Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Look Back In Anger

Everyone who said that an official apology to the Aboriginal so-called 'stolen generation' was akin to a signature on a blank cheque book has been proven correct.

While the Federal Government has attempted to sidestep the issue of compensation for the Stolen Generations, Aboriginal academics Boni Robertson and Gracelyn Smallwood yesterday upped the ante, saying it should be much higher than the $1 billion suggested by lawyer Michael Mansell.

Professor Robertson said $1billion was "really quite minimal" and "just a starting point", while Ms Smallwood said it would be "very generous to the Government" and should be double or triple that amount.

"It's very simple," Ms Smallwood told The Australian. "You can't just apologise, you've got to mean it and the only way to prove that is through compensation. You can't reconcile without it."
The last sentence is just bollocks - 'you were mean to me in primary school - the only way you can prove you're sorry is give me pots of money'.

But the anger of the 'stolen generation' is real enough to ask why it has continued through out these peoples' adult lives.

The clue is in Piers Ackerman's column today:

Mrs Lowitja (formerly Lois) O'Donoghue, a patron of the Stolen Generations Alliance (along with former prime minister Malcolm Fraser) was not stolen and nor was the late Charles Perkins, who was also hailed as a representative of this near mythical group.

Ms O'Donoghue used to claim she had been stolen but admitted to my colleague

Andrew Bolt six years ago that her white father had dumped first his eldest two children, Eileen and Geoff, at a missionary-run home for abandoned and sick Aboriginal children in Quorn, South Australia, and come back years later with three more, including Lois, who never saw him again.

"He wanted to move on," Ms O'Donoghue told Bolt.
It would seem that the 'stolen generation' suffers from misdirected anger.

They are angry and justifiably so but the reason is that many (if not most) of these people were actually abandoned by their parents.

And for anyone it is a devastating realisation to believe (rightly or wrongly) that your parents don't want you.

Unfortunately, compounding this psychological distress is years of increased intervention of government agencies to create crippling welfare dependence.

Done to help make up for the unfashionable concept of integration of previous generations, this unwittingly lead to the emotional transference from actual parents to the state as parent.

This has resulted in demand for the Government (and by extension the entire non-aboriginal Australian population) to apologise and to make amends.

What the 'stolen generation' actually needs is to be angry at their parents for abandoning them and not giving them the best possible start to life.

Sadly, these people are either dead, unknown or in some cases the 'stolen generation' cannot bear the fact that their own parents were to blame, so the anger of these people has been transferred to another parent - the Australian taxpayer.

However, as a counsellor will tell you, a person cannot begin to receive emotional/psychological healing until they acknowledge the facts and unconditionally forgive the other party.

What is means for those of us (taxpayers) looking down the barrel of a $1 billion-plus punishment is that no exquisitely expressed apology will be enough. $1 billion will not be enough.

The 'stolen generation' really want to rail at their parents who abandoned them but they cannot.

Unfortunately that means many more generations of Aboriginal children will suffer as the young gang rape victim, because of this misdirected rage and misplaced welfare dependence that leaves people in these communities in a physical and psychological infantilised state.

-- Nora

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