Extolling of Dark Emu ignores the doubt about its historical accuracy

Extolling of Dark Emu ignores the doubt about its historical accuracy, by the Mocker.

If indigenous author Bruce Pascoe is correct, most of what we were taught of how Aboriginals lived prior to the arrival of Europeans was based on a combination of ignorance, omissions and lies.

In his landmark book Dark Emu, Pascoe claims indigenous Australians were not hunter-gatherers but were sophisticated in the ways of food production, aquaculture, and land management. They were not nomads but lived in large towns in permanent dwellings. Their civilisation was, he wrote last year, “one that invented bread, society, language and the ability to live as 350 neighbouring nations without land war, not without rancour … but without a lust for land and power, without religious war, without slaves, without poverty but with a profound sense of responsibility for the health of Mother Earth for more than 120,000 years.” According to him they also invented democracy and government.

Well that sounds like important news. So the historical accounts of rampant domestic violence and tribal warfare were all made up? Somehow the indigenous tribes hid their cities and started beating up their women when white men sailed into view? Oh those evil white men.

Uh oh, the PC crew so want to believe it:

The book won the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Award and has sold over 100,000 copies. The ABC and Screen Australia have provided funding for a documentary series written by Pascoe. … A children’s version, “Young Dark Emu: A Truer History”, is now part of school curriculums. …

The ABC’s political correspondent, Andrew Probyn wrote this month that Dark Emu “demolish(es) the myth that Australia at the time of white settlement was a wilderness occupied by merely hunter gatherers”. ABC presenter Wendy Harmer referred to Pascoe as an “oracle”, and chief political writer Annabel Crabb tweeted admiringly regarding Dark Emu: “I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much from one slim volume”. Another ABC presenter, Benjamin Law, said “reading it should be a prerequisite to non-Indigenous citizenship”. Just this month RN Drive host Patricia Karvelas concluded an interview with Pascoe with a fawning endorsement of the book, urging listeners to buy it. “Just do it now,” she stated. …

Bruce Pascoe is aboriginal, and so beyond criticism:

To his detractors, he is a revisionist and fantasist. Writing for the Weekend Australian Magazine in May this year, journalist Richard Guilliatt observed “many academic experts also believe Dark Emu romanticises pre-contact indigenous society as an Eden of harmony and pacifism, when in fact it was often a brutally tough survivalist way of life”. But as Guilliatt also noted, there is a reluctance in academia to make public these criticisms given the author’s popularity and aboriginality. …

Those giving accolades to Pascoe seem oblivious to the many instances, particularly on the website Dark Emu Exposed, where readers have highlighted stark inconsistencies regarding what appears in his claims and what is outlined in the respective primary source.  …

A historian can be sure of at least a favourable reception, as in Pascoe’s case, if he or she promotes and defends the wretched at the expense of a so-called privileged demographic. To do the reverse, however, is taboo. …

This is the best Australian conspiracy theory ever, and just what the PC mob want to hear. For the ABC and the rest of the PC crew, truth can just bugger off. Pascoe’s tale feeds well into their campaign against white civilization.

Despite the many misgiving concerning Pascoe’s research and findings, Dark Emu shows every sign of being regarded as the most authoritative text in its field. Whether it be apathy or pusillanimity, our public institutions accept without question his conclusions, irrespective of the anomalies, or how ludicrous his premises.

But wait, you mean Bruce Pascoe is not really aboriginal? Andrew Bolt bravely notes:

Bruce Pascoe, author of the best-selling Dark Emu,  cannot keep calling himself Aboriginal — something that’s been so useful to his career.

That’s surely impossible now that he’s been contradicted not just by genealogical records but three prominent Aboriginal representatives. Pascoe says he’s a member of three Aboriginal tribes: the Yuin of NSW, the Boonwurrung of Victoria and some unspecified tribe of Tasmania. [Nope, Bolt quotes denials from all three.] …

Genealogical records that suggest all his ancestors descend from British forebears. …

The definition of Aboriginality in Australia is that you have some Aboriginal ancestry and are accepted as Aboriginal by those communities. Pascoe seems to fail on both counts.

What about the other pretty lies?