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CNN Takes a Dump on Australians – HotAir

If you think of Australia Day–essentially the country’s July 4th–as a great time to throw a shrimp on the barbie and be glad your ancestors were shipped off to Australia instead of getting hanged, then you have it all wrong, according to CNN.

The world would have been better off if your ancestors were hanged.

Well, not your ancestors or mine. But those of the fine folks of Australia. You get the idea.

CNN wants you to know that Australians should be angry that Australia exists because the indigenous peoples lost their continent to the colonizers.

I looked it up, and there may have been as few as 300,000 and as many as a million and a half aborigines who lived on the continent, which is approximately the size of the United States. It is possible that the total reached as high as 3 million at one point, although that is a very high estimate.

To put that into perspective, 300,000 illegal aliens entered the United States in December alone. Not including the “gotaways.”

In other words, CNN thinks that adding a few million White people to a continent the size of the US is appalling because 300,000 people should own an entire continent. But 300,000 people is also insignificant enough a population that it is no big deal that the same number of people invaded the US in a single month.

Make it make sense.

Sydney–CNN—
“Australia Day is Dead!” Indigenous activist Gwenda Stanley chants into the loudspeaker, as a crowd of thousands breaks into applause.

It’s Australia’s national day, but the crowd in central Sydney seethes in anger and cheers in solidarity with Indigenous Australians, many of whom view January 26 as nothing but the anniversary of their colonial dispossession, 236 years ago this Friday.

“Australia is stolen land and we need to be united and firm in our resistance and sustain that resistance until justice is achieved under our terms,” protest organizer Lynda-June Coe, a Wiradjuri woman, told CNN.

The Sydney crowd is diverse, and it’s replicated in Australian cities nationwide.

Each year an increasing number of non-Indigenous Australians find it impossible to celebrate Australia Day, in the knowledge that many of their Indigenous fellow citizens treat it as a day of mourning.

Time to decolonize!

Admittedly the indigenous people of Australia are likely among the few who didn’t displace another population of humans in order to settle in their land. Even most Native American tribes fought each other for territory as waves of migrants from the Eurasian continent settled here. That is generally how human migration works, but Australia was hard to get to.

So hard to get to that like the other fauna of the continent they are genetically distinct from most other humans.

Most populations in the world are less genetically distinct because of waves of settlement and genetic mixing, because populations move and “colonize” all the time. Turkey, for instance, used to be Greek until the nomadic tribes moved west and displaced them.

Turkey used to be part of the Byzantine Empire, or the Eastern Roman Empire, which spoke Greek. Constantinople only fell in the 15th century–and the last of the Greeks were expelled from the territory last century after centuries of repression by the Turks.

Ready to go to war to get Turkey back for the Greeks? I thought not.

Human history is messy, and while we should avoid perpetrating new displacements and injustices, it is ridiculous to focus too much on past ones because the chain of injustices will never end. Homo Sapiens displaced Neanderthals. Are you ready to hang crepe over that?

Aboriginal Australians deserve to be treated just as well and with the same human rights as anybody else, but arguing over what happened 230 years ago won’t make life better for anybody right now. Doing so, in fact, harms everybody. The past cannot be undone, and Australia cannot be unsettled. White Australians were no less born there than today’s Aborigines. They are all Australians now.

None of these arguments are actually about what happened in the past but rather are battles about the distribution of societal power today. And if that is the case then we have to ask: would Australia be a better place if the Australian government of today were replaced by tribal governments reflecting the distribution of power in 1788?

You tell me. I suspect even most Aboriginal Australians wouldn’t prefer what would happen; they just want a larger slice of the pie baked by other Australians. Even if this weren’t the case, they have no more claim to power than anybody else, as they were born in the society in which they exist now, with the same (actually, in some cases, more) rights as anybody else.

There is nothing wrong with accounting for injustices done to living people and compensating them–when the US paid reparations to Japanese Americans who were themselves interned in World War II, that was just because the harm was done to them. Paying people for injustices done long ago, notional or otherwise, is stupid.

But decolonization is the “in” thing right now, so I suggest a compromise: anybody who feels guilty for living on land that long ago belonged to a different ethnic group is welcome to leave and search out their own ancestral homeland, which if you go back far enough is somewhere in Africa.

Move there. And quit whining to the rest of us. We have lives to lead right now.



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