I have been following the headlines of this story for some time. (Without reading articles. That’s how to surf news.)
A genocidal policy that was followed against a race. And it continued for years, till the 1960s. Stealing children from their mothers and fathers. Forcing them to forget their past, and upbringing. A Nazi like policy which lasted for almost 80 years and more.
It is very hard to say sorry.
But for a nation it is always harder. Maybe the current Australian government should be commended for biting down on that bitter pill.
What do I know about the Aborigines of Australia? Precious little. Interesting to me that they are also called black. Don’t think that their skin is like mine, but cant fail to wonder. This is a sad article.
But I have promised myself not to duck the fact that we can be cruel. Very cruel.
We as in human beings.
‘Tens of thousands of aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their parents under a government policy of assimilation from the 1880s to the 1960s. Those children are called the "Stolen Generations" or "People of the Bleaching".’
‘Edwards only discovered she was aboriginal decades later, when she received a telephone call from the sister she never knew she had, and was finally reunited with her mother in 1980.’
‘"It was believed that the aboriginal people would die out," said the author, the late Sir Ronald Wilson, in his report.’
‘The report titled "Bringing them Home" chronicled a litany of physical and sexual abuse of aboriginal children, many of whom were raised on outback government and church missions.
Interviews with elderly Aborigines tell of babies being snatched from their mother's breast by police on horseback and others being driven off, thinking they are going to a circus.
Black-and-white archival film released with the report shows rows of aboriginal children with empty faces, dressed in striped uniforms reminiscent of Nazi concentration camps, and others bent over sweeping the dirt with their bare hands.
Some aboriginal girls were put in white dresses and lined up to be inspected like virtual slaves by white foster parents looking for a healthy, strong child for domestic work.
Aboriginal boys were sent to outback cattle farms to work as free labor. Some boys were stripped naked and tied to a post in a yard and flogged for misdemeanors, said the report.
Aboriginal children were told to drink milk by some foster parents, so that they would eventually have whiter skin.
Edwards, who spent 11 years in a girls' training home in a small country town, said the Stolen Generations children were forced to forget their aboriginal past.
She recalls an aboriginal girl, whom she thought was mad, hiding under her blanket each night, desperately trying to remember her aboriginal language.
"She said: 'I was trying to remember my language under the blankets, and I just went all cold because I was being raised to think white and act white and keep myself clean, scrub my skin. Take the black of your skin'," said Edwards.’
And the consequences. Maybe still genocidal.
‘Today, thousands of adult Aborigines face a life of family breakdowns, drug and alcohol abuse, violence and mental anguish directly linked to the assimilation policy, said the report.’
Why does shit happen in this world? A perennial question. Don’t know how to answer it, since I started questioning why it does. One thing I do know, shit does happen. Always.
Yesterday, my lover and I were talking about a case of child abuse with a friend. Cant put the details on the blog. Gruesome.
My lover suddenly went off to the bedroom. Heard him sniffing. Went to find out what the problem was. He was lying on the floor, crying. Told me to go back to the sitting room where the visitor was left alone. Told me it would be ok.
Later, he told me that he was overwhelmed by the cruelty that we were talking about. Of parent to child, adult against child.
I told him that is why I want us to give our love, to children. For once he was not dismissive of the idea.