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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Stolen Generations: An Apology From The Wrong People

Posted by Atilla89 on February 13, 2008

As all Australians know now, Rudd has finally given his apology to the Stolen Generations (if you don’t know what the Stolen Generations are about, type it in Google and you will find a lot of information). My opinion on this is a little apathetic. To explain, I believe it was a good thing to apologise to the Aborigines, however it was done by the wrong people. There is no doubt that what happened during that period of time was wrong and because of it a lot of lives were shattered. However, we need to look at this realistically, Rudd, at least to my knowledge, has never taken an Aboriginal child from his or her home, neither has Howard, in fact it would be highly unlikely if anyone at present in the Liberal or Labor party had done such a thing. My belief is that the apology should come from those who actually participated in the taking of children away from their homes and families. Research should have been made into which individuals (both dead and alive) were responsible and then appropriate action should have been taken. For example if those said people were alive, then an apology should come from them. If said people have already died, then an apology from their family or closed kin should be made on behalf of them. Now I know some of you will say ah, but is that not what the government is doing? The answer is no, as I have said, those in the government have very little connection to what happened during that time. However families of those who have committed these crimes do, therefore it should be them who have to apologise (if they have not done that before). It should not be some general blanket apology from a government which had little if any connection to those who participated and formulated policy to allow for this tragedy.

To be sure, the apology spoken by Rudd (link to the actual apology text), is full of better hopes for the future, and that is a nice gesture, but lines like this:

“We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.”

really get me going. They have no meaning behind them, to me they are just empty words made to stay on the good side of the Australian public. I will repeat, the government of this time period has no connection and no reason to apologise for crimes they did not commit.

I am sure people will say to me, look at it from the Aborigines’ perspective, they finally got some sort of apology, from the government. I try and look at it from a similar and more familiar perspective to me, the Holocaust. To be honest, an apology from people who have no connection to that tragic event doesn’t really do it to me. Apologies and subsequent prosecution from those involved (or from their families) in carrying out the Holocaust and making it legal through policy is what would make it better for me. Financial retribution should be payed for all the stuff stolen and a Holocaust remembrance day (of which there is) is also appropriate. That is what I believe the correct course of action is, that is what I think today’s Australian government should have done.


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