Culture is defined by Wiki as “an umbrella term which encompasses the social behaviour and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups.” So you could apply that definition to just about everything in any society and claim it to be cultural. However, I reckon that it is the literature and the poetry and the arts in any society which could be viewed as the vanguard of their culture. In particular, I want to focus on our recent cultural/political obsession with ‘diversity’ and ‘identity’ in literature and the arts, and to ask the question: Is ‘Indigenous’ literature and ‘Indigenous’ art – racist?
Of course it is. Is it overwhelmingly hate speech directed against white fellas ? Absolutely it is. Could we say it is all about entitlement and privilege? Well yes, it is because overwhelmingly the authors and poets and artists have achieved publication and obtained grants because of their race and not because of the quality of their work. Do ‘Indigenous’ Australians view themselves as first-class Australians and the rest of us as second-class Australians? You would be hard pressed not to agree; many consider themselves the ‘First Australians’ and view the rest of us as ‘invaders’. So why are Australian taxpayers’ dollars being spent supporting what could well be described as this black supramecist reactionary ideology? Why do our governments, politicians and academics all support this clearly racist diatribe? If it is payback for years of oppression, does such a primitive form of reactionary politics do anyone any good? I would argue it is not only bad for the whitefellas and their children, it is also disastrous for the Aboriginal people. It is certainly disastrous for ‘art’ and the quality of work we expect of our cultural experts. Are we creating a new class system here in Australia, where the woke ‘Indigenous’ are suffocating the true Aboriginal people with their virtuous entitlement and privileged access, to create the fake narratives which define their people. Are we sponsoring a clearly racist ideology in the name of compassion?
I recently found myself in an online battle with a performance poetry group in Adelaide about the poetry of Ali Cobby Eckermann. I found myself arguing that she was using her platform in poetry to further black-arm-band political issues which are still highly contested. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that all ‘Indigenous’ poetry suffers from the same thing — that it was all (and I mean absolutely all) about Black Armband politics – the victimhood of the Aboriginal people, massacres, Stolen Generation, genocide and, of course, systemic Australian racism.
Kate Grenville’s Secret River has spawned a legion of novels about massacres, including the highly contested Bruce Pascoe book Convincing Ground. There have been films about nasty white fellas from Rabbit Proof Fence to Samson and Delilah, but there was nothing about joy or hope or gratitude. The winner of the 2020 Archibald prize was a naive portrait of the footballer Adam Goodes. There was no work in novel or poem or film or painting about the wonderful freedoms of a fully functioning democracy operating well, nothing about self discovery, of finding oneself in voice and spirit, nothing about the individual journey toward enlightenment. There is no Indigenous novel about the overcoming of adversity, the discovering of oneself in a position to make a good living in a free society. No book approaching Bert Facey’s A Fortunate Life, nothing like A Room with a View or Voss or Cloud Street or ‘Boy Swallows Universe’, no poems dealing with a subject like Les Murray’s An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow — nothing bereft of black armband politics and Indigenous virtue signalling.
Poetry and literature and art are disciplines or vehicles to explore anything, anything at all. True, some writers focus on, say, crime or science fiction, or politics, or history, but they have rarely, traditionally, just focused on one race and one particular politic over and over again. Post Modern ‘woke’ literature and art seems to want to call each identity group an actual genre of the art or literature or poetry it espouses. For example, we have Indigenous literature, gay art, women’s poetry and feminist poetry, Indigenous literature, etc. It’s as if each one is a whole new genre of the discipline, unique and separate from the traditional form of the art.
These categories demand that no person who is not a member of that group be permitted to enter it. For a whitefella to make a comment or have an opinion about Indigenous issues is considered ‘cultural imperialism’ and therefore inappropriate, even ‘racist’. For a man to talk about women’s issues is also verboten, just as it is for a straight person to speak about gay matters. Our literature has become categorised and closed-off into identity groups which claim to provide ‘diversity’ yet ban ninety percent of the population’s access to the form while reducing the quality of the work exponentially.
Excellence is diminished and the possibility of genius, of breakthrough works of great art, effectively extinguished. ‘Indigenous’ literature and art are thus only available to ‘Indigenous’ people. They are entirely based on ‘race’ and, as far as I know, this is the very definition of the word ‘racism’: to exclude people from anything based only on the colour of their skin while completely ignoring the quality of their character, merit or excellence.
The ‘Indigenous’ have slowly but surely (over the last fifty years or so) become an entirely different ‘race’ from the Aboriginal race, whilst at the same time feeding off the traditional people’s culture and tragedies and concerns — like a parasite feeds from its host. The ‘Indigenous’ are people, like Bruce Pascoe, who have intimate academic knowledge of Aboriginal culture but minimal or no actual genealogical connection. They are almost exclusively based in big cities and are almost invariably university educated.
The Indigenous are also exclusively adherents of a BLM, revolutionary, sovereignty-based, leftist politic — people who fight for token issues such as Invasion Day and Recognition and Makarata – mouthing slogans such as “Always was, always will be’ and “Pay the Rent”. These are the people who also make up Indigenous literature almost exclusively. I do not know of even one Indigenous author or poet or artist whose work is not entirely focused on and within the Black Armband political orthodoxy.
If I go through Vogue’s list of ‘Essential Indigenous Australian Reading’, I start with Archie Roach’s autobiography Tell Me Why. “This memoir, which took home the award for 2020 Indie Book of the Year in the category of non-fiction, tells the story of celebrated Indigenous Australian musician, Archie Roach, who became a member of the Stolen Generations when he was forcibly removed from his family at just two years of age. Powerful and poignant, this read is a must.” Next we have the Anita Heiss’ diatribe Growing Up Aboriginal Australia, which advertises itself as “the colourful and confronting stories of family, country and belonging from the perspective of a number of First Nations individuals, including footballers and authors.”
Then we have Black Politics by Sarah Maddison. “Author Sarah Maddison interviewed a number or prominent activists, politicians and Aboriginal leaders including Mick Dodson, Tom Calma, Alison Anderson and Jackie Huggins, in an effort to put together a text that explores the dynamics of Aboriginal politics.” Then Jack Charles autobiography Born-again Blakfella, which “chronicles the life of the musician and Senior Victorian Australian of the Year, who was stolen from his mother when he was merely a few months old.” And then Truganini by Cassandra Pybus which “sets out to tell the story of Truganini, one of the last full-blooded Aboriginal Tasmanian women who remains an important figure in Australian history. Filled with original eyewitness accounts, this read is one that will challenge your knowledge of the history of Tasmania.”
Indigenous literature begins to look so similar that Jack Charles’ story could be Archie Roach’s, Anita Heis could be Sally Morgan. All of Ali Cobby Eckermann’s poems seem to be the same poem … and it seems that there has only ever been one poem written by the new ‘Indigenous’ poets, which is also the same poem Alice Walker wrote fifty years ago. It seems that the ‘Indigenous’ is not just a new race of people, but also a race which cannot yet emerge from their grief and resentment and payback. Indigenous literature (like much New Age white literature, if we must now speak in these racist terms) seems to me to be more like therapy than actual literature. Now my reflection this morning, in the company of the Holy Spirit, asked me to check on my ‘white privilege’ before continuing with my thinking around this subject. So I have spent my morning meditation contemplating the reasons why I’m writing this eminently dangerous and unpopular essay. The following few paragraphs try to explain why this is important.
Six Northern Territory Aboriginal children, each known by authorities to be at risk of severe harm, died in tragic circumstances from causes including suicide and petrol sniffing and without receiving “genuine assistance or support”, a coroner has found. — The Australian, Dec 17, 2020
This is not happening because of “structural racism”. It is happening because these children have not been educated properly and their abusers will get away with it because they will claim ‘traditional factors’ and ‘cultural disadvantage’. The magistrates will let them off with light sentences because of these arrogantly virtuous reasons. If they do go to jail or a youth centre they will claim further racist crimes are committed by their jailers, that they are over represented in these institutions, and that they should be given special consideration because of their race.
This is why John Howard sent in the army and was forced to try an ‘intervention’. Yet even after all of that, here it is again. Young innocent lives being hung by the neck until they are dead in lonely rooms in isolated Aboriginal communities after being sexually abused (for years), drinking themselves into alcoholism, petrol-sniffing and into very bad drugs. And the ministers and the public servants responsible pass it off, hardly blinking, as a result of “white racism”. Have a listen to what they say. Just listen to this infuriating response:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar said the inquest highlighted how policies designed for Indigenous people were failing them.
“It is clear that significant work needs to be done to overcome the structural racism and disadvantage that disproportionately affects our First Nations peoples around the country,” she said.
Really? ‘STRUCTURAL RACISM’. Well how about that!
And meanwhile the leaders of the Aboriginal community issue press releases about the Uluru Statement and ‘the Makarata” … and Anita Heiss gets another grant to make herself comfortable and middle class in Australia, publishing books like Am I Black Enough For You, and Ellen Van Neervan gets grants to publish contested Indigenous war cry poetry about the trauma of ‘invasion’, and Bruce Pascoe publishes books which claim Aboriginal people to be the inventors of bread, democracy and astronomy. They all dine in the best restaurants and drink the finest wines, congratulating themselves on their brilliant minds and successful careers. It’s obscene as, over the weeks ahead, we can expect another six or seven or eight teenage suicides in isolated Aboriginal communities. Meanwhile, Pascoe and his mates promote the new travel guide to Aboriginal Australia. I hope their recommendations include a visit to these isolated communities, perhaps even into the lonely rooms in which these girls hanged themselves … alone, bereft and crying with despair. Genocide by suicide, as it were. If the Aboriginal birth rate were as low as the white birth rate — and there were not quite so many Australians now ‘identifying’ as Indigenous’ — the Aboriginal population would be going backwards a slow ‘genocide’.
Just as well-meaning missionaries attempting to assimilate Aboriginal children into white society through instruction in Christianity were vilified for ‘stealing’ children and attempted genocide, so will future historians come to vilify the ‘welfare period’ as yet another attempt to kill Aboriginal people with meaninglessness.
The inner-city progressive Left has used Aboriginal people as a fetish for the narrative of ‘primitivism’, proposed through Rousseau and others as the Garden of Eden. They mourn the primativism they have lost as if it were ‘innocence’. They claim that all narratives, all cultures, are equal. Under this thinking, the Aboriginal people are encouraged to immerse themselves in ‘culture’ — and by doing so, they are dying younger and at almost four times the rate of whitefellas. Reconciliation and Recognition are being used to wipe out the Aboriginal race. Land Rights have supplied land for Aboriginal funerals, and much of the business of many isolated communities revolves around constant funerals. Eventually, there will be only ‘The Indigenous’ left. And that is exactly what they want.
This resentment is fuelled on a daily basis in Aboriginal communities via endless SBS and ABC documentaries and mea culpas, NITV war cries from the university-educated urban ‘Indigenous’, who are more socialist than they are Aboriginal. Communities drink in the resentment and anger they should feel for the terrible crimes that the whitefellas admit to and beg forgiveness for on a daily basis.
There is a now a new race of people which has been created in Australia over the past twenty-or-so years named ‘The Indigenous’ – which is feeding off full blood Aboriginal people like a parasite feeds off its host. I say ‘full blood” with complete consciousness that I will be called ‘a racist’ for using that term – yet I deliberately use it, because I know that the true full blood Aboriginal people have no objection to it and have, in fact, grown to like it because they too object to the genetically-minute ‘Indigeneous’ takeover of their affairs.
They view “The Indigenous” as invaders of their culture and the perpetrators of atrocity by virtue signal and this now kills their children. Indigenous literature and poetry and art now also dominate Australian culture with dot- and swirl-painted Qantas airliners flying all over the world. Fake ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremonies erase our National Anthem at all major events. BLM one-kneed virtue signallers going down in front of MCG crowds, barefoot cricketers begging for forgiveness before the world. Australia is now known for its Indigenous people in places like France and Europe and the US. If you didn’t know better (like many in the US) you would think that Australia was an Indigenous State without whitefellas. Yet all we can hear from the ideological mainstream media is further calls for ‘Recognition’.