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Australia (Finally) Apologized to the Aborigines

The government of Australia had just reversed course and apologized to the Aborigines for laws and policies that "inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss."

In a motion passed unanimously by Australian MPs on Wednesday morning, Mr Rudd acknowledged the "past mistreatment" of all of his country's Aboriginal population.

"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," the motion said.

Mr Rudd said he apologised "especially" to the Stolen Generations of young Aboriginal children who were taken from their parents in a policy of assimilation which lasted from the 19th Century to the late 1960s.

"For the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry."

Link - Thanks Moronic50!

//USA still mum on slavery or that 40 acre and a mule thingy.

On other message boards a few Aussies weren't exactly happy about this apology, considering that the dire situations facing Aboriginies today, poverty, alcoholism, etc., is of their 'own doing.' They feel that this apology won't do anything to improve their conditions, and things of that nature. It just seems so forced and quick, as even the opening line of "reversed course" alludes to.
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What a load of crap.

History is full of one society taking over another (only the scale and the methods have changed - the logic or lack thereof is pretty much the same)

Only in the last few centuries has "victors remorse" become a fad (oh we're so sorry that we whupped your ass, please forgive us for having a stronger more advanced society then yours).
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As an Australian, I was full to bursting with pride yesterday. This was an enormous gesture that addresses a lot of people's desire to acknowledge these issues and learn from them to ensure that future generations of Australians - of whatever origin - can exist together without predjudice. The apology is not meant to be an instant fix nor does any rational person expect it to be but it is a starting point and a long over due one. Mr Rudd has made himself and his government accountable now and it will be extremely difficult for him to renege on his promises and intentions. Let human compassion and understanding infiltrate all our lives.
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I still believe that for the most part the children were taken with good intentions - it didn't work out, but I still don't think there was any evil intent. For that reason I do appreciate Nelson's qualified apology yesterday - perhaps yesterday was not the time to quibble, but this is an important aspect of the stolen generations and should form the basis of the apology - Was any of what occurred in the removal of children malignant in intent?

I agree with Darcy for the most part, let us hope that we can build on what occurred yesterday. For me that will mean that aboriginals accept the help now offered and accept the apology. Let them take the higher ground and move into a brighter future with all of Australia united rather than demanding compensation and destroying what happened yesterday.
Whether the problems that the aborigines face today are a direct result of this history, or some other social failure on their part, now is the time to move forward with a relatively clean slate.
They should be made to live under Australian law with all the rights and freedoms of every other Aussie, with social security benefits that match those that other Australians receive, full interest housing loans. Aboriginal history and culture should also be incorporated into the school curriculum and available to all students regardless of colour, this will help to preserve the culture and language as well as exposing other Australians to the truth of what has occurred.
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Why not apologize to the Japanese for hassling them about whales and dolphins that have not gone extinct over the last 2000 years of their regular hunting schedule and tradition done with seasonal precision and experience of harvesting to make sure that there will be returns the following season, whereas ever since White Man came to the land now called Australia, the number of animals that are no longer with us is innumerable:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinct_Australian_animals
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whoa von skippy, althought there is a tint of truth in your statement, the idea that just being bigger and stonger means you should ravage, rape and degrade your fellow humans is both retarded and dumb. I'm tired enough in the day to just call it like it is, which means i am calling you an ignorant prick, and i hope you die.
k byeeeeeeee
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Good for Australia! Their past policies regarding the Aboriginies were completely racist.

There is no doubt their policies were heavily influenced by psychologists and psychiatrists - who also did the same thing in South Africa, Nazi Germany, Serbia, and many other countries around the world.

It's a shame that some Australians disagree with the apology and stick to their ignorant and racist ideas.
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The "apology" should not be seen overseas for something more than it is- merely another round in the "culture wars", which boils down to little more than Western, progressive, Judeo-Christian Society being hijacked by a bunch of socialist blow-hards to manufacture guilt for the benefit of their own ends.

Interestingly, the most cogent criticism of the apology comes from Noel Pearson, an aboriginal elder, who says all it will do is entrench a corrosive culture of victimhood among his people.

http://baliset.blogspot.com/2008/02/there-are-no-noble-savages-only-savages.html
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should be interesting to see what follows.

i notice the churches have not followed suit and spewed apologies yet? what a surprise, they were only the driving force and actual orchestrator's of the whole debacle in many of the communities.

one bencher covered many people's sentiments very precisely.
"wonderful, tomorrow there will be no more glue/paint/petrol sniffing, no more high crime in indigenous communities, people will feel safer walking the streets at night, what an amazing step forward for all!"
in reality, its a nice sentiment, but changes nothing.
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the kids were taken with the best of intentions...

well yes, but you have to consider what a society's "best intentions" actually were.

The kids of mixed race were removed because they were considered salvagable.

The expressed intention was to breed out the black aspects over the generations to come.

But it wasn't just mixed race kids who were removed.

Lip service was paid to the idea of saving kids from "incomotent parents" but considering the autorities despised all aboriginals as being cave men and retarded, this provided a LOT of room for interpretation.

And as for the govt reversing itself on the apology, you are aware that there are more than just 1 political party i Australia right?

The coalition (Liberal and National parties) have opposed every single concession to the indigenous folks, if they spoke their minds truely they'd have citizenship rescinded from Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders so quick it'd make their heads spin.

The apology was needed, and I really don't care what the right wing crypto racists say,the treatment of the indigenous peoles was morally wrong, and has been a stain on the soul of the country for a long long time.

And anyone who can actually argue in favour of removing 10-30% of kids from their families, and not see it as cultural genocide is deluding themselves.

If it was done to white kids Canberra would be on fire.
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Wow, Nathan, good thoughts and the reference to Mr. Pearson's comments is a good one. While well meaning, all these sorts of "apologies for sins of past generations" do is:

1. Give the present day descendents of the oppressed an excuse for malingering and poor success in life. It does no one any good. The Chinese were abused like hell in the Western USA in the 19th century, but they just keep working hard every generation and forever improving their success each generation. Contrast with some other varied groups that raise their young with a spirit of defeatism and reliance on the the government for even meager subsistence.
2. Open up the gates for a flood of lawsuits where descendants of the "oppressed" sue descendants of the "oppressors". This isn't just and all it does is forever divide a nation and cause both groups to retain prejudices and resentment.

--> Yes, in the past, people were treated badly all through history. Nearly every one of us surely has ancestors on BOTH sides if you go back far enough. The Aborigines were not a single cohesive group of people, but rather HUNDREDS of such groups! You can bet some of these groups oppressed each other rather badly at times. Will their respective descendants apologize to each otehr as well? It never ends.

Never forget the past. Study the past. Learn from the past. But, get on with life today.
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While we're at apologies:

"Mexican government apologizes for foisting it's poor onto the United States"

"Mexican government apologizes for criticizing the USA's stricter Southern boarder control, while Mexico shoots those crossing its own Southern boarder."

As for apologies:

I have never owned a slave, and I have never displaced American Indians, why the hell should I, as a white American male have to "apologize" for things I didn't do. And why should my government? Last time I checked, nobody in the governments pre-1900 are still in the current day government. It's stupid and really doesn't do anything except make bleeding heart liberals feel warm and fuzzy inside.
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Midnight Oil said it best:

The time has come
To say fairs fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share
The time has come
A facts a fact
It belongs to them
Lets give it back

How can we dance when our earth is turning
How do we sleep when our beds are burning
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"oh your father passed away? i'm so sorry for your loss. but hey, wasn't he was a child abuser and crack addict?"

if an apology is so meaningless, how come people demanded it of the japanese when it came to ww2?

an apology is about recognising the hurt and damage that was caused. no, it's not going to magically cure problems, but it's an important step in bridging the divide between australia and it's indigenous people

compensation is totally reasonable and understandable. those scared of the cost of compensation should check the costs of resisting it before speaking:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/14/2162558.htm
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maybe the US will follow suit.. except it would be more like a GLOBAL apology because we've screwed up everything.

"sorry, world, for bringing about corporate injustices! our bad!"
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