Wednesday, February 13, 2008

stealing children

Chief Protector of Aborigines Scene from Phillip Noyce's movie Rabbit Proof Fence (2002).

Forced Removal Scene from Phillip Noyce's Rabbit Proof Fence (2002)

via dreadnought australia
"... entrenched opposition to an apology has three (non exclusive) potential sources: racism, superior experience / expert opinion and / or pride"
Worthwhile reading his analysis in full

update (17th February):
With respect to the movie clip about stealing children. I think we need a dry eyed thoughtful and historically accurate apology rather than just a wet eyed, feel good cathartic apology. Pearson's words about the history are important here:
Then there is the historical angle on the apology. The 1997 report by Ronald Wilson and Mick Dodson is not a rigorous history of the removal of Aboriginal children and the breaking up of families. It is a report advocating justice. But it does not represent a defensible history. And, given its shortcomings as a work of history, the report was open to the conservative critique that followed. Indigenous activists' decision to adopt historian Peter Read's nomenclature, the Stolen Generations, inspired Quadrant magazine's riposte: the rescued generations.

The truth is the removal of Aboriginal children and the breaking up of Aboriginal families is a history of complexity and great variety. People were stolen, people were rescued; people were brought in chains, people were brought by their parents; mixed-blood children were in danger from their tribal stepfathers, while others were loved and treated as their own; people were in danger from whites, and people were protected by whites. The motivations and actions of those whites involved in this history -- governments and missions -- ranged from cruel to caring, malign to loving, well-intentioned to evil.
- when words aren't enough
Kevin Rudd (part 1 and 2) and Brendan Nelson's (part 3) televised speeches to Parliament are here. Brendan Nelson has been criticised for his speech but I thought it provided a good complement to Rudd's. Nelson went to some places where Rudd feared to go but which were relevant (eg. Northern Territory intervention, which up until now has been supported by Labour).

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