Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Australia: "...to pay the rent, to give it back, it belongs to them. "

The Guardian reports


Another stolen generation: how Australia still wrecks Aboriginal families
The mass removal of Indigenous children from their parents continues unabated – where is the outrage?

Most Aboriginal families live on the edge. Their life expectancy in towns a short flight from Sydney is as low as 37. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

The tape is searing. There is the voice of an infant screaming as he is wrenched from his mother, who pleads, "There is nothing wrong with my baby. Why are you doing this to us? I would've been hung years ago, wouldn't I? Because [as an Aboriginal Australian] you're guilty before you're found innocent." The child's grandmother demands to know why "the stealing of our kids is happening all over again". A welfare official says, "I'm gunna take him, mate."
This is beyond astonishing. It would seem Australia has learnt nothing from its past, I have no problem with kids being removed from inherently dangerous situations. Not removing them in New Zealand has lead to far to many of our kids dying.  The key point is that every attempt is made to place children the state has had to seize with other family members in a safe environment. 
This happened to an Aboriginal family in outback New South Wales. It is happening across Australia in a scandalous and largely unrecognised abuse of human rights that evokes the infamous stolen generation of the last century. Up to the 1970s, thousands of mixed-race children were stolen from their mothers by welfare officials. The children were given to institutions as cheap or slave labour; many were abused.
That it happened is terrible, that it is still happening is beyond belief. In a study released today by Monash University Melbourne a finding was made that should scare the crap out of Australians.
" The migrants were asked whether they would describe Australians as caring, friendly and hospitable people; just 1 per cent of Kiwis did so, compared with 7 per cent of immigrants from the United States and Canada."

The Kiwi figure is not that much of a surprise, we know the Australians better than anyone else what is a real worry is that it would seem that Australia is falling behind both Canada and the USA. But of course America and Canada have like New Zealand at least made an effort to compensate indigenous citizens for the appalling damage inflicted on them through colonisation. Australia has done nothing, in fact it is doing worse than nothing. Nothing would be a blessing.

Described by a chief protector of Aborigines as "breeding out the colour", the policy was known as assimilation. It was influenced by the same eugenics movement that inspired the Nazis. In 1997 a landmark report, Bringing Them Home, disclosed that as many 50,000 children and their mothers had endured "the humiliation, the degradation and sheer brutality of the act of forced separation ... the product of the deliberate, calculated policies of the state". The report called this genocide.
It is genocide.
Assimilation remains Australian government policy in all but name. Euphemisms such as "reconciliation" and "Stronger Futures" cover similar social engineering and an enduring, insidious racism in the political elite, the bureaucracy and wider Australian society. When in 2008 prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised for the stolen generation, he added: "I want to be blunt about this. There will be no compensation." The Sydney Morning Herald congratulated Rudd on a "shrewd manoeuvre" that "cleared away a piece of political wreckage in a way that responds to some of its own supporters' emotional needs, yet changes nothing".

" There will be no compensation...."  We may not have it exactly right in New Zealand but at least we have made an effort.

" Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements have been a significant feature of New Zealand race relations and politics since 1975. Over the last 30 years, New Zealand governments have increasingly provided formal legal and political opportunity for Māori to seek redress for breaches by the Crown of the guarantees set out in the Treaty of Waitangi. While it has resulted in putting to rest a number of significant longstanding grievances, the process has been subject to criticisms from a number of angles, from those who believe that the redress is insufficient to compensate for Māori losses, to those who see no value in revisiting painful and contentious historical issues. The settlements are typically seen as part of a broaderMāori Renaissance."
Today, the theft of Aboriginal children – including babies taken from the birth table – is now more widespread than at any time during the last century. As of June last year, almost 14,000 Aboriginal children had been "removed". This is five times the number when Bringing Them Home was written. More than a third of all removed children are Aboriginal – from 3% of the population. At the present rate, this mass removal of Aboriginal children will result in a stolen generation of more than 3,300 children in the Northern Territory alone.
I guess it easier to keep people in poverty and despair than to take ownership of the past in a real way with an apology Rudd that is genuine and a plan to right the wrongs, easier still to keep on inflicting a very Australian genocide that you hope the world will not notice.  
Pat (not her real name) is the mother whose anguish was secretly recorded on a phone as four department of child services officials, and six police, descended on her home. On the tape an official claims they have come only for an "assessment". But two of the police officers, who knew Pat, told her they saw no risk to her child and warned her to "get out of here quick". Pat fled, cradling her infant, but the one-year-old was eventually seized without her knowing why. The next morning a police officer returned to apologise to her and said her baby should never have been taken away. Pat has no idea where her son is.

So the police knew she was a good mother two officers told her to bugger off quick. What is wrong with this picture, Australian police have guns, I am not a fan of giving cops guns, not least because they never seem to know when to use them. Those cops should have drawn their weapons and defended " Pat " a few dead Child Service Officials who are clearly not fit for the job would have been a small price for the Australian community to pay.  
Once she was "invited" by officials to bring her children to "neutral" offices to discuss a "care plan". The doors were locked and officials seized the children, with one of the youngest dragging on a police officer's gun belt. Many Indigenous mothers are unaware of their legal rights. A secretive children's court has become notorious for rubber-stamping removals.

You steal a country, you then commit acts of genocide on the indigenous population 200 years later. Fuck you Australia.
Most Aboriginal families live on the edge. Their life expectancy in towns a short flight from Sydney is as low as 37. Dickensian diseases are rife; Australia is the only developed country not to have eradicated trachoma, which blinds Aboriginal children.

Australia is of course known as the " Lucky Country " I guess you have to be White.
Pat has both complied with and struggled bravely against a punitive bureaucracy that can remove children on hearsay. She has twice been acquitted of false charges, including "kidnapping" her own children. A psychologist has described her as a capable and good mother.
Josie Crawshaw, the former director of a respected families' support organisation in Darwin, told me: "In remote areas, officials will go in with a plane in the early hours and fly the child thousands of kilometres from their community. There'll be no explanation, no support, and the child may be gone forever."

Think about that. It would result in a substantial gaol term in most nations.
In 2012 the co-ordinator general of remote services for the Northern Territory, Olga Havnen, was sacked when she revealed that almost A$80m (£44m) was spent on the surveillance and removal of Aboriginal children compared with only A$500,000 (£275,000) on supporting the same impoverished families. She told me: "The primary reasons for removing children are welfare issues directly related to poverty and inequality. The impact is just horrendous because if they are not reunited within six months, it's likely they won't see each other again. If South Africa was doing this, there'd be an international outcry."

Exactly. But it is our mates the Aussies....fuck you Australia I am ashamed of you, the ANZAC code only goes so far and you have broken it.
She and others with long experience I have interviewed have echoed the Bringing them Home report, which described an official "attitude" in Australia that regarded all Aboriginal people as "morally deficient". A department of family and community services spokesman said that most removed Indigenous children in New South Wales were placed with Indigenous carers. According to Indigenous support networks, this is a smokescreen; it does not mean families, and it is control by divisiveness that is the bureaucracy's real achievement.
I met a group of Aboriginal grandmothers, all survivors of the first stolen generation, all now with stolen grandchildren. "We live in a state of fear, again," they said. David Shoebridge, a state Greens MP, told me: "The truth is, there is a market among whites for these kids, especially babies."

It is time to sanction Australian politicians and senior officials. 
The New South Wales parliament is soon to debate legislation that introduces forced adoption and "guardianship". Children under two years old will be liable – without the mother's consent – if "removed" for more than six months. For many Aboriginal mothers like Pat, it can take six months merely to make contact with their children. "It's setting up Aboriginal families to fail," said Shoebridge.

Not at all Australia sets families up to succeed if they are white it is setting up Aboriginal families to fail. That is genocide.
I asked Josie Crawshaw why. "The wilful ignorance in Australia about its first people has now become the kind of intolerance that gets to the point where you can smash an entire group of humanity and there is no fuss."

Why indeed.



3 comments:

  1. Maturity is the ability to reap without apology and not complain when things don't go well. See the link below for more info.


    #apology
    www.mocsbar.com


    ReplyDelete
  2. It's enjoyable to learn more and more from your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    MAcy
    www.gofastek.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love it! Very interesting topics, I hope the incoming comments and suggestion are equally positive. Thank you for sharing this information that is actually helpful.


    ufgop.org
    ufgop.org

    ReplyDelete