[Linux-aus] Acknowledgement of country

Russell Coker russell at coker.com.au
Thu Nov 5 21:58:09 AEDT 2015

Firstly please don't CC a list that most people in this discussion aren't 
subscribed to.

On Thu, 5 Nov 2015 08:32:25 PM Luke John wrote:
> > Why would someone object to an Acknowledgement of Country?  It's already
> > been done with LA events in the past without problem.  It's done at most
> > universities without issue and even when it was added to the start of
> > parliament it didn't get much notice (I didn't even know they did that
> > until today).
> *I would object to a mandated "Acknowledgement of Country"*.
> You have provided no real evidence that having a mandated
> "Acknowledgement of Country" would encourage participation in the LA
> community. Other people are doing it is not a reason to do it.  Many
> people write closed source software, that's not a good reason for LA
> to mandate it.

All the universities that have implemented it have done so to encourage 
participation.  I presume that the people associated with organisations like 
the Murrup Barak Institute know what they are doing, and know it better than a 
bunch of random Linux people.

> From my reading they certainly do not *demand* an "Acknowledgement of
> Country". They are guidelines and they provide suggestions and
> background.

So you think we should have guidelines about an Acknowledgement of Country?

On Thu, 5 Nov 2015 08:44:44 PM David Lloyd wrote:
> > > what could be argued one or more displaced peoples. However, having
> > > only the opening, with no substance would have made little sense - an
> > > empty gesture to say, "we acknowledge you but allowing you to welcome
> > > us at our [insert event here]" is all we'll do. In that experience,
> > > though, I did
> > 
> > It's still much better than nothing, and there's still a lot of white
> > people who want to give absolutely nothing to indiginous people.
> Empty words are worse than nothing and worse they can lull otherwise
> well-meaning people into thinking that something is actually happening when
> they are not; perhaps that really was my point.

Please offer your wealth of knowledge of reconciliation to the Murrup Barak 
Institute.  You seem to believe that you know their topic better than they do.

> > > Is that culture sustained by an acknowledgement to country or welcome
> > > to all?
> > 
> > I don't think that we need white people to provide answers to such
> > questions.
> > I think that decent white people will take note of the recommendations by
> > organisations such as Murrup Barak.  Aboriginals really don't need more
> > white people telling them what's best for them.
> Don't assume I'm a white person. Remember, I was talking only for myself...

I'll assume that everyone who says such things is white.  Usually I'm correct.

> > > In this case, a welcome to all to Australia could sound a little,
> > > well, odd.
> > 
> > Your argument that we should refrain from doing anything to address
> > racism because Australia has too many racists is bizarre.
> My argument, probably not well put, was that if you had meant something
> more akin to a nationalistic welcome (to say refugees, recent new comers
> and such)

This is a very common form of argument.  When someone advocates for something 
specific to be done to address the needs of a minority group people start 
suddenly claiming that we need to do the same thing for other minority groups 
(who generally have slightly different needs) and also address the needs of 
straight white men.  It always seems like an attempt to do anything but 
address the needs of the minority group in question.

Different groups have different needs.  Doing what is best for one group is not 
exclusive of doing things for other groups.  As an aside the organisers of 
OSDC were raising money for refugees and also advocating better treatment for 
them.  I don't think that an acknowledgement at the start of a meeting would 
be the best thing to do to help refugees.

> might sound a tad bizarre considering how we treat refugees
> especially, but many newcomers suffer racism as well. The Indians seem to
> get a lot of it at the moment,

Are you claiming to be representing Indians here by opposing an 
Acknowledgement of Country?

> but one day when we meet (or catch up again
> - we probably have met briefly in some conference somewhere), let me tell
> you what it's been like growing up as a non-white looking person in
> Australia over the past 40 or so years.

My wife's older relatives have told me what it was like before Greeks came to 
be regarded as white.  But different races get different forms of racism.

> I actually used the example of Saruman and Gandalf, not because of their
> race, but because of the attributes Tolkien attributed to them.

Which are attributes he doesn't assign to any Orcs.

> Incidentally, I've played D&D, AD&D and onine text MUDs for most of my
> life; I'm also not white :)

Why do you like Tolkien?  The idea of matching race to good/evil in fantasy 
seems mostly due to him.

My Main Blog         http://etbe.coker.com.au/
My Documents Blog    http://doc.coker.com.au/

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