Sunday, August 26, 2007

Introduction to 'The Black Armband of History'

Peace. Tomorrow or day after insha'Allah I'll be updating my blog with the planned article 'The Black Armband of History' as a tribute to the indigenous peoples of Australia. I had been thinking about writing on this, but my encounter with some Muslims who, like the ruling elites, view the Aboriginal people with disdain or are wholly ignorant of Australia's extraordinary pre-conquest civilisation of which there is much to be proud, calls for a juxtaposition of their marginalisation with the outright destruction of the Aborginal homeland. One of the objectives of this blog is to constructively address issues of social significance (hat tip, Erik). This article comes at the wake of Pauline Hanson's xenophobic and supremacist political statements against Muslim immigrants. One of my peers counts Pauline Hanson among the three worst persons she wouldn't want to be stuck in a desert with.

To be honest, I don't like flags. I don't like people who wave their nation's flags in front of my eyes out of some war-mongering, nationalist mania or to prove their flag has brighter colours. But if there's one flag I would proudly hang in my window, it would be the Australian Aboriginal flag, which is much more sincere and artistic than the one flying atop Howard's headquarters, servile as it is to the dismantled British Empire. The Aboriginal flag illustrates the dignity and beauty of the Aboriginal peoples. Literally, it is an imprint of their struggles against what John Pilger called "one of the most intransigent and meanest political establishements."[1] But it is also what I hold to be the legitimate symbol of Australia, an Australia distinctive from the European brotherhood.


1 - John Pilger, The New Rulers of the World (London: Verso, 2002), 12.

1 comment:

Peter N. Jones said...

Hey, I would be happy to cross-post your upcoming article on the "Black Armband of History" on the Indigenous Issues Today news blog. Cross promotion of such an important topic is essential. Otherwise, keep it up, great blog! My email is pnj _ at _