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Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an old article, but a fascinating topic that cuts across many geographic issues.  Uluru, the landform that that European explorers named Ayers Rock, was the key place that is at the center of a struggle between indigenous people and the government.  Many feel that the government's course of action in the mid 2000's was paternalistic and racist.  They banned alcohol and pornography in over 70 indigenous communities in an attempt to lower the rates of child sex abuse.  Sex Abuse is high (and often hidden)  in aboriginal communities where a child is 7 times more likely to be abused than in the rest of the Australian population.


Questions to Ponder: Would the government impose such measures on other populations within Australia?  When crimes have a racial component, does a government have the right to limit a particular groups' actions?  Why or why not?

 

Tags: Australia, indigenous, ethnicity, race, Oceania.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 5:35 PM

 Australia is one of my most racially discriminated places in the world because of this there are alot of factors that play into these problems. "The so-called "intervention" in the Northern Territory was introduced by former Prime Minster John Howard's conservative government.Chronic disadvantage had led to Aboriginal life expectancy being 17 years below that of other Australians."

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 8:15 PM

This article points out the political and cultural geography of Australia.  The legislation that the indigenous people sees as raciest and painting a picture of them as bad people may lead to their closing off on of Australia’s tourist attractions.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 9:22 PM

I have an issue with the fact this legislation isn’t directly targeting the issue of child sex abuse. Rather the legislation focuses on farther off underlying factor like alcohol (I say this because the article never made a clear link to the use of such substance and the abuse). In a way, I can see why the Aboriginal leader could say it is a racial issue seeing as how their whole peoples style of living is being targeted. Now I am not sure if I would feel differently if the legislation was actually working, but as the article mentioned the legislation isn’t actually having a great enough impact. To me it feels the legislation was really about trying to improve their countries standard of living in regards to life expectancy, etc. Maybe that is because of the way the article read, but really given how indirectly the legislation acts I think there was an ulterior motive.  As such, I am of the opinion that trying to change someone’s way of life (even if it is at their own peril) isn’t right. Inform them if you want, but don’t have such bans because I think the people should be able to choose who they live their life. Unless I see more evidence to the impact of abuse, I say this is just an overreach of power by a modern area.

 

This also reminds me of the issues the United States has regarding national and state powers, but with a bit of a twist. I say a spin because the Aboriginal leaders aren’t exactly a state nor are they modern. So I think those factors might also be coming into play here too. With the states, that area would just turn to the Courts. However, the Aboriginal leaders decided to play hard ball themselves and I wonder if part of the reason was because of the way the more traditional leaders operate too.   

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