Bolt again – hey, whatever his faults, you have to admit that he’s consistent with them (there’s a reason the earliest incarnation of this site was BoltWatch) – this time on INDIGENOUS PEOPLE WHO AREN’T BLACK ENOUGH in his newspaper column today, “White is the new black“:

MEET the white face of a new black race – the political Aborigine.

Andrew objects to a whole lot of people who’ve self-identified as indigenous whilst HAVING NON-INDIGENOUS PARENTS and NOT LOOKING BLACK:

Instead, she’s an official Aborigine, and hired as such in a nation that now institutionalises even racial differences you cannot detect with a naked eye.

Damn those aboriginal people for not being easy to spot.

Andrew’s point here is a little bizarre. He appears to be defining indigenous people on their skin colour, as if that’s the point of the organisations attempting to preserve aboriginal culture, and as if participation in those groups ought to have some kind of skin-pigmentation entry test. He objects to people with non-indigenous parents considering themselves indigenous – which is a handy argument for those opposed to any efforts to preserve that culture, because there aren’t any indigenous Australians with no non-indigenous ancestors left.

This is the issue: there were indigenous people here when we Europeans arrived. The community, through its elected representatives, feels that it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have some programs aimed at preserving some of that culture, such as has survived our neglect (or, worse, active efforts to destroy it). The participants in those programs are not “100% aboriginal” because no such people still exist. So they might not look the part. But so what?

Does that mean we should give up on the whole idea and let that history die?

I’d argue no.

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