Do we really have a ‘Channel 10′ philosophy?
Yesterday was a proud and historic moment for our nation.
As an Australian I was deeply humbled and proud to hear our Prime Minister say the words ‘we are sorry’.
It marked and symbolised a new beginning in our relationship with the Indigenous peoples of this land and a significant healing in the lives of many, many people.
People who were directly affected by the indiscriminate removal of children from their families and communities.
People who continue to be affected by this terrible and dehumanising act because of grief, trauma, loss of culture, and loss of identity.
People who can now forgive and see a brighter future.
Yesterday offered a new hope.
Sadly, this was not a day or an apology that had ‘bipartisan’ support from political parties let alone all Australians.
Are we that ignorant and racist that we can’t acknowledge past injustices and allow a group of people to be apologised to?
Are we that self-centred that because we weren’t there or we didn’t enact the legislation or policy that we can’t stand with our hurt and wronged brothers and sisters (fellow Australians) and honour and respect their moment in history?
Are we that small-minded that we have to make this a concern about potential compensation claims and our hard-earned tax dollars? Millions of tax payer dollars subsidise big industry and highly profitable businesses every year and we don’t hear a murmur.
Do we really think that it was appropriate to draw comparisons with the current situation in Aboriginal communities and go into graphic detail about child abuse as a means of somehow absolving and justifying past actions?
Do we not think that maybe, just maybe, past actions have significantly contributed to the current breakdown and dysfunction in Aboriginal communities that remain where ‘missions’ once stood?
Do we not see the hypocrisy in turning up to say the Lord’s Prayer but disappearing for an apology?
I don’t believe Wilson Tuckey was standing at the cross nearly 2000 years ago when Jesus died but he’s happy to claim the spoils of that relationship, just not the ones with his grieving and hurt Aboriginal constituents.
A poll done by Channel 10 indicated that 72% of people were opposed to the National Apology. Sad, but not particularly surprising.
The demographic of Channel 10 viewers are the ‘me generation’. Big Brother, Australian Idol, America’s Next Top Model, The Biggest Loser, Judge Judy, Bondi Rescue, Californication, Rove, Dr Phil, Jamie at home, Futurama, Law & Order – so-called “reality TV”, meets fluffy escapism, meets desensitisation to the realities of life.
Don’t get me wrong, I watch some of these shows on occasion – but I don’t subscribe to the philosophy and fodder that they espouse… “If it’s not about me, or someone or something I aspire to be, or isn’t going to help me forget what is really going on around me – then it’s not my problem and I don’t want to know about it.”
Yesterday was an historic and important day.
But it was also a reminder, on so many levels, of how far we have to go to be a more caring, compassionate and generous nation.