Thursday, February 14, 2008

Aussie ethics

I have just read Brenda Gaell Smith who hadsa blog called Serendity Patchwork. She is a very talented Australia quilter, teacher and blogger. She is also a retired lawyer. Today she posted the declaration of the Australian government in apology to the aborigines for the horrible, inhuman and murderous treatment to which the settlers of Australia have subjected what is the oldest continuous culture on earth. The Aborigines may have been on the Australian continent for 60,0000 years and no one knows how they got there because it would have required navigational skills we believe no one had that long ago. Well, we still have a lot to discovered buried in the earth, or perhaps lost beyond all reclaiming.

Likewise the American settlers treated the native Americans with the same murderous prejudice and barbarity that was visited on the Australian aborigines and no one has apologized. We have apologized, in fits and starts for slavery -- largely because Black Americans have become a powerful entity -- pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps for the most part ... with a long way to go before equality truly arrives. We still treat Native Americans like nonbeings.

Go to Brenda's blog, click the above link and think about the many complex cultures that existed in the Americas when Europeans invaded. Think about the incedible hubris and ignorance that has made invading Europeans consider native peoples in may parts of the earth less than human. Ask yourself why superior technology and instruments of war made them think they they were inherently superior? There are a lot of hard questions to ask, with uncomfortable anwers. Why have we not thought of apologies?

No comments :