Top 10 Settler Excuses for Colonialism


While I may not totally agree with all of its arguments, and some of it is clearly Australia-specific, this set of replies by the blog Blackfellas to the “Top Ten Colonist Self Justifications” offered by white Australians is hilarious. I have no doubt Aboriginal peoples in Canada and the US can easily adapt these rationalizations to this part of the world.

The list nails the usual litany of excuses trotted out by some non-Aboriginal people when confronted with the possibility that they may in some small way benefit from the fruits of colonialism past and present.

I’ve only presented the self-justifications. Visit Blackfellas to see their amusing replies.

Top 10 Colonist Self Justifications

  1. I didn’t steal anything.
  2. You have to move forward.
  3. Aboriginals must share responsibility for where they are today.
  4. I was born here.
  5. We all have equal rights.
  6. Look what Aboriginals did with ATSIC.
  7. Government spends a billion dollars a year on Aboriginals.
  8. Aboriginals don’t work.
  9. We gave you the right to vote.
  10. We must all move forward together.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, a now-defunct national Aboriginal organization: ATSIC was disbanded in 2005 after being mired in controversy, replaced by the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.

I invite readers to supply their own replies (or excuses) in the comments section below for the Canadian context.

Let me start it off: “Uh, didn’t our Prime Minister say ‘We’re sorry’?” Hey, that works for Australia too!

[ Image via UFO Research Queensland ]

7 thoughts on “Top 10 Settler Excuses for Colonialism

  1. Dear MI the post above might cause a lot of congratulatory slapping on each others back but for those less fortunate in terms of education, salary,housing or elderly people who lost loved ones in the common wealth struggle in Europe your words are likely to be internalised and add to a sense of hoplesness .How or when should folk get a perspective on history and now, or should they never ? What should that perspective be ?

  2. Canadian Colonial Myths
    -Aboriginal people should be glad for the comforts of modern life,
    -Indigenous people were dying out anyway so settlement was inconsequential,
    -Treaties were consensual,
    -Aboriginal people were so small in number that reserve sizes were appropriate,
    -Western settlement was benign and inevitable,
    -Canadians were nicer than Americans therefore morally superior in their treatment of Aboriginal people,
    -Nobody knew any better (documentation in legislative and news sources shows that there was widespread awareness of treatment),
    -Discrimination was not racially motivated,
    -History has no consequence,
    -Things were carried out in according to legal process,
    -Politicians had the best intentions and nothing to gain during western expansion
    -Aboriginals are dying out now, so it would be redundant to rehash these issues

  3. Forgot the most ridiculous one:

    Indians had no concept of land ownership. It’s not really stealing if the other party doesn’t even know that they own something.

  4. Settlers came in and could have killed everyone making them slaves but instead they let them live and gave them money and land.

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