Random Note #189,783
Listening to a couple of aboriginals being interviewed on the ABC 702 on Wednesday afternoon about Australia Day and Captain Cook and I found their position perplexing to say the least.
Both, I’m guessing, would have been in their late 30’s, one a presenter on Radio National the other a lecturer at UTS, so hardly doing it tough and very well acculturated. What you might call aboriginal elites.
But despite the obvious advantages they’ve accrued both in terms of education, well paying careers and a life in the suburbs like most other Australians, these two exuded an air of bitterness, resentment and ingratitude.
“We were invaded, there’s no doubt about that” one of them said.
I’m thinking, what’s with this “WE” business? Whether you think Australia was invaded or not is hardly the point.
Given that those events happened 230 years ago, how is it possible for someone in 2017, born in the last 35 years or so and living a life lightyears removed from the hunter gatherer existence and a life described by Thomas Hobbes of indigenous existence generally, as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” to be so conceited and narcissistic, as to place themselves and make themselves central to the people and the events of 1788, as part of the “we”?
And furthermore why would anyone want to?
It seems to me that the sub-text of what they were saying was along the lines that they would have preferred some fictional, romantic and idealised Rousseauean, noble savage existence as a hunter gatherer. In effect, like many aboriginal activists they were pining for an existence that never actually existed except in philosopher Rousseau’s fertile imagination.
I’m thinking, why don’t you two quit your navel gazing, shelve your attitude and the chip on your shoulder for a minute, take a quality of life stocktake, and take a look around you? Everything you see, roads, buildings, educational institutions, the Rule of Law, and all manner of opportunity and advantage even your own comfortable existence all flows directly from the events of 26 January 1788 and the arrival of the First Fleet.
If you think for one minute that Australia was going to sit down here and a coloniser (French, Dutch, Portuguese or the British) weren’t going to move into the neighbourhood, then you are either deluded or been hitting the Kool-Aid.
What they don’t seem to understand is that all they’re doing with their ungracious and bitter attitude, is undermining the decency and goodwill of average Australians and more specifically, the prospects of a yes vote at the Constitutional Recognition referendum.