Monday, June 1, 2015
Waltzing New Matilda again: Aborigines and Adam Goodes
The latest cannonade from the Matildas covers a lot of ground but I don't have time to comment on much of it so I will concentrate on the one issue that will get me most abused. I find pompous and self-congratulatory Leftist rage amusing.
Matilda has a commentary on the aggressive charge towards opposition supporters by part-Aboriginal football player Adam Goodes. It was said to be a war-dance but a prance was what it looked like to me. An Aboriginal corroboree it was not. It was a fairly hateful act of an ungracious player and I think the alleged Aboriginality of the action was an afterthought to excuse unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Compare what I have just said with the excerpt from the Matilda account below. A very different story. I have reproduced below all that the author said about the episode but there is no description of what Goodes did at all: Only the vaguest of references. We can't let reality get in the way of a hate opportunity, can we? But I have watched the video of the episode a couple of times and have tried to describe exactly what I saw. It was Goodes who was hateful.
The comment on Goodes was preceded by a wail about how badly blacks are doing generally -- and there is no doubt that they are doing very badly indeed by white standards. But who is responsible for that? The attendance of Aboriginal children at school is very patchy -- so much so that governments try to bribe Aboriginal parents to send their kids to school. And the major talent of Aboriginal adults seems to be for sitting down. They even get paid "sit down money" on occasions.
That Aborigines live very poorly by white standards has long attracted the interest of Australian governments. And everything that could be tried has been tried -- from pernmissiveness to paternalism to just giving them things. And nothing works. Aboriginal behaviour patterns remain unchanged regardless of the government regimes adopted towards them.
There is something that DOES work, however. I have had a fair bit to do with Aborigines over many years and I think most people who know much about them will admit that their behaviour has deteriorated over the years. I have known quite a few older Aborigines who dress well, take care of themselves generally and who could almost pass as whites.
Who were they? They were Aborigines who had grown up on church missions. Aborigines are a very spiritual people in general and the Presbyterian church and others were influential in preaching a gospel that included not only the message of redemption from sin but also a message of redemption from Aboriginal ways. The missionaries did not always do it consciously but they tried to make whites out of blacks. And they had considerable success. The rampant alcoholism and abuse of women and children was rarely found on the missions. And misbehaviour was greeted with a preachment on the resultant danger to your immortal soul. As an atheist, I find that a bit amusing but it worked with a spiritual people.
Bring back the missionaries? It won't happen. The only "correct" religion these days is Islam. So the bulk of the Aborigines will continue to suffer from the bigotry that denies them the one thing that might help them: Orthodox Christian Faith.
For the most part, sporting contests represent a safe space where white Australians can access black Australia, devoid of the uncomfortable truths that they have had to overcome on their path to sporting glory.
The athletic prowess of people like Greg Inglis, and Johnathan Thurston, Lance Franklin and Lewis Jetta, serves to overshadow the true reality in Aboriginal Australia – that we are behind on every health indicator, that we are shockingly over-represented in jailing rates, that our suicide and self-harm rates are a national emergency and that the rights to practice our culture and heritage are being severely undermined by governments all across the country.
The latest incident came yesterday, when Goodes celebrated a goal with an Indigenous war dance while playing against Carlton in the annual Indigenous Round.
The Daily Mail lead the charge with a shrieking headline “Goodes defends ‘war dance’ goal celebration that included pretending to throw a SPEAR at rival fans… triggering another race controversy”.
News Limited asked its readers this morning in an online poll: Did Goodes go “too far”?
The social media furore included allegations Goodes was unsportsmanlike, a wanker and aggressive.