@Nimby. Perhaps you are a bit harsh and sweeping in …

Comment on When NT was officially ‘a country for the White Man’ by John Bell.

@Nimby. Perhaps you are a bit harsh and sweeping in your criticism of Ted. All historians are story tellers, but there are at least three different types of historian storytellers. The first is the Edward Gibbon school of hard facts, gathered with meticulous academic discipline. Gibbon’s 13 year opus “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” set the gold standard in this category. Ted admits he is not in that school. The second type is a modern day phenomenon, the historian who interprets gathered facts through the prism of gender and racial stereotypes to try to explain the facts. Again, I don’t think Ted falls into this category. The third type is the natural born storyteller who blends facts with a bit of poetic licence and weaves them with passion to spin a great yarn. Usually, those who fall into this category, while consciously trying to get their views across in the spinning of the yarn, don’t take themselves too seriously. They tend to hit the spot that the common man understands and enjoys. I think Ted is this type of historian. Anyone who can pen a ballad such as Nukamora the Boy from Okinawa and put together such a magnificent video clip that makes us all reflect individually on our historical past without prejudgment deserves a tick of approval. Looking forward to reading the book.

John Bell Also Commented

When NT was officially ‘a country for the White Man’
Without reading Ted’s book and seeing the depth of his reasoning, it is hard to critique his passionate assertion that the “smug, safe, luxurious lifestyle that we all enjoy” derives from the pre-WW2 White Australia policy in “sordid little Darwin”, a pre-dominantly non-European town in the early 1900s.
It could well be that “that’s where it all started” for Australia in early colonisation days, but I have serious doubts about Ted’s claim that “that’s why we’re conservative, particularly around things like immigration, to this day”.
Presumably, Ted is referring to blokes and sheilas of his Anglo-Celtic origins, like many of ASNO’s online readers. However, the conservative view of things nationalistic such as sovereign borders and immigration was not patented, nor is it owned by, the White Man (White Woman). It is a trait of all ethnic tribal countries around the world. We have to look no further than Japan and China at the time of the Broome pearl divers and the Peking Boxer rebellion.
Doubtless, many of the multi-ethnic inhabitants of “sordid little Darwin” in those early days were just as conservative as we were, perhaps even more so, and would have applied the same views if they had been in power in the Wide Brown Land. Japan of the Divine Wind millennia is the perfect example. And for the record, modern day Australia down here in Mexico (the Big Smoke south of the border) is fast replicating early Darwin’s non-European population domination in numerous dedicated suburbs eg Box Hill, Caulfield, Glen Waverley, Dandenong et al.
Conservatism in those suburbs is entrenched in the ethnic community and is growing mighty strong and rapidly. When the Education Department puts Ted’s book into NT schools, it might be a good idea to toss in an accompanying module on the relative values and political views that are held by today’s comfortable-lifestyle ethnic citizens in the NT community whose forebears came to sordid little Darwin in those days.
Regardless,the school authorities must make it mandatory that any teaching of Ted’s book to our school kids MUST be accompanied by a You Tube video of Ted singing “Nakamura, the boy from Okinawa”. The video with the camels walking across the beach. One of the greatest Aussie bush ballad hands-across-the-water tributes to multicultural friendship ever sung in all of Aussie Song Land!


Recent Comments by John Bell

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