On July 3rd, the people of Australia celebrate Aboriginal Day. But what purpose does it serve?
Is it actually for Aboriginals, who have no say in policy or doctrine? Or is it for the descendents of the colonist settlers, a reminder of the victory over the indigenous people, whose existence seems to be entirely ignored? Aboriginals face overwhelming suicide rates, rampant addictions, missing and murdered women, and no one seems to be doing anything about it. Aboriginals deserve sovereignty. Until the key issue of sovereignty is solved, the indigenous peoples of Australia will still be subjugated and relegated to the role of second-class citizen. Until the indigenous people have the right to decide, up to and including the secession of indigenous lands from Australia, there can never be peace. Until this power imbalance is smashed the indigenous peoples will never gain access to their hereditary rights.
Genocide and Colonisation
Since the first fleet, bringing with them smallpox and a slew of other epidemics, landed at Botany Bay, the policy of the settler state in Australia has to subdue or destroy the original inhabitants and take their lands. Throughout the settler wars of extermination, the Australian state would use British prisoners as a buffer zone behind which Britain could rule. Appin, Bathurst and Waterloo Creek have a gory history of indigenous blood spilled in massacres. However, things have not changed all that. Aboriginals face police killings, overrepresentation in the prison population, and a lack of political power.
The state of Australia, by it sheer existence, is a statement to the continued legacy of colonisation. Since first contact, white colonists have brought nothing but murder and death. The Australian flag has the Union Jack in it: it represents the settler, not the indigenous people, and seems like a constant mocking reminder of colonial sovereignty. The constitution takes no notice of Aboriginal laws or rights but enforces the conqueror’s policy. Australia was founded on genocide, and yet history taught in schools ignores this. By erasing the atrocities enacted upon the indigenous people, Australia is causing another genocide: a cultural one. Australian pop culture acts like this country was empty, that prisoners were just brought here with no consequences or difficulty, thus creating and enforcing the racist notion that natives don’t exist and if they do they are addicts and drunks. Is it any wonder that Australian Aboriginals feel isolated and hidden?