This week I want to talk about a topic which is all about walking that thin line – justification.
So, what about justification? Well, when justification results in an advantageous rewriting of history in this instance.
Some of you may be aware that I recently went to Tasmania, and our first few days we went on tours, and of course this involved listening to tour guides give you the abridged history of the region. Now as a captive audience you have no choice to listen, but halfway through the spiel on the indigenous population hubby and I were sharing confused glances. When we pipe up to query what was being related, we were ignored, and initial we thought we hadn’t been heard, but it appeared that what we were trying to ask was on the banned list.
Quick divergence here, as a kid I was taught that the indigenous population in Tasmania was completely wiped out when the colonists arrived, but this appears not to be the accepted history now. The tour guide told us that there were some deaths, but the majority were relocated onto an island off the coast. Then onto a smaller island, where unfortunately they perished in the extreme conditions. (Read here: colonists not responsible)
But wait there’s more, and this is where we got confused because he started talking about the indigenous populations’ current involvement in Tasmania. What current involvement? They’re dead, but no, it seems some of the females had left their tribes before the arrival of the colonists and settled down with whalers living along the coast, therefore the aboriginal population was still alive and well in Tasmania.
Talk about justification, some were still alive, so that means we did nothing wrong.
We heard this version of events at every tourist location we went to, and personally I don’t think the tour guides should be allowed to give a sanitized version of history. I think it belittles the damage which was done to the indigenous population and is a huge cope out.
I’d be interested in your thoughts.