Root cause: captain cook

The content on this webpage contains paid/affiliate links. When you click on any of our affiliate link, we/I may get a small compensation at no cost to you. See our affiliate disclosure for more info

Last updated on August 3rd, 2017 at 10:36 am

Traceeeeee Hutchison—an occasional Age correspondent whose work has featured here before—recalls a visit to Sydney’s satanic racist beaches:

Our day in the surf was cut short just beyond the shore break when one of its notorious tattooed locals paddled up to me and, with his face just centimetres from mine, demanded to know what the f—k we thought we were doing at his beach and made it clear we should leave the water immediately.

It rocked us to the core. I’d never seen such anger in anyone’s eyes, especially so close, and it seemed so horribly at odds with the appeal of communing with nature in the surf. We did what women generally do when they are verbally abused or taunted by men. We removed ourselves.

So much for racism, then; seems the locals hate everybody, including dizzy white ABC chicks. By the way, how did Tracee know this chap was a local? Did those tattoos list his address?

Is it useful, or just plain trite, to ask where, when and how did we get it so horribly wrong? Is it hopelessly simplistic to reduce these events to ugly tribal clashes between underemployed men?

If underemployment is a factor, expect dole gal Tracee to lash out any minute in a frenzy of ugly tribalism. Too late; it’s already happened! Tracee continues:

Is it more accurate to describe it as the byproduct of a generation of people whose views have been shaped by the culture of fear and loathing that has been masquerading as national leadership for the past decade?

No, it isn’t.

I can’t help wondering if it is merely a coincidence that the site of this week’s final loss of national innocence also marks the birthplace of the systematic destruction of our indigenous population.

Here we go …

Its original inhabitants, the Dharawal nation, knew Cronulla as Kurrawulla the place of small, pink, seashells – and their stories can be found in the 1000-year-old shell middens beneath Cronulla’s sandy shorelines, the same dunes that Captain Cook and his men wandered across, gathering samples of flora and fauna and “studying” local Aboriginal culture.

Nice sneer quotes. Cook was so unenlightened!

We can’t ignore it any longer. But I wonder if it might mean that we are a little closer to digging deeper to the real first-history of this country.

Surfers and Lebanese attack each other, so Tracee thinks we need to examine settlement. Makes sense.

To perhaps begin a path together that addresses the root of our national disquiet.

“National disquiet”. That phrase rings a bell.

Our problem with living together in harmony is not with multiculturalism. Our national disquiet started over 200 years ago and lives on as a national disgrace.

“National disquiet” … there it is again. I know where we’ve heard that before; from The Guardian’s stupid Bernard O’Riordan, who seems to be in lock-step with Tracee:

In reality, Australia’s national disquiet started more than 200 years ago when Cook and his crew confronted Aborigines in Botany Bay.

I’d address this at further length, but right now I’m packing for my return to Scotland. Taking all family members with me, of course. Must do something to repair our “national disquiet”.

(Via Anthony Leach)

Posted by Tim B. on 12/19/2005 at 11:57 AM
(34) Comments • Permalink