Tomorrow Rudd will apologise on behalf of all past governments of Australia to all aboriginals for what were by-in-large well-intentioned interventions carried out by people who are now all dead. This is justified by arguing that current citizens are not being blamed. But it is just not clear to me how anyone can offer an apology for the actions of past actors without illogically, but implicitly, accepting some complicity in the actions that gave rise to the regret. This is particularly evident from the fact that those promoting this cause seek compensations from currently living people.
Not that I necessarily oppose significant wealth transfers but I would prefer them to occur to all disadvantaged Australians.
The problems of child and spousal abuse that are so prevalent today are long-standing issues in aboriginal societies – they were not only issues forced on aboriginals by so-called ‘white racism’. This latter view is leftwing romanticism based on a culture that values guilt over the unvarnished truth.
Aboriginal problems are partly due to a historical racism but they also stem from black neglect and foolish social practises and from the paternalistic view - perpetuated by the apology action - that aboriginals are ‘victims’ whose problems stem entirely from white racism. Australia has done good and bad things to its aboriginal populations but intent was seldom malicious and to require an apology lacks sense other than as a means to prise monetary rewards from non-aboriginal Australia.
I agree with Andrew Bolt the apology will resolve nothing other than to create the potential for a compensation claim. It is purely symbolic action that will not help aboriginal Australians other than by transferring weath. If it fosters the illusion that it has achieved something other than this it will cause harm by deflecting attention from substantive programs. If it further fosters the ‘victims’ view of aboriginal people it will cause further harm.
Aboriginals need to become a part of Australian society with the duties and responsibilities of other citizens. We need aboriginal lawyers, politicians, professors, investors and engineers. We do not need inaccurate and condescending apologies.
I was told today that the university I work for 'fully supports' this apology and was urged to watch the telecast of Rudd’s speech. I can’t recall being asked whether I gave my assent to this unanimous verdict or even whether universities should have official attitudes on such issues. Of course I won’t be watching TV tomorrow.
In the local blogosphere James Farrell attempts to force support for this suspect apology by labelling those who opposes it as rednecks and Hansonites. Larvatus Prodeo has two of the worst posts I have ever seen from this infantile cheer squad for glib romanticism – Robin Hood in Tights hasn’t read Windschuttle – but he is satisfied from what ‘he has heard’ that he is wrong and is happy to dismiss the work as ‘crap’ and an ‘absolute disgrace’. Whatever happened to truth? This is blogging at its most irresponsible worst.
But wearily I expect the apology charade will be used as a litmus test for moral decency and as an index of respect for aboriginal people. Anyone who opposes it will be portrayed as a moral degenerate and seen as a wicked oppressor of aborigines. Watch the nonsense unfold.