You’ve seen that Aboriginal communities suffer from alcohol-related problems. These include crime, poor health, domestic violence, and educational underachievement. Alcohol abuse has often been noted among native peoples who have come into extensive contact with European colonizers, and various solutions have been proposed to reduce the problems. These problems continue today.
One major problem for Aborigines included legally described and enforced second-class status. Under the law, whites of European descent had equality, but Aborigines and those of mixed parentage were barred, by race, from certain rights and privileges, including drinking alcohol and living where one wanted to. These racialized laws resembled the Jim Crow laws of the United States. Read the quotation below, which tells of a person’s reaction to one such instance of unequal treatment, and consider how you would have responded in this man’s place. Consider also how you react to finding out about such situations.
Respond with 2-3 paragraphs to the quotation below by describing your reaction to it and explaining why you feel that way.
One historian was told an account of a mixed parentage stockman in the 1940s who was told by the Native Affairs Officer that if he requested an exemption he would be treated as a European, which would include the right to drink alcohol. “If I’ve got to have a license to be equal to the white man I’d rather stay where I am,” he replied, “It would be like . . . TAKING OUT A DOG’S LICENSE.”
—Unsourced newspaper clipping, Linklater Correspondence ML MSS 955
• My thesis statement:
• Evidence supporting my thesis:
• Why my thesis is correct:
• Concluding sentence (if necessary):