Saturday, April 2, 2016
Outrage As University Teaches History Correctly
The controversy erupted over the University guidelines claiming that students should refer to Captain Cook’s arrival in Australia as an ‘invasion’ on the razor-thin reasoning that it was an accurate description of the thing that happened.
The public are up in arms over the vocabulary recommendations, suggesting that it teaches a ‘black armband, factually correct’ version of history and should not be taught in an institution of learning.
“This is outrageous,” said one complainant. “We do not want our universities to be full of accurate information. These are places of learning, not places to receive an education. If I wanted to know about Australia’s murky history I would do what I always do: go into the backyard and bury my head in the sand until the desire to face up to our troubled past leaves me.
“It’s strange, you know. It seems like I’m usually on the other side of issues like this. You know, I just kind of seem like the person who would endlessly rally against the notion of safe spaces and demand that you face confronting ideas in university even if you don’t like them - but for this matter i’ve completely changed my beliefs for no other reason than it makes me feel uncomfortable and even a little icky to have to acknowledge a history of racism in this nation.
“It’s just that ‘invades’ is such a nasty word. I mean, sure, it describes the thing that happened but is that any reason to use it? Why can’t we say ‘he was invited’ or ‘it was a fun picnic where all races lived in harmony’? Look, it may not be at all what happened and it absolutely negates years of violence and oppression but it would really help me feel a little bit better about everything.
“I just think it’s harmful for the reconciliation process to actually acknowledge the horrendous events of our past. That won’t help at all. That will just fill me with depression - or worse, understanding. What would be much better is if we all just pretend like Australia started today and has no history whatsoever and we can all just get along because I’ve said it’s fine now. That’s how it works, right? Did I just fix this problem?”
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sbs.com.au 30 Mar 2016