If you believe Indigenous culture ends, where colonial culture begins, you’re a racist – Celeste Liddle

 

 
November 11, 2020

You know what? If you draw a line at colonisation and state that this is where Indigenous culture ends and colonial culture begins, you’re a racist.

Why?

For many reasons, so this is going to become a thread you can read henceforth.

Firstly, you are producing a false dichotomy between “traditional” and “contemporary” Aboriginal culture. As I have said before, this reinforces the racist idea that pre-contact, our cultures remained stagnant – that we merely floated around in suspended animation waiting for white people to show up so they could explain stuff to us.

Evidence is against this. For starters, you don’t have systems of laws and lores, along with measures of justice, if there had not been observed issues with certain actions and therefore a need to contain them.

Do you think mob just miraculously came up with strict rules governing right-way marriages, for example, or is it more likely they observed consequences of close marriage and then developed systems to avoid this? FJ (Friendlyjordies) mentions the megafauna – ever thought that perhaps the witnessing of the extinction of megafauna led to systems of protecting the the environment and perhaps the assignment of totems? Or was this shit just coincidental? Perhaps if white people actually stopped and respected Indigenous knowledge systems which developed over millennia, we wouldn’t have a problem here.

Which brings me to my next point: if culture was allowed to develop and continue pre-contact, why is it not allowed to develop and continue post-contact? Certainly it has continued and simply labelling a tree “post-contact” doesn’t change that fact. Message sticks are still carried as part of ceremony. Indeed, Lidia Thorpe took one into the Senate with her only a few weeks ago. But we also convey messages across traditional boundaries via the tools available today and that’s valid.

People still care for land and country, they speak language and utilise digital tools to share what we have and revitalise what colonisers tried to take from us. One new culture we do have which many in our communities learn from a young age is a political culture.

This too is valid because through it we are taught the history of struggle against colonisation and the need to continue that struggle because we are still having to fight for people, for community, for culture and language in the face of colonisation.

That can change but all indications suggest that white Australia doesn’t want it to. They sook when we want to display a flag or change a line in the anthem or so forth. They can’t deal with an Aboriginal man doing a war dance on a football field. So that fight against fragile colonisers IS ALSO culture. And unfortunately, you made it so.

So spare me your false dichotomies, your white interpretations of what is and is not correctly “Indigenous”, your moaning that we should all be proud Australians on the 26/1. Stop being so bloody entitled and learn, FFS.

After all, it’s not like you haven’t had the opportunity. 250 years post-Cook’s landing is an awfully long time to try and gain a clue.

/fuckyas.

 

Notes

Celeste’s thread was written partially in response to a video made by Friendlyjordies (Jordan Shanks) during NAIDOC week, that highlighted his ignorance of Aboriginal culture

 

Related – Friendlyjordies racist attitudes towards Aboriginal people/culture on full display during NAIDOC week – Tim Buchanan

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