Monday, January 07, 2008

No Reparations for Stolen Generation

From 1915 to 1969 thousands of Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families and given to white Australian families so that they could be assimilated.

In recent months survivors of the Stolen Generation have stepped up their efforts to extract an official apology from the Australian government.

They are demanding that newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd put meat to the bones of his promised apology and pay approximately A1bn (US$870 million) into a reparation fund.

This demand seems reasonable to say the least but if you know anything about Rudd, you would know that he is not about to pay reparations to Aborigines.

Instead, Rudd’s indigenous affairs minister, Jenny Macklin, says that an official apology will be followed by money being put into health and education schemes to improve the lives of Aboriginals.

Macklin said in part:
“What we will be doing is putting the funding in to health and education services, and providing additional support for services needed for counselling, to enable people to find their relatives," she said.

We think the best way to give force to the apology is to provide funding to close the gap in life expectancy between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

So we won't be creating a compensation fund.”

These comments amount to a kind of political gymnastics.

What happened to the Stolen Generation is nothing less than a crime against humanity.

Al Jazeera points out that the 1997 Bringing Them Home report "found thousands of aboriginal children had been forcibly placed in orphanages or foster care and revealed that many were brutalised or abused with harsh punishment for speaking in indigenous languages instead of English."

You can read the "Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families" here.

I think it reasonable that Aboriginal campaigners are planning protests against this business as usual decision.

It is becoming clearer that Rudd is not very different than Howard when it comes to the plight and conditions of Aboriginals in occupied Australia.

In these terms I invite those who have not signed our Tourist Boycott of Australia Campaign to please do so immediately. Our Aboriginal sistas and brothers need your support.

Please let your voice be heard so that Rudd knows that we are not being fooled.



Nicole said...

Hi Ridwan-

Sorry I've been MIA but I'll tell ya about that in a personal email lol...

Anyways correct me if I'm wrong, because I don't if what I'm saying is fact, but isn't this the same sort of BS that the US has tried to do with the Native population in America?

I mean they've tried to "implement" programs that will "help" bridge the gap between the native population and the rest of the American population. Yet, these welfare assitance programs haven't done anything but harm the population more right?

But you will never see the US gov't apologizing to the Native population for basically stealing their land and murdering many of them. And their so called "assistance" hasn't assited the Natives in anyway really. (Again correct me if I'm wrong, because I might just be talking out of my backside right now).

I think this same thing applies to Austrailia. It seems as though the white man (used in a broad term), has issues with admitting their faults, especially their wrong doings against humanity, whether it be destroying the indigenous populations in the US and Australia, or the whole slave trade. They are too worried about covering their own asses.

With the Austrailian situation, I feel as though in some ways the white man tries to put a spin on things... to some how make the indigenous people at fault for the current situations, not realizing that even though their actions might have happened in the past, the white man is the direct reason why things have happened.

By implementeng this whole "welfare-type" program, it seems as though they are trying to brush to the side and minimalize the actions that they did, and instead make the focus on helping these "poor, helpless aboriginal folk".
In some countries you can sue someone for taking your pet (which seems so minimal and a waste of the courts time, but to some people it is such an act of crime), but for something as great as taking your children?? Oh no, thats not something "wrong" enough to be sued over, it's not a crime that can be rewarded with justice. Bullshit.

I don't know if any of that made sense.. just trying to put my thoughts down into words lol


Eugene said...

Same old shit, Bra!

No matter what the apology, it will never be an apology. The empire can never admit their crimes because then that would mean they may ACTUALLY have to pay for them. And of course, the money isn't going to the Aborigines, it is being put into the hands of non-aboriginal business type folk to take advantage of those resources that truly will not benefit the Aborigines. Same shit happened in Canada with the Indigenous folk up there. It is basically covering their asses for the horrific crimes they have and continue to commit.

Same old shit!

And don't forget about the systematic raping of Aboriginal children. Happened there just like it has in EVERY colonized nation that is currently occupied with their populations decimated and displaced.

Tom said...

Hey, Ridwan.

I guess they'll just use the money for whatever minimal services are already owed to folks.

Ridwan said...

Hello Eugene.

Thanks for looking in brother. I am just so struck that Rudd thinks their position is credible.

You called it right brother.

Nuff said!


Ridwan said...

Hello Nicole. Good to hear from you my sista.

I trust all is well with you and your moms. Please tell her I send my greetings.

I think Eugene answers a lot of the questions you raise.

Same colonial stock, same colonial mindset, same genocide.

Be well hey!


Ridwan said...

Hey there Tom. I trust you are well.

Thanks for your comment on this issue. I can't wait to see what kind of money and what kind of services they are talking about.

Peace to you.


Eugene said...

My buddy Jim says it like this:

Without Truth, you can't have justice. The truth is, Australia has committed genocide against the Aborigines (Article 2e I believe, forcible transferral of children from the group).

There will be no justice, because a stupid fucking apology doesn't create any form of justice.

Without Justice, of which there will be no real justice in this case, you will not have healing. When people get away with their continued crimes, there will be no healing.

Without Healing, which won't happen because there will be no truth, or justice, there will also be no Reconciliation. With Reconciliation that would mean the possibility that those who have stolen the wealth of the Aborigines via various acts of genocide, in this case, forcible trasferral of their children, they just may have to give some or all of that back. But it's theres now and we should all just get over it (I'm being facietious (sp?) with that one).

Without Truth, Justice, Healing, and Reconciliation, there will be no Prevention of Future Abuses. Since the Australian government is still illegally occupying land that belongs to the Aborigines, and is still committing genocide against them, I guess it is safe to say that this whole bullshit scheme is nothing but a white wash of crimes committed and the folks who benefit from them will continue in their status quo and those who suffer from them will continue to suffer.

Tommy Morello of Rage Against the Machine had a great little slogan written on his guitar. Do you know what it says?

Dione said...

The assimilation of Aboriginals is very much like what happened in the US.
Native American children were sent outside where they lived to go to colonial schools to learn the language and religion of the people who pillaged and plundered. Spaniards, Dutch, French ect. The young people were then sent back to infiltrate the Native American reservations with Western ideology of what civilization was. In order to “civilize” you had to Christianize, speak the colonial language and adopt a western life style. This only served to remove more Native American people from their land (if they were not already forced into reservation life), and helped settlers buy/take and sell land that was not theirs.
We can not ignore what is happening in Australia! Aboriginals are being striped of their identity, and their rights to be human.
Human beings are not like the Borg collective, no one should have to be assimilated into whiteness.
Yes, it is the same shit and it continues to happen everywhere. Not to get super controversial and off topic but for an example look at what happened to the Palestinians! Slowly but surely they were kicked off their homeland. There had been no land ownership values, just time old traditions that allowed them to live peacefully and respectfully. One family had land; another family had the right to pick the olives off those trees. Westernization came in and the Palestinians were forced into a westernized land ownership concept that surprise- surprise benefited people that arrived from Europe. Until the League of Nations (UN) decided upon an initial unfair land division that would later become disgraceful, Muslims, Christians and Jewish people who were originally from Gaza were living peacefully. Ron White say’s you can’t fix stupid, and gee… people still can’t seem to grasp the simple understanding of what racism really is and how to stop repeating the past. No one is learning for the same reason that there are no real apologies. Racism prevents real understanding. Then I can understand the urge to fix stupid with an AK-47, but that is why we have war, and racism always returns.
Is there hope for humanity?

Ridwan said...

Thanks for your comment Dione. You raise important points no doubt.

**Eugene thanks for your comment brother. Jim is right on target no doubt.

I don't know what it says on Tommy Morello's guitar. Please tell me brother.


Eugene said...

"Arm the Homeless."

Ridwan said...

Thanks brother. I can see why in these terms.