I covered the apology on behalf of Australia to Aboriginal people made by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in the 2008.02.14 update. There were a bunch of replies both to my blog comments and the ' Australian Apology To The Aboriginal Population' I posted in the update. Just so it's clear - I'm not the author of the latter. It came to me umpteen times via email from countless people. I just posted it, author unknown. As for my blog, my point was simple - I think that saying 'sorry' is about money and money only.
Here's it is again for anyone that missed it:
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 you 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!
And some of the mail that came my way:
Thank you for having the intestinal fortitude to say what most
Blessing N. Dube wrote:
Subject: Aboriginal Reparations
Hey Mr Orsm, thanks for the great site. I have been an avid follower for a
couple of years and have received many hours of pleasure via your efforts. I
have however never had the inclination or the desire to contribute either in
praise or condemnation, until now. From your Apology I understand why
Australia is the chosen destination for all white people who feel they are not being accorded their full rights as the chosen race and king of all
others and the earth. Colonialism is not and was not a favour delivered unto
the world to enlighten and save the darkies from their eternal damnation and
uplift them to the status of the chosen ones. Primarily it was to loot and
pillage resources from those that were weaker and in the case of your
country with the added bonus of getting rid of dangerous criminals. Perhaps
the aborigines should apologise to you for allowing you use their resources
that you continue to pillage to begrudgingly provide basic health care and
housing. The large farms, gold mines and diamond mines you speak of are for
whose benefit? While returning the Aborigines to the outback load up all the
white people and ship them back to that little island off the coast of
Europe. Send us back the ones from Zimbabwe and South Africa. We can provide
health care. housing and jobs for those ones.
very dissapointing, ive been visting and enjoying your site since 2002, but the recent advent of misinformed political comments has forced me to no longer visit orsm.net. the comments about muslims in general were bad enough, though i can understand how the average australian knows nothing about the issues involved via watching the slanted media on commercial stations, however the recent comments regarding the apology were simply too much. it displays your will towards ignorance and a wish to remain as such. how any australian could believe that a 17 year age difference between aboriginal australian's and the rest is in any way acceptable is beyond me. the falsehoods displayed (e.g. free tarvel anywhere for indigenous, etc etc) are inflammitory and will serve only to increase the destructive ignorance of the readers of orsm.net. most of the things you list are the attempted and failed attempts to improve the lives of idigenous australians, but it reminas beyond the imagination of those in charge that money here and there can not erase the loss of culture, the introduction of drugs, alchohol and petrol and the theft of thousands of children over the last 200 years.
perhaps if people like your self were more open minded indigenous australia may find a place within our society. i would ask, how many aboriginals do you actually know?
regards, maiki, soon to be labelled, pinko communist, hippy bleeding heart etc etc etc and proud of it.
Subject: Just a bit of commentry really..
Was the abo joke really necessary? I dont know if you believe that
or you just posted for the hell of it..
The insurgents fucking the goat... whats the source ? I see things like that and I think bored yanks posing on thermal vision for their
friends doing something stupid which gets painted on this site as
being specifically some kind of towel head donkey fucking
expedition... I really couldnt care I suppose, but Im just curious if you believe
what you post sometimes.
The 'Abo' joke as you put it wasn't really a joke. It was a statement, one persons opinion and I quite clearly said "Decide for yourself". As for the insurgent video, right at the beginning the narrator says "Welcome to LSA Anaconda in Iraq". How many people do you know with thermal vision equipment anyway? -Orsm
|British Beef wrote:
Subject: An outsiders view
"Perhaps its time Australia asks Aboriginals to give us something back..."
From the point of view of everyone outside of Australia, that is a fucking funny statement..... they already gave you something: Australia* That kinda outweighs pretty much anything else. *Okay okay, so maybe we in the west kinda stole it and it ended up with you, but you get the idea.
Wow - where to begin?
You do realise that it was actually the settlers who were starving, waiting for supplies from the old country, without stopping to consider what was sustaining the aboriginal population way back when, don't you?
Children were taken from families where there was no record of abuse, mistreatment or neglect - they were taken simply because they were aboriginal, and because the authorities wanted to "breed" the race out of existence - essentially, and widely agreed to be genocide.
Considering the trauma most of these people have been through, I think it's understandable that they perhaps find it hard to make it in our society, especially when you add to that the prejudice they face regardless.
As for compensation? Well, we're blowing 2.7 BILLION on private schools already (Thanks Johnny!). Aboriginals make up 2% of the population. Most of them aren't directly related to the stolen generations, plus it's immeasureably hard to prove that one's life was worse off after being placed in a white family, compared to what may have happened had they remained with their birth parents (If I recall correctly, there has only been one successful compensation claim - the result of one twin being taken (and subsequently abused, traumatised and drug addled), while the other was left with his aboriginal parents and community without suffering the same problems). We can afford it.
Not saying "Sorry" says that as a nation, we don't care that this race of people lives in third world conditions within our nation. That simply would not do - this should have happened 10 years ago, and it would have if Howard wasn't a bitter, racist, little man.
Subject: "THE" Sorry
Loved what you wrote about THAT sorry and the mind set\expectations of Aboriginal people. I suspect you are going to get quite a bit of shit your way regarding it but just want you to know, oh so many agree with you.
Mate..... that's the first time I have seen that Apology.... FUCK DID I LAUGH. If it wasn't so tragically true it would be absurd. I am not racist at all, but as an average aussie I am fed up with hearing these "indigenous" wankers crying about how hard they have it. I think it is time to paint my arse black and join their ranks..... although most of these idiots are whiter then me and my roots are from Scotland.....
John Heeth wrote:
Subject: STOLEN GENERATION
AFTER READING ALL THE ABOVE CRAP.................................................................
1. Question Still remain the same WHY DID YOU INVADE AUSTRALIA AND KILLED SO MANY ABORIGINAL PEOPLE?.
2.STOLE THERE DIAMOND,GOLD, IRON MINES.
GO BACK TO EUROPE WHERE YOU COME FROM AND KEEP YOUR EUROPEAN CIVILISATION WITH YOU EUROPEAN DINGO !!!!!
I didn't invade a damn thing, same as I didn't steal anyone's children, nor did any of my relatives, and I don't feel responsible enough to apologise for it. So, taking all that into account, the question then becomes - is an insincere apology from me going to make anyone feel better? -Orsm
hey dig love the site always have but how about you get a few fucking facts straight. for starters maybe you should check out a book called blood on the wattle secondly, the english that was so graciously taught to us was forced down our throat, those that didn't obey were held over bags of flour and beaten till they wet themselves and made to eat the flour. the clothing and blankets pox ridden and killed all they were so kindly given to, as for food we never went hungry for we never ate more than our share, as for all the supposed money you reckon is being dished out i've asked my family and my families family i've even asked those i've never even spoke to before, aint anyone heard of those handouts.
dude like i said love the site just fully know both sides before you bag one.
No normal human being would for a moment ever condone that treatment. It's disgusting but let's face facts, how many are responsible for inflicting that? Probably not many. And the whole country should apologise? That's like asking the Aboriginal community to apologise for one kid stealing a car and killing a pedestrian. Not going to happen is it? -Orsm