Racism and parrots

To: "'Debbie Lustig'" <>, "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Racism and parrots
From: "Bob Cook" <>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2010 15:24:33 +1100
Spot On, Debbie - very well expressed

Bob Cook

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Debbie Lustig
Sent: Wednesday, 1 December 2010 1:45 PM
To: birding-aus
Subject: Racism and parrots

I have been reading people's opinions about the money being charged to see
Princess Parrots and can hold off no longer. There is an underlying racism
that lurks, a nasty little secret, beneath the comments of many. How else to
explain well-meaning discussions along these lines (and I paraphrase):
'If it teaches them - Indigenous people - to run birding tours then I
approve' (for our - whitefellas' - benefit, of course);
'If they share the money among their community then I approve' (since when
were Europeans called upon to share their profits with their communites?);
'They've been given enough money already so I don't approve'
(over-simplifying an unbelievably complex situation); and
'If they can get that sort of money, let them try (but I don't approve)'.
These sentiments imply a superiority and moral high ground we simply don't
possess. They are more offensive for being subtle.
People have also objected to the traditional owner's scruples about (white)
birders running around on his land, when we don't have a clue what it means
to be custodians of the land. To protect the animals, birds and plants; to
have a spiritual connection; to be diminished when the land is trampled on
and ignorantly invaded.
Look at how we have managed custody of our own (stolen) lands, here in our
cities and degraded, agricultural areas - we know only how to exploit.
I am fed up with reading this correspondence, couched in economic terms but
informed by ugly, masked racism. From now on, could it be limited to the


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