Australian Prime Minister Rudd says that the apology he issued to the Aborigine population for past atrocities will “remove a blight on the nation’s soul.” Really, will that do it, is that all it takes? If I were an aborigine or if the American government ever extended some sorry lame little apology I would have to tell them where to stick it. I am not that damn forgiving.
The aborigine population makes up only about two percent of the country’s population of 21 million. A country they inhabited long before Britain decided to use it for their own personal prison. The original inhabitants are now a minority in their own land just as the aborigines in Canada and the Native Americans. The black South Africans also suffer the same type of fate even though they are still the majority. All four plus add in the American black people and they all suffer many disadvantages, such as extremely high rates of ill-health, unemployment and imprisonment. Yet people will feel outrage when I point out the similarities of the five situations. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together that in all five cases the perpetrators and victims have distinct physical similarities.
Yet this phenomenon of apologies heal all doesn’t happen anywhere else except in situations of extreme racism, discrimination and hatred. Because when the heinous act is being committed by one race upon another race an apology suffices or at least it better suffice. In America we can’t bother to apologize for slavery because it won’t matter since all the slaves and slave owners are dead. Even though I already said that it wouldn’t much matter to me. As I feel that if white people were really sorry for the slavery they would take more of an initiative to stop white privilege, race disparities and the outright discrimination of minorities.
So to me if the Australians were serious about the apology they were dispensing to the aborigines they would back it up with some sort of legislation to compensate them for the atrocities committed. Not to mention some sort of plan to level the playing field between the two races. Is this apology to make the aborigines feel better or to make themselves feel better since I am sure that an apology isn’t going to take away the pain of those atrocities the white Australians have waged on them for so many years.
After years of white people in four different places ruining the lives of five different groups of people and all that is given is an apology and that was only dished out to two of them thus far. And has that somehow ended the strife of low wages, lack of employment, high prison rates or inhumane treatment, I think not. Yet everyone is hailing this latest apology as some sort of big deal that the world should be so proud of. I am disappointed that this is the only thing that they could think to do that would begin the healing process for their race relations. I hope that the aborigine people stand up and let them know that they need to do a lot more than this lame apology.