Thinking in public about anything that matters.

Month: February 2008

Late Morning on Sorry Day

Eventually I hope to sort out the truths from the falsehoods in the issue of the “Stolen Generations”. I have read so much from various points of view, and I still wonder where ulterior motivations, emotionalism, error, and political correctness leave off and truth begins. But eventually I expect to get it straight.

As you see, I follow a no-knee-jerking policy. And jumping to conclusions just makes my knees hurt. Yeah, I’ve done it sometimes, but I’m usually… sorry.

Here’s the first report I’ve come across about this morning’s official apology:

Rudd Apologises

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Aboriginal Incorrectness

The Australian Aborigines have a life span 17 years shorter than the average life span of other Australians. The physical and sexual abuse of women and children is extraordinarily high in many Aboriginal communities. Alcoholism and drug abuse is rife.

Surrounding this sad mess are the inevitable politically correct stances and symbolic gestures by the larger Australian community that amount to nothing substantial, and instead of improvement the problems are said to be getting ever worse. Millions if not billions of dollars have been given to indiginous organizations to try to improve the lives of Aboriginal people. But money hasn’t bought happiness, or even relief.

And the political correctness never ends. It’s a “correctness” that masks real causes and solutions and makes a very big deal out of symbolic gestures, such as the demand that white Australia says “Sorry!” for the “Stolen Generation” – a group of Aborigines who were allegedly taken unjustly from their families and raised in institutions or adopted by white families. Supposedly,the intent behind this stealing was to cause the indiginous people to blend into white society and hence to die out as a racial and cultural group.

I don’t know whether that was the government’s intention or not.  But given the widespread abuse of Aboriginal children today among their own people, it is not difficult to believe that the “Stolen Generation” might actually have been a rescued generation. I don’t want to deny that some people were stolen unjustly from loving homes or that some were taken and then mistreated. I don’t know what actually did happen. But I’m saying that I’m not comfortable buying the politically correct story as it’s offered today. I definitely need to know more.

Politics attracts demagogues looking for outrages to exploit, and encourages con artists who parade as victims for gain.  So it’s a bad idea to let knee-jerk compassion overrule careful consideration.

Here’s a fellow who has had extensive relations with the Aboriginal community. I’m linking to a particular article of his, but note that he has a whole category regarding  Aborigines. It’s a non-politically correct viewpoint he espouses. But I think he writes with a carefully considered, actually compassionate view of what’s been going wrong.

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