Genocide against Aboriginal people
Brett commented on my recent article about the attempted genocide of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. He said:
‘You either believe in an erroneous definition of the word genocide, or are ignorant and/or bat-shit crazy, pardon my French.’
Thanks Brett. Why is my view of genocide erroneous?
I quote from the Bringing Them Home report done for the Howard Government on the Stolen Generations and headed by Ronald Wilson. Wilson was on the High Court of Australia between 1979 and 1989 and was the President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission between 1990 and 1997. He describes the stolen generation action as genocide. But I guess he is batshit crazy too.
A former judge of the High Court wouldn’t know as much as you, Brett, about the issue of genocide and the treatment of aboriginal people would he?
Here is what the Australian Human Rights Commission says on its website about the Inquiry:
An act of genocide
The Inquiry concluded that forcible removal was an act of genocide contrary to the Convention on Genocide ratified by Australia in 1949. The Convention on Genocide specifically includes ‘forcibly transferring children of [a] group to another group’ with the intention of destroying the group.
Genocide is not only the mass killing of a people. The essence of genocide is acting with the intention to destroy the group, not the extent to which that intention has been achieved. A major intention of forcibly removing Indigenous children was to ‘absorb’, ‘merge’ or ‘assimilate’ them, so Aborigines as a distinct group would disappear. Authorities sincerely believed assimilation would be in the ‘best interests’ of the children, but this is irrelevant to a finding that their actions were genocidal.
But I guess the UN and the Human Rights Commission are batshit crazy too, eh?
Maybe you should look at the UN Convention on genocide. Or what Wilson wrote, or Colin Tatz on the issue, instead of deliberately ignoring the fact that Australian society is built on the attempted genocide of the Aboriginal people and the consequences continue.
Telling the truth, as George Orwell wrote, is a revolutionary act.
The reality is that the consequences of genocide continue to this day but new attempts at wiping out Aborigines, driving them off their land etc arise. The Northern Territory Intervention, the loss of lands to miners, what David Harvey calls accumulation by dispossession, these are genocidal actions too.
No wonder our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bothers and sisters are angry. They are right to be. So should you be.