[permaculture] RE: Major histocompatibility complex (MHC)

Russ Grayson pacedge at magna.com.au
Tue Mar 18 21:11:26 EST 2003

On Tuesday, March 18, 2003, at 09:18  PM, Graham Burnett wrote:

> -- Original Message -----
> From: Russ Grayson
> To: permaculture
> Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 12:14 AM
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] RE: Major histocompatibility complex (MHC)
>>> The white man is a good example of such a hardy weed…<
>> Let's steer away from racial interpretations of things.
> I agree. If the metaphor were reversed to 'the black man' there would
> rightly be outrage on this list.

Sensitivities are such that I think that what you say is true Graham.

But there's more to it, and that 'more' brings political repercussions. 
In Australia, in an attempt to create opportunities for Aboriginies, 
government introduced what it saw as progressive policies which aimed 
to improve their lot. This has been perceived by a great many 
non-Aboriginal Australians as favouratism and,  feeding public fears 
which have their origin in the economic and social trends evident in 
Australian society, has been fanned and used by some politicians for 
their own ends.

> Miring ourselves in guilt about our colonial past isn't remotely 
> useful to
> anybody (which doesn't at the same time mean we shouldn't acknowledge
> it...).

Yes, guilt is a useless emotion and is not useful in moving us forward. 
Acknowledging past and present misdoings is more constructive as it 
opens the possibility of analysis and improvement. Guilt is a mire.

And just how far do you go back? Waves of people have migrated across 
Europe, not always to the betterment of those already living there. 
Then there's South America.

> As permaculturists... we are an international, inter-racial community, 
> it doesn't matter what our
> origins and backgrounds are.

It's hard for people to step out of a past that has disadvantaged them, 
but it is necessary if they are not to live with a victim mentality and 
to move forward. I recall a prominent Aboriginal spokesman - don't 
recall who - saying much the same thing about Aboriginies living with 
this victim mentality and European Australians living with a guilt 
mentality. Neither are useful as springboards into a better future.

...Russ Grayson

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