Welfare addiction causes Aboriginal rifts, hides real enemy - Michael Anderson
20 December 2009
Welfare addiction causes Aboriginal rifts, hides real enemy
Goodooga NSW, 20 December 2009 -- Aboriginal people need to break out of their welfare addiction, heal the divisions it causes and recognise the State as their real enemy, says an activist in north-west NSW.
Michael Anderson (pictured right), last survivor of the four men who set up the Aboriginal embassy in Canberra in 1972 and leader of the 3,000 Euahlayi, says "all too often our people will betray each other and side with the State if they feel their welfare cheque is at risk".
"Siding with the State will always create division within the communities and this is how the State wants us to be."
Mr Anderson is calling on Elders from around the country to join him in Canberra for a ‘New Way' summit on 30 January and 1 February next year.
The summit will be at the Aboriginal Centre ‘Jabal' at the Australian National University (ANU).
"These days I see myself as an enemy of the State," Mr Anderson writes in a media release (full text below).
Our people need to take a long hard look at their lives for a number of reasons, he writes.
"I do not always share the sentiments of the Noel Pearson types but we need to take responsibility and fight our way out of this [welfare] dependency because it is like a drug."
To beat the welfare system Aborigines need to challenge and fight the system that put them there, he says.
Age-old differences need to be put aside to recognise who really caused this division, he continues. "For one of our own to come out and publicly say that the Southern Blacks should stay out of the Northern situation is an echo from the past."
"I am astounded that when we do a proper analysis of the Northern Territory Emergency Response Act I see the New South Wales and Queensland government mission station structure returning."
Mr Anderson alleges that
- throughout Australia police are harassing Aboriginal youth and wrecking their futures
- more children are being taken from Aboriginal families than during the Stolen Generations period
- Aboriginal-controlled organisations have been starved of sufficient funding to deliver services
- the prison population has increased to the point where major prisons are built in places like Wellington in central NSW to jail western Aborigines close to their families
- State authorities are blackmailing Aborigines over their houses by refusing repairs or maintenance unless the sign them over
and young must now come together to put our collective thoughts together to fight this evil that is
The statement in full:
Our people need to take a long hard look at their lives for a number of reasons.
In the first instance we have by circumstances become addicted to and dependent on welfare. I do not always share the sentiments of the Noel Pearson types but we need to take responsibility and fight our way out of this dependency because it is like a drug. All too often our people will betray each other and side with the State if they feel their welfare cheque is at risk.
Siding with the State will always create division within the communities and this is how the State wants us to be. To beat the welfare system we need to challenge and fight the system that has put us there. It is our time to set aside our age-old differences and look at who really caused this division and who the real enemy is. These days I see myself as an enemy of the State. I am astounded that when we do a proper analysis of the Northern Territory Emergency Response Act I see the New South Wales and Queensland government mission station structure returning. I thought that could not possibly happen again, at least not in my lifetime, but some people fail to heed history, to be diligent enough to watch out for it and to fight it before it takes a strangle hold again, as it appears to be doing in the Northern Territory. For one of our own to come out and publicly say that the Southern Blacks should stay out of the Northern situation is an echo from the past.
‘Keep the Full Bloods and the Half-Breeds apart from each other', was and continues to be the call by the whites in control. If this is the game some people want to play, then we need to hear from the real grassroots people and not a Liberal Party nominee for the Northern Territory.
Take an in-depth look into Aboriginal affairs in 2009. More children are now taken from our families than during the Stolen Generations period. Our Aboriginal-controlled organisations have been de-funded or starved of sufficient funding to deliver service for our own people. The prison population throughout Australia has increased to the point where the government actions on the recommendations on Aboriginal deaths in custody see the major prisons being built in places like Wellington in central NSW so that the western blacks can be jailed close to their families.
Our youth are being criminalised by over-active policing by the police forces throughout Australia. Take north-west NSW for example. In towns like Walgett, Brewarrina, Bourke, etc police blatantly target our kids and pull them up for what some of the kids say is nothing, and then antagonize them by making accusations, causing the kids to react, which in most cases results in them being charged with minor misdemeanours. These kids have told me personally that the first thing the police ask for is their mobile phones in order to prevent the kids from recording them. No one is taking these matters up on behalf of the kids. What we see is institutions full of our youth. The white authorities are criminalising our kids, destroying any chances they may have in their future lives. It seems to me that the white colonialists' motto stays true: ‘it is easier to have the blacks fear you then to have them come to love you'. This cannot continue and we must destroy the current legal services being provided and start again even if it means we request that someone from our own mob act to defend us, never mind the white lawyers. People have the right to be represented by whomever they choose and we must assert this in the white courts which do not have proper jurisdiction.
On the matter of housing, I recall the government arguing some time back that we should not centralise housing, yet now they are condoning state ownership and the taking over of Aboriginal-owned houses. The State authorities are blackmailing people by saying that if you don't give over the houses then no repairs and or maintenance will be carried out on them. This is blackmail by the State. But then we are only child-like blacks who don't have the capacity to fight back for fear of losing the little they have; the State authorities know that they will always find the House boys and girls who will sell out and talk against the more militant type Aboriginal who can and will stand up to State-sponsored terrorism.
This summit is so important. No matter what it takes to get it together, it is a must-happen. Old and young must now come together to put our collective thoughts together to fight this evil that is engulfing us.
Michael Anderson can be contacted at 02 68296355 landline, 04272 92 492 mobile, 02 68296375 fax, [email protected]