posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 08:15 AM
The 'Aboriginals were here first' argument
I’m always confused when discussing immigration when someone says “Well, the Aboriginals were here first”.
My first reaction to this statement is to think ‘What does the fact that Aboriginals came here 40,000 years ago got to do with a debate about modern
day immigration? Should I retort back that we were here 2nd?’
Facile statements such “the Aboriginals were here first” are often used to shut down legitimate debate, but what planet are the people living on
that say these kind of things? The argument just doesn’t make sense.
Do these people presume that the opinion of people whose ancestral ties to this country date back generations should count more than the opinion of
people who have settled here more recently?
Well, I have a little story for you. People’s opinions in Australia aren’t given more weight because they might have longer ties to Australia
than another person. The Minister for Climate Change and Water, Penny Wong, wasn’t born in Australia; yet her opponents don’t run around saying
‘we were here first’. Why the hell then say “Well, the Aboriginals were here first”?
Secondly, are these people arrogant enough to presume that Aboriginals naturally support continued mass immigration? Do they presume that Aboriginals
naturally support ever increasing numbers of people coming to this country? The person making the statement will often say that we ‘invaded’
This seems to be one of the most popular reasons why Australians have "no right" to discuss the issue of Mass-Immigration. It's the sentence that
stops us all in our tracks and makes us look at our feet while our voices fade into the distance. The arguments consisting of reason and logic pale
into insignificance. But Why?
I believe that Aboriginal Australians deserve the right to live peacefully in the country they originally inhabited. I believe their culture and
identity should remain an integral part of this country's history and pre-history. Indigenous Australians deserve the same rights and opportunities
as non-Indigenous Australians. This is why I support the efforts to bridge the gap between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.
However the issue
at the heart of this thread has nothing to do with Aboriginal Australians. It has nothing to do with denying immigrants from
starting a new life in a great country like Australia. The issue is about using a past injustice to excuse a current injustice when there is no
logical comparison between the two.
But yes, I expect to be called a White Supremacist and Xenophobe. I expect for certain members to feel an innate dislike and contempt for me because
of the thread I have just created. I expect the dispossession of Australians to be brought up even though I have tried to show why it is not a
relevant issue. I expect people who have not read any of my other threads to label me as insensitive and intolerant.
Nevertheless, this issue is too important to ignore. Please speak out when you hear somebody else use this weak Straw Man argument to silence you on
discussing Mass-Immigration. Also speak out when you hear others using this tactic to smear immigrants in general because immigrants are not the
problem: Mass-Immigration and its affect on the Australian culture and our way of life is the danger.