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The Forum > Article Comments > Sorry, but not sorry enough > Comments

Sorry, but not sorry enough : Comments

By Adam Creighton, published 7/3/2008

The Left’s Holy Trinity of race, class and gender simplistically encourages inter- and intra-generational victimhood.

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"To those who say an apology is pragmatic and “heals the nation”, I say elevating particular group grievances in the name of “healing” some “national story” is, frankly, fascism-lite and will ultimately foster a more fractured and fractious society. Moreover, time is in fixed supply and the fuss over historical apologies wastes intellectual and physical effort. Apologise for all history, or none at all.

Let’s apologise for the present, not the past, and provide genuine redress. Far from being hesitant in removing Aborigines from their dysfunctional surrounds, we should implement the wholesale education and integration of Aborigines into modern society, as some Aborigines themselves suggested in 1938."

Posted by BN, Friday, 7 March 2008 9:48:24 AM
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Another one-dimensional tin-man IPA clone except that he presented his paper at that big-time homebase and breeding ground for all of the "western" pyschopaths to strut their stuff, the AEI. Command and propaganda central for the applied politics of SHOCK & AWE

The AEI has just given its big time psychopath (Kristol) award to John Howard.

Lenny Bruce would have had fun mocking all of their psychotic pretensions. Bruce being the modern equivalent of the venerable tradition of the Courst Jester who was employed to mock the pretensions of the King and his court.

The stern puritannical grim-faced, heartless, hard(round)-head Oliver Cromwell abolished the Court Jester.

Cromwell would be very welcome at the AEI. Indeed he would be given the Kristol medal, with a standing ovation.

He,Cromwell was one of the original practitioners of the applied politics of SHOCK & AWE. He exercised a particularly BRUTAL form of SHOCK & AWE against the Irish Catholics. Check out your history books for the details.

Meanwhile I quite like the work of Arnold Mindell and his dream-body, Deep Democracy and World Process work, particularly his book SITTING IN THE FIRE which explains how history is never dead and ALWAYS haunts the present via what he calls Time Spirits---the very REAL ghosts of past traumas. And that the acknowledgment and healing of these Time Spirits (traumas) is a PREREQUISITE for any kind of REAL moving forward in any and every place where abuses have occurred.

Posted by Ho Hum, Friday, 7 March 2008 9:58:52 AM
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Woeful. But I bet it'll get them out from under their rocks again :)
Posted by CJ Morgan, Friday, 7 March 2008 10:17:53 AM
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“Yet if any group is most to blame for the status quo, it is the ultimately pernicious group of left-wing intellectuals, whose ideas have dominated public policy on Aboriginal issues for the past 35 years.”

Hear, hear! The very same people who were smirking and primping with delight after our shallow Prime Minister grandstanded with his silly and totally useless ‘sorry’.

The villains of the left and the self-styled spokespeople for the descendants of aborigines who said that they did not want to be “preserved like koala bears”, but wanted to be taught how to live in the modern age in 1938, certainly have something to be very sorry about.

They, who squeal racism when plans to raise aboriginal Australians out of their museum-like existence are mooted, are nothing short of criminals. It is these ‘nice’ goody goodies who are to blame for the state aborigines are in after more than 200 years of white settlement. They are aided and abetted, of course, by the big mouths who control the aboriginal welfare industry – black themselves, but totally immune from the dreadful lives their fellows suffer in isolated communities. Warren Mundine was reported by The Australian to have referred to the same old welfare system he feared would continue after ‘sorry’.

The Leftists responsible for the total chaos in aboriginal Australia must be shocked at being called ‘racists’ by this author; but that’s what they are. Anybody who still thinks that people must be treated differently because of race or colour is a racist. Yes. The very same people who call others racist when targets of their malice dare to disagree with them.

The truths of this article are too numerous to comment on in 300 words, but it is a splendid piece – a welcome relief from the usual left-wing sources intent on maintaining the murderously patronising attitudes to people who need real help rather than a wet apology and more welfare.
Posted by Mr. Right, Friday, 7 March 2008 10:37:21 AM
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Yet another article about how Kevin Rudd's apology to the 'Stolen Generation' was an act of mere symbolism, and does nothing to improve the lives of Aboriginal Australians. Creighton is extremely explicit in his suggestion that the Right is always Right and Left road will lead to doom for those 'marginalised' groups (i.e. Aborigines) it aims to protect.

There isn't enough space here to adequately spell out why exactly this kind of argument is flawed.I will give only three reasons:

(i) On the most painfully obvious level, it is very difficult to describe the Labor Party/Liberal Party divide as being a 'left wing/right wing' divide. Rudd may have a more overt social conscience than his predecessor, but he is hardly a poster boy for the 'Lefties' whom Creighton attacks.

(ii) The act of saying 'sorry' to members of the Stolen Generation is not in and of itself a cure for the many problems still facing Aboriginal communities. It is, rather, an acknowledgment of the racist and devastating consequences of removing Aboriginal children from their families in order to "breed out the black". Governments (including Labor governments) of the day may have thought they were acting in these children's best interest (as Nelson acknowledged), though history has demonstrated that they certainly were not.

And while I'm on this topic, how exactly did Howard's last-minute and military-aided intervention into Aboriginal communities help these communities?

(iii)The argument that emphasising 'race, class and gender' leads to the victimisation of particular social groups. This argument is an old right-wing favourite. I agree, tokenistic references to these factors are unhelfpul. However, ignoring these factors ultimately means overlooking the very real ways they impact on everyday life (and, related to this, accepting the idea that the white male represents the social norm).
Posted by Jay Thompson, Friday, 7 March 2008 12:47:28 PM
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This attempts to pack what must be every critique the author could conceivably link with a supposed monolithic left. Some of the criticisms I agree with, but there's a lot of selective thinking and wishy-washy points that are unworthy of a Balliol scholar.

‘Inevitable squeals of “racism” emerged from the fashionable, trendy quarters of Sydney and Melbourne’

Even a cursory examination reveals the main criticisms were the lack of consultation, land lease, pension effects, and the suspicion that it was motivated more out of Howard’s desire to remedy his sinking electoral fortunes, rather than a genuine concern with indigenous welfare. This latter point is a potent perception given that Howard marginalised indigenous welfare as an issue for his whole tenure, only to be suddenly outraged by the LCS report.

‘rather than encouraging assimilation, the..government has..subsidised hundreds of tiny, remote, uneconomic communities to promote an Aboriginal “hunter-gatherer way of life”.’

I would agree that the policy of remote communities has been a failure, but there are broader issues to Aborigines joining modernity than some noble savage mentality. I think it’s pretty revealing, for example, that the author fails to even make the connection to Howard’s refusal to engage native title on a legislative basis – which has ensured that, unlike in Canada, Aborigines cannot claim native title without being locked to traditional lifestyles, unlike the Inuit in Canada.

‘It has provided ongoing passive welfare payments...’

Good point about passivity, but the whole article ignores the extent to which current conditions are also reflecting the broader history of dispossession. As with a lot of libertarian thinking – it’s just an appallingly inadequate treatment of starting conditions.

Also, there is no equivalency between the abuse of European wards of state, and the specific policy of taking half-caste Aborigines, frequently the result of rapes, with the intent to severe familial bonds, and breed their genetic and cultural impurities out of them. Such a suggestion is deeply offensive and represents a complete misunderstanding of the nature of the wrongdoing.
Posted by BBoy, Friday, 7 March 2008 1:09:54 PM
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