Tuesday, February 12, 2008

when words aren't enough

Noel Pearson's analysis of tomorrow's apology is a must read:

when words aren't enough

He looks at it from a number of angles:
  • the culture wars
  • philosophical
  • psychological
  • historical
  • political
  • strategic
  • emotional
  • spiritual
"My view is that Aboriginal people's lives were stolen by history.

It wasn't just that children were stolen in a literal sense, it was more the case that the prospects of Aboriginal people being able to pursue any form of sustainable and decent life were stolen.

Yes, there was grog, there was prostitution, there was untold misery in Aboriginal camps. And if an Aboriginal mother brought her child to the gates of the mission for their protection, were not these lives stolen from them?

Even where Aboriginal people carved out a life in an unforgiving and unrelenting white society, they were still vulnerable to the state's arbitrary removal powers.

This history cannot be understood simply through the specific policy intentions of the governments and the missions. It must be understood by reference to the severe life options available to Aboriginal people in the wake of European occupation and indigenous dispossession ..."

1 comment:

Bill Kerr said...

the apology and the moral significance of guilt

Sees the apology as a pantomime to assuage white guilt. I left a comment.