Aborigine protesters above demonstrate outside Parliament House, Canberra, against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's scheduled "apology" for "past assimilation policies."
So what does Rudd's "apology" really mean? Can anyone reasonably believe that saying sorry is enough?
I don't think so.
Frank Byrne was "stolen" from his mother, Maudie Yooringun, when he was five. A week later he saw his mother again for the last time in his life.
Six decades later Mr. Byrne recalls the time he was "stolen":
"The government came to Christmas Creek where we had a mud house and told me I was been taken away.
My mum was completely ignored. She was not a human. That's what they thought in those days. The government fella said: 'I am your total guardian'.
You could see the sorrow in my mother's eye. I could see the tears rolling down as she was driven away. I was held there by a couple of blokes as the truck went away."
What kind of government can only offer an apology inside of this kind of brutal inhumanity?
Mr. Byrne puts it best when he says "I've been hurt. I've been hurt very deeply. Since they took me away from my mother I have lived only in sorry and anger ... Sorry is a word. It's just a hollow word."
Yes brother, saying sorry is an absolute political ruse!
And reconciliation and healing are empty words meant to distance the despicable past from the hands that direct the present day occupation.
Under these terms there can be no justice but only racist denial.
ps. (February 17): My further thinking on what is called the "Age of Apologies" appears here.