In 1835, a British sealing ship visiting New Zealand first broke the news to the Maori of the inhabitants of the Chatham Islands, the “Moriori,” who lived off New Zealand’s west coast.
The Maori heard that the Moriori enjoyed an abundance of foods including seals, seafood and shellfish, that they numbered 2,000 or so and were pacifists, knowing neither warfare nor weapons. The Maori immediately set off for the Chathams and according to a rare Moriori survivor of what followed “Parties of warriors armed with muskets, clubs and tomahawks, led by their chiefs, walked through Moriori tribal territories and settlements without warning, permission or greeting. They commenced to kill us like sheep. We were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape. It was of no avail, we were discovered and killed -men, women and children indiscriminately." The Moriori were eventually exterminated by the Maori. About 10% of them were eaten.
So what of the recent demand by Australian Aboriginals that the term “Australia Day” be scorned in favour of “Invasion Day” because in their view the British erred morally and legally by colonising Australia? Is this a valid complaint?
Firstly, the sensible view is that history must be viewed in the context of the times. We should not look at 18 the century events through a 21 st century lens. If not by Britain, Australia would have been colonised by some other colonial power – probably by the Spanish, the French or the Dutch. Thankfully, the Maori did not take an interest in Australia as the martially unsophisticated Aborigines would have found no sympathy from the ruthless, war- loving Maori. Thankfully also the Arabian Muslims who colonised India and slaughtered 80 million and enslaved, castrated and oppressed countless millions more did not ride the “Roaring 40s” across the Indian Ocean to Australia.
Aren’t these examples pretty strong arguments that the Aboriginals could have done much worse than the British? Okay so the British weren’t perfect – boring food, stiff upper lip and all that – but they did have altruistic intentions and did try, albeit clumsily at times, to improve the lot of Aboriginals by exposing them to European Renaissance and Enlightenment culture. And if you look at how the British are presently abandoning their own culture in favour of multiculturalism, diversity and Islam, they are arguably the most altruistic nation on the planet. We should also remember that it was the British who pioneered the abolition of slavery in the US and elsewhere despite that its proliferation continued in Islam and elsewhere – even until recently.
There are presently 700,000 Aboriginals in Australia. They are free to avail of a first world lifestyle in a sophisticated, modern, democratic, egalitarian country. They are also free to pursue a traditional lifestyle if preferred. They have affirmative action employment status, six billion dollars a year is spent on Aboriginal welfare and it is currently proposed that they be granted superior status to non-Aboriginal Australians in the Constitution. In the writer’s view – they could have done A LOT WORSE!
Article by Prestoz – Contributor to Zero Filter