Saturday, February 09, 2008

Advance Australia – Sorry

For near 200 years, government in this country, state and federal, considered "full-blood" Aborigines no better than vermin. The "Aboriginal problem", so-called, was confined mostly to what to do about mixed-blood children fathered by white Australians. Mixed-race numbers were increasing as rapidly as full-bloods were vanishing. Which is why, from 1890 to the early 1960s, generations of part-white children were forcibly removed, in all states, from their Aboriginal mothers. SMH

Next Wednesday – Australian time, the federal parliament is going to say sorry to the aborigines for the hideous treatment dished out over the past 200 hundred years of European occupation.

Some of have hoped that the apology, without taking guilt on for behaviour beyond our control, will be a sincere and healing process. Some of us hoped that back in 1965 when we worked so hard to have Aborigines actually recognised as people under the constitution.

For the love of Christ! Make this work as an honest attempt to recognise and deal with the real issues. Not like the 1965 effort which only gave white Australia an excuse to forget the problems. It is a problem we must deal with now!

8 comments:

D.K. Raed said...

Let's hope it is an honest effort that allows all parties to move forward. At least your parliament is making the attempt. I did not realize that as late as 1965, you were having to fight to have aborigines recognized as people. It is beyond sad. I cried when I saw the film, Rabbit-Proof Fence.

Cart said...

D.K. I was angry when I wrote this and probably left out more than I wanted to. However I cried when I finally realised that my adolescent efforts did little more than give Australia an excuse to continue ignoring the problem - after all they did something already.
I cried when our government was too mean minded to at least recognise the atrocities of the past with an apology.
I cried when John Howard sent a military backed solution to Northern Australia to address problems in Aboriginal communities.
I cried again today when I realised that all these years I've been saying Aboriginals and the powers have been meaning mixed bloods.
But I'm still bloody angry!!!

enigma4ever said...

the important thing is what you carry in your heart- that you still have tears and empathy for YOUR People of your land...that is not a usual thing in so many countries of the world....

that you have tears, and anger...and angst...means that you are on the way to healing...

Healing begins with the release of these....and embarcing of a Future...

Even in South Africa....they too had to struggle how to begin the Healing ....

May all Countries begin a path to Healing...

In Hawaii....they said that there is another Component of healing for the Natives...it is why they say it every day...

MAHALO....."respect".....they say it to each other so that daily it is given and recieved...

Australia has reached a Momentous Moment...

Namaste....namaste...

Cart said...

"Australia has reached a Momentous Moment..." I will accept your comments as a prayer enigma, thank you. For all the positives of this country just now this issue still has a long way to go.
Part of the issue is that we seem to ignore the drug and alcohol abusing whites around us but the mixed race losers are trotted out as an example of how aboriginals are losers.
Its the same everywhere of course. I'm working on an early intervention project to head off the trend to drugs, alcohol and consequent crime. A big ask, and something considered a waste of time and recourses.
But it is the only way I can see to really make headway in giving hope and changing wider community attitudes.

abi said...

What a horrible story. It makes you wonder if there's any hope for our species.

Cart said...

Abi, we live in hope, but the issue has now become so messy and sordid remedies are difficult to conjure.
Across the world indigenous peoples have been the ideal victims.

Kvatch said...

One wonders what might have become of Australia's indigenous peoples had Europeans never come to their shores.

Jared Diamond ('Guns, Germs, and Steel') would probably assert that there wouldn't have been much, if any, cultural advancement. Like the indigenous peoples here, the Aboriginals where at a huge disadvantage in terms of resources and many use that as a mitigating factor in assessing the destruction an indigenous people and their culture.

Regardless...for all that lost possibility, an apology seems like a necessary, and yet woefully inadequate, response.

Cart said...

kvatch, it is a tiny rowboat, our Earth. Sooner or later someone would have grabbed the place.
Historically Indonesia and China had been trading with Northern Aborigines, we saw signs of that in the 2000 Olympics opening ceremony.
What we don't know, as with the US, is exactly what damage was done and why.
If it was about genocide, intended or as a consequence, there is no form of apology acceptable.
Oddly, if that was the intent I would be seeking a personal apology as well, just because the concept is so abhorrent.
I'm not sure an apology is good enough, and I don't see restitution serving any real purpose.
I think (hope) this is a first real step toward finding what the healing might really be.