We betray our children

In an age when some, perhaps many, express outrage about the treatment of people with dark skin, particularly when it relates to our increasingly distant history, I can only ponder the double standards at work.

And I would add a qualifier, discrimination of any kind, against any person, for any reason, regardless of the colour of their skin is always to be rejected. Neither am I talking about any wrongs committed in these times but the current fashion to decry Europeans in the past, and their descendants today, for the colonisation of Australia. Excluding of course all those who have been sanitized by possessing some Aboriginal ancestry even though they be blue-eyed blondes. The power of some black ancestry can cleanse any sin it seems which is an indicator of the religious nature of this cult of hatred toward ‘whites.’

But, back to the current source of rage for some – how dark-skinned people were treated by white-skinned people in the past. For all of the outrage at the fact that the Europeans colonised Australia, (some of those brown-skinned if not black-skinned, but we can presume they counted as nominal ‘whites) why is there never outrage for wrongs done to white-skinned people? And why is colonisation by ‘whites’ a crime and colonisation by ‘blacks’ not a crime? The Indians colonised, the Africans colonised, the Asians colonised, the peoples who came to be called Aboriginal were migrants and colonisers but none of those are condemned. Only Europeans are condemned for doing something which was a key part of human evolution – migrating, colonising, settling new lands in a bid for a better life.

It seems that while the colonisation of Australia by Europeans was an egregious wrong, the many colonisations of Britain and every country in Europe was not a wrong. Neither was the colonisation of black-skinned people in Africa by brown-skinned and black-skinned people in Africa. And the colonisation of various tribal groups in Australia by other black or brown-skinned people, all of them later coming to be called Aboriginal, was not wrong either.

The enslavement of Africans by Europeans was an egregious wrong, it is said. But the enslavement of brown-skinned people, the Arabs, who came before the Europeans was not such a wrong. The enslavement of Africans by other Africans was definitely not a wrong and the many enslavements of white-skinned Europeans by Indians, Arabs, Mongols and other brown-skinned peoples was not a wrong either.

When Europeans killed Aboriginal men, women and children, even in retaliation for terrible slaughters of their own women and children, that was an appalling wrong, but, when Aborigines slaughtered other Aboriginal men, women and children in different tribes that was not a wrong. Neither was it wrong for Aborigines to slaughter European men, women and children. Yes, one can see the mitigating factors of fighting for their land but bashing out the brains of women and children, including babies, is a bit of a stretch surely? Or not! Because when dark-skinned people kill white-skinned people that is okay?

We have seen people with white skin, who have done no wrong, kneeling in submission to people with black skin, supposedly to apologise for any crime ever committed in human history against someone with black skin by someone with white skin. Who in their right mind would accept that the murder committed by their father or mother was their responsibility, their guilt, their crime? No-one. And yet, here we see people today, accepting as their crimes, acts committed by people in the past and present, simply because they share a similar colour of skin, i.e. ‘white.’

What lesson does a ‘white’ skinned child learn when he or she sees adults cowering in this way? Nothing good, that is for sure. A sense of their own evil, an encouragement for self-hatred, a loathing for all white-skinned people in human history regardless of any great good they have done? What does a ‘black’ skinned child learn? That a bit of colour to their skin makes them innocent, pure, a victim and that any crime they commit will be forgiven and is justified?

When crime becomes colour-coded we have moved into a dangerous mindset. As it is, even in modern Australia, any crime committed by someone with some Aboriginal ancestry, regardless of how bad the crime, is very likely to receive a lenient sentence. How can that be right? You get time off not for good behaviour but because your great grandmother was part-Aboriginal? How can such an attitude not poison our courts of law and debase our legal system? Worse, how can it not prevent those who commit crimes from ever taking responsibility for their actions?

Why do so many Australians who classify under the new racist colour coding, as ‘white’ accept these double standards and the demonisation of ancestors purely for the colour of their skin? If the same language were used about brown or black-skinned people there would be outrage and rightly so. Why do so many not just tolerate it in regard to ‘white’ skin but encourage such racism? Do they think that if it all ends in violence, they and their white skin will be safe because they have been so noble in striving for what the racists behind it call justice?

They will not. Racism is racism and whatever the criteria for racism, whether religion, gender, tribe, nationality, race or colour, it gives no quarter. We only have to study the cultural genocides in Cambodia and China to know that racism has no intelligence, no perspective and it makes no exceptions or exemptions. Whether you are killed because you are ‘too educated’ or because your skin is too pale, it all feeds from the same source – a loathing and hatred of another group. Anyone with pale skin who feeds racism toward pale-skinned people is sowing the seeds of their own destruction. Indeed, they are sowing the seeds for the destruction of the civilized world where everyone loses, whatever colour their skin may be.

The more hatred of those with ‘white’ skin is encouraged, the more we betray our children and future generations. To replace old forms of racism, and all peoples, races, tribes, cultures, religions have expressed various forms of racism, regardless of the colour of their skin, with a new one – skin colour, aimed at only one group, is a betrayal of every civilized principle which underpins this modern age.

About rosross

Editor, writer, poet.
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