Germaine Greer on “Rage”

Germaine Greer, with more than a little help from the MSM and their inability to render complexity, has set off a bit of a firestorm in Australia with her essay on rage in aboriginal communities.  Here’s part of an interview:

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: And with me in the studio now is Professor Germaine Greer. Thank you for coming in. What I would like to do is take you through points raised in that story so we could hear your responses. But if I could start more generally, for people who have not read your book, what is your central objection to the Federal intervention?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER, ACADEMIC AND AUTHOR: It is not about the Federal intervention. It is about rage, it’s an essay on rage itself. It begins with a white example of somebody who feels his people have been unfairly discriminated against by government policy. I am talking about Bob Katter trying to deal with what’s happened to his people in the Northern Territory and in Queensland in particular who have been disenfranchised and driven to the wall in fact by government policy. The farmers who are killing themselves. What it tries to do is look at the spectrum of hunter gatherer violence, not just Aboriginal violence but hunter gatherer violence which has a particular shape. It involves self-destruction, high levels of suicide but also high levels of extraordinary violence against the people closest to the perpetrator, the perpetrator’s own children and the women folk in his own family.

LEIGH SALES: And this is what you think is happening in indigenous Australian communities?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: I don’t think there is any doubt about it. If you read the women’s task force report on violence, they talk about these extraordinary levels. This is not the same as free floating violence in a football crowd, for example. This is different and it’s, we’ve had, you know, clever essays about do we need a new sue Sinology [sic] to understand what is happening in black communities and I say no. If we begin to understand that suicide is caused not by grief, you can live with grief forever but you can’t live with rage because rage involves body chemicals that literally rip you to piece pieces. And everything you do will be made part of that self-destructive scenario. So you will abuse alcohol or petrol or your car or anything. So I am trying to talk about why these levels are there. I am not actually, most of what is extrapolated is wrong. I think the intervention will fail, unless the problem of rage is addressed. And then you have to ask how do you address it. I would say first of people all people have to find a way to express it because it’s never been said that it’s so particularly noxious and poisonous. So what we need is a political structure. What I’ve argued for is a treaty. What is so tough about that idea?

LEIGH SALES: Why would that allow people to express rage? Wouldn’t it just be something symbolic?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: Well, I don’t think Aboriginal people are uncomplicated and I do think that many things that appear symbolic to us do not appear at least in symbolic to them. That they’re real things. If you believe this is your country, if you believe it’s your bauxite they’re taking out or your uranium, then to have somebody to say we need to talk to you about what we’re doing to this country is not merely symbolic.

LEIGH SALES: OK, but surely isn’t the first step that the violence has to be controlled and some sort of intervention is the only way to do that in the short term so you can look at the bigger, long-term issue?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: Look, if what you’re talking about mainly self-destruction and we have to take into account para suicide, the extraordinarily high number of accidental deaths that afflict Aboriginal communities, we’re not even going to deal with them because there is no criminal profile there. You see, one of the things that bugs me is that a lot of the mischief is still being done by white men and we could fix it. We could stop them. For example, lorry drivers abusing under age girls in Nhulunbuy. We know about that. There is not an auto train in this country that we can find whenever we want to, 24/7. Why have we never arrested those people? Why have we let them go on and doing that? Why in dry communities for the last 10, 15 years, boot legers have brought in booze after dark? Dumped it in the bush and all that kind of thing. They’ve left a paper trail a mile wide. Why do we never pick them up?

LEIGH SALES: If I can look at some of the points raised in the package and have you respond to them. You write that Aboriginal women humiliated their men by seeking the white fellas help in the intervention.

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: Hang on a minute. That is not how it’s put.

LEIGH SALES: Well, page 86, ‘once more the white man was being chosen over the black man as the protector of children, the defeat of the black man was absolute’. In those circumstances what option did the women have?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: Well, what I am saying there is that when we had all the sort of black meritocracy saying, yes, yes, we have to ride in now and rescue women and children from their own men folk who, by the way, are their children. Remember the book is dedicated to Mum Shell, and remember Mum Shell dealt with young men in prison in Sydney. What I am saying is that’s how it’s set up to appear. It’s set up to appear as if the black man is disenfranchised yet again. He is seen as the perpetrator of the violence.

LEIGH SALES: That might be true.

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: And there are plenty of statements about that.

LEIGH SAKES: What other option did the women have? They couldn’t go to the men for help because those men were the perpetrators of the violence. What else could they have done other than ask for government and ask for outside assistance?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: It’s also view true that there are other men in the community who are managing and there are male elders in the community who are managing. Well, I do see that it was a recourse in emergency here. All I’m saying is that unless we deal with the pathology that underlies it we won’t get anywhere. We won’t actually stop the violence. we may even cause it to escalate. But it’s not a viable proceeding unless you look at the pathology. It’s, I don’t think it’s a simple situation at all. I also in my worse moments I think we might be way too late.

LEIGH SALES: And what does that mean?

PROFESSOR GERMAINE GREER: Well, it probably mean s annihilation of black communities. But there are some people who would say to you that they’re pretty well annihilated already, that everything that’s happened has gone wrong, that even allowing black communities to acquire land rights and to have their own territory and to have a system of self-government has been totally undermined. And is now, now it’s all to start again. What do we do now? We already had a problem that black land rights were not like anybody else’s. You could rescind them if you felt like it and there was a problem in international law which we never got to grips with about that. And, again, this very dubious title that people struggle so hard for that cost them more in resources than they had to spend is suddenly whipped away from them again because they’ve been set up for failure. And this has happened again and again and again. We have to think of something different. Now I quite understand that we cannot leave children in danger but those children and the young men are not a dis continuum. They’re the same people.

The rest is here

Sure wish I could ge holda that essay.

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