. Cassy O'Connor, Greens Leader Media Release

    January 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Australia Day No Celebration for Tasmania’s First People

    Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016

    Each year, on the 26th of January, Australia is a nation divided by its history. While many Tasmanians celebrate with pride, our First People feel only the pain of a country taken at the point of a gun.

    My Green colleagues, Andrea Dawkins, Nick McKim and I are joining Aboriginal Tasmanians at their Invasion Day march in Hobart today because we believe it’s time to change the date on which Australians celebrate who they are as a nation.

    If we are serious about true reconciliation, this is a conversation we must have as Australians – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.

    As the national debate over becoming a Republic gathers renewed steam, now is the right time to find a new, more respectful date on which to celebrate our national identity.

    It won’t be easy, but it is the right thing to do by our First People, and by every Australian who feels uncomfortable celebrating Australia Day on the day Aboriginal Australians lost their country.

  10. peter adams

    January 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Why not make Australia Day always on the 4th Monday of January?

  11. Bob Hawkins

    January 25, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Thank goodness we have the likes of Stan Grant to remind us of our failure as a nation to deal with the biggest challenge it has ever had to face — treating the continent’s original owners as we would want to be treated ourselves, and as equals. It’s time the January 26 Australia Day was consigned to the shit-can of history; and time that we demonstrated our democracy by drawing, willy-nilly, from a hat, a date for an inclusive Australia Day. At least that way, as long as the drawing was properly supervised, if anyone’s political interests were served it would be purely by chance, and, therefore, offensive to no one.

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