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December 08th 2016 print

Tanya Rosecky

Black Lives Don’t Matter

No activist of the sort the ABC keeps on speed dial will admit as much, but their refusal to address the dreadful circumstances of so many women and kids in so many dysfunctional communities says it all. Why talk of grog and violence when there is a cartoonist to crucify?

leak kid III want to see a new slogan being pushed in the public sphere: ‘All Aboriginal Women’s and Children’s Lives Matter.’ After all, it’s the appropriate sentiment for those most at risk. I mention Aboriginal women and their children because they are inextricably linked, as Jacinta Price has pointed out. As reported in The Australian, “Ms Price did not shy away from one of the core problems hurting Aboriginal children: the widespread acceptance of the violent behaviour of Aboriginal men towards women.”

Unfortunately it turns out that, for some, no Aboriginal lives matter enough to shift the focus to addressing the real issues that cause lives to be damaged and lost. The cheap thrills of confected outrage, the perverse pleasure of revelling in offended feelings, the thrill of uttering those attention-seeking cries of ‘Racism!’ along with the strangling strictures of political correctness are simply too intoxicating and addictive for camera-ready talking heads to give up. Who speaks for Aboriginal women and children, who takes up the cause of the vulnerable, and forgotten? Certainly not those with the rent-a-quote quips so beloved of those who report but do not wish to understand.

It’s a real shame that the social justice warriors (SJW) and other publicity-hungry agitators never seem to give as much attention to the big issues — and two women murdered must surely be reckoned a big issue — as they do with the petty incidents that are the stock in trade of the offence industry. When two Aboriginal women, Kwementyaye Murphy and  Kwementaye McCormack were killed by their Aboriginal partners, the media reported how both women had suffered long histories of violent treatment until, eventually, tragedy was the ultimate result. Murphy was beaten to death, while McCormack bled to death from a stab wound. To my dismay, I never noticed outraged posts on social media in response to those grim deaths.

Nor did I witness any of the myriad Aboriginal activist Facebook pages post any of the news links regarding the deaths of these women. This made for a striking contrast with the explosion of social media commentary following the ‘black face’ incident of a 10-year-old boy who dressed as his hero, Nic Naitanui. Sadly, no-one seems now to remember the violent deaths of Murphy and McCormack but the ‘black face’ scandal still rages, as evidenced by the popularity of a recently released rap song, by Perth emcee Ziggy, in which he bemoans the injustice of black face. Traversing the same lines, when a recent article about Fitzroy Crossing described devastating incidents of child neglect, that scandal passed with little attention, yet Bill Leak continues to be branded a racist more than three months after he drew his infamous cartoon. The cartoon was neither racist nor did it involve stereotyping, despite what his critics would have us believe. The extent of child neglect and abuse in Aboriginal communities is serious enough for Western Australia Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan to express his concerns about the lack of power to remove children from highly dysfunctional homes and to do so in a timely manner. In three months, few will remember O’Callaghan’s words, but Leak’s cartoon will still raise heated criticism — and, quite possibly, the attentions of more of “the offended” and, of course, their lawyers.

The essence of Leak’s cartoon is simplicity itself: Aboriginal children’s lives really do matter, but that, far too often, they don’t matter enough to those people entrusted with nurturing them — their parents. Why do hearts bleed more over a cartoon drawn by a non-Aboriginal man than for incidents of murderous despair playing out in real life? Does anyone care about the actual, real-life children that inspired Leak’s cartoon? In the Koori Mail (November 16, 2016), Gerry Moore, co-chair of Family Matters and chief executive of the Secretariat for Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), was reported as saying “despite good intentions, systems across Australia are failing to support the safety and wellbeing of our Indigenous children.” While it is important that children are able to access services to ensure their well being and safety, it is also vital to acknowledge the best chance children have to thrive is through their parents providing them with loving, safe, and nurturing homes. We should not leave it up to “the system.” Government services, where resources permit, are there to provide safety for at-risk children. Where families have appreciably lower access to appropriate support services, as mentioned in the Koori Mail article, then government should assist, but it hardly needs stating that too many Aboriginal children suffer because their home lives are unsafe and their family situations volatile.

The same article cites poverty and family violence as the main reasons children are removed, but the blame is shifted onto government services. This is a handy device in that it veils and obscures the simple fact that primary and ultimate responsibility for children’s welfare must always reside with the parents, regardless of colour or ethnic heritage. It is interesting to note, that Moore is one of those who claimed to have been offended by Bill Leak’s cartoon.  Moore’s reaction reveals how fanatically he is playing the ideological harpsichord of the Aboriginal industry, all  strings vibrating in the sombre notes of victimhood. Leak’s cartoon is clearly a threat to the ideology of people like Moore, because, as stated by Peter Baldwin, a minister in the Hawke and Keating governments, “A well-crafted and provocative cartoon can have a greater impact on the wider public debate than a dozen academic papers.”

It is imperative to push for change by challenging those whose ideological convictions are perpetuating the narrative of today’s Aboriginal people as victims of things such as  colonisation. Leak’s cartoon opened a debate some aren’t willing to have, a debate they would  prefer to suppress by yelling ‘racism.’ Sadly, that tactic is all too often effective in the extreme. Inspirationally, the horrors of violence and neglect experienced by Aboriginal women and children, especially those in remote communities, have recently been called to light by a powerful trio of women, Marcia Langton, Jacinta Price and Josephine Cashman. Langton explained that there are just under 10,000 Aboriginal fathers incarcerated and 30,000 children neglected or in state care. Thanks to these ladies, I am hopeful that we may see the new slogan I mentioned earlier: ‘All Aboriginal Women’s and Children’s Lives Matter.’ Unfortunately, there can be a price to pay when an Aboriginal person speaks out against the poor treatment of Aboriginal women and children, and I am sure each of these courageous women could tell of the rancour and abuse that has been heaped upon them for articulating grim and unpalatable truth.

Price, for one, has explained how her family is at risk of violent retribution because she has chosen to speak out. And while being labelled a racist and threatened with Section 18c has understandably caused a great deal of stress to Leak, his consolation is that he can at least avoid the sort of physical retribution Price talks about and fears. Leak has committed the ultimate heresy by telling the shocking truth so many others shun; therefore, he needed to be branded a racist, harassed with 18C complaints and, if possible, silenced once and for all. That he refused to back down, that he stood on principle and, at much cost to himself, urged his critics to do their worst redounds to his enormous credit. For too long political correctness has been valued more than the lives and safety of Aboriginal women and children.

Excuses for the ongoing violence — and I here I think of the apologists and sophists who would blame the First Fleet for the deaths of Murphy and McCormack– are gagging needed discussion of underlying issues and practical solutions. Until then, sadly, Aboriginal children will continue to overload the states’ care services, just as their fathers disproportionately fill the prisons for their acts of violence. Aboriginal women and children’s lives will remain in danger as long as misguided activists refuse to allow the truth be weighed, reckoned and rectified. That is the real tragedy.

Tanya Rosecky is the founder of Get Real Australia, a not for profit organisation which campaigns through social media on indigenous issues

Comments [20]

  1. Anthony says:

    I read the sad title of this article “Black Lives Don’t Matter” and wish that it wasn’t true. But sadly it is true. It seems that the only time black lives matter is when you can implicate a white fella in their death. To the Aboriginal activists, all lives should matter! Thank you Tanya.

    • Jody says:

      As the grandmother of four myself I’m totally appalled to contemplate what happens to young children in these communities, especially after dark. The women have the opportunity get up and move away from this dysfunction but they choose not to do so. Ergo, they are part of the problem because their non-movement is tantamount to enabling.

      • Lawrie Ayres says:

        That may well be so, Jody, but where should they go? From my understanding of Aboriginal culture they cannot leave and if they do they will be ostracized and lose all contact with the only support they know. Besides their mothers and grandmothers put up with it so why shouldn’t they?

        The real problem is that the PC mob have elevated Aboriginals to the highest form of human perfection. They were the best land managers and had the best social structure according to the proponents. Tim Flannery challenged the former in his book “The Future Eaters” and was castigated for daring to suggest our Megafauna was destroyed by Aboriginal people over a ten thousand year period when their occupation of Australia overlapped. Some researchers are trying to show the diprotodon and his giant marsupial mates were extinct before the black man came just to preserve the sin free status of our first inhabitants. It is more difficult to explain the predominance of eucalypts over pines due to firestick farming preferring to blame climate change. Then of course there is the problem of the Tasmanian aboriginals being hunted from the mainland by another wave of aborigines( or were they invaders?).

  2. Patrick McCauley says:

    During the few years I spent in different Aboriginal communities in the NT , I was mesmerised by the violence of Aboriginal women as well as the men. Alcohol and alcoholism accounted for most of it … but I noticed that many of the older Aboriginal women had lost fingers … not just one finger but often more, and when I asked why, I discovered that it was as a result of fighting (mostly) other women with nulla nullas – large top weighted clubs of significant weight. Violence , I observed, was not only a male problem … but was ‘cultural’. I have observed drunken Aboriginal women fighting each other with nulla nullas. Sleeping or drunken men were also attacked with these instruments. Perhaps the violence of Aboriginal women does not result in the deaths that male Aboriginal violence does. but it certainly results in significant injuries and scars the bodies of otherwise beautiful Aboriginal women, terribly.

  3. Patrick McCauley says:

    Perhaps all Aboriginal Lives Matter … even the lives of Aboriginal men… and all women’s and children’s lives matter too … even white lives matter … all lives matter … all life is sacred. Of course the culture of Aboriginal people was and is based around violence, and if Aboriginal people wish to remain within ‘culture’ they will remain within the basic limitations of violence. Our white culture is also based around the controlled violence of our courts and legal systems and jails – which claim to rehabilitate and educate. If you can take the alcohol and the drugs and the uncontrolled nature out of it, such energy and passion can be put to better creative use. You have to accept that the whitefellas way is better … that, in this matter ‘white’ culture is better than ‘black’ culture.

    • Jody says:

      Some few years ago I remember reading a story in one of the papers about the program to help aboriginal students which operates at St. Joseph’s College at Riverview. Apparently the school takes X number of kids with promising academic results and educates them under a scholarship system. At least, that’s how I recall these aboriginal boys being able to move to the city to become educated. Whether this program still operates I’m unsure, but my heart skipped a beat to see those beautiful boys in their school uniforms; happy, healthy, engaged in sports, smiling and looking forward to wonderful careers if they continued to work hard. How I wish more of these scholarships could be made available to our indigenous kids so that they can get the opportunities Noel Pearson did!!!

      • Lawrie Ayres says:

        St Josephs is at Hunter Hill across the water from Riverview College. Joeys continues to run that programme with great success. The boys come from as far away as North Queensland. It’s a wonder the school has not been accused of “breeding the black out or some such” by the likes of Charlton or David Marr or any of the myriad of Catholic haters and Aboriginal apologists.

  4. mags of Queensland says:

    The sad thing is that black lives don’t matter – to other black people. There are exceptions, notably the three ladies mentioned, but in the main the mouthy activists don’t really care for their people. They just use them to big note themselves.

    A lot can be done for the children if there hadn’t been the myth of ” stolen generation” to muddy the waters. Many aboriginal children have been taken from dysfunctional families and raised by whites to live full, productive and happy lives. Now, there are generations of aboriginal children doomed to abuse and neglect because child protection agencies feel that their hands are tied because of the myth.It’s a disgrace.

  5. [email protected] says:

    Of course violence had to be part of traditional culture, and probably was in every ‘traditional’ society in the world: after all, with no prisons, people can’t be locked away; with no system of money, they can’t be fined either; nor would ‘community service’ make much sense. The only option in such societies is the threat, and liberal application of, violence. Pretty much every early observer of Aboriginal life remarks on it. But in today’s society, other options ARE available: there is no excuse for violence, against Aboriginal women, children or men. Rosecky has had the courage to point out that yes, ALL lives matter and that speaking out at what one sees as injustice, even if it can’t be easily fitted into one’s narrative, is vital to protect the rights of the oppressed. Culture can’t be exploited, or misused, to excuse the mistreatment of anybody. All lives matter.

  6. rosross says:

    Until those involved, all of the adults, are held accountable for the behaviour, nothing will change. Why should it? As long as the cop-out cry continues, ‘but my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, great-great grandparents, and, or the community to which I am linked suffered,’ the mantle of victimhood will never be lifted.

    We would consider it mentally dysfunctional if someone were to take on board the experiences of their parents and be defined by them, and even more so to stretch it back through generations, and yet this is the position pushed by the Aboriginal industry and its legion of ‘well-intentioned’ but deluded do-gooders. Such a mindset dooms the children to misery, suffering and inescapable victimhood.

    Everyone is descended from the abused, persecuted, traumatised and if most can work through that and move on, then so can anyone, including Australia’s indigenous. The fact is, most indigenous have done just that, and only a few remain trapped, pinned like metaphorical moths to some fantasy drawing board called traditional life, a life which is not the least traditional and which contains backward, brutal and dysfunctional traditions if it contains any traditions at all.

  7. ianl says:

    Some 20 (?) years ago, the then Ch 9 TV programme Sunday ran a longish video segment showing in graphic detail the horrifying domestic violence in an Aborigine centre from just one drunken Saturday night. The evidence of violent dysfunction was incontrovertible.

    Yet the following week the MSM stoutly refused to admit this segment had even been aired, let alone discuss the content.

    Some years later, one of the reporters involved in filming, collating and convincing Ch 9 to run the segment said that,after the show had aired, she and her colleagues were basically treated with unrelenting coventry by their peers.

    Nothing has changed since then – except Aborigines continue to be maimed and killed with numbing regularity.

    • rosross says:

      The first reports of violence in Aboriginal culture came from Watkin Tench, who arrived on the First Fleet and who documented the horrific practices of beating women around the head, and the prevelance of scarring in the women. Such practices have been revealed in the study of Aboriginal skeletons.

      Quote: Paleopathologist Stephen Webb in 1995 published his analysis of 4500 individuals’ bones from mainland Australia going back 50,000 years. (Priceless bone collections at the time were being officially handed over to Aboriginal communities for re-burial, which stopped follow-up studies).[15″> Webb found highly disproportionate rates of injuries and fractures to women’s skulls, with the injuries suggesting deliberate attack and often attacks from behind, perhaps in domestic squabbles. In the tropics, for example, female head-injury frequency was about 20-33%, versus 6.5-26% for males. The most extreme results were on the south coast, from Swanport and Adelaide, with female cranial trauma rates as high as 40-44% — two to four times the rate of male cranial trauma. In desert and south coast areas, 5-6% of female skulls had three separate head injuries, and 11-12% had two injuries. Web could not rule out women-on-women attacks but thought them less probable.

  8. Bill Martin says:

    Here is sticking my neck way out.

    To fully and finally eliminate all that ails Aboriginal communities, it is absolutely necessary to put paid to Aboriginal culture once and for all. I have no suggestions about how that might be achieved and most certainly do not advocate any violent or drastic means but one way or the other, it should and will happen eventually. Cultures vastly superior to Aboriginal culture came to an end during recorded history.

    Apart from emotional romanticism there is absolutely nothing in Aboriginal culture that is of any practical value in contemporary Australian or any other civilised society. The undeniable fact is that over some 45 or 50 millennia of having a whole continent to themselves, they have practically nothing to show as a worthwhile development. All they achieved during that vast period of time is that they survived under the given conditions, not unlike all other living organisms of the land. They developed no social structures beyond the most basic tribal system, they lacked literacy and numeracy, devised no means of transport or construction, they had no agriculture or animal husbandry or any other practice to enhance what nature provided, other than use what was readily available then move on when the supply ran out. Unlike many great civilisations of antiquity which developed and bequeathed a plethora of gifts to humanity, Aboriginal culture produced nothing which is of any benefit to mankind. Their much flaunted dreamtime stories, besides being undeniably fairytale-like, would have been constantly changing as they were passed on only by word of mouth, which method guarantees constant alteration and re-interpretation over time. It is not necessary to consider the more repulsive aspect of Aboriginal culture to conclude that it is well past its use by date.

    The only tangible effect of perpetuating a culture that should have been relegated to the anthropology departments of universities long ago is to guarantee the continuation of the woeful misery suffered by remote indigenous communities.

    • Jody says:

      My 37y/o son works in the Pilbara on a fly in/fly out basis from Perth. He has commented on the Australian outback and how it comes magnificently to life – seemingly from nowhere – after a shower of rain and he’s mentioned the aboriginal customs and bush tucker. I do remember him making the link between that landscape and the aboriginal traditions and what a great shame it would be if all of those things were to be lost forever. The trouble is, there are so few of those kinds of aboriginals left. The rest are in dusty shanties, living in groups and having little or no connection to ‘bush tucker’ – just the local grog shop and Centrelink.

      Noel Pearson spoke to David Speers last night on Skynews for about 40 minutes. The program was recorded the day of Pearson’s address to the Press Club and Pearson speaks about the ‘soft bigotry’ of the progressives in the ABC and how damaging that is to the aboriginal cause. He was this as the direct extreme to right wing racism which he perceives as largely under control. But, make no mistake; Pearson is very angry about the ABC and progressives in general (he specifically identified that group) with their light touch on all important issues for indigenous people as though they were meant to be living out the Left’s fantasy of the pristine tribal group from the past. He said “hot button” issues like “welfare reform” and “economic change” are and were always specifically AVOIDED by the ABC – at a time when it was absolutely necessary to discuss this.

      Well, who’d have thought?

      • Patrick McCauley says:

        Yes the Exceptionalism the left framed the Aboriginal people within (like a cage) … and formed into the policy of ‘Self Determination’ – was the nail in the coffin for Aboriginal ‘advancement’, ‘Pride’, ‘Recognition’ … and any other virtuous advertising jingle the ‘progressives liked to amuse themselves with. The Progressive Leftist elites have used Aboriginal people like a fetish for the ‘primitivism’ they mourn – as if it were innocence. This massive failure of progressive politics, over the last half century should be remembered carefully in history as the last attempted genocide of Aboriginal people.

        • Jody says:

          Brilliantly articulated!! Couldn’t agree more. The term Pearson actually uses to define the “soft bigots” of the Left (and, boy, it would have hurt down at Latte Central!!) is “compassionistas”. With it’s overtones of guerilla warfare and warrioirs it’s a moniker which we should continue to use.

      • Lawrie Ayres says:

        Last week I watched the NSW Public School Spectacular on Channel Seven. 2300 singers, 2700 dancers from across the state having a fabulous time thoroughly enjoying the chance to entertain. There were many extremely talented kids and they expressed the joy of simply being there. Then there was the obligatory Indigenous segment headed up by a well dressed, obviously healthy part aboriginal boy who sang about how terrible the blacks were treated by those rotten white folk. Talk about a lack of self-awareness. Then there was the mandated rendition of Yothu Yindi’s “Treaty”. The teachers who scheduled this segment could not have told us the problem for aboriginals more clearly.

      • rosross says:

        There is nothing particular about Aboriginal reactions to the country or the climate. All human beings do that. All human beings have always done that. All human beings connect to the land.

    • rosross says:

      Aboriginal culture as it existed in 1788 was variations on the theme of nomadic hunter-gatherer societies. There was little exceptional about it in comparison to others except the practice, common in quite a few tribes, of cannibalism of their children and tribe members.

      Otherwise the myths, practices, misogyny, child marriage, infanticide etc., were pretty common for all human beings at the same level of development.

      So much that is called Aboriginal today is a hybrid of Asian, Anglo. European and Aboriginal. It was non-Aboriginals who set up painting facilities and gave Aborigines the ability to create art which could last. It was non-Aboriginals who encouraged and helped develop Aboriginal artefacts; bush tucker foods and cooking; herbal remedies and medicines etc.

      Nothing remains pure, all evolves and Aboriginal culture had been influenced for centuries by Pacific Islanders, Macassans, New Guineans and no doubt some others. Then it was influenced by the British and other colonists.

      Surprise, surprise, Aborigines were and are just like everyone else, the end result of much intermixing, interbreeding and interacting. Most indigenous are now of such mixed race that in any other country but Australia they would not be able to call themselves indigenous. And those who have half Aboriginal ancestry, increasingly rare, still want the benefits, attributes and lifestyle of non-Aboriginal culture. Why not? It is the modern world after all and people usually want what others have.