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RIP Oz “Aborigine Elder” Bob Randall
A White Guilt Classic From THE ECONOMIST
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In the background is Ayers Rock, named by William William Gosse (who discovered it 1873) in honor of the Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers.

At the very back of each week’s print edition of The Economist there is an obituary. These are often of people you never heard of but who are interesting in some way—more interesting, at any rate, than the average politician or celebrity.

Working backwards for the ten weeks from the June 6th issue, for example, the obituary subjects have been:

Well, the obituary subject in the most recent (June 13-19th) edition is Australian Bob Randall, billed as “aborigine elder, teacher and campaigner.” Randall died on May 13th, “aged about 81.”

Randall’s Economist obituary is the most hilariously self-parodic bit of anti-white Noble Savagery I have seen in a long time.

Bob Randall’s mother was an aborigine from Central Australia. His father was a white man. At age six or seven Randall was taken from his mother and placed in child care, “in accordance with government policy,” says the obituary.

That policy, in force from 1910 to 1970, decreed that all aboriginal half-castes should be placed in institutions to civilise and Christianise them. His family had usually smeared him with mud to make his skin darker, so he wouldn’t stand out. But on that fateful day … he had taken a dip in a water hole and washed it off.

[The Stealing Time, The Economist, June 13, 2015.]

The mud story must of course be according to him. Should we believe it? Read on.

The obituarist is following the “Stolen Generations” narrative. Race activists in Australia claim that the removal of half-caste children from aborigine families during those decades 1910-70 was a plot by white-supremacist Australian governments to eradicate aboriginal culture—an act of deliberate genocide.

That narrative has been debunked by serious historians, but maintains its hold on the imaginations of Cultural Marxists.

The most recent debunking—though not the only one—was by historian Keith Windschuttle in his 2009 book The Fabrication of Australian History, Vol. 3. Windschuttle explained himself at length online in Quadrant magazine shortly after the book came out.

My conclusion [i.e. in his book] is that not only is the charge of genocide unwarranted, but so is the term “Stolen Generations.” Aboriginal children were never removed from their families in order to put an end to Aboriginality or, indeed, to serve any improper government policy or program. The small numbers of Aboriginal child removals in the twentieth century were almost all based on traditional grounds of child welfare. Most children affected had been orphaned, abandoned, destitute, neglected or subject to various forms of domestic violence, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse …

In Chapter Three, I demonstrate in an analysis of welfare policy for white children that none of the policies that allowed the removal of Aboriginal children were unique to them. They were removed for the same reason as white children in similar circumstances. Even the program to place Aboriginal children in apprenticeships was a replica of measures that had already been applied to white children in welfare institutions in New South Wales for several decades, and to poor English children for several centuries before that …

Some [half-castes] saw themselves and were treated by others as Aborigines, but there were many who did not. In some communities, full-blood people accepted half-castes; in others they were not regarded as true Aborigines at all; in some cases, half-caste babies born to tribal women were routinely put to death

Some Aboriginal children do have genuine grounds for grievance, but they are not alone. In the rough justice of child welfare policy, white children could be treated harshly too, especially if their mothers were unmarried. Until as recently as the 1970s, such children, white or black, were frequently removed on grounds that we would not approve today. Before governments began paying pensions to unmarried mothers in the 1970s, children could be deemed neglected because they lacked a father, and thus a means of support. Until then, unmarried white teenage girls who fell pregnant were strongly pressured by both church and state to give up their babies, who were often taken from them at birth and adopted out to other families. But in these cases the child’s fate was determined not by its colour but by its illegitimacy. There was a common presumption throughout Australia that unmarried teenage mothers, black or white, could not and should not be left to bring up the children they bore … [Why There Were No Stolen Generations (Part One) by Keith Windschuttle; Quadrant, Jan. 1, 2010 (links added)]

The obituarist in The Economist will have none of that. She—I’m guessing the sex here just on the assumption that no male could pack this much sappy woo into 900 words—cleaves close to the anti-white narrative:

They had snatched him from his mother. He never saw her again, and their separation was summed up in a song he wrote in 1970 and sang up and down the land until the government, and even the outside world, noticed it: “My Brown Skin Baby They Take Him Away.” Each verse of his story ended in his mother’s keening.

Keening! I have attached a mid-video link there so that you can sample the keening. My advice would be not to try listening to the whole clip unless you have a strong stomach for dire guitar playing accompanying really dire singing.

Mind you, it takes more than one mother to raise a deeply spiritual child of nature like Randall. It takes a village!

But for an aborigine like him, he told the world, the outrage went much wider. His mother was not only Tanguawa, but all the other women of the tribe, who led him on trails and disciplined him.

More than that, in fact: It takes Gaia.

Beyond that, his mother was the Earth itself: the baked red desert that had “grown him up” and nurtured him with all she had, whose presence gave security to his bounding bare feet and rest to his body under the night stars …

If only we coarse, cruel, materialistic First Worlders, trapped in our absurd, spirit-stifling “houses” and “shoes,” could be so blessed!

They had also stolen him from his family—not just his siblings and “the oldies” who had passed on the stories and understandings, but all people connected to him by certain ceremonies and by veneration of his ancestral totem Kuniya, the carpet-snake. Beyond that, his family was everything around him. Trees, hills, grass, kangaroos, lizards were all “our mob,” familiar, useful and even talkative, to those who knew their language.

Is there a Disney movie in the works?

Last, they had taken him from his country. This was far broader than Mutitjulu near Uluru, which the whites called Ayers Rock …

Isn’t it just like those brutish, insensitive whites to ignore the true, melodious aborigine name for the feature and stick it with a name from their own discordant language?

… or even the land designated by Kuniya as she had wriggled westward from the sunrise. It was anywhere in nature he or his people found themselves, for they had no houses and no need for permanency; as human beings, all creation was “ours”, and nothing “mine.”

None of that evil badwhite “private property” selfishness for these soulful colored folk!


The fact that Bob Randall was a skillful milker of white liberal guilt—that he owed his livelihood and fame entirely to the eagerness of ethnomasochist white liberals to be taken in by dusky charlatans with sob stories—peeps out through cracks in the obituarist’s prose.

He taught the old ways in songs, books and lectures, by setting up an aborigine college in Adelaide and by establishing cultural centres in universities. But it often seemed easier to interest sympathetic whites than his own people, now mostly languishing in dilapidated bungalows behind wire fences, where feral dogs rooted in rubbish and jobless young men wandered around sniffing petrol cans.

(My italics.)

Finally, the obituarist tells us with a flourish of trumpets, the white-guilt narrative triumphed:

In 2008 Australia’s then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, apologised to the Stolen Generations and promised that the yawning gap between aborigines and whites would be closed.

Hallelujah! And we all know that when politicians make promises like that, they really mean business, right? (Kevin Rudd makes another appearance in the Daily Telegraph story below.)

Christ-like, Randall bore no resentment.

Uncle Bob, though gently smiling as ever … went on teaching the old doctrine of kanyini, responsibility for the Earth and unconditional love of her, as far as his soft voice or his guitar would carry.

Get yer hankies out.

He usually spoke from the humble home he had rediscovered, after years of searching, in Mutitjulu. He had known it was the place when he heard from the car “our mob,” the old desert oaks, joyously muttering that the little fella had returned.

If a white guy tells you he has conversations with plants, you should turn away in embarrassment. If Bob Randall tells you he heard the oak trees muttering, you should bow your head reverently.

After his death, in keeping with custom, his name and picture were removed from the Kanyini website “until sorry business is finished.” Like all flesh, he had been and gone: leaving much more than others, but still a fleeting footfall in the life of his ever-abiding mother, the red Earth.

Now, the trauma that primitive peoples suffered on encounter with civilization was very great. It was in many places a ghastly human tragedy, well documented in books like Alan Moorehead’s The Fatal Impact and Charles Mann’s 1491.

But that trauma was long over by the time Bob Randall was born in the 1930s. Australian governments of that time were struggling as humanely as they could with the very difficult question: How can a modern white-European nation assimilate a race of people displaying radically different statistical profiles on traits of behavior, intelligence, and personality?

They are struggling with it still. From a 2011 news report featuring the aforementioned Kevin Rudd:

Billions of dollars of spending on programmes to improve the lives of Australia’s Aborigines have failed to make any difference, with many stuck in the same hopeless situation they faced in the 1970s, a review commissioned by the government has found.

Australia spends an average of AU$3.5bn [the same in US$ at that time] each year on policies intended to improve indigenous health, education, housing and welfare, but was getting “dismal” results, the review concluded …

Australia’s 460,000 Aborigines make up about two per cent of the population.

They suffer higher rates of unemployment, substance abuse and domestic violence than other Australians and have an average life expectancy of 17 years less than the rest of the country.

Despite the glaring problems faced by indigenous Australians, policies devised by successive governments to build better housing, improve infrastructure and boost community safety have had little success.

The report, which was commissioned when Kevin Rudd was prime minister, took into account the progress of the government’s Northern Territory emergency intervention programme, brought in by John Howard in 2007 amid great controversy.

Under the plan, thousands of troops and police were sent into Outback Aboriginal communities to stamp out child abuse, alcoholism and domestic violence fuelled by “rivers of grog.” The policy is still in effect in several communities … [Billions spent on Australia’s Aborigines yield “dismal” results by Bonnie Malkin; Daily Telegraph, August 8, 2011.]

Whether there is any solution to this problem until our technology becomes capable of accurate genomic engineering, seems to me to be an open question.

In the meantime sensible people should prefer civilization to barbarism, mock the ethnomasochist fantasies of journalists suckled by the Walt Disney Company and educated under Cultural Marxism, and keep always in mind Dr. Johnson’s reproof to Boswell: “Don’t cant in defence of savages.”

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjectsfor all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Australian Aboriginals 
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  1. Regarding aborigines not owning property, they certainly did have a system of owning females. Girls became the property of old men as soon as they were born.

    They also practiced cannibalism, a fact that has now been studiously unremembered.

    As for the whole drama about “the apology”, as it was called, what a truly top-of-the-world example of moral exhibitionism that was.

    First, the current generation of progressives took it upon themselves to accuse past generations – people who are dead and can’t defend themselves – of having deliberately perpetrated a genocide. They never really presented any serious evidence for this. They just collected the kind of tall tales like the one above and then invented a dramatic fantasy version of the past. It was all emotion and no real history. (In fact for all their stated concern for aborigines, they’re not really very interested in real Australian history. Real history would disappoint them).

    Once they’d invented this fake history and accused past generations of genocide, they didn’t bother attempting to understand how things were back then from the perspective of those they were accusing. They just went ahead and declared them guilty. Judge, jury and executioner.

    But the final step was the most revealing. After having accused their own ancestors of genocide, and declared them guilty without a fair trial, they then finished off by turning around and apologizing on their behalf! Now you can’t beat that for full spectrum moral base-covering.

    And oh they were so pleased with themselves. Stoically smiling and hugging and congratulating each other. (Remember, these are white people we’re talking about!). It was the perfect emotional arc. They got to feel the aghast pain of learning about this terrible dark history. They got to feel righteous anger as the accuser. They got to feel denouncing vindication as they won their guilty verdict. And then, best of all, they got to feel generous and humble magnanimity as they apologized.

    Of course people who really feel shame or guilt don’t enjoy making a big display of it. These people were apologizing for something they didn’t themselves really feel in any way responsible for.

    The apology was an attack against conservatives combined with self-love. And also this left-wing “right side of history” thing where history substitutes for religion. There’s a lot one could unpack about the modern left-dominated Western intellectual condition by studying these apologize-on-behalf-of-history exercises.

    • Replies: @pyrrhus
  2. I dunno what it is about brilliant mathematicians. Too many of them have gone crazy.

  3. pyrrhus says:

    As to the cannibalism practiced by Australian aboriginals, there was an extended discussion on West Hunter, Greg Cochran’s blog, about the likelihood that, given hard times, the Stolen Generation would likely have been the Eaten Generation.

  4. Left-lib-Radical-Progressives worship phonies such as Bob Randall the same way they worship graffiti vandalism as “street art,” worship racist, misogynist rap/hip-hop as “poetry,” worship Affirmative Action unequal justice under law as “social justice,” worship anyone who “speaks truth to power” except for those who speak truth to their own Left-lib-Radical-“Progressives” power.

    Radicals’ power would not exist but for taxpayers forced to fund the so-called “social justice” social engineering – the displacement & dispossession of the middle class – of the so-called “Progressive” useful idiot hypocrites who, under their “moral” fig leaf of “anti-racism,” do the dirty work of our new GATT-Globalist Overlords.

  5. See also CS Lewis’s “The Dangers of National Repentance,” which David Foster over at Chicago Boyz comments on here:

    People who claim to apologise for the sins of their nation never are. There are accusing others within their society, their political opponents, for present advantage.

  6. HBD says:

    Looks Italian to me, therefore not an Australoid. The Derbyshire/Sailer approach to race and genetics.

  7. fnn says:

    We need one of those hanging Nuremberg trials so the white ethnomasochist progs can answer for what they caused to happen in South Africa:

  8. The Marxists are intent on rewriting or destroying history to erase any mention of human behavior prior to around 2007. Or should I say any behavior by non-whites prior to 2007. The savagery of the American Indian tribes, the savagery of Central American Indian tribes, the cannibalism throughout the New World particularly in the Caribbean and Central America, the barbarity and cannibalism throughout Africa and Australasia, all must be erased from memory. Whites were the evil oppressors who forced innocent and pure natives to do evil things. Whites are all bad and everyone else is saintly, period.

    There is only one solution to this. We must round up all the Marxists, every last one of them, and exile them to Africa to live with their saintly natives. Most will be killed and many eaten, but the few who survive may help civilize that foul Dark Continent. In any case, they won’t be here to destroy objective Truth any longer.

  9. JustJeff says:

    I never got the point of trying to assimilate savages. Why not let them live their, stupid, miserable, drunken lives in peace? They obviously don’t want to be White, anyway.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  10. unit472 says:

    The only aborigine I ever heard of was Yvonne Goolagong, the celebrated women’s tennis pro of the 1970’s and early 80’s. She’s not that dark either so maybe their dark color does owe a lot to dirt and a good scrubbing in a bathtub removes a lot of their negritude. Certainly Goolagong does not appear to have suffered much racism at the hands of her white Australian countrymen. She won just about every honor and award they have though she seems to have turned her back on her people as she married an Englishman.

    • Replies: @fnn
  11. fnn says:

    Is she really 100% Aboriginal? I doubt it, but there’s no way to find out because it’s illegal to discuss such things in Australia. See the prosecution of journalist Andrew Bolt.

    • Replies: @Ralph
  12. It’s funny this appeared in the Economist; it shows how times change. Last time I checked that magazine loved taking cheap shots and making kind-of racist puns about other nationalities. It was a sort of public schoolboy tough-guy act, I suppose. I remember my father pointing to this stuff as an example of the English being terrible at even trying to get along with foreigners. That’s all history now that the frizzy-headed guy was fired from the Top Gear show and the Economist has gone all weepy over Aborigines.

    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    , @CJ
  13. Ralph says:

    The level of political correctness and delusion surrounding the Aboriginal issue in Australia is truly ridiculous. Australian governments, afflicted by white guilt, continue to throw billions of dollars at Australia’s Aboriginal minority in an effort to “close the gap” in socio-economic performance. Of course, no mention is made of the immutable IQ gap between Indigenous Australians and European Australians. We are told that white racism and colonialism are the reasons Aborigines continue to live in poverty and only through grovelling apologies and cash payments can the gap be closed.

    The ‘noble savage’ myth is trotted out by officials in an effort to allay white guilt and also make Aborigines feel better about themselves. In recent years Aborigines have been conferred an almost mythical status in Australia as they are said to possess a deep, intimate and ancient connection to their land, a link so profound that it is incomprehensible to uncultured white Australians, save from an elite caste of enlightened white leftists. There are even efforts to entrench this bunkum in the country’s constitution. Needless to say, no recognition is to be granted to the group that actually founded and built modern Australia.

    On matters of race and ethnicity, Australia has really lost the plot.

  14. Ralph says:

    Indeed. Freedom of speech has been curtailed in Australia when it comes to the discussion of race. The Andrew Bolt case is a prime example.

  15. CJ says:
    @Cagey Beast

    The Economist of the late 1970s and early 1980s was an interesting magazine free of political correctness. The best of its writers was Norman Macrae; of course he and everyone else from that period are all gone now. It changed radically, into a sort of weekly New York Times world business section that tells elites what they want to hear.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  16. Ron Unz says:

    Actually, a couple of years ago I published a column on this exact matter:

  17. Corvinus says:

    “They also practiced cannibalism, a fact that has now been studiously unremembered.”

    The Australian Aborigines were not generally cannibals, in that they did not kill people to eat. Where cannibalism does occur it is in a ritual context. In parts of Queensland it occurred in connection with mummification, before the body was exposed on a platform, as occurred among the tribes of southwest of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and in the northern part of the Kimberleys. In northeast South Australia, it was part of the interment ritual. In the Liverpool River area of western Arnhem Land, only a small part of the body was eaten, but only by specified relatives.

    “The savagery of the American Indian tribes, the savagery of Central American Indian tribes, the cannibalism throughout the New World particularly in the Caribbean and Central America, the barbarity and cannibalism throughout Africa and Australasia, all must be erased from memory.”

    I suppose European savagery of enslaving Africans, eradicating entire Native American tribes, and extracting resources for their own designs must also be erased from memory, too.

    • Replies: @WJ
  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Somewhere James Taylor is writhing with envy that his obit will never measure up to this masterpiece.

  19. Pravda has a less romantic take on Australia’s First Peoples:

    History, traditions
    Australian Aborigines struggle for freebies and porn

    Aborigines say that the white strangers will not be able to pay them off, and indicate that their income is 40 percent lower than that of other Australians. In turn, their opponents have reproached them because “children of nature” want to get everything from life and are not willing to “profess the religion of white people” – regular job, but prefer to seek increasingly more handouts from the authorities.

    There are some odd claims for the “white colonialists.” For example, in February of 2010, Special Rapporteur Aboriginal James Anaya spoke in the UN, condemning the Australian authorities for their “oppression of indigenous rights.” He complained that the white racists did not allow him to enjoy pornography and alcohol.

    Incidentally, the use of the latter is one of the main reasons why Aboriginal people live on average 17 years less than other Australians.

  20. WJ says:

    Native Americans were not a comprehensive, cohesive group. They were scattered tribes that immigrated across the land bridge over thousands of years. This is fact unless one is an “Original people” nut job who believes that somehow Native Americans arose on their own evolutionary path. As immigrants they pushed earlier immigrants to the far flung corners of the Americas. They did this through perpetual war and conquest. Why else would there be Native Americans in Patagonia?

    So really , enough with the nonsensical blather about eradication of Indians, genocide, etc. They fought to keep their local turf and they lost to a technologically and culturally superior foe.

  21. Corvinus says:

    “Native Americans were not a comprehensive, cohesive group.”

    Ok, I never made the claim to the contrary.

    “As immigrants they pushed earlier immigrants to the far flung corners of the Americas.”

    And who were those earlier immigrants? Please, enlighten me.

    “They fought to keep their local turf and they lost to a technologically and culturally superior foe.”

    Ok, your point?

    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
  22. @Corvinus

    The Enigma of the Natives of Tierra del Fuego

    Amerindians, Proto-Mongoloid people forming most of the Native of the Americas, entered the continents in three waves, 12,000 years ago. But the first inhabitants of America belonged to the Asian Negroid (Black) type, one of the first human groups to have moved out of Africa, perhaps 60,000 years ago. The 40,000 years old European Cro-Magnon could have been of this type.

    The Black Asians were seen as ones of the first colonizers of America after the discovery of 11,000-year old Brazilian skulls in 1974 in Lagoa Santa (Minas Gerais). They belonged to thick lipped and flat nosed Negroids (nothing to do with the Amerindians) which were 1.5 m (5 ft) tall. Further analysis of 15 fossil skulls discovered in Brazil, Colombia and Tierra del Fuego, dated 11,500 to 8,500 years ago, confirmed the hypothesis that, before the Proto-Mongoloid (Amerindian) stock, a previous migratory human wave reached Americas more than 12,000 years ago. These people were very similar to the Australian Aborigines, being characterized by a narrow and long skull, long face and small nose and eye sockets.

    About 9,000 years ago, the Amerindians came from Siberia. But what happened to the ancient American Aborigines?

  23. @JustJeff

    That’s an aboriginal guitar he was playing, right?

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