This picture is of an one inch high statue of an Aboriginal child that is in my house. The lattice covering the picture is a filter I have found. With certain monitor screens an optical illusion becomes active - the crosspoints of the lattice start flashing white.
This posting focus on the plight of Aboriginal children.
An extract from an article in the NY Times of 24 August 2007 - the full article can be found on www.nytimes.com/2007/08/24/world/asia/24outback.html
Now the government has decided to address the ills, but critics say it is doing so in the paternalistic fashion it was supposed to have discarded decades ago. On Aug. 17, Parliament completed approval of legislation that, among other measures, requires welfare recipients to spend half their income on food, fines them if their children do not attend school, bans alcohol and pornography in Aboriginal areas in the Northern Territory and clears the way for the government to purchase five-year leases on Aboriginal town land.
The catalyst for the legislation was a government report that uncovered widespread sexual abuse and neglect of children in indigenous Australian communities. But critics note that the problems the legislation is intended to address are not unique to indigenous communities and argue that the fact that it applies only to Aboriginal communities makes it racist.
Aboriginal leaders have made similar accusations in the past. Relations were poisoned by a policy formally abandoned in 1969 in which Aboriginal children, the so-called stolen generation, were forcibly taken from their parents in an effort to assimilate them into white society.
In part because of lingering guilt over those practices, the government has been reluctant to take forceful action about the social problems in indigenous communities.
The shortest Aboriginal web article I could find that provide a good overview of the Aborigine people is at http://www.ebgymhollabrunn.ac.at/projekte/abori.htm Wiki also have an article.
I think these articles says it all. Especially the one from the NY Times on current happenings. Some of my own comments:
1. It is horrible that children are abused.
2. It is horrible that laws are made to apply to certain communities in a country, especially if they are punitive laws. If these laws are supposed to cure an ill, why does it not apply to other communities with similar issues? We all know about recent revelations from the inner circles of the RC Church. And do tell me that white communities have no child abuse ...
3. Can these laws cure the ill it is supposed to address? A little fact that has receded into the past - the first apartheid laws in SA were touted as laws that will set the scene for separate development. They were supposed to be for the good of the 'backward' communities. Apartheid was launched from this base.
4. These new Aboriginal laws can and will not uplift the children from their current plight. My suspicion is that the intensity of their plight will increase when parents are fined (income decreased) or chucked in jail. And believe me, there will be the overeager administrators of these laws.
5. What I find most horrible is that people appoint themselves as superior to other people. They install themselves on high pedestals.
The only solution ever can be to get down from the high pedestal, reach out a hand of friendship and actively start supporting people on a face to face basis. Apply time, sweat and money to seriously uplift and I am sure that a better chance of success will prevail.
I guess that there will be those who may feel different about the whole situation, but my point is not about who is economical the most astute, opportunistic or whatever. It is about the plight of the children - what hope do they get out of the new laws?