White Australia has a black history

T-Shirt with a colour screen print of the Australian Aboriginal flagproduced for the Australian Bicentenary in 1988. Image from Museum of Victoria

The double meaning in the popular slogan “White Australia has a black history”, sadly, continues to apply to current federal, state and territory government policies. Governments may have apologised for past mistreatment but they are still destroying Aboriginal communities, stealing Aboriginal land and racism is alive as ever.

The Gillard Labor government’s Ministry of Truth must be working overtime to churn out titles for programs that say the opposite of what they actually deliver. One of their more recent products is “Stronger Futures”, the name of the fake community consultations being carried out to justify the continuation of the racist Northern Territory intervention into Aboriginal communities. (See Peter Robson’s excellent article in the previous issue of Green Left Weekly for an exposure of this latest insult to Aboriginal people.)

It is like “Closing the Gap”. They are not!

As Rebuilding From The Ground Up, a Aboriginal community call for an alternative to the NT intervention explained:

“The NT Intervention has been a disaster for Aboriginal communities.

“Rather than ‘closing the gap’, government statistics show Indigenous incarceration rates have risen by almost 30 per cent, school attendance is down in many places,ii suicide and self harm have increased and thousands of workers are being put onto Centrelink as CDEP closes down. There are growing crises in urban centres such as Alice Springs as large numbers of people move in from the bush.”

Perversely, the very destructiveness of previous racist government policies is being used to justify the introduction of more racist and destructive policies. Things are so bad, goes the argument, anything must be better.

It is a ridiculous argument but one that feeds on despair and lowered expectations. It’s part of a systematic brainwashing that is part and parcel of the corporate profits-first ideological offensive we have all been subjected to for the last three and a half decades. To further enrich and empower the already incredibly rich and powerful, the expectations of the majority of people have been systematically lowered. Expect less, don’t organise and don’t resist. That’s what they are trying to brainwash us into thinking.

In the process the rich have got richer – destroying entire communities and wrecking the environment in the process – and then sent the world into an economic mess through the biggest orgy of speculation in history.

Green Left Weekly proudly resists this retreative mindset by giving a voice to all the oppress who are fighting back against today’s Ministry of Truth in all its forms. This is a fight that can be won with your help.

Please make a contribution this week to the Green Left Fighting Fund. Donate online today. Or direct deposits can be made to Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 00901992. Otherwise, you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007 or phone in a donation through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia).

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