Jump Up Whitefella - Germaine Greer's Pamphlet

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jeremytrewindixon
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Nov 25 2008 07:44
Jump Up Whitefella - Germaine Greer's Pamphlet

I've just been reading Germaine Greer's pamphlet Jump Up Whitefella. The gist of it is that the path ahead for non-aboriginal Australians is to graft themselves onto Aboriginal history; that is, to see themselves as Aborigines whose ancestors happen to have come from Europe or wherever rather than as a settler population. This isn't about anglos pretending to be Walbiri or Warindjeri or whatever and eating witchetty grubs, it is more akin to the process by which King Arthur became part of English legend and Boudicca part of English history although both were Celts (lets not nit-pick about the ethnicity of Arthur.....). More akin, although not identical, because Greer argues that the colonisation of Australia is essentially a failure, as distinct from the successful colonisation of, say, North America. White Australians have built no cities in the interior, we pretty much stay close to the beach.

The title of the pamphlet comes from an expression in Aboriginal pidgin meaning to be reborn. White Australins were originally told they were reborn Aborigines, but in their arrogance imagined the Aborigines believed this literally. Greer reckons that instead they were being offered terms on which they could be accepted into the country, and it may not be too late to accept those terms.

Germaine Greer is of course an old Anarchist. The pamphlet is worth a look.

jeremytrewindixon
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Joined: 6-03-07
Nov 26 2008 01:44
revol68 wrote:
Germaine Greer is of course an old wind bag who's fond of making a cock of herself in the media.

No she is an interesting and valuable thinker, and I can point to her writings as evidence for that assertion. Have you ever actually read anything she has written?

Hungry56
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Feb 19 2009 15:42
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The gist of it is that the path ahead for non-aboriginal Australians is to graft themselves onto Aboriginal history; that is, to see themselves as Aborigines whose ancestors happen to have come from Europe or wherever rather than as a settler population.

That's probably a usefull idea. 'Aborigines' don't have some mystical genetic connection to the culture of the past, anymore than whites asians etc do. I like how in John Pilger's books, when he is talking about the colonisation of Australia, he refers to the inhabitants as Australians not Aborigines.

Lol, right now I'm remembering how exciting it was in primary school learning the aboriginal stories, remember those creepy stick figure fuckers who would hide behind trees? This thread has inspired me to re-read some of that stuff!