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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Aboriginal insecurity: thinking on vines and fig trees. Part 1

Photo by Alice at A Growing Delight

Micah, an eighth century prophet of the Tanakh/Old Testament, is a great friend of Miss Eagle. He is much quoted. One of the most frequent quotes is
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more;

Not so often heard is the next verse, Micah 4:4

but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and none shall make them afraid;
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

This is one of Micah's latter day prophecies so, even in the 21st century - it is arguable - that we cannot expect the fulfilment of the prophecy. However, while fulfilment may be postponed, these prophecies have embedded themselves in Judaism and Christianity as ideals for which the people of God strive.

This week has been one in which, at least for Miss Eagle, the pain and insecurity of Aboriginal people has coalesced around three major issues: the nuclear industry; the legal system; the abuse of children.

Miss Eagle can never feel what Aboriginal people who exist at the margins of white settler society feel and experience. However, Miss Eagle has spent most of her life in Northern Australia - in North Queensland and the Northern Territory - the site of the manifestations of these three issues. Miss Eagle has lived amid some quite significant Aboriginal communities and populations. So while she is not affected as her Aboriginal friends are, she does experience the pain of the issues of this week in something like a reflected manner: through a glass darkly.

Bringing these major issues affecting Aboriginal people and nations into a coherent post is not easy. Thoughts could not be quickly expressed. One could not rush to verbage to express such deep pain. Miss Eagle is not sure she has found a pathway to coherence even now. So, dear Reader, Miss E begs you to indulge her patiently as we tread this pathway to a connected, coherent view of what is happening and what it really means. In treading this pathway, we will travel behind the headlines. Hopefully, we can sublimate emotions and the emotive. This will be not easy - and may well be impossible. be continued