Tuesday, February 12, 2008

sorry is the first step

to me, there's something epic about knowing that at the moment, and in days past, there has been a slow but steady trickle of indigenous people, travelling to canberra for tomorrow's sorry day. it's a moving thing, and a sad thing, that these people have to travel great distances, simply to hear an apology. but it's also breathtakingly evocative; indigenous people on the move in this beautiful country, wending their way towards what will hopefully be a moment that helps them heal, and makes them realise that there are a lot of people in australia who feel sorry and want reconciliation. a proper reconciliation.

some people deny there was a stolen generation, let alone generations. despite the intentions of the governments during the period of child removal (1910s to 1970s), and whether people were motivated out of kindness to remove children from abusive/neglectful family situations, the impacts on people's lives have been devastating at worst, and "affecting" at best. how can this be denied? even if it was considered in the best interests of these children, can people not realise that it can be said now, without falsity, "well, we got it wrong. we meant well, but we fucked up."

clearly there has been a whole range of experiences for those children taken away from their families. but for some, for many it seems, it remained a blight on the rest of their lives. it's not easy being indigenous in this country - it's unjust when experiences like this just add to the hardship.
and the hardship continues as we know. i'm thinking the sorry should cover past stuff, from invasion onwards, and to today, that somehow leaders in this country can't get it right when it comes to the inequity across many areas (all areas?) faced by the indigenous population of australia. but there seems to be hope. today we are waiting for the apology to be made, formally, tomorrow in canberra. who knows what might come next? perhaps some real policies which translate into real, sustained, beneficial action.

now. let's all be sorry tomorrow.

it's a sweet, sweet week for us left-wing, bleeding heart losers.

the only thing that would make it sweeter would be to see this on the front steps of parliament house:

but i guess, realistically, one dream is enough for the day.


mizanthrop said...

I read Philip Adam's blog this morning and got all teary...

A friend of mine was stolen, she's a mother, a grandmother and a hugely dynamic woman, but still she carries the affects of that trauma with her every day.

I've been genuinely shocked at the struggle some people seem to be having with the simple act of expressing empathy, and to promise that we won't let it happen again. Are so many people really so mean spirited?

Also, in a country where people sue for compensation over the merest injury or inconvenience, why the outrage over the idea of compensation for people whose lives have be ripped apart?

mizanthrop said...

P.S at the primary school my girls go to they're making a big deal out of this, a note was sent home yesterday saying that "as the apology is our national history in the making" the whole school will be watching the live coverage together.

*grins stupidly*

Little Johnnie would be reaching for the antacids if he knew, not his kind of 'history' at all.

MelbourneGirl said...

i love it miz. about the primary school. good on them. i'm going to tape it, for me it's like seeing mandela walk out of gaol. i feel like dancing.

but i hate that lack of empathy. it's a stubborn sort of small-mindedness, and a complete absence of generosity and compassion.

Magical_M said...

Our new GM sent around a message today saying that we would all watch it as a company tomorrow morning... gotta love a boss who acknowledges and encourages!

And there's a few of us heading down to Redfern to the community centre in the morning to be amongst the heart of it... I can't wait.

It may be a small word but it will mean so much to so many.


sublime-ation said...

sorry, late again, but I just read Bolt (again, I have been reading it over and over for years, trying to get my head around it) and then Reynolds, it is such a great response. Highly advised.
I think that with Bolt's increasing nuttiness someone's going to come and steal him away soon.