Friday, February 15, 2008

Sorry Day

Anybody in Australia will know what I mean by this, and if you're not, then in a nutshell, Australia has finally gottena round to apologising to our Aboriginal people who we took from their families between 40-80 years ago.

I have been reading as much as I can about this, as the whole Aboriginal situation is one I know barely enough about, and would really like to know more and be more informed.

First off, I want to say that I fully support the Government's apology. They and we didn't actually do anything wrong ourselves, but we stand in the line of those who did, and so I believe it's appropriate to offer an apology.

I have been thinking a lot about the meaning of the word 'sorry'. I think some have used it in the sense 'I'm sorry (I'm in a way responsible) for what our forebears did to you' and others 'I'm sorry that that happened'-in the same vein you might say that you are sorry to hear of a friend's mum dying. You didn't cause her death, but you are sorry it happened.

I think both meanings are appropriate.

The response to BRendan Nelson's speech has interested me, particularly on the day. I would like to know from those who turned their backs if it was to him and what he was saying, or the Liberal party and what they have said in the past.

I actually really agreed with, and felt it an important point, what he was saying about the people who did it having good intentions. There's no doubt it was wrong, but I believe it's important to acknowledge they meant well.

I did think him going on about the Intervention last year was the wrong time and place though.

The other thing I've been thinking about a lot is all the talk that 'we' need to do something to fix the problems in their community. First off, I hate viewing the world in such a 'us and them' way, but it does make me reflect on my experiences in Africa. So much of what we do in trying to 'fix' Africa just makes things worse, cos we have this mentality that we are somehow so much better than them, and our solutions will solve their problems.

It just doesn't work like that. I don't think we should stand back and let the massive social issues we see in those communities go on, but nor do I think that it is our responsibility to 'fix' those issues. It's a very complicated issue.

No surprises either to see today a man lodging a claim for compensation. Still not sure what I think about the financial compensation side of things. Interesting times for Australia.

1 comment:

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