Indigenous Exceptionalism Analysis

Improved Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Australian Politicians

    • 1050 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Australia has a large historic past where Australian Politicians have legislated laws that dehumanises and represent the Indigenous as inferior or marginalise a social group by not letting them get married (eg. Marriage equality). Australian politicians in the past have manipulated many Australian’s that ‘different is bad’ and you shouldn’t be different because you’re considered as a threat in the nation and become alienated. By passing those ideologies that have educated the citizens the citizen will then pass it on to their offspring’s a new generation that will inherit the created hatred for diversity society made by politicians. Through historic context Australian Politicians have marginalised social groups that is different, for example during federation in 1901 with the oppression of pacific island workers called Kanakas and continued on with the increasingly racist and bigoted laws passed to marginalise Chinese, Italians and many other social groups through the early to mid 1900 's.…

    • 1050 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Despite the euphemism ‘multiculturalism’ connotes, xenophobia was still prevalent in Australian politics. The shift from ‘White Australia’ to ‘Multicultural Australia’ occurred during the 1960s-2000’s. Positive progression of political and civil attitudes towards minority out-groups – from race-based exclusion to State espoused multiculturalism – gradually transpired. The Aliens Act Repeal Act of (1987) repealed the Aliens Act 1947. However, this progression appears to have only occurred as immigrant communities demanded social equality; that Australia maintain a plurality of cultures, and the cry for equal distribution of resources between dominant (or elite) ethnicity groups and minority ethnicities(endnote).…

    • 1478 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    These regulations were driven by the underlying perceptions of social Darwinism; the belief that certain cultural groups were at different stages of evolution (Dudgeon et al 2010). The European settlers saw Aboriginal people as primitive and less evolved than themselves (Dudgeon et al 2010). These regulations reflected the dominant society’s views of Aboriginal people as being ‘subhuman’ and reflected the prevailing opinions of how they ought to be treated (Dudgeon et al 2010). These initial legislations allowed the government to force Aboriginal people onto reserves, to confine them there and to control every aspect of their lives (Wearne…

    • 816 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    For instance, Geoffrey Blainey, a prominent historian once said that multiculturalism does more harm than good because it leads to ethnic misunderstandings (Murphy, 2013). According to Blainey, multiculturalism makes people want to prove that their tribes or ethnicities are better than others. Multiculturalism causes ethnic competition instead of multicultural acceptance. In yet another instance in the year 1988, John Howard, the opposition leader at that particular time in Australia said that the multiculturalism policy is weak, divisive and should be changed (Marr, 2017). While Moran thinks that multiculturalism is the foundation of unity, others see it as the root of divisiveness among the Australian people.…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Indigenous Australians are significantly disadvantaged in modern Australian society. It exists because white Australian public believe that Australia is a post-racial society and claim to be anti-discrimination while ignoring increased incarceration rates, deaths in custody, and lasting effects from political wrongs committed against indigenous Australians. The sociological imagination is a concept used to see how situations in society occur and play out based on how people differ in terms of their social circumstances (Giddens & Sutton, 2010). Used to ‘think ourselves away’, this concept is a way to distance oneself from subjective influences and see symbolic values in frequently occurring events such as unequal positions between two groups…

    • 1010 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Civil Rights In Australia

    • 1261 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The native Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia had, since western settlement in 1788, been dispossessed of their natural freedoms and rights. Centuries later, by 1954, the law still discriminated against the indigenous, inhibiting their civil liberties; however, many improvements have occurred which substantially bettered the standards of life as present. Originally, Aborigines were considered savages and fell under the Flora and Fauna Act, but through the reconciliation movement and advocation of rights Aborigines are now recognised as Australia’s first peoples and citizens of the commonwealth. The civil right campaigns, which significantly impacted the referendum, were conducted by some of the first Aboriginals to…

    • 1261 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When Australia was first founded, the constitution for the commonwealth was drafted in the spirit of “Terra Nullius”. The Latin term “Terra Nullius” translates to ‘land that belongs to no-one’ , meaning that the British settlers who came to Australia acted as if the Aboriginal people were not even there. These settlers fought and took the land from the Indigenous people of Australia. The idea and myth of terra nullius has had a large impact on Australian identity. Mainly it was to instill a sense of white ownership of Australia as a part of Australian identity.…

    • 981 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    These ideas were shaped by the ideas of racial superiority of the Europeans and the inevitable dying of the Indigenous Australians. This idea of the Aboriginal people dying out was expressed in the works of Daisy Bates’s book, The passing of The Aborigines (1938). These ideas further cemented the policies of protection and the creation of missions and reserves in order to ‘protect’ Indigenous Australians by moving people to reserves and missions where non-Indigenous authorities and missionaries would ‘smooth the dying pillow’. New South Wales appointed a Protector of Aborigines in 1881, and in 1883 a Board for the Protection of Aborigines was established, with the Aborigines Protection Act being introduced in 1909 (New South Wales Government, 1909). These Acts and Boards aimed to ‘protect’ the Indigenous Australians, however it ultimately led to the lives of Indigenous people being controlled by the Aborigines Protection Board.…

    • 1538 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Indeed, the Mabo decision shattered “the spirit of Terra Nullius” drafted in the Australian Constitution and appealed for constitutional reform which would acknowledge the Aboriginal people and reveal the new reality of the Australian society. As McKenna wrote, “At the 1998 Constitutional Convention, the preamble would become the only constitutional vehicle for advancing reconciliation” (2004, p.44). The Constitutional Convention helped to create the perception that the preamble was a necessity for the republican movement and reconciliation but the Howard-Murray preamble was an affront to the reconciliation movement because it did not recognized the legitimacy of the historical injustice suffered by Aboriginal people which was the basis of their political request. McKenna demonstrated that the use of language is a major factor to define the Australian identity in the…

    • 1252 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Americanization was a nativist movement which sought to erase the histories of immigrants and mold them in the image of the original anglo-american elite. The melting pot theory saw difference as an impediment to American greatness and hoped to eliminate the features of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe which did not correspond to traditional protestant ethic. Therefore Americanization was a thinly veiled attempt to impose cultural hegemony and reproduce the ruling order, in addition to eradicating the often populist and radical sentiments of immigrants. Cultural pluralism was an intellectual movement that countered this hegemonic narrative by framing cultural differences as assets to America and essential to its development. Pluralism…

    • 814 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays