Australia’s dark heart

Editors Note:

She buried him down on the edge of town
Where the brigalow suckers on the cemetery creep
She stood with them children in a heavy brown gown
What you want you just can’t always keep

I looked at his face and his colour turned white
He turned slowly and said “I can’t make it till night
My body is broken, I’m bleedin’ inside”
And the life slowly drained from his eyes

— ‘DROVING WOMAN’ by Kev Carmody

Thanks to Ray Jackson for his comments below about the Guardian article ‘Australia’s Dark Heart’


an excellent follow-up article re the death of mr. ryder and the total racist injustice of the court decision of the five white youth who killed him. yet another blatant cover-up of still yet another aboriginal death in custody.

i have posted before on this tragic event and posted the decision of the presiding judge, chief justice brian martin.

this article states that the pathologist ‘assumed’ that the cause of death was a previously undiagnosed and, apparently non-locatable, aneurysm. the injustice system pounced upon this nonsense with the ease of practice in many many legal whitewashes of aboriginal deaths in custody throughout australia.

the same nonchalance was given to the fact of racism by the legal arguments. nt racism has been present since the central australian invasion began. the Coniston massacre was merely one battle in the ongoing war between the invaders and the traditional owners of the lands stolen by the pastoralists and the town dwellers.

alice springs is built, at least now, on tourism and the tourism is built upon aboriginal culture. so there was some acceptance that some aborigines would need to remain as a tourist sop, the better to explain the culture and the sacred sites. massacres became unfashionable so another more subtle attack needed to be taken.

alcohol. alice floats on it. even for the alcohol-sodden nt, the alice is in a class of its own. as most all tourist towns are. the massacres continued but now we done, and do. it to ourselves with an enthusiasm that is way too deadly.

the history of alice springs, combined with the arrogance and racism of the invaders since they first arrived and that is continuously fuelled by alcohol, has allowed the racism to grow and continue in both covert and overt ways. this is not surprising in and of itself. i also agree that racism is a two-way street but that does not excuse it in its everyday operation.

there is also that deep-seated memory of most of white australians of how this country was stolen from the original owners. the lands were stolen and the genocide was real and that is the reason, i believe, why australia day has never ever been the jingoistic celebration that john howard, for one, tried to make it. we aborigines still resist invasion day as being something to celebrate. it was better not to go there, it was thought. hence a low key day.

the antipathy shown to aborigines in this country is well known. not by all, of course, but by the two-thirds of white australia that is not comfortable with aboriginal issues. racism is entrenched into the society of this country but it is especially entrenched in the governments of this country. they will never entertain the dialectic that they must deal with us as equals. we want sovereignty, treaty and social justice but all we are offered is ‘some words in the constitution’ or perhaps ‘in the preamble’.

what an insult this is to the half million plus of us. we know, as mabo proved, that we are the original custodians of the lands of australia. we know that we still have custodianship of the stolen lands but very little real ownership of the lands themselves and, especially, the resources of those lands. we do not need words that mean nothing and, worse, give us nothing. i have stated before that we must not allow the federal government to use their ‘secret english’ words. we must arrive at the required and necessary words and tell the governments what to put in ‘their’ constitution. it must be remembered that we were not in the constitution until 67 years of its introduction and even then, it meant little.

the krudd apology was a first step only. good words with good intent but words nonetheless. words that wither on the social justice vine for the want of the next step that was not taken. reparation. a marking off of the sins that had been brought on to our society and our families.

an apology is always good but it becomes even truer and better when the next logical step is taken. we still await that second step, we cannot move on until it happens. the words have helped but more is rightly needed.

whilst australia does in fact have a ‘dark’ heart, sadly it suffers from a white ‘body politic’ that still wishes to assimilate us, that still wishes to wear its white-blindfold on every occasion and still wishes to maintain an absolute racist judicial system, more so when we are murdered by our invaders.

the final words in the constitution must mirror the above reality.


ray jackson
indigenous social justice association

Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 12:57 PM
Subject: Guardian on Alice murder

Australia’s dark heart

When an Aboriginal man was killed by five white youths in Alice Springs last year, it was the latest race-hate crime in an area plagued by
violence. But the lenient sentences handed down to the “Ute 5” have sparked alarm that there will be a racial backlash in the Australian outback…

For months following the death, Jade just sat and stared at the walls of her house, obsessing about everything she’d lost. At Christmas, her grieving became so acute she was hospitalised for two weeks. She’s working again now, and that’s been helping. But on the really bad nights, she’ll leave the house to go and hide up in the bushes on Anzac Hill. She’ll think and cry and look down at the place where Kwementyaye died. She likes it up there in the dark, where no one else can see her.

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