@4 Marie Dea: The proud Kooris I was fishing with …

Comment on Pilger’s polemic fails Australia and Aborigines by A Harris.

@4 Marie Dea: The proud Kooris I was fishing with on the NSW South Coast last weekend would be surprised to learn that they don’t exist because of genocide!
And you might be surprised to learn that the biggest concentration of Aboriginal people in the country live in Sydney’s western suburbs (that’s in NSW in case you didn’t know) Marie Dea.
You miss the point in Kieran’s review and many of the comments here which aren’t trying to deny Australia’s violent and racist history, nor the continuing discrimination that Aboriginal people suffer but this isn’t the whole story.
To suggest, as Pilger does, that nothing has changed since the 1980s is to deny the hard work and sacrifice of so many Aboriginal people (and their white friends and supporters) to educate Australians of our true history and to ensure Aboriginal rights and history were recognised.
This fight certainly has not concluded but I question what Pilger thinks the contribution of his film Utopia is to this struggle?
To deny the advances made over the past three decades is to deny the hard work and courage of Aboriginal leaders including grass roots community activists.

A Harris Also Commented

Pilger’s polemic fails Australia and Aborigines
Spot on Kieran!My main problem with Pilger and his supporters is that they continue the myth of Aboriginal people as incompetent passive victims of white injustice. The truth is that there have been many improvements in a range of social indicators for Aboriginal people. In tertiary education, in infant mortality, Aboriginal enterprises, land return, resource management and all these successes have been achieved through strong and determined Aboriginal leadership. Listening to Pilger and his buddies you’d be hard-pushed to even understand that Aboriginal people have their own leaders and advocates who have been skilfull and relentless in pursuing Aboriginal objectives. John Paterson of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT, in a Crikey piece last year, described a similar polemic by Utopia Associate producer, Chris Graham on NT grog restrictions, as being “anti-Aboriginal” and Pilger and Graham, in this documentary have done nothing to dispel that description. Australia certainly does have a “black history” and we have a long way to go to overcoming the legacy of racist policies but turning Aboriginal people into passive dis-empowered victims might be good for Pilger’s reputation as a crusading journalist but it does nothing for Aboriginal people struggling for justice.

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