Published on Webdiary - Founded and Inspired by Margo Kingston (/cms)

Saying Sorry is easy...

By Richard Tonkin
Created 15/02/2010 - 09:13

My minstrel activist mate Lord Stompy (real name by deed poll) spends a lot of time wandering through Adelaide's communities. This piece is likely to represent a common opinion of how much of the electorate regards Rudd's apparent indolence since Sorry Day.

It's a piity Rudd's apology to the blackfellas has been rendered hollow by his continued (in)actions in real life. For a lot of people his apology from the white ruling classes to the indigenous mob was long overdue and a welcome relief from years of John Howard's racist political attacks and policy making. It gave us hope some change for the better was coming....

Not so apparently. KRudd seems to have had an easy time of it all, after years of a retrogressive reactionary like Howard in charge KRudd looked comparatively good and even spoke in ways that progressive people could relate to, so in the first 6 months there was relief that Howard was gone and hope that KRudd would start clawing back the worst of Howard's hideous policy making.

A few years in we see sweet fuck all has changed...the racist, unnecessary, and damaging intervention invented by Howard is still in full swing...and it's just damn frustrating that human rights for Aborigines has dropped to 1950's levels and been kept at that level by the next government.

Sure the mob out there in NT got a lotta social troubles, and they desperately need assistance in alot of area, but taking away their sovereignty as individuals is as useless as it gets at addressing their core problems, and is blatant arbitrary interference and manipulation at it's worst. It's not part of a solution to anything relevant and it's making the situation worse by blanket stereotyping black communities as unfit to look after themselves. To then force them into line by overriding their communities with our own arbitrary laws is patronising whitefella politics at it's worst. Furthermore the act of saying sorry actually is an admission you'll stop doing the things that are causing offense, so for the government to say sorry and not retract the intervention is breathtakingly hypocritical in the extreme.

Communities have a right to decide how they choose to live...whether it's a council in Adelaide or a reservation in NT. The aim of the game in my book is to strengthen community ties and build stronger cultures of increased personal awareness and a personal sense of democracy....as our communities and sense of personal power fall apart we are being overridden by an increasing rash of authorities making laws on our behalf to apparently help us, whether we like it or not. An unfortunate part of the weakening of our personal and social worlds has been an influx of predatory policy makers shafting us with their "solutions", the reason being that a weakened community is easier prey to those who would like to wield power over it.

I believe in people. I believe we can find in ourselves the answers to our problems, tough as it can be at times. I also believe that mandatory topdown overriding of the communities soveriegnty will not solve anything, I believe it will increase the weakening of communities and further weaken our links with each other which will ultimately leave us even softer targets for rulers who like everything to be controlled from the top down. We, the people, gotta get it together for once and for all, for our own good.

Source URL: