“Though its target is Australia’s past, the main aim of this crusade is to erode the legitimacy of the nation in the here and now. The protesters against the statues of historic figures and their supporters in the media and other cultural institutions are in effect calling into question the moral integrity of present-day Australia … As far as they were concerned the past was so contaminated by systematic acts of malevolence that the foundation on which the Australian nation rests must be destroyed.” —Frank Furedi
This statement was part of a feature story in The Australian on February 13 in which Frank Furedi compared the leftist demonstrations against Australia Day on January 26 to other recent radical protests in Britain and the United States.
Furedi argued that this movement was not simply a response to misdeeds committed in Australia’s colonial history but was an integral part of a wider global conflict that has engulfed much of the Western world. “In recent times,” he writes, “hostility towards the foundation on which different Western nations rest has acquired a systematic form.” …
The same edition of The Australian that published Furedi also contained an article by the Morrison government’s Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, reminding readers that the date, February 13, was the thirteenth anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s national apology for the Stolen Generations. Wyatt’s article is proof of the depth to which the story of the Stolen Generations has been internalised not only by Australia’s cultural elites but also by the Morrison government itself.
In fact, this is one area where Australia has been well in the lead of the international movement to devalue and criminalise the founding of the nation. Wyatt calls it “undoubtedly one of the darker chapters in our nation’s story. It’s a day for us to reflect on practices undertaken by governments in the past that sought to disrupt and destroy the world’s longest living culture.” …
It is not hard to show that Wyatt is repeating a story that is largely bogus. …
There were two principal reasons why the [Aborigines Protection Board] removed children from their families.
The first was the traditional grounds of child welfare such as neglect or abuse by parents. In such cases, Aboriginal and white children were removed from their families for exactly the same reasons.
The second was the board’s vocational training scheme for teenagers living on Aboriginal stations (or missions) in New South Wales. If Isabel Reid went to the Cootamundra Girls’ Home, her parents would have known where she was and would have agreed to her going there. She would have been trained over a period of from three to eighteen months in domestic service (at that time still the biggest single occupation for teenage girls of all colours) and then given a four-year apprenticeship with either a rural or city family. There was never a government policy to sever contact with “family, community and country”, as Wyatt claims. …
The underlying idea in Wyatt’s claim that governments wanted to sever all contact between parents and children is that the Aborigines Protection Board’s ultimate aim was the elimination of the Aboriginal race, that is, genocide. Wyatt should know the High Court of Australia put paid to this notion in 1997 in Kruger v Commonwealth …
But there is an even better refutation in the historical record. This is the attitude of Aboriginal activists of older generations.
The Stolen Generations story only became a public issue in 1981 after a white ANU postgraduate student, Peter Read, wrote a twenty-page pamphlet on the topic. If, as Read said, and Wyatt obviously accepts, the removal policy goes back as far as the nineteenth century, why didn’t earlier activists realise what was going on?
At the high point of Aboriginal radicalism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the attempt to put an end to Aboriginality by removing children never received a mention in any major agenda of Aboriginal political grievances. During the lead-up to the successful 1967 constitutional referendum to give the Commonwealth powers in Aboriginal affairs, not one of the political activists campaigning for reform mentioned stolen children as an issue to be rectified.
In 1970, neither the ten-point Policy Manifesto of the National Tribal Council, nor the Platform and Program of the Black Panthers of Australia, nor the 1972 Five-Point Policy of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy at Parliament House, Canberra, or any other political manifesto of the time, mentioned stolen children, let alone the genocide that Aborigines had purportedly been suffering for the previous sixty years. …
If the Stolen Generations story was true, then at that very time, right across Australia, in all states and territories, scores of white welfare officials, backed by parliamentarians and senior public servants, were forcibly removing Aboriginal children to put an end to Aboriginality. How did these hundreds of white people, for a period of more than sixty years, maintain the discipline needed to keep the whole thing so quiet that Aboriginal activists like Ferguson, Page and Gibbs were oblivious to its existence? How come the first person to see the light was a white, male, left-wing academic?
Facts, schmacts. The modern left are not reasonable people, just manipulators out for their own benefit.