Friday, January 30, 2009
Australia's Dead Elephant
"Two dead cows putrefy at the entrance to this Aboriginal town deep in the Australian outback. ... Yuendumu and dozens of similarly frayed communities weren't supposed to turn out this way. Four decades ago, Australia enacted wide-ranging reforms to uplift its long-oppressed Aboriginal citizens. The laws mandated equal wages with whites, access to the country's generous welfare system and the eventual transfer of vast chunks of land to near-total Aboriginal control. ... Australia's government has proclaimed the upsurge of violence, child abuse and alcoholism among Aborigines a national emergency. ... Australia's 500,000 Aborigines are seven times as likely as other Australians to have tuberculosis, and eight times as likely to be infected with Hepatitis A, according to government data. Their life expectancy lags the rest of the population by 17 years, and is lower than that of impoverished countries such as Bangldesh and Bolivia. By contrast, the life expectancy gap between Native Americans and the general U.S. population has shrunk in recent decades to 2.4 years. ... Then, in 2007, Australia's conservative federal government decided that such self-imposed isolation was the root cause of the crisis in Aboriginal areas because it allowed widespread abuses to remain hidden from the public eye. Citing numerous cases of sexual violence against children, then Prime Minister John Howard vowed to bring Aboriginal areas into 'the mainstream of the Australian community.' Aborigines make up one-third of the Territory's population and own half its land; they also account for 84% of its prison inmates. ... The intervention immediately sparked accusations of racism from many Aboriginal leaders and some officials in Australia's Labor Party. Marion Scrymgour, currently the country's most senior Aboriginal government official, at the time labeled the intervention 'a vicious new McCarthyism.' ... Under this policy, Aboriginal welfare and pension recipients--the bulk of the adult population in many remote towns, including Yuendumu--are paid half their money in cash. ... The aim is to restrict the amount of cash Aborigines can spend on alcohol, gambling and drugs, and to combat child malnutrition. ... Jenny Macklin, Australia's federal minster for families, housing, community services and indigenous affairs ... says the government is now experimenting with extending similar welfare 'quarantining' to Aboriginal communities outside the Northern Territory. She says there are also plans to make Aboriginal welfare payments conditonal on recipients children's school attendance, hoping to tackle sky-high illiteracy rates in communities where as many as half the kids routinely stay away from school. ... 'You've got to do some tough love,' Ms. Macklin said in an interview, 'Otherwise, you're going to lose another generation.' ... After article appeared in the Australian press describing the poor conditions in town, Aboriginal elders imposed tight restrictions on the media. Visiting journalists had to be accompanied at all times by minders of the community's Warlpiri Media unit", my emphasis, Yaroslav Trofimov at the WSJ, 17 Janaury 2009.
Does any of this sound familar? Racism, wow! Would Macklin move to the US and become Detroit's mayor, my 5 January 2009 post, link: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2009/01/wait-listed-by-jail.html. Now for some real racism, my 1 September 2008 post, link: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/09/dead-elephant-in-living-room.html. Richard Lynn in The Global Bell Curve, 2008, reported aborigines average IQ was 62. You don't suppose? Don't even think that, you racist you! Violent facts! Waaaa, waaaa, waaaa!