Indigenous History Debate | PUNT ROAD END | Richmond Tigers Forum
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Indigenous History Debate

LeeToRainesToRoach

Tiger Legend
Jun 4, 2006
29,401
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The thing about "guilt" as a concept is that it can be (and is) used in such a way as to avoid responsibility. You see, guilt has that very valuable trait of having plausible deniability. The strategy is to set up a straw man by stating "I don't feel guilt - it wasn't me/my forebears who invaded Australia, I wasn't alive at the time etc". Hence, by framing the debate as one about guilt one can avoid taking responsibility by denying guilt. It isn't a bad strategy and has worked to some extent.
Do you feel guilt? Is your attitude towards Aboriginals different because of it?
 
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glantone

dog at the footy, punt rd end
Jun 5, 2007
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The thing about "guilt" as a concept is that it can be (and is) used in such a way as to avoid responsibility. You see, guilt has that very valuable trait of having plausible deniability. The strategy is to set up a straw man by stating "I don't feel guilt - it wasn't me/my forebears who invaded Australia, I wasn't alive at the time etc". Hence, by framing the debate as one about guilt one can avoid taking responsibility by denying guilt. It isn't a bad strategy and has worked to some extent.

DS

Yeah you’re right. I never thought of denial as a deliberate strategy like that. Geez, that’s pretty cynical. Though I’d hazard a guess that most people who consider themselves as decent who use denial (perhaps subconsciously) would do so as a defence mechanism rather than a deliberate strategy to cloak racism. I mean some pretty smart and compassionate and committed individuals and organisations have done their best through the years and failed so how helpless are we the average unassuming person on the street to impact the situation.

I don’t feel any shame or guilt if talking about the holocaust - not a shred - but when talking about the plight of the indigenous Australians it’s always there. And this underpinning of shame and guilt goes through the roof if the topic comes up with an inquisitive visitor from abroad who's seen docos or read stuff on the net so I guess there must be some sense of national shame in me at play. Maybe it depends on how you're wired.

Has anyone got the skinny on home ownership on indigenous titled land? Can indigenous Australian buy, renovate and sell houses on titled land or is it all government rental? And can indigenous open, buy, sell businesses on titled land? Guess what I'm asking is are they free to conduct themselves and live their life on titled land as non indigenous australians are all over the rest of australia?
 

Althom

Tiger Matchwinner
Jul 23, 2016
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882
Do you feel guilt? Is your attitude towards Aboriginals different because of it?
The pointy heads apparently don't feel guilt because they "acknowledge" their advantage.
However they don't do anything about it apart from point at others and shout racist.
 
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Althom

Tiger Matchwinner
Jul 23, 2016
998
882
Yeah you’re right. I never thought of denial as a deliberate strategy like that. Geez, that’s pretty cynical. Though I’d hazard a guess that most people who consider themselves as decent who use denial (perhaps subconsciously) would do so as a defence mechanism rather than a deliberate strategy to cloak racism. I mean some pretty smart and compassionate and committed individuals and organisations have done their best through the years and failed so how helpless are we the average unassuming person on the street to impact the situation.

I don’t feel any shame or guilt if talking about the holocaust - not a shred - but when talking about the plight of the indigenous Australians it’s always there. And this underpinning of shame and guilt goes through the roof if the topic comes up with an inquisitive visitor from abroad who's seen docos or read stuff on the net so I guess there must be some sense of national shame in me at play. Maybe it depends on how you're wired.

Has anyone got the skinny on home ownership on indigenous titled land? Can indigenous Australian buy, renovate and sell houses on titled land or is it all government rental? And can indigenous open, buy, sell businesses on titled land? Guess what I'm asking is are they free to conduct themselves and live their life on titled land as non indigenous australians are all over the rest of australia?
Aboriginal Australians have exactly the same rights as all Australians in regards property purchases and starting a business.
 

Djevv

Tiger Champion
Feb 11, 2005
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The Royal family and the British Government were active in the slave trade and slavery when the free settlers and convicts landed/invaded Australia.
Our indigenous brothers and sisters were on a hiding to nothing. The Aboriginals were either going to be massacred or used as slaves, which is what happened.
Has the British Government ever apologised for the disgraceful treatment meted out to the poor souls, I bet they they haven't?

The slave trade was outlawed in all British colonies in 1807. That’s early on in the history of Australia.
 

antman

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
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The slave trade was outlawed in all British colonies in 1807. That’s early on in the history of Australia.

Slavery and forms of indentured labour persisted in Australia well into the 20th century. Don't assume that because a practice was outlawed by the Crown that it didn't persist long afterwards in various places. There was also "blackbirding", essentially press-ganging polynesians, bringing them to Australia to work in the canefields as indentured labour into the 20th century as well.


This is why we need better indigenous history - otherwise myths like "there was no slavery in Australia" will persist.

This image of aborigines enslaved for pearl diving purposes is from 1910.


 
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tigerman

It's Tiger Time
Mar 17, 2003
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The slave trade was outlawed in all British colonies in 1807. That’s early on in the history of Australia.
Yes, but "slavery" was not abolished for another 30 years..................supposedly.

When the slave trade was abolished, the slave traders got compensated, not the the slaves:vomit
 

antman

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Nov 25, 2004
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Yes, it's about reconciliation - recognising the truth of the past and working together to create a better future. It's not about "guilt".
 

glantone

dog at the footy, punt rd end
Jun 5, 2007
1,123
84
The pointy heads apparently don't feel guilt because they "acknowledge" their advantage.
However they don't do anything about it apart from point at others and shout racist.

Thanks for the heads up on home/business ownership. I wonder when that came about.

What’s a pointy head?

Interesting if you think you can work off guilt or shame like you can a hangover.
 

glantone

dog at the footy, punt rd end
Jun 5, 2007
1,123
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Speaking of the lol days I recently read somewhere that in the states imprisoning or in the case of serious crime hanging a slave was seen to a large extent as punishing the slave owner (more than the slave) who would be 1 slave down and so out of pocket. Trying to run a business based on slavery is not all its cracked up to be.
 

Djevv

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Feb 11, 2005
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Slavery and forms of indentured labour persisted in Australia well into the 20th century. Don't assume that because a practice was outlawed by the Crown that it didn't persist long afterwards in various places. There was also "blackbirding", essentially press-ganging polynesians, bringing them to Australia to work in the canefields as indentured labour into the 20th century as well.


This is why we need better indigenous history - otherwise myths like "there was no slavery in Australia" will persist.

This image of aborigines enslaved for pearl diving purposes is from 1910.



Yes there was corruption, racism and abuse occurred no doubt. There is a massive difference between this and full state sanctioned chattel slavery. It’s interesting to note that abolishing the slave trade was a work in progress to took time to work its way through the British Empire.

On the other hand this was the first time in history that the slave trade was abolished. That alone should show what a powerful civilising influence the British Empire was on balance.
 
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antman

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Nov 25, 2004
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SYes there was corruption, racism and abuse occurred no doubt. There is a massive difference between this and full state sanctioned chattel slavery. It’s interesting to note that abolishing the slave trade was a work in progress to took time to work its way through the British Empire.

On the other hand this was the first time in history that the slave trade was abolished. That alone should show what a powerful civilising influence the British Empire was on balance.

Yes, these guys must have been so grateful to know that they weren't actually slaves as the practice had been outlawed in Empire 103 years before.



1882 - these aborigines sold to PT Barnum for display in his US circuses also must have been relieved they weren't actually slaves.



photo from between 1898-1906 - these blokes don't look like slaves at all.




"Slavery has been illegal in the (former) British Empire since the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade of 1807, and certainly since 1833.

Slavery practices emerged in Australia in the 19th century and in some places endured until the 1950s.

Early coverage of slavery in Australia​

As early as the 1860s, anti-slavery campaigners began to invoke “charges of chattel bondage and slavery” to describe north Australian conditions for Aboriginal labour."

Sadly, denialism on the part of white australia about this part of our history continues to this day. Until you can face the past and admit the what happened, you cannot pretend to be someone concerned with the truth.
 

Djevv

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Feb 11, 2005
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Yes, these guys must have been so grateful to know that they weren't actually slaves as the practice had been outlawed in Empire 103 years before.



1882 - these aborigines sold to PT Barnum for display in his US circuses also must have been relieved they weren't actually slaves.



photo from between 1898-1906 - these blokes don't look like slaves at all.




"Slavery has been illegal in the (former) British Empire since the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade of 1807, and certainly since 1833.

Slavery practices emerged in Australia in the 19th century and in some places endured until the 1950s.

Early coverage of slavery in Australia​

As early as the 1860s, anti-slavery campaigners began to invoke “charges of chattel bondage and slavery” to describe north Australian conditions for Aboriginal labour."

Sadly, denialism on the part of white australia about this part of our history continues to this day. Until you can face the past and admit the what happened, you cannot pretend to be someone concerned with the truth.


I agree these people were experiencing a form of slavery. These pictures demonstrate the fact. But in relatively far flung and lawless parts of Australia and I feel political corruption was involved as well as illegal practices by individuals. This is not wholesale and unrestrained chattel slavery as practiced in earlier times in the British Empire or the US.

Part of the reason we are aware of it is that there were abolitionist organisations and unions that stood up to it and called it out for what it was: illegal and inhuman.

Antman we still have slavery in various forms operating all over the world. It’s not legal, but it happens. What we are seeing above is similar.
 
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antman

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Nov 25, 2004
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I agree these people were experiencing a form of slavery. These pictures demonstrate the fact. But in relatively far flung and lawless parts of Australia and I feel political corruption was involved as well as illegal practices by individuals. This is not wholesale and unrestrained chattel slavery as practiced in earlier times in the British Empire or the US.

Part of the reason we are aware of it is that there were abolitionist organisations and unions that stood up to it and called it out for what it was: illegal and inhuman.

Antman we still have slavery in various forms operating all over the world. It’s not legal, but it happens. What we are seeing above is similar.

Slavery still exists in parts of the world yes. Denialism of the history of slavery in Australia also exists. "far flung and lawless parts of Australia" is where our indigenous population mostly lived - that's a pathetic excuse.

Of course we also sailed out to the Pacific islands and press-ganged 60000 locals to come to Australia to work as indentured labour - I suppose that was "far flung and lawless" too, despite them crossing through Australia's borders.

Slavery existed here Djevy and it was as disgusting as anywhere else in the world.
 

Djevv

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Feb 11, 2005
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In my point in my posts is to take a more nuanced view of Australian history as opposed to the politicised hatchet job perpetuated by publications like ‘the conversation’.

1. Being in far flung region where it was easy to go under the radar was a reason such practices might have been tolerated not an excuse. A moment’s reflection on what conditions were like for anyone in the 19th Century would make it clear why it would be easier to get away with illegal practices in these areas. Corrupt politicians and public officials just turn a blind eye. In a remote locations they could be a law unto themselves.
2. Indentured labor was not slavery as it was paid. If workers were not paid then that is illegal. In recent times employers who perpetrated these crimes have been forced to make reparations.

Certainly these illegal/highly questionable practices did happen in Australia and in lots of other places as well. But ‘the Conversation’ trying to imply it was organised state-approved chattel slavery is simply false.
 
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antman

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Nov 25, 2004
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Yep, unscrupulous people perpetrated it because they could. There were no controls, no laws out beyond the frontier. No doubt terrible things happened that nobody will ever know about.

The people who governed the colonies knew all about these forms of slavery. And we do know about these terrible things that happened. They are documented and recorded. I show you direct evidence of slavery in Australia and you claim "nobody will ever know about" it?

"Beyond the frontier"? You think sugar cane farms were "beyond the frontier". You think the pastoral and pearl diving industries - launched from towns and cities in the north, were "beyond the frontier"? In Western Australia in the early 1900s the government was well aware of indentured slave labour practices and tried to introduce a minimum 5 shilling per six month wage but this was successfully lobbied against by the pastoral industy.

Slavery existed in Australia well into the 20th century, including chattel slavery. The suggestion that governments didn't know or approve is abject denialism.
 

antman

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
20,976
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In my point in my posts is to take a more nuanced view of Australian history as opposed to the politicised hatchet job perpetuated by publications like ‘the conversation’.

1. Being in far flung region where it was easy to go under the radar was a reason such practices might have been tolerated not an excuse. A moment’s reflection on what conditions were like for anyone in the 19th Century would make it clear why it would be easier to get away with illegal practices in these areas. Corrupt politicians and public officials just turn a blind eye. In a remote locations they could be a law unto themselves.
2. Indentured labor was not slavery as it was paid. If workers were not paid then that is illegal. In recent times employers who perpetrated these crimes have been forced to make reparations.

Certainly these illegal/highly questionable practices did happen in Australia and in lots of other places as well. But ‘the Conversation’ trying to imply it was organised state-approved chattel slavery is simply false.


There was a Royal Commission in WA in 1906 - the Roth RC, which confirmed officially that the practices of slavery existed and had been tolerated for decades by the WA authorities.



To state it all happened "beyond the frontier" and no-one knew about is abject denialism.
 

LeeToRainesToRoach

Tiger Legend
Jun 4, 2006
29,401
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Melbourne
There was a Royal Commission in WA in 1906 - the Roth RC, which confirmed officially that the practices of slavery existed and had been tolerated for decades by the WA authorities.



To state it all happened "beyond the frontier" and no-one knew about is abject denialism.
Publish the whole thing and not just the headline so people can read it.

WA only formed a government in 1890 and its population was under 50K. Truly the "wild west".