by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB
Yesterday, at Adelaide Writer’s Week, one of the speakers was Sam Wagan Watson, an Australian poet. He is also the son of a poet, Sam Watson. They are Aboriginal. The son reached into his ‘archives’ and read a poem about “deaths in custody” (1996).
That’s a story that we Australians are – unforgivably — very familiar with. I was moved to say, into the audience-comment microphone, “We are all Aborigines now.” I asked the poet if he could help us “in the face of the coming violence.”
I added “You’ve had two centuries to deal with your shock, but we have only barely started to acknowledge our shock.” Mr Watson did not hesitate to show that he is on my wavelength. He said he wants to help, but will need time to think about it.
Zheesh! It was so nice to have somebody understand.
A young Aussie approached me afterward and said she shares the same view. She and I discussed the Port Arthur massacre and wrong imprisonment of Martin Bryant. (Note Tasmania’s Coroners Act 1995, Part 5, section 24, requires that an inquest be held in deaths such as the ones at Port Arthur. That law has been flouted.)
Martin is not yet a “death in custody.” But may qualify ’ere long. I have read that he has attempted suicide several times — though when a suicide occurs in a jail, who can ever know if it was really a suicide?
We need to be just as ashamed of Bryant’s unfair incarceration as that of the many indigenous people.
Still, my comment to Poet Watson was by no means simply about deaths in custody. It’s about the way in which the people of Australia are now like “colonials.” Quite possibly all peoples today are lorded over by World Government with as much violence as any of the old empires used in lording it over their colonials. We are in massive trouble. (Sam Watson is well aware of this.)
I have been claiming, at Gumshoe News, that I “got it,” re 9-11. But now, with the new dimension of seeing us as being in a position similar to the one that Australia’s indigenous population has long been in, I want to re-think the matter.
The Daddy Syndrome?
My position, up till now, has been that the explanation for people’s silence about the extremely obvious crime of 9-11 – I mean, obvious that it was an inside job — is that we are loathe to consider our leaders as bad. (Bad-silly, yes, but bad-murderous and treacherous, no.)
I assumed it’s like the way children never report to their teacher that they are being beaten at home. One may think the child fears more trouble if she tattles, but psychologists say, no, it’s that the kid can’t admit even to herself that Daddy is a baddy.
A recent article by Dalia Mae Lachlan told us about a pending lawsuit by Danish scientist Neils Harrit. (It’s a libel case against a journalist who called Harrit a crackpot for his theory of the 9-11 building collapse.) I said, in a comment to Dalia’s article:
“What we don’t have the ability to deal with, is an enemy that looks like us and is occupying prestigious roles in our society. Might as well call this The Daddy Syndrome. We simply cannot haul our own Dad into jail. Let’s see if the Danish court dares to accuse Daddy.”
I suggested that the Danish court simply cannot find in favor of Professor Harrit, as that would entail an admission that the WTC probably came down by high-tech means, rather than by boxcutter-wielding, religious-zealot Arab hijackers.
I predicted that the Danish judges, like every American judge that has so far handled a 9-11-related case, will twist the law, or simply break the law, and protect “Daddy.”
Granted, courts often convict a corrupt government official, but none that I know of has exposed the fact that governments routinely commit murder. “Daddy would never do such a thing!”
On Being Walloped by an Imperial Power
After hearing Sam Wagan Watson speak, under the lovely treetop blue tent at Adelaide, I am tempted to change my approach, or at least broaden it. Picture the Aboriginal locals in Botany Bay who ‘greeted’ Captain Cook in 1788. What options did they have for repelling this invader?
Most likely they had no option. Their best strategy was to run away. In later years, a reasonable strategy (at least as far as individual psychology is concerned) is to adapt, to accept bad treatment. Isn’t this what most of us do most of the time when facing a great imbalance of power? We have a biological mechanism for coping with inferior status, same as in various species that have pecking orders.
So now I am pursuing the idea that our reluctance to arrest officials for 9-11 — Dick Cheney, for example – isn’t entirely due to The Daddy Syndrome. It could rest on a correct calculation that World Government, with its unlimited weaponry (taxpayer-funded!), is so able to clobber us that we shouldn’t even try to resist. Better to bury one’s head in the sand.
The Loss of Solidarity
Despite humans being competitive, it is possible for a group – if it has no outside attackers – to achieve a more or less harmonious life. I had the sense of growing up (in Massachusetts, USA) in a community which had different social classes but a broad consensus about what was fair and what was forbidden.
Today, communities have been broken up, by quite deliberate planning. Since sometime in the 1980s, I’d say, it has become unfashionable to celebrate tradition! One is supposed to prefer constant change. This new outlook was itself carefully engineered.
Thus we Australians now find ourselves without solidarity or even the mateship for which we were once famous. It is like having one’s guns taken away, only worse. Actual emotional changes have been designed, to create the motivation for each person to look out mainly for himself.
That’s really shocking, isn’t it? No one would have dreamed that such a scheme could be carried out.
Add to that, that the members of professions have somehow learned that their loyalty is exclusively to the status quo of their group, and if that conflicts with the community’s needs, tough luck.
The Coming Violence
“Someone” is now trying to condition us to be more accepting of violence. Video games in which you are encouraged to kill people are a sign of that; much of rap music is, too. Perhaps the biggest conditioning we are getting has to do with all the chatter about torture, and the “rights” of police to crack down on citizens.
For instance, we were told on March 2, 2015 that the FBI had murdered a man in his home, Ibragim Todashev, while questioning him in relation to the Boson Marathon. Amazing. A few days earlier The Guardian had described life in Honan Square Prison in Chicago as follows:
“Prisoners were kicked in the genitals while helpless and bound [fathom it!], put in ‘kennels for humans’, and they heard the bloodcurdling screams of other helpless victims.
One man ended up being shackled to the “little circular thing behind the bench,” arms spread open, being fed only twice in 3 days.”
Help Sam Wagan Watson To Help Us
The poet of the day says he will try to think of something, so that Australia does not capitulate en masse today. You, too, can canvass ideas. Picture our dilemma like this: If the real Port Arthur killers (not Bryant) were identified, what would happen?
Is there a justice system in Australia that could go after those murderers, no matter how hard the media pressed for suppression of the truth? Or are all our officials “prevented” from thinking along those lines?
If they are prevented, as individuals, merely by habit, by custom, or by the ever-present fear of sticking out, perhaps someone could get them to eschew such nonsensical behavior!
After all, if ever there was an institution that allows the less-powerful to throw its combined weight against the very powerful, it is the law, nicht wahr?
What a difference it would make, all around, if legal personnel would resume talking as if they understood the law to be a power in itself! It is, undoubtedly, our best hope against having to ignominiously surrender all our rights to the new and disgusting empire of World Government.
— Mary Maxwell can be contacted at mary.maxwell@ alumni.Adelaide.edu.au. Her Youtube channel is mary w maxwell.
The title of the book by Sam Wagan Watson, being presented at Adelaide Writers Week, is “Love Poems and Death Threats.”