Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Formidable Pearson on Aboriginal Self Determination




I'm afraid to talk on this. It's so easy to get labeled:

A bleeding heart
A f...g white racist c..t
Armchair activist
Paternalist

Or many others. Ffs I don't even know what label best suits me.

Aboriginal remote communities are - I'm told - a bit of a war zone. There's money around - flowing in with welfare payments, support programs, initiatives. But I also hear stories of money metaphorically flushed down the toilet.

So I'm happy for Noel Pearson to be around. (paywalled, sorry)

Pearson is recovering from cancer, and he is passionate about aboriginal people taking responsibility for themselves. I suspect Pearson wouldn't like me, but I don't know why. I'm sure he'd hang one of the epithets (at the top) on me.

But as a white Australian who cares I can't begin to think of what the answer is, to the crap that's going on in remote Australia. And in that sense I'm happy for government to throw money at Pearson's programs. I think I trust him.

He has critics. I have first hand stories of how he sits atop a throne amongst his people, and stories in the press of his bullying. Everybody has critics, especially when they're getting things done.

So he's accused of being paternalistic but Noel answers that with a clear head:

"..while we still have women being airlifted to Cairns base hospital with broken jaws, who are we to say, I am not my brother's keeper?"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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