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There - now we all feel better...
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This, of course, changes everything:
In a historic vote that supporters said would open a new chapter in Australian race relations, lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously adopted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's motion to apologize to Aborigines on behalf of all citizens.

"We apologize for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians," Rudd said, reading from the motion.
You know, I understand the power of saying, "I'm sorry". If you've done something to someone that was wrong, and you regret it or are ashamed of it, then by all means, indulge yourself in a "mea culpa".

But I've never understood the desire of apologizing for something (or someone) I haven't done. That doesn't mean wrong things weren't done. Nor does it mean you can't condemn them. However if you had nothing to do with them, how can you apologize for those who actually did commit the wrongs?

Seems an empty gesture at best, designed to assuage assumed guilt.

Instead the proper response is to acknowledge that wrongs were perpetuated, that you disagree with them and you plan on doing everything within your power to correct and ameliorate the consequences of those wrongs.
 
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Tim Blair on this:

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.

Sounds about right.
 
Written By: Uncle Pinky
URL: http://
However if you had nothing to do with them, how can you apologize for those who actually did commit the wrongs?
Kevin Rudd wasn’t apologizing for things he had done. The Parliament of Australia was apologizing for the things the government had done.
the proper response is to acknowledge that wrongs were perpetuated, that you disagree with
them
That is exactly what this apology does.

There’s some flowery nonsense in there too (oh, and a "please don’t ask for reparations" clause), but I don’t see how that does any harm.


"Allegedly terrible events"? Heh. Tim Blair wishes he were a ratbag American radio talk show host, but he’s not even that relevant.
 
Written By: Bitter
URL: http://qando.net/
Bitter has it right — government ministers abide by treaties signed by long-dead heads of state. They pay off debts accrued by long-dead parliaments. So they can also apologize for the actions of long-dead statesmen; as representatives of an institution, not individuals.

 
Written By: Mithras
URL: http://

 
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