Right Thinking From The Left Coast
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

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Sorry Is As Sorry Does

There are times when I really miss John Howard.

CANBERRA, Australia - Australia’s apology to Aborigines for decades of racist policies drew an outpouring of emotion Wednesday. But attention quickly turned to what many consider the inevitable next step: paying compensation to victims of past injustices.

“The job’s not done; it’s only the beginning,” said Lowitja O’Donoghue, 75, who has campaigned for almost a decade for a government apology.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has ruled out compensation, and lawyers say the apology passed by Parliament on Wednesday does not add anything to Aborigines’ chances of successful legal claims.

But Aboriginal leaders say the injury can never be fully repaired until the victims receive reparations for being taken as children from Aboriginal mothers. From 1910 until the 1970s, an estimated 100,000 children were taken from their parents under state and federal laws based on a premise that Aborigines were dying out.

If we ever truly got around to apologizing and paying back everyone who’s ever been wronged, the entire human race would be flat broke. But hey, at least we’d be guilt-free.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 02/13/08 at 05:07 PM in Down Under • Permalink


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