Monday, October 13, 2008

When sorry isn't really sorry

Aborigines say Australia intervention racist - study
Aborigines feel a strong sense of injustice over an Australian government intervention into scores of troubled remote communities and believe the programme is racist, an independent review said. Australia's former conservative government sent police and soldiers into outback towns and settlements in June 2007 to stamp out widespread child sex abuse, fuelled by chronic alcoholism from "rivers of grog" in indigenous communities. But an independent review of the intervention, set up by the centre-left Labour government after it won power last November, found widespread problems with the programme, which was aimed at 73 Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. "In many communities there is a deep belief that the measures introduced by the Australian government. . . were a collective imposition based on race," said the review, released on Monday by Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin. Australia's 460,000 Aborigines make up about 2 per cent of the population. They suffer higher rates of unemployment, substance abuse and domestic violence, and have a life expectancy 17 years shorter than other Australians.

Beyond Rudd’s genuine symbolism of his historic apology and it’s deep necessity lies the fact that Rudd has not done a damned thing to stop Howard’s racist ‘Aboriginal emergency’ that took him 11 years to notice. The horrific underfunding into Australia’s indigenous communities that only exacerbate the worst effects of colonialism have not been dealt with while Rudd reviews this latest affront to indigenous rights. The sudden turn of the global economy doesn’t bode well for the return of Aboriginal land rights when there are minerals to dig up and offset the recent economic pain, if Australia couldn’t look after Aborigines when the boom was on, there is bugger all chance they will be looked after in the bust.

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