I've been working over at the Project Gutenberg site to boost my proofreading skills. For those who don't know, Project Gutenberg is a site that is digitizing Public Domain books into Project Gutenberg e-books.
It's an interesting exercise, and since I'm interested in history, military history at that, I chose the book, Integration of the Armed Services, 1945-1965 by Morris J. MacGregor. It's a fascinating exposition on how the Afro-American fought to fight for America during the Second World War and beyond.
The interest soon raised questions in my mind about how we deal with the Indigenous population here. Where the American Negro suffered from legal and enforceable segregration, and, in some respects, still does, our own indigenous peoples have been segregated too, except they volunteered for the segregation.
I live near such a group and they are adamant at excluding any white people or, in fact, any ethnicity not their own. I'm not being critical of their choices, I'm exploring this new found revelation; the diametrically opposed situations of two similar groups of people half a world apart.
Of course, various actions groups have long been casting evil glares at the the Commonwealth government for not 'apologising' for something that happened a century or more ago. I find it curious that, although the indigenous population were 'forceably' integrated - now called the 'stolen generation' - they now choose to form their own enclaves and distance themselves from forming a cohesive, multicultural society with the rest of Australia. This can also be applied to migrants: the South-East Asians of Cabramatta, the Middle East Arabs of Lakemba, the Greeks of Melbourne, and so on.
For one country, the black population tried desperately for equality in all areas and it took violence and a generation to achieve; for the other country, forced integration was rejected at every turn and has failed in virtually every aspect. We have successful indigenous people, but they remain in the minority, no matter what encouragement is given.
I'm not being racist in this, although such observations would, in more fundamental areas, give rise to outraged screeching, it's merely an interesting dichotomy. At least in my view. I'll have to read more on this subject, I think.