it’s behaviour, not system

Lidia Thorpe, an Australian of (very diluted) Aboriginal ancestry (AOAA) told 3AW’s Neil Mitchel that talk about rape and murder in the indigenous community is a ‘diversion’ from the real issue. The rape and murder is ‘not a result of what we’re doing as Aboriginal people,’ she said, ‘it’s what the system is doing to our people.’ She then changed from the present tense to the past tense, from what happens now to what happened then – colonisation, ‘stolen children’, and so on.

Billions of dollars have been spent on Aboriginal disadvantage from the time of Charles Perkins in the 1960s to the present day. AOAAs like Lidia Thorpe have grown up in mainstream Australian society enjoying all the benefits of that society, benefits that in Burkean terms are our society’s rights.

Thorpe speaks well and dresses well. Her situation is a far cry from the shockingly battered and bruised Aboriginal women the colonists observed in their first encounters with Aboriginal groups. The ‘system’ has worked well for her and the many well-fed, well-educated, well-dressed Australians of Aboriginal ancestry that swagger across our television screens, never done finger-wagging at white Australians. If the system has done well for an AOAA like Thorpe, why hasn’t it done well for others, namely those full-blood Aboriginals in the outback?

The answer, I propose, lies in the examples of Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price. Their stories are of the heroic struggle of dragging themselves out of disadvantage, disadvantage it’s likely Thorpe’s life has been ages away from.

It’s behaviour not system that is central to the bashing and rapping of women and children in inland Aboriginal communities. Change behaviour and you’ll end the violence.

Lidia Thorpe’s proposed treaty is not the remedy for the violence. Indeed, the proposed treaty’s primary purpose is not to end the violence to which Aboriginal men have always subjected their women and children. The primary purpose is to split Australia into two political classes, the one superior to the other by race. And by virtue of their race that superior class will insist on their claim to more than 50% of Australia’s land mass. They will be the pensioners of the lower non-Aboriginal class who (they allege) stole their land and now owe them a living.