Tuesday, February 12, 2008
HAPPY SORRY DAY
Enough with the negativity! It’s time to jump aboard the sorry bandwagon:
We regret that we have but one Corey to give. On today’s speech - in which Kevin Rudd apologised even to children who were rescued from being bashed, starved and raped - Noel Pearson makes massive sense:
One of my misgivings about the apology has been my belief that nothing good will come from viewing ourselves, and making our case on the basis of our status, as victims.
We have been—and the people who lost their families certainly were—victimised in history, but we must stop the politics of victimhood. We lose power when we adopt this psychology. Whatever moral power we might gain over white Australia from presenting ourselves as victims, we lose in ourselves.
My worry is this apology will sanction a view of history that cements a detrimental psychology of victimhood, rather than a stronger one of defiance, survival and agency.
Sadly, the effect of the apology on those it’s aimed at is a secondary concern. This is more about smug white folks feeling nice about themselves. That’s why, despite it being an apology for allegedly terrible events, everybody is smiling.
(Corey art via Dan Lewis)
UPDATE III. The Age reports:
In a historic gesture of reconciliation, Australia’s Parliament, will today say sorry to the stolen generations of indigenous children for a “blemished chapter in our nation’s history” — and vow never to let it happen again.
It happened again two days ago.