The
sickening criminal abuse by Aboriginal men against children revealed by Nanette
Rogers has hopefully exposed once and for all to the wider community what has
been well known and hidden by some who have been charged with protecting the
helpless and defenceless victims.

Invariably with claims of racism and
discrimination, many within the Aboriginal industry and their fellow travellers
have abused and condemned those who had the courage to speak out. Many
welfare agencies have refused to interfere or intervene in cases brought to
their attention. State police forces, not having been presented with specific
complaints, have often been only too ready to ignore clear evidence.

The high
incidence of very young Aboriginal children recorded as suffering from sexually
transmitted diseases is testimony to criminal offences, however almost without
exception these victims remain nothing more than statistics. Reports of such
incidents most certainly do not trigger criminal investigations and few if any
prosecutions have ever arisen as a result of a child having been presented to
health authorities.

It is far from clear what actions,
if any, may trigger a criminal investigation following diagnosis by
doctors and nurses. The cruel
and bitter truth is that this abuse has been allowed to continue and flourish because
of the attitude among white people charged with protecting Aboriginal children
that mainstream welfare is off limits to them.

The highly
emotive and subjective report Bringing Them Home
by the late Sir Ronald
Wilson has done enormous damage in reinforcing the vile notion that
removing Aboriginal children from harm’s way, regardless of the peril
in which a child
may be, is socially, politically and culturally offensive.

The claim
that criminality is acceptable because it has its alleged origins in the mist
of cultural beliefs and practices is an obscene defence by those who embrace
the long discredited notion of the purity and sanctity of the “noble savage”. That some
members of the judiciary and a gaggle of left wing bigots find refuge for
criminality in alleged Aboriginal customs and laws is an appalling reflection
on the values of those who excuse despicable child abuse in the name of
cultural mores.

In part,
much of the criminal abuse within Aboriginal communities is camouflaged by
whites who accept and embrace the notion that Aboriginal law and custom takes
precedence over white law. Such an acceptance clouds right from wrong and acts
as a strong discouragement from investigation by welfare and police agencies.

It is to
the shame of some legislators that they still hold to the notion that tribal
law, such as payback spearing, has some place in sophisticated 20th-century
Australia. The white belief that cruel and barbaric Aboriginal law petrified in
centuries-old practices can and should stand side by side with enlightened
non-Aboriginal laws which have evolved over the centuries has no place in
modern society.

Outlawing
the widespread practice of polygamy which invariably involves paedophilia might
just be a place to start in bringing all Aboriginal children under the umbrella
and into the protection of laws to which every Australian child should be
entitled. I do not
for a moment suggest that the only Western
Australian State Aboriginal Member of Parliament and member for Kimberley, Ms Carol Martin, is anything
other than appalled at Nanette Rogers’ revelations. However to my knowledge, she
has not thus far made one public comment about them.

Ms Martin
has been a vocal opponent of the Federal Government’s experiment at
Halls Creek of linking child welfare payments to school attendance, claiming it
to be racist.

Peter Fray

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey.

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%