Sunday, November 16, 2008

What's in a name?

Alas, the stupidity of man.

In some sort of tribute to it's own lack of common sense, the Victorian Government is intending to rename a mountain! What the costs of this nonsense are, I shudder to think. No doubt it will cost the taxpayer something though also undoubtedly, we shall never know how much.

The mountain is currently, and insultingly, named Mount Niggerhead. So on that score, a change is probably well overdue. If, that is, the change is going to stop people from being offended. You could name it Mount Short-Fat-Bald-Man and I wouldn't be offended - after all, it's a mountain and the name is a testimony to those who originally named it. When I hear that name, I immediately think of the type of stupid, racist, cretins who did name it.

But, as I say, if the name change will stop people being offended, then there is merit. Only in this case, in it's infinite capacity for non-wisdom, the Victorian Government is electing to rename the mountain in such a manner as to offend the Dhudhuroa Native Title Group. According to Gary Murray, co-chair of the Dhudhuroa Native Title Group, "The name is linguistically and culturally inappropriate." He likens it to renaming 'Australia' as 'England'. So it's not going to be a fix to an offensive name, just the changing from one bad choice to another.

So how much consultation helped to form this decision?

In the 21st Century, it is clear that Australia's indigenous population are still not part of the management of their own country.

Which means, really, that our local indigenous are now being treated like the rest of Australia's population - i.e. with contempt, with apathy and with absolutely no respect.

Carers throughout Australia know what I mean. As do pensioners. And victims of crime. In fact, the list is longer than any blog I'm likely to create.

Isn't it time that governments really talked to their people rather than just making decisions on their behalf? Isn't it time that they learnt to walk the talk, rather than just squawk it?

Indigenous brothers require a little more out of the government than marketing ploys, segregation and quarantining or empty promises.

And so does everyone else.

Original Story

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