Indigenous Australians and the prison of selective outrage

Indigenous Australians and the prison of selective outrage. By Jacinta Price.

This year marks 30 years since the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, initiated on the premise that racism must have been playing a principal role in these deaths.

No such finding was made and the report found no evidence of widespread racism. Also, contrary to the widely held belief that proportionately more Aboriginal Australians die in custody than non-Indigenous Australians, it was found this was not the case.

As David Biles, who led the commission’s criminology research group for three years, wrote in 2016, there was proof “Aboriginal people were slightly less likely to die in prison or police custody than non-Aboriginal people”, and this has not changed. …

It was found that most deaths occurring in custody resulted from natural causes, followed by self-harm, then abuse of drugs and alcohol. …

To suggest that we can’t solve our own problems, that we are nothing more than victims, is racism of the worst kind.

The most overlooked statement in the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody is the most important: “Only Aboriginal people can in the final analysis assure their own future.” …

Aboriginals commit more crimes than … who exactly? Low IQ whites?

Between 1989 and 2012, 951 Indigenous lives were lost to homicide. Of these, 765 were killed by Indigenous perpetrators, and 67 per cent of those were classified as domestic homicides. Where is the outrage?

The Australian Institute of Criminology reported in 2019 that “Indigenous people were around eight times more likely than non-Indigenous people to commit a domestic assault that was reported to the police”. Indigenous children are likelier to be victims of child abuse, neglect and sexual abuse and exposed to family violence at a far greater rate than non-Indigenous children. These crimes, as well as the lack of respect for property rights, result in the horrific levels of incarceration of Aboriginal Australians …

The real nature of the “problem”:

As long as Aboriginal leaders and academics insist, without clear evidence, that it is all caused by racism and colonisation and continue to ignore the real causes, we cannot begin to reduce homicide, violence and sexual abuse and, in turn, incarceration rates.

Why do we insist governments alone can solve our problems?

Because that’s where the money is. Governments solve problems by spending or handing out money, which is strong motivation to show there is a problem, and even to exaggerate or make stuff up.

(That’s the reason for many, though not all, current “problems”.)

hat-tip Stephen Neil