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Where or what is the Aboriginal ‘gravy train’?

20 August, 2009

Earlier this week Andrew Bolt wrote a piece for his blog that questioned the identity of certain Indigenous Australians. Maybe he is trying to promote his book Still Not Sorry, but for whatever reason he has written further posts that continue in the same vein. I would like to write on this issue in more depth but can not due to lack of time at present. For now it may suffice to say that on Indigenous issues Andrew positions himself as ‘objective’ – I’m not racist… shit, I’m trying to help the ‘black’ Indigenous Australians against those ‘false white’ ones. In doing so he declares his ‘subject’ as ‘other’ and with his assumed knowledge of his ‘subject’ he is then able to ‘objectively’ portray ‘them’ in a negative light and perhaps even offer an example as ‘proof’.

The above may have been poorly stated but it is not the main point of this post. Andrew may write in a covertly racist manner but his readers make overtly racist claims and statements that if left unchallenged can and do become taken-for-granted views. But it is not just Andrew and company that can hold such views, it may be people you associate with, it may even be you. Many of his readers are concerned that ‘white’, undeserving Indigenous Australians are taking advantage of the ‘generous benefits’ that the ‘black ones’ receive. As they say – just tick the box and watch the money roll in.

I ask anyone reading this who holds such a belief – where or what is this ‘gravy train’? What are the generous government benefits and from where are they obtained? Anyone?

If you believe in these benefits but can not answer this you are, to be short, full of shit.

Update. … serious perks and Aboriginal-only benefits flowHexpletive has earlier offered Andrew a challenge.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 August, 2009 11:09 am

    No takers here but at Andrew Bolt’s they are positive about the ‘serious perks’.

    Here are some examples of the perks‘.

  2. Phill permalink
    21 August, 2009 1:21 pm

    What can you say ileum? What ever they receive is justified, after all it is their country.

  3. 21 August, 2009 2:14 pm

    Sure Phill, but some people make claims of imaginary benefits.

  4. 21 August, 2009 6:07 pm

    I’m not going to argue about a “gravy train” But I have concerns about any competition that has a racial selection criteria. To may mind no matter how well intentioned it has to be innately racist and for an indigenous person it is patronising in the extreme. But there is also something worthy of disdain for people with the most tenuous connection with the indigenous people using that shadowy connection to qualify for these grants or awards.

    Oh and Phill the land now belongs to all Australians no matter what your guilt chip says.

  5. 21 August, 2009 6:08 pm

    My not May sorry:roll:

  6. 21 August, 2009 8:00 pm

    the fact is, we have all sorts of awards, scholarships, and grants that are offered to various categories of people that by their very nature exclude others. This ranges from scholarships for disadvantaged school children, export grants for small-medium enterprises, and various rents accruing to farmers and wage subsidies and tariff protection for auto workers. And, dare I say it, people who have children.

    ileum’s post asks a pertinent question: where is the gravy train for Aboriginals that people talk of? Even if some benefits do exist, can those people say they don’t qualify for any themselves?

  7. 22 August, 2009 8:48 am

    Iain, it is only Andrew Bolt that is suggesting a ‘shadowy connection’.

  8. 22 August, 2009 10:41 am

    I look at it this way Ileum, If I were to enter a competition for Irish artists on the basis that there is some distant Irish element to my own family heritage wouldn’t I be justifiably open to mockery about the validity of my “Irishness”? The situation is the same for the “indigenous” artists being criticised by Andrew Bolt.

  9. 22 August, 2009 11:57 am

    As I don’t know the people that AB writes of I can’t comment on their heritage or culture. Assuming that you don’t either Iain, how can you allude to a ‘shadowy connection’?

  10. 22 August, 2009 1:37 pm

    The shadowy connection is all about their claims to be “indigenous” when they have only a very distant connection to any indigenous forbears as in my “Irishness” analogy.

  11. 22 August, 2009 2:26 pm

    I could be wrong, but I thought that Irish and Scottish tend to be very welcome to all with traces of Irish and Scottish ancestry.

    In fact, the Scottish government is launching a huge campaign this year (according to BBC) to invite all people with Scottish ancestry – including Barack Obama apparently – to visit Scotland.

    I guess the connection and claiming ancestry is bound to be how a person identifies their self rather than the colour of their skin per se?

  12. 22 August, 2009 4:39 pm

    You’re not coming from AB’s ‘doesn’t look Aboriginal’ view are you Iain?

  13. 23 August, 2009 6:08 pm

    As i see it the problem is two fold.
    Firstly there is innate racism of restricting entry criteria on the basis of race and secondly accepting that notion that the only requirement for being indigenous being self-identification. This is a formula that is just ripe for rorting. Frankly I think that the racial discrimination act should be invoked to prevent any racial criteria being used in any art award or grant, which would make the question of someone’s actual ethnicity entirely moot.

  14. 24 August, 2009 9:44 am

    Iain, I don’t think it is a problem at all.

    Firstly – discontents addressed this the other day @8.00pm. Secondly, self identification is not the only requirement and what could you possibly rort?

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