Saturday, February 03, 2007

Boxer Anthony Mundine Likens The Decimation Of The Australian Aboriginals To The Jewish Holocaust

By Darryl Mason

There's a few Australians, including the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, who would prefer that Anthony Mundine just shut the hell up and do what they say he's supposed to be doing - preparing for a title boxing match due in a few weeks time.

And he is one hell of a boxer. But world champion Anthony Mundine is also an Aboriginal, and he's a Muslim. Plus, he's getting mouthy. He's got plenty to say, on behalf of Aboriginal Australians, whether most of them want him to speak on his behalf or not.

But an Aboriginal Muslim with high media exposure spells 'Danger Zone' for those who live in fear of the day coming when Islam becomes the predominant religion of Australian Aboriginals.

You can read a previous story here about the music video Mundine's made, where he tries out his chops as a rapper-storyteller, while Redfern Aboriginals shred photos of the prime minister, John Howard, and a Union Jack flag goes up in flames.

But it's the words Mundine spoke today that are likely to set off fires in the media far bigger than his controversial video.

Mundine has claimed that the decimation of the Aboriginal population under the invasion and occupation of the British, from the 1770s onwards, is comparable to what Nazi Germany did to the European Jews in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Governors of the early colonies estimated the Aboriginal population of Australia at around 200,000 in the late 1700s. By the early 1900s, there were fewer than 80,000, by most reputable estimates.

Aboriginals have lived on the Australian continent for 60,000 to more than 100,000 years. Although there was never a written language, Aboriginals developed incredibly complex social, tribal and family structures, and used a language of symbols, paintings and rock carvings to communicate with other tribes, and to leave markers for where to find the best hunting and food stocks in thousands of areas across the continent.

Some of the hundreds of Aboriginal tribes that lived and thrived in Australia for thousands of generations worshipped the sun as a creation entity, tens of thousands of years before Ancient Egyptians came up with the concept of Ra.

From the late 1700s onwards, Aboriginals were massacred, hunted for sport, exposed to alcohol (close to a deadly toxin for many Aboriginals), decimated by viruses brought in by colonists and treated as slave labour, sometimes in conditions that led to a premature demise.

There has been a rigorous attempt by the extreme right wing of politicians and historians in Australia, in the past two decades, to whitewash such facts out of our collective history. Prime Minister John Howard dismissively refers to "the black arm band" of Australia's history, as though we are supposed to forget what happened here, as though it is unimportant to the state and fate of the nation.

But as the reconciliation movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s showed, along with the unofficial 'Sorry Day', most Australians would agree with Mundine's words below : that there was a Holocaust of Aborigines, and it was conducted under the Union Jack.

Or as some Indonesians still call it, 'The Butcher's Apron.'

From the AAP :

Boxer Anthony Mundine has likened the British treatment of Aborigines to the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust.

"John Howard has got to step to the plate, admit he is wrong, just like the Germans did back in the day and admitted under Hitler what they did and then moved forward," Mundine told Channel Nine.

He said the Union Jack was not a symbol to be proud of.

"It symbolises murder, raping, pillaging of the native people of the land," he said.

"The burning of the flag, we burn it, or the people burnt it, because they want to wash away with the dark side, with the dark past that Australia's got in its history and let's move forward, get a more unified place for the people."

Story continues below...


More Blogs By Darryl Mason

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Mundine is right.

The majority of Australians are waiting for a true reconciliation, but John Howard refuses to let this become part of his political legacy, even though in decades to come such a move for reconciliation would feature more prominently, and positively, in the history books than just about anything else he has done in his decade in office.

Mudine waits, Aboriginal Australians wait, as we all wait.

Australia is not a British colony anymore, we're not an outpost under the Union Jack. And the sooner we truly, officially, recognise what has been to the original people of this land, the better.

For everyone.

John Birmingham Gives One White Man's Response To Mundine: Shut Up And Box

John Howard's Image And Union Jack Torn To Shred And Burnt In Mundine's Video