Consider a notebook. Thick parchment, licked yellow by salty air, and brown ink in a grand loopy hand. It sits in the cabin of one James Cook, and specifies, in no uncertain terms, that a “discovered” land may only be claimed in the name of the King under one of two conditions – that it is unoccupied, or “with the Consent of the Natives.” But Cooky’s a boisterous sort, raised on Magellan and St George, and when they’re there and obviously not consenting he decides to seize it anyway with oratory and lead, notebook and orders be damned. This means that even under British law at the time the invasion of Australia was illegal. Continue reading “Consider a Notebook”
Eddie Mabo. Rosa Parks. Nelson Mandela. These people all have one thing in common – they were sooks. But were they flogs? If the Adam Goodes saga has taught us one thing, it’s that sooks aren’t necessarily flogs and flogs aren’t necessarily sooks, though either are usually both. But what it hasn’t taught it us is that white Australians who boo an Aboriginal activist are probably racists, because how can they be when Adam Goodes is a sook and a flog and Rita Panahi is an Indian?