Interview: The Binds That Tie
Unions: Worth Cycling For
Industrial: The Elephant in the Corner
Legal: A Law Unto Themselves
Politics: Ethically Lonely
History: Women, Unions, Banners and Parades
Women: Relaxed and Comfortable?
International: The Last Social Democrat
Review: The Corpse Bride
Culture: Tony Moore Holds His Own
The Locker Room
A Free Vote
John Bares All
Tom A World Away
Whitefellas - You Just Can’t Trust ‘Em.
That bloke who went mad with the gun at Port Arthur? Whitefella. The English guy who pinched squillions of dollars from his company and lost it on the stock-market? Whitefella. The directors of the James Hardie corporation, busy protecting the company's billions whilst leaving asbestosis victims in the lurch? Whitefellas.
If you look closely, you may see a pattern beginning to emerge. Stalin, Hitler, Ronald Biggs. Whitefellas all of them. Not a good look is it? Makes it easy to see why people are a bit reluctant to mix with them.
To make matters worse, most of them are in the grip of the grog. The stats are pretty clear on this: Only 16% of non-Indigenous Australians are teetotal, yet over 30% of Aboriginal Australians don't touch the stuff. Only one in eight white males abstains from alcohol, whereas amongst blackfellas the figure is closer to one in three.
You've gotta feel sorry for people struggling like this. But it gets worse.
Sadly, many of these folk have a tendency to go walkabout. Bundjalung country in south-east Queensland is over-run every winter by whitefellas from Victoria who can't cope with the cold. (This kind of shiftlessness and inability to deal with discomfort makes them a poor risk for prospective employers.)
Remarkably, this mob spend most of their time in Queensland oiled up like chips - trying to make their skins go dark. So they're not really whitefellas at all. They just like to call themselves that when its suits them.
Same as the 'whitefellas' living out in the bush. They don't look much like whitefellas to me. They haven't got suits, expensive cars or office jobs, so it's hard to see how they could be fair-dinkum. Real whitefellas live in Sydney and Melbourne. Everybody knows that.
These people tend to cling to the old ways. They just don't seem to be able to adjust to changing circumstances. Take Sydney for example. The road system is in a state of semi-permanent gridlock and the city is choked with pollution given off by these motionless motorcars.
But do they have the vision to beef up the public transport system? No way Jose. They just build more tunnels to carry more cars to cause more pollution. It's distressing to see people so limited in their thinking.
In the big cities, the best retail land is occupied by sacred sites called 'churches'. In the old days, folks flocked to these places for spiritual guidance, but no-one much goes along any more.
People are voting with their feet. Surely its time to give this valuable space over to commercial interests, and relocate these so-called sacred sites to the outer suburbs where the land is cheaper. You can't stop progress.
But the saddest thing about these shiftless, drunken types is that they can't even agree amongst themselves. Next time you see a gang of whitefellas hanging about - and lets face it - they do tend to hang around in packs - ask them what they think about abortion, or privatisation or the middle east?
Know what you'll get? As many different answers as there are white faces. Total confusion. How can we possibly help them if they can't even agree amongst themselves?
Why can't they break out of this rut?
Personally, I reckon its because the government gives them everything. And they don't even have the good grace to be honest about these handouts. Instead they use code-words like 'tax break', 'incentive scheme' or 'rebate'.
And what do they do with their dough? Buy villa units in gated communities. Stay inside scared rooted, watching current affairs telly about home invasions, and drug barons in the suburbs. They venture out once every couple of years - to vote for politicians who promise them more police and stiffer sentences.
But I've been a bit rough. It's easy to lump whitefellas together and say 'they all do this', or 'they all do that'. In truth they are all individuals.
So try to suspend your prejudices. Just take 'em as you find 'em.
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