Bias, Racism and Bad Scholarship about Australian Aboriginals

On Jul 4, 2012, at 8:26 PM, Brett Hall wrote on the Fabric of Reality email list on Yahoo! Groups:

Aboriginal land council pushes settlement intervention amid sex abuse allegations

HALF the children had been sexually abused. Half. Would you sedate the abusers if they violently resisted arrest? I would. I wouldn’t want to waste my energy on a child abuser by using lots of force. I’d rather just tranquilize “the fucker”.

Here is what Hall’s source article actually says:

Residents told the Herald they could identify multiple paedophiles still living in the community, despite a special commission of inquiry which found four years ago about 15 per cent of all the children Toomelah and nearby Boggabilla had been reported for sexual harm or risk of sexual harm in 2004-05.

One government worker said up to half the children had been sexually abused.

A commission found 15% were either abused or at risk of being abused. So maybe 5% were abused. Could be less.

But one unnamed govt employee claimed “up to half” were abused to a reporter, giving no evidence. Which doesn’t even say half. That means at most half – that’s like the highest it could possibly be.

Then Hall paraphrased that as "HALF the children had been sexually abused. Half.”

So I wanted to complain about the atrocious scholarship. But also Hall’s whole email defending the brutal treatment of Australian aboriginals is disturbing. Americans don’t defend the treatment of black slaves or native Americans like that. We may have some biases towards our country but not like that. (EDIT: I forgot to mention, as context, that Brett Hall is Australian.)

For context, Australia enslaved aboriginals until the 1970s under the pretext of protecting the children. And the thing I was actually talking about was how psychiatrists decide to fly aboriginals out of the bush, and sedate some of them who don’t want to go, and then some of them die from that. Some are being flown out just to be evaluated for maybe having a “mental illness” (such as being suicidal) (couldn’t they do a psych evaluation in the bush?). Hall’s response was basically to ignore/deny those facts and say it’s all just dealing with violent criminal pedophiles who are running rampant in aboriginal communities. He thinks tons of aboriginals are violent criminals who molest their own children, and he thinks that’s just a pure fact and not his egregious racism talking.

The US right wingers who are accused of being racist are broadly not accused of being that racist. That’s a degree of racism that’d be really fringe here. Similarly, US left wingers are accused of being racist for e.g. supporting affirmative action, so people may claim they are condescending to black people who they regard as dumber and less competent, but no one is accusing those leftists of thinking blacks are so barbaric that they keep raping their own kids. Note that Hall is an educated type person, not the equivalent of a redneck or trailer trash person who you might expect to be more blatantly racist. This kind of racism from respectable middle class and college educated Americans would be especially shocking. Also Hall is failing to mention that some of these problems were caused by the Australian government’s horrible abuse of the aboriginals in the past (including the recent past, and actually still today…), so there should be some sympathy and helpfulness there instead of just acting like the problems are entirely their own fault.

Hall’s Full Email

On 05/07/2012, at 5:51, “Elliot Temple” <> wrote:

On Jul 3, 2012, at 5:13 PM, Brett Hall wrote:

I have concerns about psychiatry…and some of the stuff that’s been mentioned about coercive practises. I’m not sure how much of a problem this is or whether it’s something that the USA does a lot. I know in Australia it’s a problem. But I don’t know how any of that provides a basis for wider skepticism of all practises in psychiatry…considered as a science of the mind.

It sure is a problem in Australia.

For example:

Aborigines who the mental health authorities want to “assess”, because they suspect them of being “psychotic” or “suicidal”, are flown great distances to be tested by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Around three a week in Queensland.

Doesn’t sound so bad, yet?

It’s not voluntary. They are taken from their homes and forced onto the planes. That’s quite an involuntary trip.

But, now, here’s the real kicker. Since they don’t want to come, they can’t be expected to just sit quietly in their seats. They might complain. There would be some Incidents or Trouble. So you handcuff them, right? Like when flying a criminal around.
Yes. Sometimes we have to do this if it’s a criminal. That’s important.

If the person is not a criminal, then it’s wrong.

Except, no, that’s not what the psychiatrists do. They forcibly give them general anesthetic and intubate them. Some have died from this.

Criminals can be transported with handcuffs but those that the psychiatrists want to assess require something much more deadly.

Not. Fucking. Joking.

Setting aside my own reliable sources in this matter, let’s see what we can also find online. Their own documents say:

Okay. We have to be careful to differentiate between the people you think are peaceful people who are being victimised and those others who are criminals such as terrible violent pedophiles.

I agree. In cases where the person has not committed a crime, it’s wrong to force them to do anything.

But let’s not pretend there is an army of people in Australia doing that. I can tell you what the army in Australia actually has been used for very recently to act against its own population: protecting children from violent child abuse.

Aboriginal people condemn police-military intervention in Northern Territory - World Socialist Web Site

It is hard to find impartial reporting on these events…but basically even stories from the left that are against the intervention paint a picture of aboriginal communities rife with drunken pedophiles. Children left to starve, and be abused sexually and otherwise physically, by their own families. These families don’t want to be told how to raise children. These families need coercion in some cases because they are killing and raping children.

HALF the children had been sexually abused. Half. Would you sedate the abusers if they violently resisted arrest? I would. I wouldn’t want to waste my energy on a child abuser by using lots of force. I’d rather just tranquilize “the fucker”.

In Australia there are isolated communities of aboriginals where children are abused to a terrible degree at a rate that is absolutely disgusting. By family members. Some of these family members abusing children are violent. These are the ones, taken against their will and put on planes and tranquillised.


They are violent child abusers and they don’t want to be arrested! And there are no police stations or gaols for hundreds of miles around. So how do they get them to gaol, court or a mental hospital? By plane. Some of these people, again, are violent child abusers.

Recently we had to send the army in, as I said.

Social Justice Report 2007 - Chapter 3: The Northern Territory 'Emergency Response' intervention | Australian Human Rights Commission

Now on the left there is resistance to this because they hate the idea of anyone “intervening” in a traditional culture based even on something like widespread, cultural child abuse and rape.

Some of the people in those communities are drunk, child rapits. Seriously. You can look that up. The communities are so isolated that there are no police.

But we do not simply stand by while children are raped and killed. We go in anyway. With the army. And with tranquillisers. To arrest terrible criminals. And protect children.

So unless you can provide a case-by-case history of each of those people forcibly removed y the flying doctors and show they were not, in large part, some of the worst of the worst in terms of criminal child abusers, I’m not sure what to think.

Context means everything here. We are not in the habit of flying against their will peaceful aboriginal people who want to live a subsistence life and we are prosecuting them for non conformity. No.

But we are, systematically, arresting violent child abusers. Using every tactic we can. From flying doctors to police and army. And to do this we need procedures for arrest. Sometimes aboriginals arrested in isolated communities have died on the way to hospital or gaol because they are frequently really heavy drinkers and just the dehydration kills them. So we have medical procedures in place. That’s what you have read about.

• CPAP may avoid the need for intubation but this is currently not available as a transport option.
• Assess the airway. In a patient with significant central nervous system depression who has an impaired gag reflex or is hypoventilating, perform an elective orotracheal intubation.
• Intubation should be considered prior to transfer if evidence of ARDS is present and high flow rates of oxygen are required at rest in the hospital.

  1. Protect the Airway:

• Roll the patient onto one side if possible. Endotracheal intubation may be necessary. Do not waste time trying to insert a tongue blade through clenched teeth, as it does not protect the airway and may cause broken teeth.
• If possible, take bloods

There’s details about what to drug them with if they don’t consent to everything being done to them. I’ll quote a little:

• If IV access cannot be obtained:

• Diazepam may be given rectally at a dose of 0.2 – 0.7 mg/kg or
Give Diazepam or Midazolam:
• Administer a loading dose of Phenytoin - regardless of the effect of Diazepam, a maintenance drug is required:
• Phenytoin orally or intravenously should be given to all patients except those who have a short-term metabolic condition known to cause seizures, such as alcohol withdrawal or hypoglycaemia, which does not require or respond to phenytoin.
• Flights should be doctor accompanied if there is a significantly depressed conscious state, seizures or severe hypertension. Many patients with these criteria will benefit from early intubation and IPPV.

If they are “depressed” then they will “benefit” from early intubation? Fuck you.
These are the procedures for dealing with a violent criminal such as a drunk child abuser who did not want to be arrested and taken away.

A person arrested because they have been violent. Subsequently passed out on drugs or alcohol but still need to be transported to goal may need intubation because without it they might die from depressed respiration leading to cardiac arrest. It is for the persons own safety. They are criminals and need to be arrested but don’t deserve to die.

Depressed doesn’t mean “depressed” sad, it means depressed respiration.

So of course they will benefit…in the sense that they won’t die.

Read carefully.

• Where intubation under inhalational anaesthesia is not possible, or a skilled anaesthetist is not available, the child should be transported rapidly to definitive care.

There’s a flowchart that says if intubation doesn’t work, try a second time. And if that doesn’t work, do more stuff to them and then one of the flowchart boxes is trying to intubate them again.

• Use aids for intubation

• Gum elastic bougie – this is placed in the trachea, then an ETT is railroaded over the top whilst the laryngoscope is still in position. It often helps to twist the ETT anticlockwise as it passes through the cords,

• Introducer – a well-lubricated introducer is inserted into the ETT with the tip curved into a hockey stick shape.

It’s so brutal. They jamming all this crap down your throat in order to intentionally not let you breath normally. And if it’s not working they just keep trying to ram their stuff into your body. And they’ve killed people doing this stuff, and they keep doing it.
That’s not the message I am getting at all. The procedure they are talking about is a procedure for dealing with a person in a depressed respiratory state, prone to seizures or approaching unconsciousness. In all these cases, doctors are right to try to incubate to save your life. Especially if you are a very drunk aboriginal person, dehydrated from the 40 degree celcius queensland heat.

They try to say how intubation is for good reasons in specific cases, like:

Most patients have a secure airway. Those who do not, due to trauma, burns, infection or obtunded state, will require interventions such as intubation.
Again, these aren’t peaceful non conformists we’re taking about here. They have “trauma”…why? Were they in a fight? Did they just set something on fire? (their own home, their family? Themselves?)


Patients with inadequate ventilation due to drugs, fatigue, neurological conditions or other disorders of respiratory function, may also require intubation and assisted ventilation.

Hold on a second. Fatigue is an official reason to intubate them? What the fuck. Also any “neurological conditions” (such as being labelled “depressed”, “psychotic” or “suicidal” by a psychiatrist. Aren’t they all suspected of neurological conditions and that’s why they are being flown in in the first place?)

Oh come on. These procedures are not about arresting people who are a little bit tired. It is all about violent criminals…and how to arrest them. Sometimes these people are drunk and on drugs. It is right in those cases for police to call for help from doctors. And so doctors have these procedures. If violent pedophile is on drugs and passing out them they need “adequate ventilation” so they don’t die before they can answer for their crimes. There is no suggestion whatever that a person who is completely innocent but otherwise labelled as “depressed” is going to suffer any of this.

That’s just a misreading of the entire function of these psychiatrists. Insofar as there might be examples you can find of peaceful people being committed against their will…it forms a small problem in the context of a much wider problem of violence and abuse in aboriginal remote communities. Here we need to be able to transport violent criminals safety to cities where they can be treated, imprisoned and judged. That requires procedures because they have to spend hours in an aircraft to get to the gaol/hospital/courthouse. And we don’t want some drunk violent criminal in a small aircraft.

The context here is everything.

Leaving it out is misleading.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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1 Like

Yeah gp. He’s focusing on the highest possible number that someone said it could be and treating that as a definite fact. He even gave his false claim the gigantic emphasis of a single-word sentence fragment.


Re: the native Americans, I think they were treated very badly in various ways. But they also did bad things. I get the impression that the way stuff is taught now, it’s just portrayed as evil white colonialist imperialists abusing helpless victims, but that’s not really what happened. I think it’s morally relevant to judging the historical situation that some native Americans were causing serious harm and taking innocent lives, and the US government was trying to figure out how to deal with that as an ongoing problem. It doesn’t excuse the bad stuff the government did, but I think it matters that it wasn’t as if the US government was just arbitrarily fucking with totally peaceful people out of racial hate.

The community mentioned in the article, Toomelah, has a population of ~200-300 ppl. Life expectancy for indigenous Australians in remote communities is low (like ~65).

If we take a high estimate of the number of children in such a community, 25%, that’s say 50-70 children. ~15% of those children being is like ~10 children total. So one bad actor (esp in a community-leadership role) can be responsible for all that. 1 person, out of 200+.

Found the 2016 Census community profile. The data doesn’t look like it adds up, but the number of children 0-14 is like 58 or 64 depending on what you count.

Found this about totals not being accurate on the linked page:

Yeah sure it was messier in the past when violence from the natives was a real threat. It has not been a threat for a long time and we aren’t so brutal with them now. In Australia, there also isn’t any major threat of the natives attacking the whites, and hasn’t been for a long time (ever? idk that history). So just mostly leaving them alone would be possible today, so oppressing them instead is more just plain awful instead of mixed.

One complaint I saw said the government’s lengthy law thing was presented to the public as protecting children from sexual abuse. But the actual text mentioned “land” hundreds of times, and takes land, but doesn’t mention “child” or “children” even once. It also does things like take alcohol away and set up surveillance for their computer and internet usage.

PS I’m not sure how someone is able to post as anonymous8 since I thought you’d lose your number after not using the anonymous account for a week, and the new numbers are up to 15+. If you switched to anonymous mode and back without posting every week for a while that could explain it, except I believe I’ve checked the user activity list in the last month or two and saw no anonymous users logged in during the last week and noted to myself that that means all the old numbers would be inaccessible.

Oh, based on that wording for the setting … maybe if you create an anon account and don’t post even once, then it won’t expire, because it looks at time from your last anonymous post (not time since you went into anonymous mode?) to decide whether to give you a new number? So if you have no anonymous post yet it’ll see that as not being expired.

  1. post as previous anon account
  2. wait a week
  3. swap to new anon account
  4. wait a month
  5. anon account from (3) still active

anon accounts are expired after 10080 minutes from last post, but I didn’t make a post till now, so it hasn’t expired.

I think this is what you figured out in the next post

so if you rarely post anon, you can reserve a very prestigiously-numbered anon account for future use!

There were wars between indigenous and colonial people, esp pre-1900, and I think the indigenous people did fight back for a while (and maybe a bit here and there after that). There were organized attacks both ways. There were many massacres of indigenous people though.

There are no organized attacks on whites (or anyone else) by indigenous communities now. Some links on history:

Well, only if you don’t post, and then once you start you have to keep posting at least once a week. Sounds bad for long-term anonymity though.

I made a short video about this thread. I didn’t really say anything original - mostly just agreed with Elliot