20 September, 2010

Indigenous kids must speak like us – just don’t teach them “Ketchup”!

Two stories appeared on news.com.au today and their comparison is a glaring example of how our many in our community (or at least, some news editors) are yet to understand the cultural ramifications of gentrification – when it comes to Aboriginal people anyway!

In this piece newly appointed Indigenous Employment Minister Mark Arbib says Indigenous Australians must be taught English ahead of their traditional language if they are to get jobs. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/breaking-news/english-first-for-indigenous-kids-mark-arbib/story-e6frea73-1225926332548

In another article (see link below) it seems Australia is up in arms because Heinz are trying to change the name of “Tomato Sauce” to “Ketchup” here in the Great Southland.
In response to this proposed name change business and community leader Dick Smith (himself a warrior for Indigenous rights) says the move is “disrespectful” and "They don't give a stuff about Australian culture or our way of life".
Channel 9 star (and all round “great Aussie bloke”) Scott Cam goes even further – “They’re infiltrating us – it’s not our way of life”.

Ummmmm… Need I say more?
We are – as a nation, it seems – up in arms when a multi-national company attempts to change one word that has American connotations.
We are - as a nation, it seems, happy for our Government to openly state (again) it’s intentions (again) to impose our culture, our way of life and our language (again) on a people who have already had so much of their culture, way of life and language wiped out by us, well meaning white fellas (again)?

I took the liberty of changing the two articles around a little to address the huge contradictions…

IT IS enough to make Kevin Rudd shake his sauce bottle. Or at least stir a dead horse.

INDIGENOUS Australians must be taught English ahead of their traditional languages if they are to get jobs, Indigenous Employment Minister Mark Arbib says.
Senator Arbib said while he wanted to see traditional languages kept alive, the focus had to be kept on English.

Dick Smith labelled the move "disrespectful", "They don't give a stuff about Indigenous culture or their way of life," Mr Smith said.
Channel 9 star Scott Camm said the final remnants of the thousands-year old Indigenous culture and heritage would be lost to future generations.
"What, are they gonna start walking down the sidewalk?" he said.
"We’re infiltrating them - it's not their way of life."

Senator Arbib said he would work with School Education Minister Peter Garrett and all state governments to ensure that literacy skills were being taught to indigenous children.
"Because they need it," he said.

1 comment:

Sean said...

You guys can spot hypocrisy a mile away! Keep up the good work!