Standing Still

Standing Still

This post, originally posted by Cate Bolt on her blog An Ordinary Life, is reposted here with permission. Her open willingness to question the status quo and ask how best we can work together to end Indigenous racism in Australia, to acknowledge that perhaps help is not what the Aborigines want, but rather respect, is a reflection of the sort of attitude that Blak and Black wishes to emphasize. Thankyou ...

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Concentric Circles of Death: refugees and a cynical and manipulative Australian polity

Concentric Circles of Death: refugees and a cynical and manipulative Australian polity

In the Twentieth Century of my trespass on earth, having exterminated one billion heathens, heretics, Jews, Moslems, witches, mystical seekers, black men, Asians, and Christian brothers, every one of them for his own good, a whole continent of red men for living in unnatural community and at the same time having relations with the land, one billion species of animals for being sub-human, and ready to take on the bloodthirsty ...

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300,000 dead West Papuan’s: a fair price for our golems?

300,000 dead West Papuan’s: a fair price for our golems?

Sydney: city of mystery, city of marvels. Sydney: its foreshores once teeming with Gadigal; now a captive city pregnant with memories, enveloped by memories of a Gadigal Atlantis. The traditional Gadigal are all but gone, however their presence remains. Though brutally murdered, their legend survives. By telling their tale, we resurrect their Atlantis. By reviving their legends, we awaken their spirits. Their souls haunt the city still. Their presence pervades ...

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Beware there be Jinn in the forests: Indonesia and West Papua, a clash of cultures

Beware there be Jinn in the forests: Indonesia and West Papua, a clash of cultures

Last weekend I took a stroll through the Mesopotamia exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. While reading the commentary attached to a number of the artefacts I realised, in a profound way, that what we call civilization is actually a reaction to and against nature. Some cultures, those we choose to call ‘primitive’, ‘savage’ or ‘uncivilized’ attempt to live in harmony with nature, or at least attempt to develop a rapport ...

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Portia’s Lament: Western greed and the death of the indigenous cultures of West Papua

Portia’s Lament: Western greed and the death of the indigenous cultures of West Papua

Fragments from the Alfoxden Notebook There he would stand In the still covert of some rock, Or gaze upon the moon until its light Fell like a strain of music on his soul And seemed to sink into his very heart. Why is it we feel So little for each other, but for this, That we with nature have no sympathy, Or with such things as we have no ...

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The Yindjibarndi lose a guiding light

The Yindjibarndi lose a guiding light

Blak and Black is saddened to hear of the passing of Yindjibarndi Elder Mr Ned Mayaringbungu Cheedy at the age of 105. Mr Cheedy was custodian of the Yindjibarndi stories which he endeavoured to pass onto successive generations and also took an active interest in the battle of the Yindjibarndi to protect their sacred lands from indiscriminate mining at the hands of Fortescue Mining Group. Blak and Black expresses out ...

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Media, racism and manipulation

Media, racism and manipulation

Media have divided the working class and stereotyped young African-American males as gangsters or drug dealers. As a result of such treatment, the media have crushed youths’ prospects for future employment and advancement. The media have focused on the negative aspects of the black community (e.g. engaging in drug use, criminal activity, welfare abuse) while maintaining the cycle of poverty that the elite wants. Balkaran, S., 1999, The Yale Political ...

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West Papua and the United Nations

West Papua and the United Nations

July of 1969 was a big month. Whilst the ‘civilized’ world was focused on the deployment of three men to the moon, Indonesia was finalizing steps to wrest control of the territory of West Papua from the United Nations, the former Dutch protectorate. I do not say wrest lightly, for it was in the so-called Act of Free Choice that in fact the people of West Papua were robbed of ...

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Silence no longer so golden

Silence no longer so golden

Complicity takes many forms, as discussed in posts by both Bakchos and me. Many believe that silent complicity is the least culpable, but to my mind if the silence enables the perpetrator of the wrongdoing to continue causing harm, then the silence is of a gross kind. An example of such silent complicity allowing continuing harm is described by Steven Miles generating discussion in both the Lancet and via his ...

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Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority, the concept of corporate accountability

Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority, the concept of corporate accountability

This case arises from the petitioners’ claim that Azzam Rahim was detained, tortured, and killed by “the security forces of the Palestinian Authority” in late 1995, around the time the Palestinian Authority assumed responsibility for certain territories pursuant to internationally brokered peace agreements. The Palestinian Authority had its genesis in the 1993 Oslo Accords, in which Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (“PLO”) agreed that it was: time to put ...

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Human dignity and the idea of justice, part 1

Human dignity and the idea of justice, part 1

The idea of human dignity consists in recognizing that man is a being that has ends proper to himself, his own ends, to be freely complied with by himself. Or putting it in other words, maybe clearer, man ought not to be treated as a mere means for ends which are not his own, which are strange or alien to him for ends which do not belong to him. Although ...

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Genocide in West Papua, collective responsibility and the role of Ernst & Young

Genocide in West Papua, collective responsibility and the role of Ernst & Young

The TNI under Suharto was seen as different from other armies because: Indonesian army sees itself as quite different from other armies in the world, because it was never created as an instrument of the state, but was itself involved in the creation of the state. Thus the military considers itself the embodiment of Indonesian nationalism. In theory, it remains above the state, and technically does not consider itself answerable ...

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West Papua and the vote of no choice!

West Papua and the vote of no choice!

These feelings which we Cubans have already acquired will have to be shared by someday. Today it hurts us if a Cuban is hungry, if a Cuban has no doctor, if a Cuban child suffers or is uneducated, or if a family has no housing. It hurts us even though it’s not our brother, our son, or our father. Why shouldn’t we feel hurt if we see an Angolan child ...

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The symbol of belonging

The symbol of belonging

On the request of a friend, this post offers some insights as to why someone would wish to burn the Australian flag as an act of protest. The events in Canberra on the day commemorating the arrival of the first European settlers in Australia widely known as Australia Day have provided the media with no end of racial and political fodder. I spent some time reading comments on Yahoo!7, including: ...

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"The devil can cite scripture for his purpose"

“The devil can cite scripture for his purpose”

A fire that devours fire; a fire that burns in things dry and moist; a fire that glows amid snow and ice; a fire that is like a crouching lion; a fire that reveals itself in many forms; a fire that is; and never expires; a fire that shines and roars; a fire that blazes and sparkles; a fire that flies in a storm wind; a fire that burns without ...

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Good Christian Souls

Good Christian Souls

Best of the Season. This post is a little delayed, but hey, it is the Yuletide! “Does this discrepancy between reality and altruistic morality yield the positive effects which are conventionally claimed? Do exhortations to self-sacrifice for other people and lofty goals make the world any better?” (Tullman J., Tullman J.,  Natural Ethics – A Confrontation with Altruism.) Over the past couple of years Channel Ten has aired the CBS ...

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The Lombok Treaty: a win for self interest over justice

The Lombok Treaty: a win for self interest over justice

The current humanitarian crises in West Papua, formally West New Guinea (“WNG”), has at its roots Western colonial greed and paranoia over Soviet influence in the region. WNG was and remains culturally, ethnically and economically separate from the rest of the Javanese Empire which replaced the Dutch East Indies Empire in the area that is currently known as Indonesia. WNG’s links lay naturally with the Australian New Guinea and the ...

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Bintang Kejora: a struggle for a new dawn

Bintang Kejora: a struggle for a new dawn

Former Kopassus commander Lt. Gen. (ret.) Prabowo Subianto (who was “forced to retire because of his involvement in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of democracy activists in early 1998”) has argued: Indonesian culture is very violent and the military is a mirror of society. … This whole culture in Indonesia is a culture of violence between tribes and ethnic groups. …This is something that we are aware of, something we ...

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What values do we want to bequeath to our children?

What values do we want to bequeath to our children?

There are many reasons behind Blak and Black’s decision to attempt to identify and expose Australian Federal Police (AFP) corruption where we can, the main reason however is the relative power even the most junior AFP Constable has over an ordinary citizen; power that seems to be magnified when the AFP operate extra-territorially, What happened to Captain Fred Martens, Mr Julian Moti QC, the Solomon’s triumvirate and the Sogavare Government itself ...

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Damning difference - the start of the slippery slope

Damning difference – the start of the slippery slope

A few months back I penned an article about the plight of Marlon Noble, an Indigenous intellectually disabled man consigned to the correctional justice system for a crime of dubious veracity. One commenter has recently left a reply arguing that Mr Noble’s plight is more related to that of his handicap, than one of colour. I disagree, although it is certainly part of the issue and one that challenges more ...

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