The Necessity of Reparation for Historic Injustices

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bluediamond started the topic in Sunday, 25 Jul 2021 at 1:26pm

Uni assignment i did a few years ago. This is my take on things. I'm sure this will ruffle many feathers. I hope so.
Love Blue Diamond x

The Necessity of Reparation for Historic Injustices

Introduction – Compensatory Justice
Disparities between the standards of living of humans on this planet have long been a part of our history on this planet. From the wealthy nations of the West to the developing and undeveloped nations on this globe, the diversity in the quality of life when viewed from a moral standpoint are without a doubt grossly unfair.
In this paper I will look at why historic injustices do require some form of reparation. I take a strong stance that we are more obliged to solve current injustices than to provide reparation for every act of injustice in the past. In doing this I will first investigate the historic injustice of the Aboriginal people of Australia and I will look at the argument that they are entitled to some form of reparation and why.
I will incoroporate some interesting views from Jeremy Waldron, Robert Nozick and others which will help me slowly build to my conclusion that reparation should be in the form of Non Indigenous Australians surrendering some of our priveleges as a form of reparation.

Historic Injustices to Indigenous Australians:
Australia the continent was well inhabited for many years long before white settlement. It is commonly known that in 1788 Australia was colonised as a country under the rule of the British Empire, with total contempt for the fact that it was already inhabited by a native indigenous race of people.
The way the original inhabitants have been treated, including forced assimilation, execution, stolen families and not even allowed to be recognised as citizens for a large part of white Australia’s history are also well known facts. (Poole, 1999,pp114-142)
There exists now a situation where there is a large divide between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal Australian’s that can be traced back to the moment Australia was invaded by English settlers and the brutal and unfair treatment that has followed.
So at this point now, in 2013 what is the just and fair way to make amends for past actions?
I would argue that a moderate to large amount of reparation is overdue for this nation of people, the Aboriginal people. But there are many challenges to this view point especially that of how much reparation, and what sort of compensation.

Past injustices or present suffering?
One of the questions raised in an issue like this is whether it is better to provide compensation or reparation for past deeds, which have already been done in a previous generation and cannot be changed, or whether it is better to now provide assistance to those who are suffering in their current situations and consider that as a form of moral duty.
To understand this we need to delve a little deeper into this issue and hear some differing viewpoints.
Firstly we need to understand what the best way to provide reparation. How do we judge what is the best way of giving back and how much? Jeremy Waldron states “The historic record has a fragility that consists, …in the sheer contingency of what happened in the past” (Waldron,1992,p5 )
This is saying that we can’t trace every single injustice back to the original act therefore reparation for every act would be almost impossible because it would ultimately be guess work.
In this statement he has an objection from Robert Nozick who believes it is in fact possible to address this problem by “changing the present so that it resembles how the past would have looked had the injustice not taken place” (McKenzie, 2013)
This would be a way to ultimately provide maximum reparation, but is it the correct approach? I believe this is a fairly radical approach, although it does have some merits in the fact it would be working in a positive way for indigenous people, I don’t think it is entirely the right way to deal with these issues but it is on the right track.
Waldron argues that it is based on too many unknowns. “The status of counterfactual reasoning about the exercising of human reasoning of human freedom is unclear”(Waldron 1993,p10)
Which leaves the question somewhat open about the sort of reparation that is required, but provides one clear answer to the key question. Both agree that yes, reparation to some extent is required. But how much and in what form?
Another philosopher who leans more towards Waldron’s views is Kymlicka. He is somewhat more straightforward in his assessment that property rights in particular for Aboriginals would create “massive unfairness” and also he maintains the argument “Aboriginal rights must be grounded in concerns about equality and contemporary disadvantage. (McKenzie, 2013) I agree with both these views but I don’t think they provide any active solutions.

The Solution?
So if its not handing back all of Australia’s land to the original inhabitants that is the most appropriate way to deal with past injustices, then what is?
I look at the current country I grew up in, as a white Australian. I ask myself why I never had Aboriginal friends growing up, no understanding of Aboriginal culture and why my basic understanding of Indigenous Australians is mostly 200 years old. I look at our flag, a symbol of a nation that stole a country from its original inhabitants, with no recognition of the Indigenous people at all on it. I see that Australia considered Indigenous people as less than people until only 40 years ago and I see the way that Indigenous Australians live a completely separate life to the way of life I know as an Australian. I see that the only indigenous politician I am aware of is a former Olympian and it is because of this fact of her sporting status that I know this. I see no collective power or representation of Indigenous Australians and I see non Indigenous Australians,( a culture built on a history of stealing a land and mistreating its people) still taking, taking as much out of this land as they can, with little to no regard of sharing or giving to the original inhabitants. I see a government that says lots of words about ‘closing the gap’ and bringing the living standards of non- indigenous and indigenous Australians closer together, but apart from nice words, there is no conviction, no follow through, just assimilation , and all that still remains are injustices.
As stated by Sparrow, “Continuity gives rise to responsibility on part of present generations of Australians for our history”.(McKenzie,2013). Although deeds happened in the past beyond our control, what we do now to either ignore, or rectify these issues will reflect on us in history. So if we choose to do nothing, we are contributing to the history of the mistreatment of non- indigenous Australians. And this is simply unacceptable in my opinion.

Conclusion
So what is fair? I believe that the way forward is a surrendering of some of our privileges as non- indigenous Australians. The simple fact is it was morally wrong without a doubt what has happened in the past. And it is also morally wrong without a doubt to ignore these facts and not offer some form of reparation in the present. But how much?
I think that going back to Robert Nozick’s argument is a start. I think Nozick is wrong to make the present resemble the past in every aspect. But I do think that it would be reasonable to restore some aspects of the way things should be. The things that happened in the past were out of our control and we can’t go back to changing the way things were. But we could change the way things are.
For some examples. Why not give at least 50% of political power to indigenous people? It surely would be a fair thing to do considering this is their country. Media control. 50 percent. Industry. Realestate. The list goes on. Why do we not acknowledge the indigenous people on our flag, or better still use their flag? Why is Australia still a part of the Commonwealth when it serves little purpose to any of us and serves as a constant reminder to Indigenous Australians that they are still controlled by the original invaders. These to me are fairly simple reparations that would have minimal impact on Australia as a whole. Perhaps, it would alter the way we live but I think it is our responsibility, morally to forfeit some of our privileges for the greater good. Basically a little bit goes a long way.
In closing, it is a fact that a huge injustice occurred to the Indigenous population and suffering continues to this day. There is no easy solution to such a burden of pain. I believe the only solutions are for the non- Indigenous population to take responsibility and sacrifice our own way of life to bring about an overall equality. Sacrifice is not an easy word. But it all comes down to right and wrong. We are in a position to give, in this current generation. What are we so scared to lose, that was never ours in the first place??

Bibliography
McKenzie,C.”Prof” (2013), Lecture, Historic Injustices and Indigenous Rights, Macquarie University
Poole, R. (1999). Nation and Identity.Routledge, London, pp.114-142
Waldron,J. (1992). ‘Superseding Historic Injustice’. Ethics, 103 (1), 4-28

References
Poole, R. (1999). Nation and Identity.Routledge, London, pp.114-142
Waldron,J. (1992). ‘Superseding Historic Injustice’. Ethics, 103 (1), 4-28

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truebluebasher Sunday, 7 Jul 2024 at 10:45am

Change The Day Change The Week...Keep The Fire Burning

Qld Cops kick start NAIDOC week with Traditional Deadly Blue Light Disco Opening Ceremony
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-07-05/queensland-police-naidoc-event-li...

https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/the-2024-naidoc-theme-has-been-annou...

https://www.naidoc.org.au/local-events/local-naidoc-week-events

(Proper B Grade Gromz Horror Flix)
Animal Girl
https://ictv.com.au/video/item/2285
Monster
https://ictv.com.au/video/item/4246

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southernraw Sunday, 7 Jul 2024 at 1:35pm

Great stuff TBB and cheers for the share @seeds.
Also, today all day Triple J is actually listenable. Playing First Nations only music to celebrate the start of NAIDOC week. Good chance to discover some super talented lesser known Australian music.

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sameaswas Sunday, 7 Jul 2024 at 6:29pm
udo wrote:

https://youtu.be/4TjCzXH78ww?si=GgJq7jFmEt1Qs-d8
https://youtu.be/nG3PAiN_A9I?si=aWqN1ZC0a-uHSbiW

WOW! thanks udo heard rumours from ppl who do cooberpeedy did'nt realise it's that bad!!!

Been busy as but still read forum when i can.

Wonder if the naidoc "elites" want to know about this travesty? maybe organise a big cleanup and an apology to the "colonists" who they kicked out (legally, allegedly).

What a disgrace.

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southernraw Sunday, 7 Jul 2024 at 8:02pm

In celebration of NAIDOC week, this is a great little vid, jolly good one might even say!
Pretty sure everyone could come away with something from watching this.
A good week to move closer together, not further apart.
Give it a minute or two to get through the standard procedural intro.

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truebluebasher Monday, 8 Jul 2024 at 2:59pm

Ripple Effect washes over the swellnet crew stoking a new wave of love around our wide brown land!

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southernraw Monday, 8 Jul 2024 at 8:59pm

Wow great stuff TBB!! Will be adding Ripple Effect to my spotify playlist. Super chill. They even had some surf in that first clip...in the top end!
Cheers legend!!

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seeds Monday, 8 Jul 2024 at 11:22pm

Person treated as a toy toys have a story to tell.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-07-08/mithina-tasmanian-aboriginal-girl...

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southernraw Tuesday, 9 Jul 2024 at 12:19am

Wow thats a heavy story @seeds. Thanks for bringing it to light.
I wonder how many more of these stories go untold. Who's around to re tell them.
If not for the doll..
Still trip out on the 'black line' in Tasmania. Hilarious how obviously ineffective it was. But fark, what a horrific plan of straight out genocide. By us. Our system.
When i see what's happening in Alice and the towns posted above right now, i see this as the effect of the above mentioned causes.
This is what happens when you don't give something back that was taken...and i don't mean land.
This is the effect of saying NO to a voice. Of trampling all over Uluru against the wishes of the custodians...as a statement "i'm Australian too". I could go on and on. These are just simpleton examples. We all know it's much deeper.
Nup. We have it all wrong.
It's hard not to write without some barbs and venom in each line. Its not to antagonize those with opposing voices. I don't actually know what it's for. What's this thread even for. Dunno. But it's still going strong so it must mean something. Which is epic. Progress. A voice...of sorts...regardless of the vote.
Cheers @seeds and all who endure against the grain. Some pretty big legends have contributed here for a greater good.

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southernraw Tuesday, 9 Jul 2024 at 12:47am
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southernraw Tuesday, 9 Jul 2024 at 1:03am

The Black War.
Tasmania.
Know your history.
", the Aborigines
were ‘massacred without mercy’. ‘At this period’, he wrote, ‘it was common
for parties of the civilized portion of society to scour the bush, and falling in
with the tracks of the natives, during the night to follow them to their place of
encampment, where they were slaughtered in cold blood’ and that the effect of
martial law, which was in operation from November 1828 to February 1832, ‘was
to destroy, within twelve months after its publication, more than two thirds of
these wild creatures, who by degrees dwindled away till their populous tribes
were swept from the face of the earth’"
" In The Last of the Tasmanians, published
in 1870, he furnished in some cases enough clues for the reader to identify the
informant, the date of the specific incident and the place where it happened. In
all he mentioned 16 instances of massacre, with a combined loss of at least 300
Aboriginal lives. If any reader was in doubt that massacre was widely used to
dispose of hundreds of Aborigines in the Black War, then Bonwick’s account
appeared to offer more than enough evidence to dispel it."
"The massacre debate today is a microcosm of the wider debate about the
impact of settler colonialism on indigenous peoples and in particular about
the humanity of the Tasmanian Aborigines. Above all it reflects the reluctance
of many white Australians even today, to come to terms with incontrovertible
evidence about our violent past and to seek reconciliation with Aboriginal
survivors. "
https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12657/33665/1/459436.p...

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southernraw Tuesday, 9 Jul 2024 at 1:11am
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andy-mac Tuesday, 9 Jul 2024 at 6:45am
seeds wrote:

Person treated as a toy toys have a story to tell.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-07-08/mithina-tasmanian-aboriginal-girl...

Pretty heartbreaking story....
Poor girl.

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truebluebasher Tuesday, 9 Jul 2024 at 2:12pm

Alice Springs Curfews
1928-1964 Sundown Town Sunset-Sunrise Curfew
1951- Highest Alcohol related Arrests 571 / 2000 pop

1991-2021 Biannual (week long) NT Arafura Games 80 nations / 20 events / 2,200 athletes
Crew may recall they ran ILS Surf/board Race/Events in Darwin Wave Lagoon.
https://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200905/r371856_1726198.jpg
7,500 visitors / 1000 volunteers + 90% + over 50% Business want Games to Continue
NT Govt : Cancelled Arafura Games Forever (Why!) Promote Pacific Indigenous Culture > Uprising!
Not compatible with Aukus Agenda of containing Indigenous Pacific Cultural Identity!

2020/2021 2x / 2022 Alice Springs Naidoc Week is (cancelled) Why! Empowers Indigenous Culture!
2023 Naidoc Week ( Respect yer Elders March + Kids Splash Day)
2024 Naidoc Week (Currently Banned...Again...Wotz New! Huh!)

School Holiday Curfews (Why! Free time to Learn Aboriginal Stuff outside White school rules)

13th Dec 2023 - 4 Feb 2024 = Xmas School Holiday Curfew 10pm-6am
27th March - 6th April 2024 = Easter School Holidays Curfew 6pm-6am
8th July - 10th July 2024 = Winter School Holidays Curfew 6pm (Kidz) 10pm Adults-6am
Or until all are seated quietly at Outdoor Cinema / Govt-Hill Song One Nation Concert
https://www.naidoc.org.au/get-involved/naidoc-week-events/naidoc-outdoor...
https://alicesprings.nt.gov.au/about-alice-springs/calendar/p2

Aboriginal Cultural Exemptions for Value Added Grog Venues Only
Aboriginal Arts with Pop Up Wine Bars.
Aboriginal Jazz Bars
Beer Tent Festivals

Please try to expose yer Children to NT Tourism 1st Nation Grog Bannered Piss Ups

Curfews & Bans only apply during Grog free Indigenous Cultural Enlightenment phases!
Don't worry...we've mandated bans...to wipe out any / all Cultural Learning free time!

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truebluebasher Tuesday, 9 Jul 2024 at 3:15pm

23rd Sept - 4th Oct 2024 : Lock in a Pub Brawl to evoke next Deadly NT School Holiday Curfew!
Gotta do it to save my Community!
Wot good is a Voice when 60% of Oz are Tone Deaf...Huh!
It was never about XXXX...WTFU! ~ All say Aye!

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truebluebasher Wednesday, 10 Jul 2024 at 4:23pm

Blackfella / Whitefella...
Dedicated to Alice Springs School Holiday Curfew Crew...3 day Track Pack.
Crew are keeping the fire burning...

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truebluebasher Thursday, 11 Jul 2024 at 4:54pm

Talk of wishing for total School Holidays Curfews...Wow! That's 3 Holidays in a row now!
Alice Springs have highest Level of Drug induced Alcoholic Teen Pregnancy
Lock Up First Nations Daughters Night Curfew during School Holidays
That certainly fits the Narrative on why Curfews lock up Teen School Girls on the Grog!
Also break cycle of Teen Mum & Bub Drug dependent Health / Crime Cycle that ends in Prison Life.

Reckon that's the Plan for 3 Peat School Holidays Curfew...
Break the Cycle to give Health Crew a break to take stock of the Damage...(A real Youth Health Trial!)
tbb has read much of depleted Alice Springs Health Staff...real horrific brutalized Youth Victims!

Alice Springs Sunday's Gig was Local Rock / Reggae Pub Bands + Local MOR Singer Guitarist
https://www.facebook.com/p/Sneaky-Train-100084546600905/

&t=15s
Brawl > Curfew
10th July : Bottle 'O's Re-Open
10th July : Wild Arvo Mob Brawl

10th July : Naidoc Arts Centre Free Concert is for Posh Mob (Seated Auditorium with VIP Booking Fees)
Share the 2 Promoted Popular Artzy Trax...also their experimental trax...
https://www.naidoc.org.au/get-involved/naidoc-week-events/jacob-ridgeway...

https://www.instagram.com/mrrhodesmusic/reel/C9MlztrSrV5/

11th July Curfew was Lifted...but Town is on notice!
No life for a Kid...Happy rest of yer School Holidays Alice Springs...Keep the Fire Burning!

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truebluebasher Friday, 12 Jul 2024 at 2:28pm

Mr Chrisy Mertas : Top End Deadly Surf Punks
Keep The Fire Burning Crew...enjoy yer weekend session!
Let it rip...

https://www.abc.net.au/triplejunearthed/artist/mr-chrisy-mertas/
https://www.instagram.com/mrchrisymertas/?hl=en