- From assimilation to Black Power to Gordon Gekko to where?
- From assimilation to Black Power to Gordon Gekko to where? (II)
For personal and professional reasons, I follow the stories and feeds on Aboriginal life and policy. This includes the black nationalist threads. I think that Jack is right.
In this short post, I don't want to revisit the detail of my past writing. However, I would repeat three points that I have made:
- We need to recognise the diversity in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. A one size fits all approach makes no sense.
- We need to clearly distinguish between problems that are specific to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and those that are in fact subsets of broader problems.Attempting to address Aboriginal disadvantage that are in fact linked to the second will generally fail because they address symptoms, not causes.
- In attempting to address one poorly defined problem we create new problems in part because of the constructs we create in trying to solve the problem that then force reactions. The history of black-white relations is littered with examples of this.
Many of the communities with lower life expectencies have higher Aboriginal populations. There is a statistical connection in that Aboriginal populations have lower life expectencies. But so does the non-Aboriginal population compared to the rest of the country. If you want to increase Aboriginal life expectencies, you actually have to address the reasons for lower life expectencies in the population as a whole. Otherwise, you are going to fail.