“I hope that now the momentous decision to say a collective ‘sorry’ has been taken, it will be followed by a collective speech from the indigenous peoples telling us that they forgive us.
There will be just as much debate on the indigenous side with that as we had with the ‘sorry’ declaration.
If they can decide to forgive us , they’ll also have just as much problem with the wording as we did.”
That’s a quote from the comments of an article on ABC news website by someone going by the name of ‘antob’. So what does follow ‘Sorry’?
The aboriginal answer to that might have a lot more to do with the prospect of compensation. If the government is going to spend a very large chunk of money on the aboriginal people I would prefer it to be spent on rural welfare rather than compensation. I suspect that while many of the stolen children are suffering from being stolen, on average their lives are probably in much better shape than those aboriginals who are still living in rural Australia.
(I am a long way from believing that the good of ‘modernising’ an aboriginal is worth separating a child from its parent. Offer to modernise a community, if the community doesn’t want to: allow families or individual adults to make the move. Never force such things.)
This isn’t really relevant though, how we treat people today shouldn’t be about how we mistreated them in the past. The quality of life for aboriginal Australians who still live on the land is terrible and that is why we should spend money on their welfare.
With that ruled out as the response to ‘Sorry’, what does that leave us with? The answer your mother should have taught you: Forgiveness.
It took a change of government to say Sorry, what will it take for the Aboriginal community to Forgive?