Guest post by JooR
Today is SORRY DAY . . . and I am personally not sorry for anything, I haven’t done anything to warrant issuing an apology. I am however sorry for the pain felt by many Indigenous peoples over the time since European settlement . . . I am sorry that cultures tens of thousands of years old were shattered and much destroyed.
I am sorry that the traditional lands of many a people were, in reality, stolen. I am sorry that babies and children were ripped from their families. I am sorry for the sickness and diseases the Europeans brought to you. I am sorry for the Alcohol and the Tobacco. I am sorry for the lack of understanding of Indigenous cultures (which I can be guilty of BUT PLEASE TEACH ME).
I am sorry that your women suffered abuses, I am sorry for the tragedies of Myall Creek and other instances, the tainted flour the poisoned water and I am sorry that people thought these things were fine. I am sorry for the humiliation and lack of respect given to those who fought alongside white troops in our armed services, when they returned home and were not given the same salutations.
I am sorry that there are those in our society that cannot even attempt to understand or who have unrealistic expectations of how you should live, think or feel. I am sorry for your people’s suffering. I am sorry that people shrug their shoulders and do not care. I am sorry that it took so damn long for you to be recognised as citizens in the land your ancestors had lived upon for tens of thousands of years.
I AM SORRY.
Meanwhile, in South Australia, Aboriginal people will be formally recognised in the state’s Constitution in a radical move planned by the State Government.
Premier Jay Weatherill will announce the move today to mark Reconciliation Week 2012. Aboriginal leaders have welcomed the announcement.
“For too long, Aboriginal people have been treated as second-class citizens,” Mr Weatherill said yesterday.
“This will elevate them to their rightful place as first Australians and (it) pays them proper respect.”