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Australian apartheid in the 21st Century

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Matabele, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Report reveals Indigenous health, education gaps
    Posted 2 hours 34 minutes ago

    A report on the performance of Government services in Australia has found a dramatic gap in education and health outcomes for Indigenous communities compared to the rest of the population.

    The Productivity Commission report shows that where people live dictates their level of numeracy and literacy skills, with marked differences between city and remote areas.

    Those worst-affected are Indigenous students in remote areas, where only 27 per cent reach the year seven benchmark for reading.

    In health, the mortality rate for Indigenous people is twice as high as that in the general population and the infant mortality rate is also markedly higher than the rest of the community.
     
  2. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Agreed this is a problem but calling it apartheid is like pouring petrol on a fire.

    Huge issues that need to be redressed. Yes. Government inaction. Yes. Lack of priority. Yes. Past sins and mistreatment. Yes.

    Deliberate Government Policy. No. Trying to start the process which will take a long time to redress. Yes!
     
  3. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    I vote 1. to deport mata back to Zimbabwee.
     
  4. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Before he died in November 1984, aged 83, Xavier Herbert gave an interview in central Australia in which, during 3½ hours, he talked of the widespread practice in Australia's north and north-west of what he called "gin rooting", as well as boasting of having been, as a young man in the 1920s, "the biggest gin rooter around". If I've got your attention, and Brendan Nelson's too, the Fairfax group, still controlled at the time by the Fairfax family, bought the interview and published 7000 words of it in two extracts in the now-defunct weekly The National Times in January 1985.

    I know this because I was the paper's fill-in editor that month. I recall vividly an interview, recorded by the Alice Springs writer and ABC broadcaster Dave Richards, that was often as confronting as it was rambling. In it, Herbert, born and raised in the North-West Cape area of Western Australia, tells at one point how he wrote the first draft of his monumental novel, Capricornia, under the title Black Velvet, but after travelling to London in 1930 he couldn't find a publisher. It wasn't until he reworked the novel and returned to Australia that it was eventually published in Sydney on Australia Day, 1938, exactly 70 years ago last weekend.

    To quote: "We used to go up to Broome for our holidays and I knew, all through Western Australia, black velvet was the thing. It's changed a lot in recent years but the perfect mate for the bushman was the black girl or the yellow girl, and I thought I'd write that novel, Black Velvet. I'd discovered the story potential of the Northern Territory, particularly the Top End. It was very colourful in those days. I went in there in 1927 and worked everywhere and [material] just kept turning up. So I built this thing up and went to Britain with it, but they wouldn't take the book.

    "For one thing, I suppose, it was amateurish. I was unknown, it was the depth of the Depression, 1930, and also it was too avant-garde. There were some terrible stories. One particular thing, in the Kimberleys. The pearling industry was established in Broome and the pearlers used to go up into the Kimberley country and steal the young [Aboriginal] gins to work as pearl divers. Of course, they used to rape them, too, and when they got too pregnant they'd chuck them overboard.

    "Stockmen used to go out for a 'gin spree', too. They'd run the blacks down and take the young girls [who'd] sit down and fill their fannies with sand. The people in London, they didn't believe it. They just said, 'What a bloody awful thing, you haven't got a nice person in it.' I said there weren't any 'in that country', and they said, well, 'What about yourself?' and I said, 'I'm the biggest gin rooter around. The only thing was, I was more observant than the other blokes.'

    "Hodder & Stoughton [in London], they used to publish colonial novels. The old bloke running it had a black alpaca coat and striped pants and a little imperial beard. He said, 'You wish to know why we refuse to publish your novel? Because it deals with relations between black women and white men. Good day, sir!' "

    There was a great deal more, much of it very matter-of-fact about the endemic murder of Aboriginal people ("Don't forget, I grew up where blacks were still being killed and children were starving to death. It was the done thing.") and cannibalism of children's bodies ("They couldn't waste them. Couldn't afford to. Too hungry. But they carried the bones of the child around for a long time.")

    You get the point, I'm sure.

    Perhaps even Brendan Nelson might, too. That's not a given, though.

    The new Liberal leader spent much of this week jumble-mumbling through a string of interviews on why he couldn't say if what's left of the Coalition would support the Rudd Government's apology to indigenous Australians after the new Parliament meets on Tuesday week. Trying to get a straight answer was like pulling teeth. An example from a transcript issued by Nelson's office yesterday.

    Caller on Brisbane radio: "Dr Nelson, I'd like to ask why [inaudible] hasn't said sorry before, and what are the ramifications if we do."

    Nelson: "Thanks, Joan. The apology is, as I understand it, to be given on behalf of Australia - and Mr Rudd said recently on behalf of the Australian Government - to those Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their families by earlier generations. We are not yet to see, we haven't yet seen - when I say we, not just me and the Opposition but you, Joan, and all Australians have not yet seen - what it is specifically Mr Rudd is going to put into the Parliament. We don't know what it's actually going to say, and it's very difficult under those circumstances to know ramifications."

    Nelson should have stopped there. But he couldn't help himself. He wanted to try to please everyone.

    He added: "In a general sense we have an enormous sorrow, and you can't help when you hear the stories - if you read a book by Stuart Rintoul called The Wailing, which is the oral history of black Australia, or you read the submissions [on stolen Aboriginal children] to the Bringing Them Home report - you can't help but be moved to tears; and if you're not, then you need to reconnect with your own humanity. The question, however, is, can our generation be responsible for, and own, the decisions taken by earlier generations? Now, whether they're things we're proud of, like what our men did at Gallipoli or Kokoda or those who built the Sydney Harbour Bridge and [remembering his Queensland audience] who pioneered the development of Brisbane, we're very proud of those things. But we don't own them, we're not responsible for them."

    That isn't the question at all.

    The question is, does Brendan Nelson believe the Parliament should apologise for what white settlement has done in brutalising and marginalising Aboriginal Australians and their culture for all 220 years the rest of us have been here. Not just for what was done for more than 60 years in selectively removing, by force, any black child who looked white - and only black children who looked white, the so-called half- and quarter-castes, the offspring mostly of serial rape of black girls by white men across the years - but for the benign neglect and indifference as well as the deliberate atrocities committed against the entire Aboriginal people ever since the First Fleet.

    Of course the Parliament should apologise.

    White Australia's responsibility, like its shame, is monstrous. Yet even the Rudd Government won't go that far. Rudd was crystal clear on morning television this week.

    He said: "This apology will be delivered on behalf of the Government. We will be making it clear we will be speaking in the Government's name. The views of individual Australians, of course, they are entitled to hold … The objective is just to build this bridge of respect between indigenous and non-indigenous Australia so we can get on with the business of closing the gap in life expectancy, education levels and health."

    If Nelson pretends he doesn't understand this, his Sydney colleague and leadership rival, Malcolm Turnbull, clearly does. Turnbull told reporters yesterday, with a clarity Nelson can only envy: "I have spoken to Brendan Nelson about it. I have spoken to a lot of other colleagues, too. My views are well known. I support an apology. I have said that publicly. I haven't changed my mind. But I don't want to engage in public debate about the issue. I'll have a lot to say to my colleagues [in the party room] next week."

    In the meantime, if Nelson doesn't have the political spine to say out loud what he thinks should happen, it would seem a good idea, as a former education minister who seemed to spend most of his time hectoring the community about nonsense such as schoolyard flagpoles, if he got his new staff to learn to spell. In the official transcript issued by his office of an interview Nelson gave in Perth on Sunday, the word "bias", as in a question about "perceived left-wing bias in the education system", is spelt "byers".
     
  5. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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      Standard response you'd expect from a convict redneck.
     
  6. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Authority's racist intent writ large in our history

    For near 200 years, government in this country, state and federal, considered "full-blood" Aborigines no better than vermin. The "Aboriginal problem", so-called, was confined mostly to what to do about mixed-blood children fathered by white Australians. Mixed-race numbers were increasing as rapidly as full-bloods were vanishing. Which is why, from 1890 to the early 1960s, generations of part-white children were forcibly removed, in all states, from their Aboriginal mothers.

    These were the children white authority sought to "save". These (and their relatives) are the children that still disfigure national political life. The ones that looked white. The public record is awash with the blatant racism of authority's intent across the years. Some examples, yet again, from the Bringing Them Home report to Parliament 11 years ago. Eleven years later and Parliament, finally, is to apologise.

    But only to the whiter shade of black.

    "By the late 19th century, it had become apparent that although the [full-blood] indigenous population was declining, the mixed descent population was increasing. The fact they had some European 'blood' meant there was a place for them in [white] society, albeit a very lowly one. Furthermore, the prospect this mixed descent population was growing made it imperative to governments that [these] people be forced to join the workforce instead of relying on government rations. In that way the mixed descent population would be both self-supporting and satisfy the needs of the developing Australian economy for cheap labour." - From Bringing Them Home, the 597-page report in 1997 by Sir Ronald Wilson, former High Court judge and president of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC). The report was commissioned by the Keating Labor government in 1995.

    "Mr Neville, the Chief Protector of WA, holds the view that within 100 years the pure black will be extinct, but the half-caste problem was increasing every year. Therefore, their idea was to keep the pure blacks segregated and absorb the half-castes into the white population. Sixty years ago, he said, there were over 60,000 fullblood natives in WA. Today there are only 20,000. In time there would be none." - Brisbane's Telegraph newspaper, May 1937, quoted by HREOC.

    "In 1883 the NSW Aborigines Protection Board was established to control the lives of the estimated 9000 Aboriginal people in NSW. By 1890 the board had developed a policy to 'remove children of mixed descent' from their families to be 'merged' into the white population [after being] de-socialised as Aborigines and re-socialised as Whites." - Dr Peter Read, submission 49 to HREOC.

    "The NSW Aborigines' Protection Amending Act 1915 gave total power to separate children from their families. No court hearings were necessary. The manager of an Aboriginal station or a policeman might simply have them removed. When they came to that part of the committal notice, 'Reason for board taking control of the child', they simply wrote, 'For being Aboriginal'." - Dr Read, quoted by HREOC report.

    "By 1921, 81 per cent of the children removed in NSW were female. That proportion had decreased only slightly by 1936. Girls were sent to Cootamundra Girls' Home, established in 1911, until the age of 14, then sent out to work. In any one year in the 1920s there would have been between 300 and 400 Aboriginal girls apprenticed to white homes. Many girls became pregnant, only to have their children in turn removed and institutionalised. Generations of Aboriginal women passed through Cootamundra Girls' Home until it closed in 1969." - Quoted by HREOC report.

    "When the girls left the home, they were sent to work in the homes and outlying farms of middle-class white people. You were lucky not to be sexually, physically and mentally abused, and all for a lousy sixpence [a week] that you didn't get to see anyway." - Confidential submission by a NSW woman removed at eight years with her three sisters in the 1940s and sent to Cootamundra Girls' Home.

    "In 1937, the first Commonwealth/State Native Welfare Conference was held, attended by all States (except Tasmania) and the NT. Although the States had been influenced by each other's practices to that time about the 'Aboriginal problem', this was the first time [the issue] had been discussed at national level. Conference was sufficiently impressed by the idea of 'absorption' to agree that, 'The destiny of the natives of Aboriginal origin, but not of the fullblood, lies in their ultimate absorption by the people of the Commonwealth"'. - From HREOC report, 1997.

    Still we're arguing what to apologise for.
     
  7. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    Enjoying conversing with yourself Mata? Not many people nibble on your bull**** these days.
     
  8. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Alan Ramsay's words.  Not mine
     
  9. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    Whats Alans username?

    Cant he post for himself?
     
  10. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    apostrophe button on your computer not working Fro?  ;-)

    Seriously though, I see Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke and Keating will be present when the apology will be read out but Howard will be absent.

    What a horrible and small-minded cretin he remains.
     
  11. Guest

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    Is anyone going to say sorry to the aboriginal children who were not forceably removed from their homes during that time and who as a result died from malnourishment, treatable diseases and abuse?

    Is anyone going to say sorry to the hundreds of black and white children who die each year despite being under the notice of docs because their parents are bad parents?  Maybe if they had been "stolen" then they would still be alive today?

    What about all the aboriginal children who were stolen and who have lived better lives than they would have if they had stayed with their parents?  I have heard some on the radio say that they do not want anyone to say sorry to them because there is nothing to say sorry for.

    There hasn't been a government in the world that hasn't made mistakes.  Times were different then and no doubt they thought that they were doing to right thing at the time.

    Maybe the government should also say sorry to all coloured people in the world for Australia having the white Australia policy until the sixties? 

    The best thing that current governments can do is to learn from past mistakes and make sure that they don't happen again and they put the necessary resources into issue such as aboriginal health, eduction etc to make sure that are actually making a difference now.
     
  12. Garts

    Garts Well-Known Member

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    Howard should not attend imo, he would not say sorry when he was in power so he should not attend now.  He obviously does not believe there is anything to say sorry for, if he attended he would look rather stupid.
     
  13. Guest

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    How many times does Howard have to say sorry.  He actually said sorry in 2000 and this is his speech (note the last paragraph):

    Good evening. My name is John Howard and I’m speaking to you from Sydney, Australia, host city of the year 2000 Olympic Games.

    At this important time, and in an atmosphere of international goodwill and national pride, we here in Australia - all of us - would like to make a statement before all nations. Australia, like many countries in the new world, is intensely proud of what it has achieved in the past 200 years.

    We are a vibrant and resourceful people. We share a freedom born in the abundance of nature, the richness of the earth, the bounty of the sea. We are the world’s biggest island. We have the world’s longest coastline. We have more animal species than any other country. Two thirds of the world’s birds are native to Australia. We are one of the few countries on earth with our own sky. We are a fabric woven of many colours and it is this that gives us our strength.

    However, these achievements have come at great cost. We have been here for 200 years but before that, there was a people living here. For 40,000 years they lived in a perfect balance with the land. There were many Aboriginal nations, just as there were many Indian nations in North America and across Canada, as there were many Maori tribes in New Zealand and Incan and Mayan peoples in South America. These indigenous Australians lived in areas as different from one another as Scotland is from Ethiopia. They lived in an area the size of Western Europe. They did not even have a common language. Yet they had their own laws, their own beliefs, their own ways of understanding.

    We destroyed this world. We often did not mean to do it. Our forebears, fighting to establish themselves in what they saw as a harsh environment, were creating a national economy. But the Aboriginal world was decimated. A pattern of disease and dispossession was established. Alcohol was introduced. Social and racial differences were allowed to become fault-lines. Aboriginal families were broken up. Sadly, Aboriginal health and education are responsibilities we have still yet to address successfully.

    I speak for all Australians in expressing a profound sorrow to the Aboriginal people. I am sorry. We are sorry. Let the world know and understand, that it is with this sorrow, that we as a nation will grow and seek a better, a fairer and a wiser future. Thank you.

    Incorrect.  Hawke will not be attending and Keating, Fraser and Whitlam have nothing better to do and would turn up for the opening of an envelope.

    It would be very interesting seeing Malcolm Fraser and Peter garrett talking together on Wednesday.  I remember many a speech at a Midnight Oil concert in the eighties where Garrett absolutely slammed Fraser and his policies and called him all sorts of names.  In fact Stand in Line is about Frasers policies at the time which caused many a person to stand in the dole queue.
     
  14. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    Actually it does only work some of the time.
     
  15. The Gronk

    The Gronk Well-Known Member

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    How many times does Howard have to say sorry.  He actually said sorry in 2000 and this is his speech (note the last paragraph):

    Good evening. My name is John Howard and I’m speaking to you from Sydney, Australia, host city of the year 2000 Olympic Games.

    At this important time, and in an atmosphere of international goodwill and national pride, we here in Australia - all of us - would like to make a statement before all nations. Australia, like many countries in the new world, is intensely proud of what it has achieved in the past 200 years.

    We are a vibrant and resourceful people. We share a freedom born in the abundance of nature, the richness of the earth, the bounty of the sea. We are the world’s biggest island. We have the world’s longest coastline. We have more animal species than any other country. Two thirds of the world’s birds are native to Australia. We are one of the few countries on earth with our own sky. We are a fabric woven of many colours and it is this that gives us our strength.

    However, these achievements have come at great cost. We have been here for 200 years but before that, there was a people living here. For 40,000 years they lived in a perfect balance with the land. There were many Aboriginal nations, just as there were many Indian nations in North America and across Canada, as there were many Maori tribes in New Zealand and Incan and Mayan peoples in South America. These indigenous Australians lived in areas as different from one another as Scotland is from Ethiopia. They lived in an area the size of Western Europe. They did not even have a common language. Yet they had their own laws, their own beliefs, their own ways of understanding.

    We destroyed this world. We often did not mean to do it. Our forebears, fighting to establish themselves in what they saw as a harsh environment, were creating a national economy. But the Aboriginal world was decimated. A pattern of disease and dispossession was established. Alcohol was introduced. Social and racial differences were allowed to become fault-lines. Aboriginal families were broken up. Sadly, Aboriginal health and education are responsibilities we have still yet to address successfully.

    I speak for all Australians in expressing a profound sorrow to the Aboriginal people. I am sorry. We are sorry. Let the world know and understand, that it is with this sorrow, that we as a nation will grow and seek a better, a fairer and a wiser future. Thank you.

    Incorrect.  Hawke will not be attending and Keating, Fraser and Whitlam have nothing better to do and would turn up for the opening of an envelope.

    It would be very interesting seeing Malcolm Fraser and Peter garrett talking together on Wednesday.  I remember many a speech at a Midnight Oil concert in the eighties where Garrett absolutely slammed Fraser and his policies and called him all sorts of names.  In fact Stand in Line is about Frasers policies at the time which caused many a person to stand in the dole queue.
    [/quote]

    Either you have a good sense of humour or NFI, as that was John Howard the actor on the TV show "The Games". 

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/general/apology-by-john-howard-actor/2008/02/08/1202234144333.html
     
  16. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    I think he googled "John Howard" and "apology to aborigine" and that's what came up. 
     

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