Wouldn’t it be nice if everything was simple?
What do you think of this?
CANBERRA, Australia - The Australian government Tuesday introduced bills in Parliament to fight child sex abuse among Aborigines, in a plan condemned by critics as discriminatory and an attack on indigenous culture.
In introducing almost 500 pages of legislation, Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough described Outback Aboriginal communities as "a failed society where law and order and behavior have broken down and where women and children are unsafe."
…Under the plan, alcohol and hardcore pornography will be banned from Aboriginal communities and Aborigines will be forced to spend a portion of their welfare checks on essentials such as food.
Child abuse on Aboriginal-owned land in the Northern Territory, covering an area the size of Texas but populated by only 30,000 people, is fueled by alcohol abuse, unemployment, poverty and other factors leading to a breakdown in society, the report found.
Former Federal Court Judge Murray Wilcox said the government has acknowledged the plan is racially discriminatory …
Full article here.
I’m not sure how accurate the “report” mentioned above would be. Certainly indigenous cultures have suffered as a result of European colonization. It seems clear that introducing alcohol, destroying a way of life, and decades of racial discrimination tend to grow social pathologies in conquered peoples.
So let’s say the rate of child molestation IS really higher in a particular community or subculture. At what point would one be justified in legislating intervention on this scale?
A broader question would be: If I have experience, education, or some other advantage that enables me to know what is better for another person, what is my right or responsibility to encroach on the freedom of that person (or his/her neighbors & family) to “save” them?
I imagine we all agree it’s not okay to force your neighbor to change his tie because it clashes with his shirt.
How about drug abuse? We do interventions, but we don’t (can’t) force a person into recovery unless they commit a crime.
In the case of threat of suicide, we intervene 99.9% of the time.
For general mental health issues or dementia, we sometimes intervene and sometimes let the person crash & burn.
When the behavior is potentially harmful to others, we intervene before it even happens (eg, a drunk sleeping it off in the front seat of his car can be arrested for drunk driving).
And we typically grant ourselves much more authority when it comes to protecting children.
In the Australian case, it seems like a really slippery slope. The spectre of the Stolen Generation looms gigantic whenever White Australia attempts to do something for the "good" of the indigenous peoples there.
Your thoughts invited.