Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sorry!

It's about time! But credit to Kevin Rudd who has done what John Howard has refused to do for many many years and he today apologised to the Stolen Generation.

For those who are not aware, in the 1950's the Australian government of the day removed many Aboriginal children from their families and raised them in white Australian orphanages and foster homes for their "benefit". Essentially the Anglo-Saxon government deemed Aboriginals to be inferior and not deserving of raising their own children in their own culture.

Many years later, the Aboriginal people still feel hurt and pain at that program and families were ripped apart and never recovered.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today apologised for the events unreservedly and I applaud that.

Having said that though, I received an email today that was perhaps the most vindictive and callous thing I have ever read before and I paste it below. Bear in mind I dont agree with any of these sentiments:

SORRY...
AUSTRALIAN APOLOGY TO THE ABORIGINAL POPULATION

We apologise for giving you doctors and free medical care,
which allows you to survive and multiply so that you can demand
apologies.

We apologise for helping you to read and teaching you the English language and thus we opened up to you the entire European civilisation, thought and enterprise.


We feel that we must apologise for building hundreds of homes for you, which you have vandalised and destroyed.


We apologise for giving you law and order which has helped prevent you from slaughtering one another and using the unfortunate for food purposes.


We apologise for developing large farms and properties, which today feed your people, where before, you had the benefits of living off the land and starving during droughts.


We apologise for providing you with warm clothing made of fabric to replace that animal skins/dogs you used before.


We apologise for building roads and railway tracks between cities and building cars so that you no longer have to walk over harsh terrain.


We apologise for paying off your vehicle when you fail to pay the instalments.


We apologise for giving you free travel anywhere, whenever.


We apologise for giving each and every member of your family $100.00 and free travel to attend an aboriginal funeral.


We apologise for not charging you rent on any lands when white people have to pay.


We apologise for giving you interest free loans.


We apologise for developing oil wells and minerals, including gold and diamonds which you never used and had no idea of their value.


We apologise for developing Ayers rock and Kakadu, and handing them over to you so that you get all the money.


We apologise for allowing taxpayers money paid towards daughters' wedding ($8,000.00 each daughter) We apologise for giving you $1.7 billion per year for your 250,000 people,
which is $48,000.00 per aboriginal man, woman and child.


We apologise for working hard to pay taxes that finance your welfare, medical care, education, etc to the tune of $1.2 billion each year.


We apologise for you having to approach the aboriginal affairs department to verify the above figures For the trouble you will have identifying the "uncle toms" in your own community who are getting richer and leaving some of you living in squalor and poverty.


We do apologise. We really do. We humbly beg your forgiveness for all the above sins.
We are only too happy to take back all the above and return you to the paradise of the "outback", whenever you are ready.


Disgusting.

Until we Australian's can stop having this sort of attitude things will never get better. Until people can learn to appreciate another persons view, we as a "species" will never improve ourselves and wars and conflicts will never end.

I hope that Kevin Rudd's speech will be the first step of stamping out racism in this country. I hope its the first step to stopping political parties such as One Nation (warning: Redneck alert) playing the race card in our Federal Parliament.

I also hope it is a step in bring more tolerance not only to race but also religion and a sign that this new government is not going to war anymore for American foreign policy (read Oil).

To the person who wrote that email, I hope you have a good hard look at yourself.

13 comments:

DM said...

Clay, have you ever lived among these people? Have you ever seen first hand what privilidges they get over you? Have you actually done anything involving these people other than what the fluffy politicians and people on TV tell you?

I have.

I spent years in and around aboriginal communities, interacting with them and watch what they did with the BILLIONS in handouts they've received in my tax dollars and can tell you first hand this so called 'disgusting' tirade you got in the mail is not only accurate and true, it's 100% fair.

Whilst I applaud the ideal that you stand for here and the belief in a better world, you need to understand that this entire 'sorry' fiasco has been blown completely out of proportion by media and bias individuals within these communities.

Aboriginal people do just fine in modern Australia. In fact, they get more than you or I - as white Australians - EVER will because of the political wrangling and PC madness which has swept across the nation.

No offence Clay, and normally I'd agree with your point of view on most things, but on this mate you have absolutely no idea and before you judge others for taking such a view, perhaps it might be worth to note that unless you've 'been there, done that' your speaking out of misguiged perceptions.

Peace out.

Clay said...

DM, when I was in Year 10 at High School, I was in line to get AbStudy. Why? Because I qualified as an Aboriginal.

Have a look at my photo? I am not Aboriginal.

So before you cast stones, perhaps you should think about things a bit more and what I said and what was said in what I thought was a vile diatribe.

The funding that Aboriginals get is not the debate. The debate has been whether to apologies for an ill founded policy 50 years ago.

Why is that so hard?

Why is it that people mock that? Why cant you accept that there was a wrong done and the least we can do is apologise?

It is not PC Madness, but rather being a little bit compassionate and an acknowledgement that "we" were wrong.

DM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

One 64th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clay said...

DM, I have your deleted post on email...

I am glad you deleted it as I would have anyway.

Clay said...

"One 64th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Too right!

DM said...

The motivation for such a poor social policy apology is what smacks of hypocracy and annoys me clay. We have so many government driven social ills in our society yet you don't see the government too eager to apologise for those, do you?

It annoys me because this had nothing to do with any real 'apology' as such, this was a political stunt brought about by a vocal minority and that's a fact.

"Why cant you accept that there was a wrong done and the least we can do is apologise?"

Because in the current climate of Australia, the government has far far greater issues that it honestly should be apologising to the people of Australia for.

If you take a good hard look at governmental social policy for the last quarter century, for them to pick out the 'stolen generation' issue as the one to stand up and apologise for, then call me cynical, but it's pathetic.

Australian core values and society has been eroded at every level in this increasingly capitalist society which is destroying families and social structures daily. What's makes the 'stolen generation' issue so special?

Nothing.

Anonymous said...

DM i have nothing to say to you, except ur a complete idiot and i found ur chess blog highly amusing.

Please never talk to me again.


Dan Collins

DM said...

Whatever Mr Collins. Bandwagoning is fun, is it not? At least you read my work, what do you offer? Too afraid to put your thoughts on paper and open yourself to being critisized by your peers.

I have my own opinion and just because you or Clay don't agree with it shouldn't automatically mean I should be outcast for it.

Until you have lived my life, you are not in a position to judge me.

I don't judge you.

Take a look in the mirror before you cast the first stone.

Censorship of opinion is the first step to a media controlled society. You're towing the line here well.

Very disappointing.

Ben said...

An apology really doesn't require a lot of effort. It should have been done years ago, and I'm glad its done.

It changes nothing, yet changes everything at the same time. Substantively, small gestures like this seem meaningless, yet the actual effect can be far greater than you'd expect.

I suspect this will do more than any of the handouts ever did and ever will do.

Clay said...

Ben...

EXACTLY!

Well said.

Annachie said...

A 64th Clay. But have you ever lived near, or in, one of the many aboriginal 'communities'.
(Well, whiteman enforced slum/ghetto) They are scary places.

I grew up in the bush, with several nearby. That letter is fairly right. Then again Rudd is fairly right to have wanted to apologise*, but conveniently ignored the many white babies removed from white mothers in that period too.

The whole 'aboriginal' problem is really a whiteman problem. 200 odd years ago we severly, critically, damaged aboriginal society without totally obliterating it. As a people they have been stumbling along for many, many years being forced into our culture without theirs being destroyed. Sucessive generations of poli's have followed a throw money at the problem to the point that it seems that most aboriginals (and really a vast majority of them are part) think that the soloution to any problem is to get money thrown at you. Of course, this will aply to any welfare society eventually, but it is truly noticable in the case of aboriginals.

Don't get me started on One Nation either. I don't know which was the scariest part about them. Pauline Hansen herself or the fact that she was fairly right!
Cabramatta, Canley vale, Fairfield. These are some scary places. Go there and you feel like your in annother country. In some ways it's even worse down here. Same problems as with the aboriginals though down here. (The chinese/vietnamese are just racist though, especially to each other)

Mostly destroyed society being forced into our society and being shoved into enclaves (Which become hopeless seeming ghetto's fairly quick)and no incentive to realy try and fit in. (Strangely, down here, the Indians and Pakistani's and Sri Lankans do fit in. But they don't seem to have enclaves)

Such immigration should be stoped until the problems here are worked out, which is one of the things One Nation was pushing.



* He shouldn't have though. Not yet. First there should have been a change to the liability laws so that a heartfelt apology is not in anyway an admission of guilt. Think I'm being an ass? Well about a day and a half after the apology the first compensation claim is being lodged! Tell me that wanting the government to say sorry was not about yet more money.

Oh, and DM, aboriginals don't do fine. Well, the ones who do have either integrated totally or opted out totaly. Most of the rest are up that famous creek

Cathy said...

The sorry state of Aboriginal affairs today is a result of white settlement. What people seem to forget is, that despite white settlers beliefs about the inferiority of Aboriginal culture, these were people that had survived off the land for thousands of years!!!! They were doing perfectly fine before we showed up!

That email was so close-minded. As the original poster said, the apology was for a wrong that happened years ago - why is it so bad to say sorry? We teach our children that if they do something wrong, they should say sorry. As a nation (even though it was not us personally), we did something very, very wrong. An apology has been long overdue.

I could go on and on but I have written my own thoughts on the apology on my blog...feel free to visit.