Sunday, August 12, 2012

the price of a colour

Bess Price:

"You turn a deaf ear to those who are most vulnerable, to the most marginalised, to the women and children who are suffering so much in our communities and town camps," she said. "You take no notice of the NPY Women's Council although they speak for the women who have 60 times the chance of dying from domestic violence than those in mainstream Australia. You go out of your way to deny their voice a hearing. So much for human rights.

"When Aboriginal women in Central Australia ask for help, when they are killed, raped and beaten, when they cry for their abused children, you ignore them and you support those who are oppressing them. When the government tries to do something for them you call them racist and you blather on about the UN."

Ms Price said the best that could be said of Amnesty activists "from rich families in southern cities" was that they were well-meaning, but young, idealistic and naive. She ended by demanding some answers from the Amnesty activists, including: "Who are you and how long have you been in our country?"

Now whoa. Read that again slowly. Especially this line:

women who have 60 times the chance of dying from domestic violence than those in mainstream Australia

60 times.

Look, I'm about as white as you can get. I nearly glow in the dark. I have no idea what it's like to grow up Aboriginal.

Here's what I do know:

* a woman on the Goldfields of WA died of internal injuries after being raped with a star picket. Yes, a metal picket.

* another woman died after being beaten with a hammer. By her husband. He was drunk.

* a young single woman in a community used to have all her pension money taken by her male relatives for grog, leaving her with nothing for food, rent etc. She asked to have her money quarantined so that all her payments are made for her, and she never has money in her house to tempt anyone.

Not one of those events made headlines.

Unless you've lived this life, or worked with those who do, you really can't come up with glib policies or fancy ideas about how to solve the issue.
You have no right.

The problems plaguing indigenous communities right now, today, as you're reading this blog and sipping your coffee, are not those being faced by educated Aborigines (or Fauxborigines) living in the city.
Why then, are so many claiming so much money in funding and grants? and then setting out to verbally destroy anyone who questions their right to the public purse based on colour rather than need?

If you want to read further, you can find articles and opinions here and here and here.

Sixty times, people.

1 comment:

  1. I'll admit to not knowing much about anything, but I do know that the indigenous population is very badly treated with almost nothing being done to help. I read stories in the papers now and again about committees and funding etc, but wonder just how much is actually being done and how much of the funding goes to paying those on the committees instead. It's horrifying to read "60 times more likely..."


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