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

AngryAnt

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
24,625
10,725
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

Tiger Champion
Feb 11, 2005
3,066
226
NT
www.youtube.com
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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AngryAnt

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
24,625
10,725
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.
 

AngryAnt

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
24,625
10,725
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.

slavery_the-roth-report-headline_sunday-times_1905-02-12_small.jpg


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

LeeToRainesToRoach

Tiger Legend
Jun 4, 2006
33,188
11,537
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.

slavery_the-roth-report-headline_sunday-times_1905-02-12_small.jpg


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".
 

AngryAnt

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
24,625
10,725
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".

Here's the full Royal Commission, knock yourself out.


50k people and a government is still not "beyond the frontier". Slavery still existed, and the government knew about it. Keep on denying history if it makes you feel better though.
 

LeeToRainesToRoach

Tiger Legend
Jun 4, 2006
33,188
11,537
Melbourne
Here's the full Royal Commission, knock yourself out.


50k people and a government is still not "beyond the frontier". Slavery still existed, and the government knew about it. Keep on denying history if it makes you feel better though.
And the British government knew about the unethical killing of Aborigines in 1837. Doing something about it when the problem is remote is another thing.

12236210-3x2-large.jpg


Coolgardie during the late 19th century gold rush. Other parts weren't so civilised.
 
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DavidSSS

Tiger Legend
Dec 11, 2017
6,992
9,147
Melbourne
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.

It certainly is more difficult when talking to someone from abroad, but I would still talk about responsibility and trying to act with indigenous people to further their efforts towards a more equal society.

DS
 

AngryAnt

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
24,625
10,725
Any evidence produced will be excused as above. I mean, I could give more evidence about blackbirding in Queensland well after they had their own parliament and legal systems but I'm sure they would still find reasons to excuse these examples of slavery, or claim that it wasn't real slavery, or that because chattel slavery didn't exist in law then the fact that it existed in practice didn't matter.

Easy to see people's true colours on issues like this.
 
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LeeToRainesToRoach

Tiger Legend
Jun 4, 2006
33,188
11,537
Melbourne
Easy to see people's true colours on issues like this.
Yeah nah. I look on the Stack thread today and some people are so goddamn desperate to see injustice that they convince themselves it's happening. That's half the problem with you lot; you've been conditioned to think the worst of this country and by extension, half the people in it.
 
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AngryAnt

Tiger Legend
Nov 25, 2004
24,625
10,725
Yeah nah. I look on the Stack thread today and some people are so goddamn desperate to see injustice that they convince themselves it's happening. That's half the problem with you lot; you've been conditioned to think the worst of this country and by extension, half the people in it.

I haven't, there's more good about Australia than bad but let's be clear eyed about the past, the present and where we are going.

Truth is more important than patriotism.
 

Djevv

Tiger Champion
Feb 11, 2005
3,066
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NT
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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.

slavery_the-roth-report-headline_sunday-times_1905-02-12_small.jpg


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

Doesn’t this make the point that these practices were not condoned by the authorities - hence the Royal Commission?

As for indentured labor/servitude it was common in British Empire from the time of abolition onwards. Many races were involved including Irish. As a mate of mine says, who has impeccable English working class credentials: nothing the English did in the colonies was not also done first to their own people!

Yeah so it was ugly. Life was tough 100+ years ago. No welfare, hard manual labour, high infant mortality, safety practices unheard of but if you had no gainful employment you died of starvation.

Denialism of what precisely? I just don’t swallow everything I read in the mainstream media.
 
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Giardiasis

Tiger Legend
Apr 20, 2009
6,853
1,270
Brisbane
Yes, it's about reconciliation - recognising the truth of the past and working together to create a better future. It's not about "guilt".
It goes further than that, it is about reparations. White guilt is pushed to justify modern Australian's paying for it, regardless that they had nothing to do with it. I think reparations make perfect sense, but only when a direct property right violation can be demonstrated. Given how long ago these crimes occurred that is basically impossible, so the white guilt angle is pushed (which is racial discrimination IMO) to justify theft to pass onto Indigenous Australians (which itself is impossible to define).
 
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tigerdell

Hope springs infernal
Mar 29, 2014
2,650
2,167
Doesn’t this make the point that these practices were not condoned by the authorities - hence the Royal Commission?

As for indentured labor/servitude it was common in British Empire from the time of abolition onwards. Many races were involved including Irish. As a mate of mine says, who has impeccable English working class credentials: nothing the English did in the colonies was not also done first to their own people!

Yeah so it was ugly. Life was tough 100+ years ago. No welfare, hard manual labour, high infant mortality, safety practices unheard of but if you had no gainful employment you died of starvation.

Denialism of what precisely? I just don’t swallow everything I read in the mainstream media.

It seems to be a bit of a special argument.
- Slavery didnt exist in Australia.
- yes it did
- but the Brits outlawed it
- yes they did but it continued to occur
- maybe but it was outside of jurisdiction. In the wild west
- the same wild west that had a government. And that government set up a royal commission that identified that slavery was occurring. It was clearly significantly a problem to have a royal commission. It took the WA government over 30 years since their formation to act on the illegal and well established slavery practices.


So the result of the discussion is that yes there was slavery in Australia. It was outlawed and that was eventually policed.
The government/society response was far slower than other communities.
No doubt that local politics, the state capabilities/resources and racism contributed to the delay.
Good discussion!
 
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