The white-blindfold-view of Australian history

Ray Jackson

Argument by Ray Jackson against a polemic in “The Australian” newspaper, “The grim legacy of compassion”

the paean to assimilation by patrick mccauley is most surely seen only through his eyes that are wrapped up in the white-blindfold-view of history whereby it becomes confused, contorted and seriously contentious. i have no idea who mccauley is even though seeking information on google  but whoever he be he must be answered by argument against his polemic. hopefully i will go some way to doing that.


the quote from noel pearson merely mirrors his and white australia's view that all we need in the constitution is mention that we, or rather our  ancestors, were the original custodians of australia and we can all live happily ever after. we won’t and they won’t and he won’t so let's do  something positive instead. sovereignty, treaties and social justice.


then, and only then, we can begin the chat on reconciliation. yes, the term australia is a white construct but to then go on to opine that because our ancestors had not mapped nor named this continent is of little import. he is totally wrong about the mapping anyway as we knew every square inch or millimetre of our lands. we had trade routes set up, giving us a knowledge of the lands that was far beyond those of ancient europe. naming strengthens ownership and this island continent belonged to us as individual nations. and where europe fought bloody wars for land we lived quite peacefully in our own nations. the europeans kept their lust for stolen lands very much alive and brought it with them in 1788. whence our problems began.


mccauley has a rather jaundiced view on our human abilities to survive and how europeans led far better lifestyles. again wrong. i would argue that the aboriginal population of this country would be closer to 2 million rather than his nominated paltry half million which is at least higher than the dismal 300 000 that we were taught in school. we've been here for at least 60 000 years and our procreative skills were at least the match of the europeans so i find his estimate to perhaps understate the population facts so their introduced genocide does not look so bad. in their eyes at least. it looks murderous to us. they pulled this same counting scam in the americas also after they had invaded there.


i've already addressed his false claim re communications and trade but we did have fish farming methods that worked very well and fed those requiring food without overfishing and taking more than could possibly be eaten. our culture was one of sharing and not selling for profit. such an idea would have been an anathema to our old ones and our old ways.

comparing lifestyles and longevity between our ancestors and that of european folk is at least questionable i believe. we had no plagues, we had no wars, we had a very well-rounded and nutritious diet. we did not have tobacco or alcohol until the invaders introduced them to our old ones. was it not capt. phillip who remarked on the good health, stature and our manly nature, hence the name manly for a northern beaches suburb.

our women and young girls were much coveted by the newcomers so at best perhaps i could state that both societies had some good and some bad points in this area. recent studies have found that in fact our people "farmed" their lands with fire thus making it far more productive than the tired soils of europe.
our culture, our religion of course did identify that we did indeed belong to the land and not the other way round. whilst mccauley finds this notion to be somewhat of a scornful concept the reality is just ingenious in its concept. if, as we believe, the land is our mother then it is just plain common sense that as we honour our birth-mother, so too do we honour our lands and we kept them pollution free and under-used rather than over-used. a task that europe and its citizens have failed miserably. i see no problem for our ancestors here. mccauley's arrogance continues by his point that aborigines have 'thrown away' our chance to match a capitalistic europe, and this somehow led to our nomadic existence. what absolute rot! we lived in peace and a world that generally sustained and provided all of our needs. yes, we were nomadic, yes we could be called primitive by a more technological society but i must differ to his interpretation of what that means. our nomadic life was built around the seasons of what foods were available in different areas and to allow the environment to replenish itself. that allowed for a good diet and lifestyle. our technology was more than enough to survive in all areas of australia, in all climates. we knew where to find what we needed, when we needed it. our weapons were apt to the task of what was required of them.

we accepted the land and its bounty, we did not attack it and over-use it. 


the major fault i find with mccauley's thoughts are that he is attempting to compare our ancient ones and life structures with modern day capitalism and that is never going to work. from capitalism mccauley then moves to the utopian world, or utopian australia, that he seems to live in.


firstly, australia is not a democracy, it is at best an elective oligarchy and nothing else. we are allowed to vote every three or four years and then short of revolution we have no more control on the political processes that have made this country a human rights shame job. please show me one asylum seeker that has equal legal rights with those who are born here. please show me one aborigine in the nt who can legally opt out of the infamous intervention. please show me one family, of whatever hue, that has been granted real justice in the loss of their loved one in custody. please show me these things patrick that you so easily equate to your view and understanding of equal rights. while you’re at it, patrick, explain to me how these one nation embracing political parties, both labor and the coalition, continue to breach signed un declarations and abuse human rights in my name. they do not act or speak for me so where is my equal rights for me to be excluded by these racist parties? equal rights in this country is based, as it is in many other countries, on class issues.


secondly, i do agree with you that the majority of australians lead 'comparatively painless lives'. but this painless living is supported by issues such as those outlined above but mainly their lives are built on stolen lands and stolen resources taken from the traditional owners of this ancient land. this windfall for the majority of australians whilst easily accepted is rarely if ever questioned. and why should it be. this largesse is based on a genocidal lie. never in this country have all citizens been valued equally and has nothing to do with democracy anyway.

the cradle of democracy, greece, was only for greek free men and not to their slaves or concubines. nothing has changed. again patrick i do agree that we live in two australias. the first taken by force and genocide, the second that of the birthright of the traditional owners. i believe that perhaps there are three australias. one for the wasp-based invaders, the other by refugees who are not wasp-ish and lastly, my people, the dispossessed.


i find it absolutely amazing that when pundits like mccauley weep that their right to racism and vilification, free speech as they know it, is somehow being curtailed by governments who have been seduced by 'whitefella intellectuals and academics' into adopting race laws that attempt to curtail the worst examples of that racism and vilification. he uses andrew bolt, that paragon of social virtue (in his own eyes mostly) as his free speech weathervane but does not recognise that what bolt said and wrote about aboriginal identification was based on falsehoods, or false facts if you prefer. in the modern culture of aboriginal identification we absolutely claim the right to identify an aboriginal person regardless of his/her skin colour. we do not accept the white construct of who is and who is not an aborigine. that is our right and ours alone. any aborigine can ask me to identify and i will. i have been asked by solicitors and magistrates in court about my identity and i explain that i cannot answer them but if they have their aboriginal staff ask me, then i can answer. this has raised feathers at times.


should citizens vilify the industrial moguls, mediocre politicians or other establishment figures you face being dragged into court on charges of libel and defamation. that law is to their good so is considered to be a good law. our right to such a legal protection is considered however to be a bad law and a dangerous gag to free speech. what free speech has to do with getting aboriginal children into school, the number of aboriginal people in gaols and curing alcoholism or drug addiction i just do not know. this is classic bolt modus operandi. first you identify a problem, to him, then raise answers that do not relate to the stated problem and then extrapolating an answer from that. the rule for a bolt discussion is he talks, he decides, end of story.


descriptives such as compassion and recognition are new meanings and after changing the meanings of the chosen words they then decide to bring forth an answer that suits only their purposes and has little or nothing to do with facts. the bolt credo, and probably mccauley’s also, is that of the cheshire cat that words mean whatever he wants them to mean.


that system is well shown in mccauley's look at the subject of monies the governments allegedly spend on 'fixing' the aboriginal problem. by his calculation each aborigine over their life-span is in the millions of dollars of government largesse. this is argued to be a financial burden to the oft described 'tax payers'. there is no recognition that we are tax payers as well and whilst all of our people do not work or have health problems, same as the rest of society. i must point out to mccauley the absolute fact that on a percentage basis aborigines are more teetotal than non-aborigines. that fact never gets a run. another unarguable fact is that only some 10% of these government funds actually reach aborigines at the community level. one only has to remember and consider the waste of funding that came from the sihip program for aboriginal housing or the massive rip-offs emanating from the human rights abuses that arise from the criminal nt intervention. any monies alleged to have been spent on us over 200 years is but a pittance to the stolen wealth of this country and its resources. a mere pittance.


it is not unusual that our claim for land rights is seen through the blind-fold as separation of some kind. it isn't but we do want our lands back where this is possible to be done. not to set up bantustans or apartheid-style areas where non-aborigines will not be welcome. whilst some very few aborigines will argue for that to be done, the majority of us want the return of our lands for cultural reasons and i see nothing wrong in that. the problem comes from our claim to all our resources now and equitable compensation for what has been stolen from us previously.

it seems that compensation becomes a form of invective when it concerns my people. an apology for the stolen generations is fine but what about compensation for them. why are we to be treated in a different manner to others. at least, in my opinion, howard was at least true in his contempt
 of us more honest than krudd of his spoken compassion and love for us. i hate hypocrisy!


we are indeed the first australians. we are aboriginal australians and not just australians. we first identify as aborigines and then as australians. and this fact appears to confuse and upset mccauley to no end. it seems that the invaders loved and respected our ancestors even while they were murdering us, raping our women and young girls (and possibly boys) whilst they were taking our lands for their farms and sheep runs. apparently the genocide of our old people is only a theory postulated by ambitious left-wing historians. i think the white-blind-fold mccauley is wearing is becoming way too tight and he is becoming delusional in his white-washing of the history of this country. as we strongly argue, australia has a black history and mccauley and others of his ilk had better just accept it. for 224 years we have had a shared history and our shared history is not about white explorers 'finding' this place. our place for 60 000+ years. it is more than sheep or foreign kings and queens. it is not the tragic failure of gallipoli at which my people fought also. it is not just about how our old ones were used as slave labour on the white-owned cattle stations, our shared history is about massacres, it is about dispossession and not only of our lands and our children but also our wages, our human rights, our humanity. it is about our heroes of our resistance such as pemulwuy, jandamarra, windradyne, yagan, among many others. yes we killed the invader and the policeman but we fought for our freedom and our nations. all this and more is our shared history but whilst my people know that and more, your people, patrick, not only do not know our shared history but are loathe to recognise it. as my people suffer from collective trauma brought about by the invasion so too does his people have a collective conscience that forces them to not only bind their eyes but to hear no evil either.


we most definitely do not want modern day australians to, as mccauley so eloquently puts it, wear the guilt and shame proudly. i would argue that we want no such thing. all we ask is for truth to overcome spin and lies and falsifications of the historical kind. we can only move forward together when there is real honesty between us. when we become equal to the status of all australians and their governments with our sovereignty, treaties and social justice. that ethos i would claim as the true australian way. a way that has been mutilated out of shape by australian governments leading their citizens into a one nation world.


the sneering comments of mccauley continue unabated. if aborigines are recognised in the constitution then that is only because of a perceived left-wing plot against whites. the return of apartheid will occur and the call for compensation will bankrupt the treasury of those 'tax-payers'. even our aboriginal organisations are seen to be based on pure evil and racism. the invaders brought the enlightenment (whatever that was), christianity (more problems), the industrial revolution and trade (and all this has done what exactly?). our primitive life was saved by the modernity of the invaders. the invaders, according to the gospel of mccauley, brought 'improved joy and happiness' to the primitives and 'we no longer live in the existential angst of the nomad'. if memory serves me correctly, our mobs saved more of the invaders than they saved us. starting with philip and his band of brigands. according to the mccauley gospel, aborigines came into sydney town in search of alcohol, tobacco, food, and clothing and the first welcome to country was performed for arthur philip. the arrogance and the rewriting of history of the author of this article is remarkable only for its myopically one-eyed view of real history and mccauley's history. this is unbelievable rubbish. perhaps patrick mccauley is a non-de plume for windschuttle who is known to write such rubbish. alcohol and tobacco were introduced by the invaders to procure aboriginal women. alcohol was introduced to make the local aborigines fight gladiator-style for the amusement of the troopers, the first police. our nakedness was only covered because of an introduced religious shame. our religion found no shame in the way we lived. i have never seen any information that a welcome to country was done for philip but i suspect that mccauley is being disingenuous when he makes that statement as i am quite sure that he would have no truck with that process either.


i will finish with further words by mccauley in his best and loudest capitalist establishment voice. with no further comment from me. "viva individual freedom, individual responsibility, free enterprise and the pursuit of happiness."


the gospel of capitalism. (sorry, couldn't help myself).



ray jackson
indigenous social justice association
(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947
address 1303/200 pitt street waterloo 2017

we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.

sovereignty treaty social justice


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