Indigenous Exceptionalism Analysis

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The exclusion of Indigenous people from the nations constitution took place in the early nineteenth century. Henry Parkes the premier of the colony of New South Wales called for all six Australian colonies to unite and create a great national government for ALL of Australia. Parkes initiated a constitution based on common racial and British custom on which this nation was supposedly founded. Throughout her speech “Indigenous Exceptionalism and the Constitutional ‘Race Power’ Marcia Langton argues that any idea of race and the ability of the parliament to use race in law making should be removed from the Australian constitution. The detailed history of legislation applied to Indigenous peoples demonstrates this is many ways; Indigenous people …show more content…
Historically, from the outset Indigenous people were excluded from the Constitution and deemed an inferior race with British colonizers aim to eventually wipe Indigenous people out or have the assimilate into colonised way of life (Rolls 2001, 7). This notion and idea of race as Langton argues is an out-dated ideology, a western idea that helped support colonialism which has been deeply ingrained into Australian society. Theorist, Albert Memmi talks about colonised and the coloniser, furthermore Memmi discusses that successful colonisation of one group over another requires two things being; the oppressed themselves accepting the role in which they have been given and the creation of an oppressor being inherently dominant and controlling in nature. Memmi’s studies coincide with Langton’s argument, drawing upon the UN declaration of the Rights on Indigenous people which directly states, “Affirming doctrines, policies and practises based on advocating superiority of people or individuals based on national origin and or racial or cultural differences are scientifically false and legally invalid” (Langton 2016, …show more content…
This can coincide with Edward Said’s Orientalism but can further examine the notion of ‘revolt’ amongst Indigenous Australians. In the building campaign for constitutional recognition of Indigenous people, moving away from treating Indigenous people as a race must be replaced with the idea of ‘first peoples’. Problem not being race, but more racial discrimination. Indigenous people use self-determination; and express themselves according to their lineages and strong culture that connect them to places and ways of life that have existed long before colonisation. Additionally, by labelling an Indigenous Australians as a ‘race’ and determining laws around their way of life has only enhanced confusion of the Indigenous Identity within Australian society. The government by creating these policies based on race has only fuelled these

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