Sorry – the indingenous issue

Stumbled across a link to this article on Andrew Erringtons Blog. I have found it difficult to navigate my way through the issue of saying ‘sorry’ – mainly because the mass media (as per usual) has no thoughtful approach to tackling the issue and the debate is so charged with emotion. I found this article refreshing.

Here is a snapshot…

Is there any sense in which today’s Australians can or should identify with those of another generation? Of course, we already do so. We imaginatively empathise with what Australian soldiers did in two world wars. We are appreciative of their deeds and glad of the benefits they won for us. In relation to the future, we frequently think of ourselves in some kind of solidarity with future generations, who will directly praise or blame us for our decisions and practices in relation to the environment, infrastructure, or economics.

This participation with others is summarised in the name of our country, which is a ‘Commonwealth’—the traditional term of description for a group of people who share with each other in the present, and who pass on what is good from a past to a future, to create ‘common weal’, or common good.

It is neither silly nor fanciful, then, to do something similar with bad decisions and wrong practices from the past. In the wider indigenous debate, the goods our Commonwealth currently enjoys descend in part from the murders, thefts and injustices committed in the past.

Photo taken in Worrabinda in 2006…


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