The brutal past and present are another country in secret Australia: a new John Pilger film, ‘Utopia’

John Pilger.com 5 Nov 2013

The corridors of the Australian parliament are so white you squint. The sound is hushed; the smell is floor polish. The wooden floors shine so virtuously they reflect the cartoon portraits of prime ministers and rows of Aboriginal paintings, suspended on white walls, their blood and tears invisible.

The parliament stands in Barton, a suburb of Canberra named after the first prime minister of Australia, Edmund Barton, who drew up the White Australia Policy in 1901. “The doctrine of the equality of man,” said Barton, “was never intended to apply” to those not British and white-skinned.

Barton’s concern was the Chinese, known as the Yellow Peril; he made no mention of the oldest, most enduring human presence on earth: the first Australians. They did not exist. Their sophisticated care of a harsh land was of no interest. Their epic resistance did not happen. Of those who fought the British invaders of Australia, the Sydney Monitor reported in 1838: “It was resolved to exterminate the whole race of blacks in that quarter.” Today, the survivors are a shaming national secret.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht8_5UlcgSQ&w=640&h=360]

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60 thoughts on “The brutal past and present are another country in secret Australia: a new John Pilger film, ‘Utopia’

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