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A glimpse of Bess Price’s world

Although I’m just a simple whitefella I am very concerned about the plight of our indigenous people which is why I have written about the topic on a fairly regular basis here at the Sandpit. It is also the reason that I have been rather scathing of the lefties who have done such a great disservice to the most disadvantaged Australians by focusing on a rights agenda rather than seeking good practical outcomes and a real future for the original inhabitants of this wide brown land. This has led me to respect and admire people like Noel Pearson and Bess Price. It is the latter that I want to highlight today.

click for streaming audio

I was lying in bed early this morning listening to Radio National when the repeat of “Background briefing” came on. Please listen at my link or read the transcript for a most sensible argument about what has to be done to give the first people of this country a chance at being part of the future rather than a sad footnote from our past. Clearly its not the rights agenda driven aborigines by choice who are going to provide salvation for those desperate people in remote Australia, its people like Bess Price who understand that not every part of Indigenous culture should be immutable or given undue deference in the face of modernity.

  Much respect Comrades

Spin that family history girl!!!!

It never ceases to amaze me the way that so many Leftists have a terrible aversion to the truth and how they like to spin their own story when it suits their agenda. Keith Windshuttle has done a bit of digging about the aboriginal connections in Larrissa (I prefer bestiality) Behrendt’s family and who would be surprised that she and her father have at the very least “spun” the story  to her advantage?

Both Behrendt and her father claim that his mother, Lavinia Boney, was a member of the Stolen Generations. The archival evidence, however, reveals this is incorrect. According to Boney’s file in the NSW Aborigines Protection Board records, in 1917 when she was aged about 13 and living at the blacks’ camp at Dungalear Station, near Walgett, her mother died. Her father’s whereabouts were unknown, so she was effectively an orphan.

The Aborigines Protection Board found her a job as a domestic servant on a pastoral station at Collarenebri. Her file says this was at “the girl’s own request to get away from camp life”. From 1921 to 1923 Boney was employed in domestic service in hospitals and private homes in Sydney and Parkes. She met the German editor Henry Behrendt at Parkes Hospital. They married and went to live at Lithgow. Lavinia eventually had nine children by him before she died in childbirth. In 1944 Henry placed five-year-old Paul and his surviving siblings in the Presbyterian Church’s Burnside Homes at Parramatta.

Aged 15, Paul left Burnside and joined the Royal Australian Navy. He trained to become an air traffic controller, a profession he later followed in civilian aviation, settling in Sydney. While convalescing from a heart attack in 1980, he decided to pursue his Aboriginal mother’s history. He subsequently became known for his research abilities and his activism in Aboriginal politics. In 1988 UNSW appointed him inaugural director of its Aboriginal Research and Resource Centre. He was also the first chairman of the Aboriginal Studies Association.

In the 1980s, when I was employed at UNSW, my path crossed briefly with Paul Behrendt. Even in middle age he was a good-looking man and it was not surprising many women were attracted to him. Unless you knew, you would not have guessed he was of Aboriginal descent.

In the spectrum of Aboriginal politics, Paul was an ultra-leftist. In 1992, he argued that British colonisation of Australia was illegitimate and that Aborigines still held sovereignty over the continent. He was a joint author with Gerhard Fischer, Michael Mansell and others of the book The Mudrooroo/Muller Project in which he demanded Aborigines be given a separate country, self-governing and with its own laws. Mansell used the book to make similar claims on behalf of the Aboriginal Provisional Government. At this time, Larissa Behrendt was also a member of the Aboriginal Provisional Government. In 1987 and 1988, Mansell had gone to Libya seeking funding for his organisation from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He also sought to join Gaddafi’s Mathaba worldwide group of insurgents and terrorists.

Windshuttle has a well deserved reputation for accurate research of the historical records and on this occasion it has shown that the claims that Lavinia Boney, was “stolen” appears to be rather dodgy, you can’t steal someone from their dead (or absent) parents, but you can rescue them from a rather dire circumstance and give them the opportunity to make something of their lives which seems to be what has happened in the case of Lavinia Boney.

The far left have done our indigenous people no favours with their encouragement of separatism and trying to ghettoise the people on those troubled communities. They have pursued an ideological “rights” agenda that has been disastrous and resulted death and despair as men women and children live dissipated lives where they seem to have only one effective right and that is to live and  die in misery.

Is it any wonder that those of us who care have more respect for the likes of Bess Price and Noel Pearson rather than the Larrisa Behrendts who trade on their heritage of choice?

Cheers Comrades

Bess Price is right, a public apology is essential…

While it is very heartening that LARISSA Behrendt has offered an apology to Bess Price for the foul aspersions she tweeted the other day it is rather disappointing that she has chosen to do so privately via email rather than publicly and/or  in person.

LARISSA Behrendt, having a blond moment?

But in an email to Ms Price yesterday, she wrote: “Dear Ms Price, I very much regret that a recent tweet of mine has caused you deep offence. I unreservedly offer you a heartfelt apology for that and hope you can accept it. Sincerely, Larissa.”

In a statement to The Australian, Professor Behrendt repeated her regret that the tweet had caused offence to Ms Price.

“I take full responsibility for my carelessness in the way I expressed myself and I apologise to Ms Price unreservedly,” she said. “I am in the process of making contact with her to apologise to her personally.”

Ms Price said last night she did not accept the apology as it stood.

“I want her to apologise to me in public, not just via email,” she told The Australian.

“I don’t think it’s good enough. I’ll accept her apology when she says it in public.”

Respected indigenous academic Marcia Langton writes in The Australian today that she has “never witnessed such extreme disrespect shown by a younger Aboriginal woman for an older Aboriginal woman in my life, except where the perpetrator was severely intoxicated on drugs or alcohol”. She says Professor Behrendt’s “foul” tweet “is an exemplar of the wide cultural, moral and increasingly political rift between urban, left-wing, activist Aboriginal women and the bush women, who witness the horrors of life in their communities, much of which is arrogantly denied by the former”.

“The Twitter messages reveal a repulsive hatred of everything that Bess stands for: the rights of Aboriginal women in remote communities to be protected from sexual abuse and violence and to be supported to take up opportunities for themselves and their children,” she writes.

A public pronouncement (yes, even one made via Twitter)  that is sincerely regretted can really only be properly addressed by a very public apology that is at least equally prominent to the utterance that originally caused offence. That LARISSA Behrendt  seems not to realise this does n0t say very much about her social graces or her personal integrity. It is good to see that so many prominent indigenous  voices being raised to admonish Behrendt as the Oz piece I quote from today  demonstrates. We are constantly told  that respect for the elders is a central part of indigenous culture and I can understand why that is such an important cornerstone of any society yet for the minions of the left respect is something of no consequence however this very sorry example of gross disrespect may provide a lesson to all that an ad hominem attack upon ideas that you don’t like not only fails to make your case, it risks the wrath of your peers and may even totally undermine your standing in the community.

Cheers Comrades

#Larrissa Behrendt, a fan of bestiality?

Ah, an example of how Twitter can bring disarray to another sanctimonious Lefty who forgets that what they tweet is a public pronouncement and not just an aside made to a friend in the pub, or even their own lounge-room:

Professor Behrendt made the comments after watching Ms Price on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night.

Writing in response to comments from Rhianna Patrick, a presenter of ABC local radio indigenous program Speaking Out, she tweeted: “I watched a show where a guy had sex with a horse and I’m sure it was less offensive than Bess Price.”

Ms Price has been vocal about the high levels of violence in central Australian indigenous communities and supported the Northern Territory intervention, angering left-leaning indigenous leaders who consider her a traitor.

Speaking from Darwin, Ms Price told The Australian yesterday she was appalled by the comment. She accused Professor Behrendt, an Australian of the Year finalist, of trying to silence her because of her different views.

“I’m going to seek legal advice,” she said. “This is worse than what she is accusing Andrew Bolt of.”

News Limited columnist Bolt has spent the past fortnight in court fighting accusations that he vilified a group of nine Aborigines, including Professor Behrendt, on the basis of their race.

Professor Behrendt told The Australian yesterday the tweet was taken out of context and had been made as she watched the notoriously crude TV series Deadwood.

“I was watching ABC 2, which had Deadwood on it, which seemed pretty offensive,” she said. “A flurry of tweets came through expressing outrage at the views Bess Price was expressing. In reply to one of them, I made a comment to someone who knew I was watching Deadwood that I thought it seemed what was on ABC 2 was less offensive than what was on ABC 1 (Q&A)”.

“The tweet has been taken out of context. I did not mean any offence to Bess Price personally and I am on the record with views contrary to hers on the intervention and she knows that.”

If you are interested in the phenomena of social media you just have to love stories like this one and I cant help wondering how long it will take the Twitter fans to wake up to just what they are doing with their endless drivel that they rather thoughtlessly put out into the ether? They are PUBLISHING and as such they are just as liable to be sued as anyone else who publishes in any any other medium and frankly it is stupid to think that anything that she may have been watching on TV at the time makes a iota  of difference.  Though I must say that there is more than  a touch of irony that Larrissa Behrendt may be sued for the same sort of offence that she is accusing Andrew Bolt of committing:

Ms Price said the comment showed how out of touch the indigenous academic was with central Australian Aborigines.

“I want what she has for my children,” she said.

“The white blackfellas should be happy about the lifestyle they have. They should help us rather than trying to put a barrier between us and what we should be saying. Who does she think she is? I’m very angry about that. How dare she have a go about me without talking to me or confronting me face to face if she has a problem with me. They think that they can control us, that I shouldn’t be commenting or having an opinion on indigenous issues.

“And the likes of her and others don’t know anything about our people in the bush. Who are they to stand up and talk on behalf of our people. My background is totally different to hers, we are culturally different.”

In an email sent to a network of people, Ms Price’s husband Dave Price, writes: “It’s people like her who control the message, going to organisations like the UN and Amnesty International. Can the Race Discrimination Act protect people like Bess from this sort of obscene vilification or does she get away with it because she identifies?”

If anything this whole matter is emblematic of the point that comes through in  the articles that Andrew Bolt wrote that got him sued. There is a major disconnect between those people who live in the urban centres of this country and identify as indigenous and those who are indigenous and live in the more remote parts of the wide brown land. It is a  dissonance where the former seem far more concerned about the “rights” that their specified  ancestry should entitle them to whereas the later just want a better future for their children. I’ll leave it to my readers to decide which is more worthy of respect.

Cheers Comrades

Cue Dr  Jason Wilson?

An Indigenous woman speaks out

I have just read this great post at Club Troppo and I repost it here under the terms of its “creative commons ” licence definitely worth reading !!!

Cheers Comrades

An Indigenous woman speaks out

Posted by Ken Parish on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bob Durnan is an old ALP colleague who has worked in Indigenous communities in central Australia for the best part of 30 years.  Like me, he has witnessed the tragic deterioration of living conditions in many if not most remote communities and town camps in the Northern Territory over that period of time.  As such Bob is a strong supporter of many aspects of the Howard government-initiated NT Intervention, especially the income management system.

Bob has just emailed me a copy of what I think is a very important speech delivered to the Australian Alliance of Lawyers last Friday in Alice Springs by Bess Price, a senior Warlpiri woman from Yuendumu.

The background is the release last week of the Bath Report into children’s services in the NT, which revealed that not much had improved in that area since the “Little Children Are Sacred” report which triggered the Intervention in 2007.  NT Minister Kon Vatskalis said last week:

“The communities out there are in total collapse. There is a crisis in the communities,” Mr Vatskalis said.

“Yesterday, I was thinking, I said where is the person like Martin Luther King to come out and say ‘I’ve got a dream?’, because I can’t see anybody in the Indigenous community at the moment coming out and saying ‘I’ve got a dream’ and lead the communities. There is no leadership.”

Ms Price is certainly an Indigenous leader whose voice needs to be heard more widely.  Her address is over the fold. Please read it.


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