Last week a machete-wielding 13-year-old boy terrified shoppers at an Alice Springs Woolworths. Alice Springs is fast becoming the new South Africa, crime rates are high as young Indigenous gangs run rampant, unsupervised and un-policed. Domestic violence and racism within Indigenous communities remain a common occurrence, whilst Australia’s champagne-sipping soycialists refuse to face facts, continuing to turn a blind eye, whilst exploiting Indigenous issues.
Summer is generally a time when violent crime peaks in Alice Springs leaving locals terrorized. The local council is currently seeking funding and approval for police dogs in anticipation of increased crime every summer. This is presumably because dogs can’t be considered racist. The mayor is calling for AFP or ADF support. Precautionary measures are also in place, such as keeping knives, glue, spray paint, scissors and literally anything potentially harmful under lock and key in most grocery stores. The fuel supply to NT is also a different content, due to the number of fuel sniffers.
Discrimination against non-Indigenous children is the norm as government provides the financial means for young Indigenous children be driven to school by the bus loads. Awards are given to many, just for turning up when required. This is not to say we should not help or encourage those in need, but at some point, Indigenous parents should be held to account for raising their own children, especially if they are receiving parenting payments. Funding is thrown at community groups and charity organisations seeking to improve life for indigenous communities, yet nothing changes. They continue to remain stuck in a cycle of abuse, crime, alcoholism, drugs and truancy.
People from all sides of the political spectrum can pinpoint whom to blame. They will argue it is systemic racism, colonialism, an ancestral issue, a lack of parenting support, but no one has any real solutions. Many believe The Voice, will solve their problems, but we already have elected representatives of Indigenous heritage who advocate for Indigenous rights and affairs. No one is really listening to them. At what point do we stop and look within, at the power each individual has to create changes to their own community? One could argue they are their own worst enemy. It only takes one person to be the change which then ripples outward to society.
Unfortunately, many have grown accustomed to the welfare cheque, but lack education on how to manage funds. Things are made worse by the lifting of the grog bans in remote central Northern Territory communities. Without proper guidance, financial assistance has proven ineffective and arguably a hindrance to real solutions. One need only look at the crime rate to know this.
Infected by its own form of racism, indigenous communities can also be tribal, tearing each other down from the inside by not respecting those belonging to other tribes. Whether one is full blood, mixed blood or simply chooses to live harmoniously with non-Indigenous Australians, can affect their standing within the community. Many would also much prefer to live like their ancestors. If such cases exist, perhaps we should honour their wishes and not interfere.
How can a group which allegedly receives so much support from community groups, charity groups and religious organizations still be in such a mess? It begs the question, whether funds allocated to such groups are transferred downstream where they are most needed. Perhaps an inquiry is required to ensure they are not exploiting the situation for personal gain. At a grassroots level, united Indigenous elders are required. With strong leadership, shared goals and support for parents, communities can grow and foster a sense of belonging for Indigenous youth. This in turn can only leave long-lasting, positive effects on society at large.