Repost-Roger Sandall: Marveling At The Aborigines, But Not Really Helping?

Full post here: Where Romantic Pastoralism Meets Indigenous Realities.

Roger Sandall explores the difference between some of the realities of northern Aboriginal life and the romantic pastoral image that the larger Australian culture projects onto the Aboriginal:

The kindest service to Australia’s northern Aborigines which journalists of any seriousness writing for weekend papers can do is to avoid encouraging still more false hopes, especially among the well-intentioned southern middle-classes who read their stuff; and the notion that anyone can find a place in today’s Australia—on or off a cattle station—without literacy, numeracy, and a full mastery of English is simply untrue.”

The hypocrisy on display is familiar to us all. This is sentimental and secondhand support of the native population. It doesn’t recognize the depth of its own cultural ideas and traditions (language, laws and ideas which have often been used against the aboriginal) yet it’s not necessarily interested in the personal moral and individual sacrifice needed to include these people into the culture either.

Within these bubbles, aborigines languish with no past and little future, and a twisted incentive to live up to these romantic images.   In response, Sandall seems suggests the best way foward is to teach them the language, laws and ideas.

While it’s not exactly the moral high road, this seems to be the current American solution:

by NichK

The Mohegan Sun Casino

Related On This Site:  Repost-Roger Sandall At The American Interest: ‘Tribal Realism’

Romantic primitivism in Australia: ….Roger Sandall At The New Criterion Via The A & L Daily: ‘Aboriginal Sin’

Did Jared Diamond get attacked for not being romantic enough…or just for potential hubris?:  Was he acting as a journalist in Papua New-Guinea?:  From The Chronicle Of Higher Education: Jared Diamond’s Lawsuit

Add to Technorati Favorites