Rudd has swallowed the myth whole

No mention that the tiny minority of black children who were removed from their Aboriginal environment were removed by social workers to rescue them from abuse and neglect. I wonder when all the white kids who have been removed by social workers will get an apology?

The Prime Minister used the word "sorry" three times in the 360 word statement read to parliament this morning. He said there came a time in history when people had to reconcile the past with their future.

"We apologise for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians," the apology read. "We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. "For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry. "To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. "And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry."

The apology also looked forward, heralding a renewed and united effort to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in "life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity". Mr Rudd pledged action as well as words, calling for the equivalent a war cabinet to tackled indigenous issues. "I therefore propose a joint policy commission to be led by the Leader of the Opposition and myself," he said. The Prime Minister said the commission would first develop and implement an effective housing strategy for remote communities during the next five years. If that was successful the commission would then work on the constitutional recognition of first Australians.

More here. The full apology is here

There are some (Left-inspired) policies towards blacks that the government SHOULD apologize for

Today, the federal Government says sorry to the Stolen Generations. But others who share responsibility for the problems in indigenous communities should also apologise. And it should be a sincere sorry, with a real outcome.

The sorry debate has been hijacked by a misunderstanding of the sources of present dysfunction in Aboriginal Australia. It’s been hijacked by those who want to salve their consciences but who can’t stomach the hard decisions that have to be taken.

Most remote Aboriginal dysfunction has absolutely nothing to do with the Stolen Generations and Ronald Wilson’s Bringing Them Home report. Although some of those people have been wounded, it’s not the basis of wider dysfunction. It’s easy to apologise for what someone else did. And to tut-tut about failures of the past. But the problems a 10-year-old raped child in Aurukun is facing today were not created by the policies of removal in the early 20th century: they were fertilised in failures of the present generation and those who lead us.

The confusion starts at the top. Last week Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said we needed an apology before we could tackle the problems. But the people to whom he is apologising are a small proportion of the Aboriginal community. The majority weren’t part of the Stolen Generations and they have entrenched problems. The assumption that an apology to the minority will fix the entrenched problems of the majority is misplaced. Most people, moreover, think the apology is to the wider Aboriginal community for anything and everything they think it should be. It’s imprecise and misconceived.

Which brings me back to my opening proposition: there should be a real apology. The people who should be apologising are those who during the past 40 years presided over deeply flawed indigenous affairs policies that created separatism, nepotism, welfarism and isolationism: dysfunction and despair; the wide-scale abuse and neglect of Aboriginal children and the poorer health outcomes of Aboriginal people in general.

The apology should be from the Government, because it still has people who want to return to the failures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and some who participated in the politics of nepotism. It should be from the Howard government: after all, it persisted with those failed policies for much of its time in office as a political holding strategy because it was afraid, until its last year or so, to really do something.

It should be from the Keating and Hawke governments, which fostered and cultured the policies of separatism and gave real succour to the Aboriginal industry by building ATSIC into the monster it became. And it did so not because it didn’t know this caused problems, it did it because it didn’t want to face the political challenge that really tackling Aboriginal poverty would create in its own ranks.

Every premier in every state and every indigenous affairs minister for the past 40 years should apologise for failing to provide the safety and the education that Aboriginal children deserved. Every education minister who turned a blind eye to the appalling absenteeism of Aboriginal children should apologise for not treating those children with the same respect as white children by not enforcing the same rules.

The Whitlam and the Fraser governments, which championed policies that were never going to work (and in some cases still do), should apologise. While they railed, rightly, against an apartheid system in South Africa, they created one in Australia. Instead of moralising and commentating, they should face up to their share of the responsibility.

Leaders of ATSIC - every living former commissioner - who entrenched these dysfunctions, who cut funding for women’s programs and presided over a men’s rights agenda, should apologise. All the so-called leaders. They share responsibility. It would make it a genuine act of reconciliation if black leaders stood side by side with white leaders and they all apologised together for failing their people.

A symbolic apology for something we haven’t done is meaningless. Only real and sincere regret, a genuine apology and a steely determination to take the hard decisions will ensure we don’t lose more generations of Aboriginal Australians in the future.


Posted by John Ray

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them