Bennelong Papers

The 27 Strings of Victimhood’s Puppets

victimhoodConvince a person that he or she is not responsible for their own life, that they are victims, and you make them your puppets. Too many Aboriginal people are being kept as puppets because those pulling the strings persist in feeding them this seductively delicious message: “Someone else is responsible for fixing your problems.” This message serves to shape individuals’ attitudes and blight entire communities. It is my wish to expose these ploys, which I have listed in shorthand form below:

Indigenous Victimhood’s Articles of Faith

1 They are victims of the government.
2 They are victims of the past.
3 Racism is everywhere.
4 A white person not agreeing with them is racism – worse if they dare criticise.
5 The rate of violence among the Aboriginal population is no higher than that in the non-Aboriginal population.
6 The rate of child abuse among the Aboriginal population is no higher than that in the non-Aboriginal population.
7 The words of other people can hurt them.
8 Other people’s opinions of them are more important than their opinion of themselves.
9 Aboriginal people in custody die at higher rates than non-Aboriginals.
10 Symbolism, such as adding an Indigenous motif to  the Australian flag, and constitutional recognition are vitally important.
11 “It’s always someone else’s fault.”
12 Aboriginal people are suffering because January 26 is Australia Day.
13 Aborigines cannot move forward unless all Australians steep themselves in the past.
14 Their ancestors lived happy, peaceful lives and treated their women with respect before the British “invaded”.
15 Deploy academic gobbledegook — ‘white privilege,’ ‘whitesplain,’ ‘oppression,’ and ‘sovereignty’ – and nothing more need be said. Everything has been explained. There is no solution.
16 Aboriginal salvation lies in having a treaty.
17 Non-Aboriginal people are living on stolen land and Aboriginal people are owed rent.
18 People should identify only with their Aboriginal ancestry and discount any non-Aboriginal ancestry.
19 Aboriginal people are vastly different to non-Aboriginal people and, as such, have vastly different needs and require special provision.
20 An Aboriginal person who does not buy into the victim mentality is a sell-out and deserves to be despised.
21 There needs to be a separate system of Aboriginal law.
22 The perpetuation of Aboriginal cultural mores and practices is far more important than engagement with Western culture, knowledge, and practice.
23 Any Aboriginal child removed from an unsafe living environment is ‘stolen’.
24 Aborigines should be living off royalty, rent or “compensation” money.
25 Any Aboriginal person who is well educated and successful is assimilated.
26 Only Aboriginal people can fully understand other Aboriginal people.
27 Suggesting what an Aboriginal person can do to improve their lives is ‘blaming the victim.’

If Aboriginal people want a solution to their problems, then they need to switch their attention from blaming government, the past and “the white man” to what they can do personally to improve their own lives. This does not mean they need to do everything themselves. It simply means doing what they can reasonably be expected to do. Further, it does not mean that non-Aboriginal Australians are exempt from helping Aboriginal people or modifying their own behaviours, or that governments are exempt from making systemic changes. It means Aboriginal people will be better off only after focusing on what they can do for themselves and their communities, rather than focusing solely on what others should or could be doing for them.

The Good Book warns us to look out for wolves in sheep’s clothing. Obviously, a wolf in sheep’s clothing looks like a sheep and not a wolf, which makes it easy to be fooled. There are many wolves out there who play a significant role in keeping Aboriginal people down. They do not use the tools of overt racism or oppression, as then they would surely look like wolves and be exposed. Instead, they are subtle in their approach. As many are of Aboriginal ancestry themselves, they can and do present themselves as having “their” people’s best interests at heart, but they do not. Puppeteers only care about their puppets to the degree that it serves their self-interest.

The puppeteers’ core message is that Aboriginal people are victims. Sadly, this is a message their audiences want to here. Why? Because victims are not responsible for their own lives. The victim will always have a convenient excuse for any failure. There will always be someone else to blame.

This article would need to be the length of a fair-sized book to adequately explore and dissect all 27 points listed above, but allow me to address what I regard – indeed, any rational person must accept – as the five key Articles of Victimhood.

Tell the people the government is responsible for them

In It’s OK To Leave The Plantation black American Mason Weaver writes,  “It is time we stop believing we need government to take care of us and stand up to take care of ourselves.” Weaver is talking, of course,  about black Americans. Closer to home, Aboriginal politician Alison Anderson sums it up very well:

Too much of the public discussion about Indigenous people has assumed, whatever the problem, government is the answer. It has been assumed that any problem can be solved with the right policies and the right amount of money.

Similarly, from Warren Mundine:

There is an absurdity in looking to government to help to overcome learned helplessness. Indigenous people should be able to decide what they want for their communities and … just get on with it.

Mundine’s advice is not hypothetical. There are many thousands of Aboriginal people who not only “just get on with it” for themselves and their families but lend a helping hand to others and are solid members of the broader community. They get little attention in the media but are outstanding role models all the same as they go about making their own way and Australia a better country.

Sadly, many Aboriginal people have been brainwashed into believing that government is responsible for them. Consider the words of University of Canberra Chancellor Tom Calma , who had this to say in the lead up to the release of the 2016 Closing the Gap Report (emphasis added):

The lack of progress should never be interpreted as a failure by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It’s a failure of bureaucracy and a failure of the politicians to keep an even course and to keep the funding and the policy direction consistent.

Calma is a man for whom I have respect and admiration, so I take his words seriously. His message may be soothing to the ears of those who feel that they have failed or are struggling, but is such an opinion really helpful? Aboriginal people have been hearing messages like this for a long time. If Tom really wants to be contribute, then Aboriginal people would benefit if he instead explained his own formula for success: the work and effort that has seen him attain the title of professor and be honoured for his many other achievements.  That would be a valuable contribution from someone who “just got on with it”.

Feed the people bad news stories

Promoting the meme that Aboriginal people are always victims of white injustice elevates the victim/enemy mentality, a theme particularly evident in social media fora. The administrators of these pages are quick to silence and ridicule anyone who dares to point out that it is not the white man who causes the problems facing Aborigines today. While success stories illustrating that many Aboriginal people are thriving are not unknown, the far more common theme is to paint Aboriginal people as perpetual victims of the white man, whether it be government, racism (particularly “institutional racism”, a term so vague that it can be bent to mean just about anything), or colonisation.

Very rarely do these online discussions and social media outlets show images or provide statistics that highlight the horrific rates of violence and child abuse or neglect that occur in some Aboriginal communities. The aim, as always,  is to paint the white man as evil and divert attention from problems to which Aboriginal people themselves are the chief contributors.

Tell them that they are victims of history.

There is no shortage of sources that love to promote this myth and do so at every possible opportunity. Chris Sarra observes that many Aboriginal people had “come to be seen as, and in turn see themselves, as victims of history.” These advocates of impotence delight in showing images of how poorly the First Peoples were treated by the invader and in the years that followed the arrival of the First Fleet. Focusing on events from the past — a past which which cannot be changed — diverts attention from the real problems, the same problems about which it is actually possible to do something. How can anyone move forward if they persist in looking only over their shoulder? The simple fact is that Aborigines are not victims of our past. Rather, what makes us victims is our fixated view of the past.

That is not to suggest the past must be wiped from the slate, that it should not be remembered. Rather, that it is a huge mistake to spend more time and energy lamenting history than in making tomorrow’s history. By all means let us remember the past, but not to the extent that it sabotages the present and poisons the future.

Keep attention off the urgent issues.

The following problems are not rare in some sectors of the Aboriginal population (and I do emphasise ‘some’): child abuse, neglect and violence. Consider that in one community alone, “more than 200 children under 16 years of age and 29 under 10 were being treated for STDs.” With respect to violence, the authors of the Little Children are Sacred Report state, “It should also be noted that the level of violence and aggression in many contemporary Aboriginal communities is significantly greater than would be considered acceptable.” These are problems which Aboriginal people can and should play a significant role in addressing. Encouragingly, many are doing that.

Yet, as the puppeteers know, an easy way to distract attention from vital and pressing issues is to promote alternative issues that grab and mis-direct the audience’s attention. Whether it be outrage at some or other politician’s choice of words, budget cuts, or real or imagined racism, these are distractions from the need to remedy the important, aforementioned problems.

Offer Only Counterfeit Solutions

In relation to the problems previously discussed (child abuse and neglect), it is important to ask how a treaty, changing the Constitution to “recognise” Aboriginal Australians, or changing the date for Australia Day for that matter, will address these problems? If your reply is “Well, it boosts confidence” or “It promotes pride,” what you are actually saying is that the source for Aboriginal people to feel good about themselves lies outside themselves and beyond their control. Basically, that Aborigines must remain helpless and hopeless until and unless their alleged oppressors change their ways.

It may seem strange to conclude an essay on the plight of Aboriginal Australians with the words of an American, but Martin Luther King might have been addressing Aboriginal Australians when he penned the words reproduced below. Written in 1958, when black Americans were victims of gross, officially sanctioned and endemic injustice, he takes up a universal truth about personal responsibility:

… the Negro himself has a decisive role to play if integration is to become a reality. Indeed, if first-class citizenship is to become a reality for the Negro he must assume the primary responsibility for making it so. Integration is not some lavish dish that the federal government or the white liberal will pass out on a silver platter while the Negro merely furnishes the appetite. One of the most damaging effects of past segregation on the personality of the Negro may well be that he has been victimized with the delusion that others should be more concerned than himself about his citizenship rights.

… the Negro must come to see that there is much himself can do about his plight. He may be uneducated or poverty-stricken, but these handicaps must not prevent him from seeing that he has within his being the power to alter his fate.

Anthony Dillon identifies as a part-Aboriginal Australian who is proud of both his Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ancestries. Originally from Queensland, he now lives in Sydney and is a researcher at the Australian Catholic University

14 thoughts on “The 27 Strings of Victimhood’s Puppets

  • Jody says:

    Sorry, but they’ve got ‘LOSER’ written all over them. From head to toe. 200 years to get with the program but, no, too much to ask.

    Don’t tell me any more about this; I’m bored!! And you know what? So are the vast majority of Australians.

    • Robh says:

      The author has put together a thoughtful article on why the LOSER status has persisted.The solutions he seems to be suggesting (such as: get in charge of your own destiny)are relevant to many victim groups in Australia that the Left in particular prey on.

      There seems an increasing leakage of tax funds and discriminatory law that go to support” victims” .
      Boring or not, the article is to be commended .

    • says:

      That is careless flippancy and grossly unfair, Jody!

      Articles like this, particularly by people like Anthony Dillon, are vitally important, irrespective of the fact that they repeat much of what has been said many times before. If nothing else, they serve as a counterweight to the endless stream of despicable propaganda aggressively promoting Aboriginal victimhood. Dillon and others like him genuinely care about the welfare of all Australians, including Aborigines. Unlike the fake champions of indigenous affairs, such as Adam Goodes and Stan Grant, who promote the victimhood mentality, ensuring the perpetuation of the problem which is vital to their continuing relevance.

    • rosross says:

      A tad flippant and grossly unfair.

  • EvilElvis says:

    That may be slightly harsh Jody, but fair all the same. I can’t help but feel there is a significant population of aboriginals that are ready to move on but are the ones caught in the middle of these puppeteers and the proportion of the indigenous population that are certainly losers. As usual the issue starts with bureaucracy and flows through the advocates.

    I can’t speak for urban aboriginals, a group that I would consider has access to any ‘help’ that is available, yet seems to have the biggest grievances, but after a reasonable amount of contact with remote area aborigines over a period, wanton, continued waste of financial resources is hard to ignore. A classic case is remote area housing where for decades the bureaucracy and advocates have forced continual building of western style homes. The maintenance on these dwellings is ridiculous due to the penchant of the housed to rip up floor boards, any other burnable timber and sleep outdoors while maintaining a fire sourced from the roof above their heads. It would not be a stretch to imagine they would be satisfied with 3 concrete walls, a rudimentary floor and a cyclone shutter for the inevitable. Give them the means to collect and source their own firewood and hey presto, they are housed securely, the financial drain slows and they may just start to regain some self respect and purpose by looking after their own needs.

    Bureaucracy’s and advocacy’s need to be slashed, they are going to be the last to realise the economic state of the country as they do no productive, meaningful work. A sharp correction is required but who will pull the trigger.

  • Homer Sapien says:

    “The Good Book warns us to look out for wolves in shep’s clothing.” The “Good Book” also gives us all the answers to the above mentioned problems but we are just too stubborn to take advise from it.Our society is becoming more and more secular and look where this is leading us.You would be hard pressed to find nicer people than Aboriginals in Bible based churches, the true panacea.

  • Rob Brighton says:

    I wrote in comment to an earlier article of a community that wished to convert crocodile cull licences to hunting ones where obscene amounts of cash could be generated for themselves by selling guided hunting tours to overly cashed up americans.
    NT parliament refused them the ability to do so.

    In response the articles author wrote.
    Peter OBrien
    March 4, 2016 at 7:53 am
    Yes that’s a clash of environmental PC correctness vs a practical solution to human problems. The former wins hands down every day.

    The combination of the two articles seems to identify the culprit pretty clearly, pointing to aboriginals and declaring victimhood may well be correct, we have just misinterpreted what they are victims of.

  • Patrick McCauley says:

    Great article Anthony … The Articles of Faith … the royalties, rent and compensation etc … were taught to the Aboriginal intellegensia by the AWU and people like Frank Hardy ( The Unlucky Australians) from after WWII. Gary Foley and many of the others who have ‘led ‘ Aboriginal people into the victimhood beliefs have been indoctrinated as communists … and are more communist than they are Aboriginal (the Dodsons) .. It is Communism/Socialism that has led the second colonisation of Aboriginal people and sold them to the welfare system (from which a huge underground white socialist bureaucracy cream off money and jobs ) .. How do you change an attitude?? … you need to send the children to school … and in many places this can only happen …if you ‘steal’ the kids and send them off to boarding school in a healthy white environment where they eat breakfast and go to sleep by ten o’clock each night.

  • rosross says:

    Another excellent article from Anthony Dillon who applies integrity, intelligence, common sense and knowledge to this generally propagandised and misrepresented issue.

    The current victim basis for indigenous Australians, seemingly no matter how small their quotient of Aboriginal ancestry, is founded on the basis that we are the result of all of the suffering of our ancestors, from our parents back through the centuries, and that because some of them suffered, we are victims of that suffering. The irony of course is that even if we inherit cellular memory from our ancestors and are born with varying degrees of the effects of their experiences, then surely that would apply to all of their experiences, not just the suffering and that in our mix we have the courage, resilience, determination, strength, wisdom and more that suffering brings to all of us, to various degrees.

    It would be laughable for someone who sexually abuses a child or beats their partner to claim that it was not their fault because their ancestors suffered abuse at some point, and yet this is the position we are meant to take toward those few indigenous Australians who wish to play victim.

    The good news is that most do not and most are clearly moving on and into a future of their own making.

  • says:

    Total direct expenditure on services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in 2012-13 was estimated to be $30.3billion, accounting for 6.1 per cent of total direct general government expenditure. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians made up 3.0 per cent of the population in 2013.

    Expenditure per Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person increased by 10.3 per cent, and expenditure per non-Indigenous person increased by 2.2 per cent.

    Estimated expenditure per person in 2012-13 was $43,449 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, compared with $20 900 for other Australians.

  • Dave Price says:

    I thank Jody for her comment. As Anthony eloquently argues the pernicious combination of PC with the Victimhood Stereotype destroys motivation and initiative in Aboriginal people with disastrous consequences. It also encourages the racism it is supposed to eradicate and, as Jody’s comment demonstrates, a debilitating and justifiable boredom amongst our tax paying citizenry.

    Last week I kissed goodbye the corpse of my 39 year old Aboriginal niece. She died from a life time of alcohol abuse. Last year she was deliberately run over by a drunk from Hermannsburg in a four wheel drive while she lay sleeping on our golf course. That contributed to her death.

    Last year, as well, my daughter and I identified the body of her 28 year old sister killed in a car crash. Everybody in the car was drunk including the driver who was also unlicensed. Her husband decided to bash her from the back seat. She crashed into a tree. The unrestrained and obese body of the driver’s assailant crushed my niece against the dashboard. She was the only one to die. Their younger sister died from alcohol poisoning at the age of twenty one. Their father died of the same thing. Their brothers have been in the ICU of our local hospital several times because of alcohol abuse but somehow they still live. I could go on and on but I’d risk boring Jody and those like her. And anyway we’ve been saying these things for years.

    The many billions of our dollars spent by governments on their welfare and on Aboriginal controlled organisations since I first walked into a remote community forty years ago this year did nothing to save these, my loved ones, from their chosen lifestyle. The constant advice, entreaties, begging, cajoling and threatening that my wife, daughter and I have assailed them with through all those years also had little effect. Though the one who died last week did stop drinking after being run over on the golf course, but it was too late.

    Alice Thermopolis’s comment is also very useful and relevant. Among the 3% of our population identifying as indigenous there are legions who suffer no disadvantage whatsoever. The proportional increase in the number identifying in the ACT’s population increased almost tenfold between 2006 and 2011, from 3.4% to 33.8%. In Tasmania the increase was from -2.8% to +17%. Many of these are indistinguishable, physically, culturally and linguistically from their white neighbours and are not rendered automatically disadvantaged by a recent and tenuous claim to indigeneity. The Vicimhood Stereotype has become trendy it would seem. Many didn’t need that $43, 449 each that we tax payers have shelled out. Many others didn’t get anywhere near the help they desperately need.

    It is enormously difficult to convince your Aboriginal loved ones bent on self destruction that they have the power in themselves to take responsibility for their lives and solve their own problems when the rest of the world tells them that they are Victims with a capital ‘V’. The whole debate needs to change. Let’s start by getting rid of the pernicious Victim Stereotype and the stultifying viciousness of political correctness gone mad. Oh and let’s get rid of section 18c of the Race Discrimination Act that stifles debate, encourages outrageous falsehoods that can’t be challenged, actually encourages racism and does nothing to protect its true victims.

  • en passant says:

    Many years ago I managed the operations of a voluntary organisation that selected and took ‘disadvantaged’ youth on adventure tours to remote parts of Australia to carry out scientific surveys, mapping and exploration. Ethnic, religious and social background did not matter as the camps had to be self-managed. Once out of their ‘normal’ environment it was amazing how quickly many of those held back by external circumstances found a self-esteem they never knew they had and how quickly they grew as people. The programme had its failures, but it also achieved great things as some of these young people suddenly found they had skills and capabilities they had never considered.
    We failed with the aboriginal youth for two reasons: firstly, we were refused permission to remove two young men from their ‘reservation’ as it ‘would only make them resent their current circumstances and may have an adverse effect on their relationships with others …’. Actually, that was the intention.
    Secondly, two natural leaders we selected were allowed to attend, but when they returned and found they could change nothing in a remote community with no work, no hope and no road out, they were also ‘ostracised’ by the tribal ‘leaders’. I kept in touch with one, who left his ‘community’ and went to a real job in Canberra. He did well, but was eventually summoned back ‘for family reasons’. It is the last I heard from him.
    The very social ties and ‘elders’ structure so admired by the ‘noble savage’ Left ensures the capable will never be allowed to rise to be independent or anything worthwhile as that would remove a key pillar that is the foundation of permanent victimhood and dependency. Questions might be asked: “if one can do it, why not others?” – and that would never do.

    • rosross says:

      You find the same sorts of attitudes within African tribal systems and Indian caste and tribal systems. They are quite simply backward and change can only come from within as it has done in the Western world.

      The backward tribal societies will ‘pull back into the pot’ anyone who tries to climb out.

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