All colonial countries are built on a lie.

And like a house built on a rotten, irreparable foundation, the only real solution is to knock the whole thing down and rebuild it. We can try and reform it of course, but everything will always be a work around solution, so long as the rotten core identity of white supremacy remains our foundation then reform will only ever delay the inevitable.

Because that house is going to collapse one way or another, our only real choice is to decide whether we will control the deconstruction in a safe and organised manner, or whether we wait for the house to collapse onto our heads.

White supremacy was used to justify colonialism, as a consequence, white supremacy became the founding culture of every colonised country.

It is the centerpiece of every colonial identity. Because colonists and their descendants have no other roots to remember. They are too far removed from the old country to share in its history and culture, while at the same time the land they now occupied had no history they could share in, because they brought genocide against it.

The central theme and attitude of colonists everywhere became domination. Dominating the foreign land and dominating the Indigenous cultures, aggressively, relentlessly.

All of it driven and rationalised by colonial white supremacy.

Resistance to this from Indigenous populations only created more animosity towards them. Between the ensuing genocide and the reckless exploitation of the occupied land, hate and greed fueled expansion cemented white supremacist ideology as the core culture of the emerging society, this attitude in turn became the foundation of national identity.

This means that our systems of government were from the very beginning devoid of justice. And a society that isn’t built on justice can’t possibly be peaceful.

If there is a fundamental lack of justice within a society then there will always be unanswered and unaccountable violence against the people within it.

That is why prisons are full of Indigenous people and why the police can murder Black people in broad daylight (while being filmed the entire time) and still not face any criminal charges.

Because justice is not the point of the police force, oppression is.

Of course there were going to be riots. What other option was there? Peaceful protest is at best ignored, but more often than not sees the protester lose their career and be blackballed from their industry.

What we are seeing around the world now, especially in traditional colonial countries, is the violent will of white supremacy meeting the firm resistance of those trying to survive it.

It is the result of a total failure of societal justice.

It can scoff and complain about looting all it wants, but it doesn’t matter now, the opportunity to have meaningful, open, and peaceful conversation has passed, and unapologetic rebellion has now become undeniable. It is the voice of justice screaming under a 400 year gag order. It is the broken heart of a people that has turned to righteous rage.

Peace cannot exist without justice, in every conceivable way, from literal violent resistance, to the peace that should be at the soul of a nation, justice is the foundation of society, we cannot be at peace with ourselves or anyone else without justice.

Just as importantly there can be no healthy or sustainable national identity without justice. Culture comes from generations building upon the works and accomplishments of those that came before them.

But colonial countries don’t have this dynamic, because every early generation spent its time erasing history, not building it. Australia and America for example committed countless atrocities and genocides against Indigenous people, these acts do not make our history books because the successors of those that committed the acts, understood that they were shameful, and not to be spoken of.

This creates a dynamic where future generations have enormous gaps in historical data, but more importantly, they inherit a national attitude that is centered around denial.

That is why our history is told almost exclusively from the selective memory of white settler colonisers. It is a fabrication almost in its entirety.

How can a sustainable national identity grow when it is built upon a system of hollow lies, used to deny unspeakable atrocities?

How can a nation ever heal if it refuses to even acknowledge the wounds exist?

That is why our culture is so shallow, it focuses on the glorification of war, it is sports obsession, it is about building strangely possessive nationalism around items of food. It is profoundly hollow celebrity worship, and elevating mediocre historical figures to almost demigod status.

The reason this is the best we can do, is because we know that if we dig any deeper into our national psyche, we will be forced to deal with the ghosts and horror of our ancestors, and although we never admit it, we know in our hearts that the truth is much worse than anything we can imagine.

Our national identity and culture will never be able to grow until we confront our colonial past with honesty and humility.

Colonisation is based on violent oppression and exploitation, for those on the receiving end of it, it was apocalyptic, it was their holocaust, that was then erased and white washed by every subsequent colonial generation.

So long as colonialism is upheld as our primary culture, we will never grow up, we will never mature as a country, and our deep societal wounds will never heal.

Holding onto white supremacy and pretending that our violent colonial history was in any way glorious, is an incredibly toxic mentality to maintain. It poisons every facet of our nation, from the highest levels of government policy down to the micro-aggressions of strangers passing in the streets.

Decolonisation is about healing, it is about creating a national identity based on compassion rather than hate, a national identity that seeks to grow and build rather than repress and exploit.

The only place that journey can start is with justice, treating the wound that infects our whole society as seriously as we would treat an infection in a hospital, it is not an issue on the periphery, it is urgent and nothing will recover until it is treated.

Decolonisation will be hard work. It is a process that will take a long time, and it will take the commitment and dedication and deprogramming of all of us. But no matter how hard or how long it takes, it must be done.

Because the whole system is rotten to its core, and our home will forever disintegrate until we take it down and rebuild it properly.

Then, and only then, will we all have earned justice and peace.

 

Max Black
June 2020

If you enjoy my writing, please considering heading to the donations page and dropping me a dollar to help support my work. But please don’t feel compelled, these are trying times for everyone, and I am not interested in dollars that would be missed.

1 Comment

  1. Huey Newton believed that decolonization is not possible In a closed global system. You believe him. The way is forward, not back.

    Like

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