As you would have seen in the news a number of statues of historical figures such as that of Captain James Cook and Governor Lachlan Macquarie have been vandalised, mainly with spray paint. Slogans about genocide were painted on some, presumably claiming that
white settlement of Australia or the limited number of conflicts between settlers and Aboriginals meant genocide of the Aboriginal race. (1) Considering that modern-day Aboriginals have a massively higher standard of living and life chances than their ancestors
had before Cook arrived the claim of genocide seems a little farfetched.
Stan Grant, part Aboriginal commentator with the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation, wade in to the controversy to claim the wording on Cook’s statue saying he “discovered” Australia was incorrect as Aboriginals were here first. (Although Grant to his credit was later to criticise the vandalism of the statues).
The fact that the east coast of Australia was unknown to Europeans or anyone else but the local Aboriginals until Cook’s visit in 1770 would make it hard to describe it as anything other than a discovery and an important one at that. (2)
More silliness has come from certain local government councils who have decided against celebrating Australia Day on the 26th of January. Apparently they think it offensive or hurtful to Aboriginals. (3) The fact that this day marks the founding of one of the world’s most successful countries, one that has attracted millions of migrants including
illegals so desperate to get the benefits of living in Australia that they lost their lives trying to get here, shows how silly the attitude of these councils is. The federal government was, fortunately, not as stupid and told the councils they could not hold
If things here are silly enough they are even worse in the United States where many statues of Confederate soldiers and
Generals have been removed by government bodies or, in one case, torn down by demonstrators. The incident that got the world’s attention was a riot that occurred in Charlottesville. A proposal to remove a statue of General Robert E. Lee brought on a
large protest by over a thousand white nationalists and like-minded people which then attracted a counter protest by leftists and the Black Lives Matter movement. Three people died including two police officers in a helicopter that crashed. A woman died, according
to some reports when she was run over by a “Nazi” although other sources claimed she died of a heart attack. (4) Although no one seems to be brave enough to point it out, the demonstration and counter-demonstrations, as well as the the deaths
of three people, would not have occurred if there was no plan to remove the statue of General Lee in the first place.
The coming together of disparate white and so-called right-wing extremist groups, many of
whom in years gone by were serious rivals, has upset a lot of people who blame the increase in activism on the rise of Donald Trump. (5)
President Trump had the courage defend the statues and for his efforts he
alienated several corporate executives which led to the disbanding of two business advisory councils. (6) The removal of statues of Lee and others continued. (7)
The existence of a large minority of Americans
of African descent is a result of slavery although there appears to be no government plan to remove this reminder of slavery in the nation’s past. And for that matter the ancestors of most of the African slaves and their descendants in the Americas were
originally enslaved by other Africans, something conveniently forgotten. (8)
Meanwhile in the far off land of Mongolia there is a massive statue of Genghis Khan which can be seen for miles around. Genghis was
the founder of the Mongol Empire that was built by incredible levels of violence, and the slaughter of and enslavement of millions. Now he is seen as a great hero. There is certainly no chance of his statue being removed. (9)
One of the more sickening matters is that slavery still exists in the modern world with an estimated 46 million people now enslaved or in slave-like conditions, although most of them are in the Indo-Pacific region. (10) Yet we see a lot of controversy
about statues of historical figures and slavery that ended in the US over 150 years ago, while there is practically zero interest from the left about one of the world’s worst human rights issues.
see in the attacks on statues, all of white people of course, both here and in the US is just part of the ongoing denigration of white Westerners and their accomplishments. These accomplishments include the massive advances in science and technology that has
made life possible for most people in this world. Instead of celebrating these achievement as any other culture would, we dwell on the negative aspects of our histories rather than forget them like non-Westerners seem all too happy to do.
1. Linda Silmalis, Brendan Hills, “Attack is a Stain on Our Aussie Values”, Sunday Telegraph, 27 August 2017
2. Rachel Corbett, “Arguments Set in Stone”, Daily Telegraph
3. Anthony Dillon, “Don’t
Get Trapped by Past”, Daily Telegraph, 24 August 2017
4. Sarah Blake, “Racist USA Rears Its Head”, Daily telegraph, 19 August 2017
5. Dan Frosch, Cameron McWhirter, “The White Flames of Hate”, The Australian, 18
6. “Trump Defends Statues of Rebels”, Daily Telegraph, 19 August 2017
7. “Lee Statue Takes a Bow”, Daily Telegraph, 16 September 2017; The Australian, 18 August 2017
8. Martin Meredith, “The Fortunes
of Africa”, Simon and Schuster, London, 2015, Pages 95-96