The current plight of Native Americans, African Americans, Maoris, and the Aborigines

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,039
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#21
From what I'm told by every New Zealander I've ever met, Maoris are treated comparatively well, with various grants and preferential treatment available, certainly compared to Australian aboriginies. I may be wrong but there seems to be a lot around the rugby team, as well as one or two around the cricket team.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,351
Australia
#22
While in Australia I saw several attempts to assimilate aboriginals into white culture. I distinctly remember visiting one settlement near Alice Springs where the government had built them modern homes, they had taken off the doors, burnt a lot of the furniture, the place looked like it had been ransacked. The local aboriginals didn't really want to live like whites. I heard them state that they, "had the right to be poor". White locals called them lazy, you could see them hanging out under trees all day, they just had different priorities and the white folks just couldn't understand it.
The houses at one of those places I visited where horrible I would not want to live in one, tiny windows, dark and stuffy . Some of the boys came and stayed at my place, they loved it ! I have large windows in all walls but one, its one huge open room with 3 doors out and a fire place in the middle. Natural materials- wood and river stones. They asked me " Why dont they make 'missions houses' like this ?"

"Not only that," I responded " all the wood was 3rd grade logging salvage, left overs, 1 grade above firewood ! The rocks came from the river. " That impressed them even more. Then I suggested ; " If you expanded this cabin out ; you could have a series of rooms, each with a shared veranda, facing a 'courtyard' where a central shared fire pit for cooking and hanging out under the stars. " They loved that idea.

But really degraded places, that have been destroyed regardless, that is more of a result of a decaying culture ; 'pointlessness', drug and alcohol abuse, etc . Look at the places that are coming good, that have got rid of the grog, and the elders have returned and are teaching culture - they dont look like that. One I saw recently, cleaned the place up, banned grog, got elders back, started teaching culture, fixed up the houses and facilities, started veggie gardens and now they have a business growing and selling Australian wildflowers, its really taken off and now they are getting big orders from OS. They been working hard to get all that , not lazy at all . feeling hopeless makes you lazy .

But the 'aboriginal laziness' is an interesting phenomena ; 2 things , 1 is the prejudiced view * the other is, the ease in which they did things. The way they managed their estates was working with nature, not against it , that requires a LOT less effort. It might seem lazy when people where observed only to have to need to work 3 - 4 hrs a day ..... but a lazy person also does not walk 300km balancing a huge ball of ochre on their head, nor 'party' (corroboree / ceremony ) dance and sing for a 10 hr night

* The case of the lazy fisherman comes to mind : an early settler wrote how he heard these people where lazy but then witnessed it himself, an Aboriginal fisherman was lazing around on a river bank, he had made a small race out of branches and twigs to chanell the fish through, in an openning in it he had set a noose that was held down with a slip knot attached to a bent over stick anchored into the ground. A fish would go through the race, snag its gills in the noose, flip around, undo the slip knot, the stick would straighten and whip the fish out of the water and over his head to land on the bank, then he would reset the noose in the race.

Lazy :D

He should have done it the proper white man way !


1549312214745.png
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,351
Australia
#23
From what I'm told by every New Zealander I've ever met, Maoris are treated comparatively well, with various grants and preferential treatment available, certainly compared to Australian aboriginies. I may be wrong but there seems to be a lot around the rugby team, as well as one or two around the cricket team.
Comparatively - yes.

I think the extent of Maori culture ( more 'obvious' than Aboriginal ), arts and crafts, villages, agriculture, animal husbandry, etc . made Europeans consider the land more 'owned by' the locals, where in Australia the idea was the locals didnt do that, or were not really locals, just people wandering through , hunters and gatherers ..... pretty much an 'empty land' for the taking.

Also there is a particular Maori way that might be a little 'off-putting' if you hassle them too much ; I remember one HUUGE guy getting in my face .... and I dont mean to rub noses ! His forearms looked bigger and more muscular than my thighs, He screams at me " I f***** EAT YOU ! "
And gnashes his teeth up and down (his mouth was about 1/2 as big as my head and huge teeth! ) and goes " Ung nyung ung ung " (eating noises) !

I got told by the Pakea at Taupo pub to get out while I can, after I told them I was camped on Maori land, at their invite, by the lake . "They will kill you and eat you in the middle of the night ! " :D sure ! I laughed at them and they said , " You ask old Jake over there, they ate his grandfather ! " I told the Maori when I got back back, but they didnt laugh , they just called over a very old uncle and asked him ; " Jake ? Probably Jake Carpenter ... yeah, his grandfather got eaten by us ! "

:eek:

Yes, best to treat them respectfully

( they didnt eat me , they did take me hunting, fishing, out on a jet boat, sightseeing , etc . )
 
Aug 2018
472
Southern Indiana
#24
Back in the early 1800's there were efforts by the US government to teach the Natives how to farm the white man way. It didn't seem to matter that they were already excellent farmers, the Miami even had their own unique variety of corn that was much sought after. The main problem seemed to be that it was the woman who tended the fields. Planting, tending and harvesting crops was seen as woman's work (and it was, culturally), the men engaged in hunting, trapping and fishing. The government seemed to take this as a refusal to settle down and learn the white man's ways. I still find it odd, they grew corn, the main difference was that there wasn't a man behind a plow and that bothered them greatly.
 
Apr 2017
711
Lemuria
#25
While in Australia I saw several attempts to assimilate aboriginals into white culture. I distinctly remember visiting one settlement near Alice Springs where the government had built them modern homes, they had taken off the doors, burnt a lot of the furniture, the place looked like it had been ransacked. The local aboriginals didn't really want to live like whites. I heard them state that they, "had the right to be poor". White locals called them lazy, you could see them hanging out under trees all day, they just had different priorities and the white folks just couldn't understand it.
Introducing an industrial lifestyle to a stone age is rather misguided. If they wanted to improve the Aborigine lifestyle they should have studied the PNG dwellings and communal lifestyle. Introduce crops such as sweet potato, plantain, banana to them which they can grow on small plot in a permaculture rather than money and alcohol. The colonizers had no good intentions. It was always the strong subjugating the weak. And this applies not just to Europeans but to everyone else as well. Non-Europeans are not any better. The Maoris too cause the extinction of a pre-Maori civilization as well as the extinction of many animals. Mankind is basically a lost cause. They just can't change their nature. They will destroy each other in the end. People breed too quickly, consume too much and produce too much heat. They use technology they don't really understand.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,351
Australia
#26
Introducing an industrial lifestyle to a stone age is rather misguided. If they wanted to improve the Aborigine lifestyle they should have studied the PNG dwellings and communal lifestyle.
Are you saying they should have made the Australian Aboriginal change their lifestyle and dwellings to those like in PNG ? What good would that have done ? The Aboriginal already had 'communal lifestyle' and good and comfortable dwellings (according to Eropean explorers that stayed in those dwellings) .


Introduce crops such as sweet potato, plantain, banana to them which they can grow on small plot in a permaculture rather than money and alcohol.
Why introduce foreign crops? There was no shortage of crops here before 1770, and the ones that where here where well adapted to the unusual soil and weather conditions. Some thrived in drought (again, from early European explorers accounts ) .

The colonizers had no good intentions. It was always the strong subjugating the weak. And this applies not just to Europeans but to everyone else as well. Non-Europeans are not any better. The Maoris too cause the extinction of a pre-Maori civilization
Nope, this has clearly been debunked. Although you keep referring to it .

" Maori oral traditions speak of spirits or fairy folk living in parts of New Zealand when they arrived. They are known by various names, but most commonly as Patupaiarehe[10] and Turehu

" In more recent times, outside of academia a similar variety of speculation of New Zealand's first settlers has occurred. These ideas typically incorporate aspects of conspiracy theories as they are in opposition to the last 100 years of academic research

" "Not one of [the theories] has ever passed any remote academic scrutiny.

"" .Hugh Laracy of the University of Auckland called them wild speculation" that has been "thoroughly disposed of by academic specialists" ... Another historian, Vincent O'Malley, and the New Zealand Archaeological Association regard the theories as having a racist or at least a political element

Pre-Māori settlement of New Zealand theories - Wikipedia

as well as the extinction of many animals. Mankind is basically a lost cause. They just can't change their nature. They will destroy each other in the end. People breed too quickly, consume too much and produce too much heat. They use technology they don't really understand.
Some people did and do that .... it appears others didn't - like the Australian Aboriginal .
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#27
"Some people did and do that .... it appears others didn't - like the Australian Aboriginal ."

Just so, AND for 50,000+ years. , I think that makes them the most successful culture on earth, by tens of thousands of years.
 
Aug 2012
1,554
#28
I'm going to be controversial here and state that these cultures are completely unable to function alongside those of those who colonised them. Whether they are Native Americans, African-Americans or the Aboriginal peoples, their respective cultures are all defined by historical oppression and ancient grievances. It's why African-Americans will often claim their entire country was built by their racial group, ignoring the others who did just as much work to mold the USA. It's why Native Americans will continually act as if they have more right to their land based on their ancestry.

And I am not downplaying the hardships they have faced, I am saying that this sense of of hostility, this unwillingness to assimilate is vital to who they are, and simultaneously is the reason why even in more enlightened times they are viewed as alien.
How can white Americans fully accept a minority whose entire cultural identity is based around villifying them, and retroactively painting their cultural heroes as oppressors and monsters? Again, I'm not saying that to insult anyone, it's a genuine question on my part.

A society can only just about tolerate other cultures within it, so long as some effort is made at assimilation. But those who insist on standing on the sidelines, who protect their otherness, will always be victims. If you don't believe me, look at the treatment of the Romani community in the UK and Ireland. Some of whom were actually driven from their homes by mobs throwing bricks. Those who don't bend tend to break.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#29
I'm going to be controversial here and state that these cultures are completely unable to function alongside those of those who colonised them. Whether they are Native Americans, African-Americans or the Aboriginal peoples, their respective cultures are all defined by historical oppression and ancient grievances. It's why African-Americans will often claim their entire country was built by their racial group, ignoring the others who did just as much work to mold the USA. It's why Native Americans will continually act as if they have more right to their land based on their ancestry.

And I am not downplaying the hardships they have faced, I am saying that this sense of of hostility, this unwillingness to assimilate is vital to who they are, and simultaneously is the reason why even in more enlightened times they are viewed as alien.
How can white Americans fully accept a minority whose entire cultural identity is based around villifying them, and retroactively painting their cultural heroes as oppressors and monsters? Again, I'm not saying that to insult anyone, it's a genuine question on my part.

A society can only just about tolerate other cultures within it, so long as some effort is made at assimilation. But those who insist on standing on the sidelines, who protect their otherness, will always be victims. If you don't believe me, look at the treatment of the Romani community in the UK and Ireland. Some of whom were actually driven from their homes by mobs throwing bricks. Those who don't bend tend to break.

I'd say Australian aboriginal society has functioned, badly, and survived, badly, since white settlement

In the1950's we were taught that the aboriginals were a dying race, and expected to be extinct within a matter of decades. For that reason, mixed race children were removed from their aboriginal parents, and attempts were made to assimilate theme into white culture. . Didn't work.

To the great surprise of the experts, aboriginal numbers increased, and with that increase, massive social problems. A racist Australian society would not allow them assimilate, although that was the stated official aim. They were ignored for decades. The outcome was they belonged to neither culture, except for small groups who had managed to largely avoid white contact.

The aboriginals absorbed the worst aspects of white society: They discovered white flour and white sugar, and attempts were made to get them to remain in one place.. A traditional hunting and gathering people ,they did not have any concept of static hygiene, which led to problems with diseases.

PerhapsTHE problem was and is alcohol. Australian aborigines, like the native Americans, did not have alcohol as part of their culture, nor were they able to physically tolerate alcohol. This has led to a disproportionately large number of aboriginal people suffering from alcoholism. Other rampant health problems include hepatitis, renal disease and STD's. Aboriginal society is a gerontocracy, anarchic (no formal government structure) . but controlled by elders.

Aboriginal are disproportionately represented in Australian prisons.

At present, 45% of men and 34% of women die before age 45. The rest have a lief expectancy of around 65.

Before a 1963 (I think) referendum, Australian aborigines were not included in the national census, They were not citizens and had no rights. They were 'cared for' by the paternalistic , bumbling, Department of Aboriginal Affairs. The approach begun then is still used today. The 'aboriginal problem' was put in the too hard box. Vast sums of money were chucked at them on a fairly regular basis. This not done directly, but via range of government organisations, committees, and various groups set up, and run by 'responsible aboriginals; Millions of dollars were spent over decades. The figures I quoted above are fairly current,. nothing significant has changed in 40 years from where I sit.

What's the solution? I don't know.I'm not sure there is one now, I think too much damage has been done. In my opinion , the situation could d not possibly be worse if the aboriginal people had been simply left to their own devices, from first contact. That didn't happen because. They were often a 'pest' to settlers and because of the humbug of do gooders to introduce the aboriginal people to civilisation and Jesus.

The above is a very short opinion piece, loosely based on extensive reading done as part of my university studies. I mention this only to show I have thought about this issue for a long time. It is not to make a claim of superior knowledge, nor indeed to make a claims to 'being right' . I'm not sure there is a 'right answer' to what I consider a complex social issue.
 
Likes: Commodus
Oct 2011
3,738
the middle ground
#30
I'm going to be controversial here and state that these cultures are completely unable to function alongside those of those who colonised them. Whether they are Native Americans, African-Americans or the Aboriginal peoples, their respective cultures are all defined by historical oppression and ancient grievances. It's why African-Americans will often claim their entire country was built by their racial group, ignoring the others who did just as much work to mold the USA. It's why Native Americans will continually act as if they have more right to their land based on their ancestry.

And I am not downplaying the hardships they have faced, I am saying that this sense of of hostility, this unwillingness to assimilate is vital to who they are, and simultaneously is the reason why even in more enlightened times they are viewed as alien.
How can white Americans fully accept a minority whose entire cultural identity is based around villifying them, and retroactively painting their cultural heroes as oppressors and monsters? Again, I'm not saying that to insult anyone, it's a genuine question on my part.

A society can only just about tolerate other cultures within it, so long as some effort is made at assimilation. But those who insist on standing on the sidelines, who protect their otherness, will always be victims. If you don't believe me, look at the treatment of the Romani community in the UK and Ireland. Some of whom were actually driven from their homes by mobs throwing bricks. Those who don't bend tend to break.
Actually, I think this point is only controversial in the sense of the issue being so complicated. I hear what you are trying to say and it is an important part of the mix.
I can only speak from a middle class and rather "old school" black American experience here, so my opinion is strictly "for what it's worth". A shift toward the militant end of the spectrum in certain quarters is not exactly hard to detect. I never know whether to attribute this to
(a) frustration on the part of those who do make some effort to assimilate with continued resistance from those for whom it will never matter whether we are crack whores or college graduates
(b) resurgence of an unwarranted victim mentality (which the generation that actually lived through the Jim Crow era took great pains to keep from limiting those they raised) unfair to those many whites who see racism as ignorant BS
(c) the internet - where (no exaggeration) all the racist attitudes I've personally encountered in the past 20 years have been located (OK, maybe anonymity allows people to express their "real" feelings but if those feelings are never expressed toward me in person hunting for them is a waste of my time. IMVHO)
(d) all, none, or a mix of the above...

Tough call. I think we humans are a fragile lot. I also think vicious cycles work like chicken-and-egg problems: which came first "sense of hostility" or "even in more enlightened times...viewed as alien"? The history is not very pretty, but whether it inspires ambition to seek better or becomes an endless trap for people heavily depends on widely variable personal circumstances.

I'm not sure there is a 'right answer' to what I consider a complex social issue.
Agreed. Certainly no easy answers...
 
Likes: Commodus