Friday, April 06, 2018

The Stolen Spoke Rather Proper

It is all too hard for me to understand. I am getting old and I struggle to work out the world, least of all our Aboriginal problems. Everything that was once black and white to me when I was younger, no pun intended, has turned to grey, a very wishy washy grey.

But didn't the Stolen Generation who were educated in religious missions speak rather well, especially the women. I have heard so many of these older and usually mixed blood Aboriginal women speak over the years, and they are so eloquent and well spoken, with excellent diction. Sadly they are now dying out.

I am really not saying anything about what I think is a shameful history between whites and Aborigines in Australia, but the contrast between how the mission educated Aborigines spoke and many of those now speak, tells loudly of the importance of education.

Photo from ABC.


20 comments:

  1. Things done years ago shouldn't haunt the present too much ..inclusion and acceptance is the order of today

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    1. John, but we can't disown it. Very bad things happened even in my generation.

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  2. I give up, what happened in the past we have no control over end of story.
    Merle.........

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    1. Merle, that is true, but we should not forget or ignore what happened.

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  3. Educated Aboriginals from the stolen generation - they do speak well and know a fair bit but unfortunately so many are not as well educated today if at all by the young ones wagging school too often.

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    1. Margaret, I hope the ones who will go on to be successful are just quietly getting on with it now.

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  4. I probably shouldn't say this (it's not my business), but I have met three well-meaning Aussies in recent years; all who have been involved in helping the Aboriginals with their rights, health, benefits, etc. All three eventually gave up in frustration, and totally changed their attitudes. That's all I know!

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    1. Cro, they just burn out with the hopeless of it all. It is hard to help people who don't feel need for help. There is something missing somewhere, and it is not good will or money, as both have been thrown frequently and often.

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  5. Ahhh....I'm sick of all the p-c mob unnecessarily stirring the pots.

    I watched the Opening Ceremony of the current Commonwealth Games...I enjoyed a lot of it, but a lot the segments that went on and on and on...I thought was over-done, unnecessarily so...bowing and kow-towing to appease the flag-wavers. It all became a bit too much for my liking.

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    1. Lee, I didn't see it, so I bow to your greater knowledge.

      Perhaps in the post I was going to go on to say the answer is education, which is why the worst world leader despots in the world cut education to the masses.

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  6. My older sister, born retarded, spent several years in a Minda Home. To hear her speak now, you'd swear she grew up in a very proper English Boarding School, while I speak like someone dragged out of an uneducated slum.

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    1. River, I am sure you don't speak as you describe. The young brain is so trainable and things stick for life.

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  7. When I heard La Pauline rant about having indigenous arts performed at the opening of the Commonwealth Games, it was clear that this country has NOT progressed as well as you might have hoped. What she said basically was that civilisation and history only started when Europeans arrived in the country.

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    1. Hels, she isn't the brightest spark, is she.

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  8. Education is the great equalizer.

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    1. Strayer, perhaps the only one.

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  9. Like you say, Andrew, it's very complicated. Absolutely agree with you re the importance of education. I'd argue many of the people you're seeing speaking merely reflects the middle-class bias of the media. As a media worker over many years, I can confirm you generally go to "the best talent". There are probably heaps of people who came through the Stolen Generations who aren't as articulate, and for whom "mission life" didn't necessarily lead to a better education and a better life, in fact, quite the opposite.

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    1. James, your view is noted and perhaps you are correct but I am not sure that learning good English and speaking reasonably well could have been avoided. My maternal grandmother did not receive much education, but she wrote beautifully, spelt correctly, with great sentence construction and spoke quite well. Her parents were only market gardeners. Note, I never said a better life.

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  10. Anonymous6:45 pm

    Are you saying that today you would be happy if random working class families had their children taken away from them for no reason and given to a wealthy family who educated them at the top schools? Because they ended up speaking better than they would have/

    The amount of racism in Australia is shocking, even in left wing circles. Try living as an Aboriginal for a few weeks, and see how you are treated. Even if you own your home, have a great job etc..

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    1. No, all I said was that the mission educated spoke well, and perhaps alluded to our poor current education system for Aborigines and for the general population. Yesterday when returning from the funeral of a friend, racism was discussed as our 82 year old female friend was an Italian immigrant and she told us about how she was called a stinking dago when she was young. I said to her, but at least you did not wear a black skin that is obvious to all, like Ranjan, the partner of our deceased friend. I will take it one step further, while not foreign born, you are black and Aboriginal and obviously you will be judged, perhaps as a stereotype. If you ever put a foot wrong, it will be because you are an Aborigine. Surely it goes without saying that this is all so wrong. Education and having articulate Aboriginal people spread in society will help immensely. As a 60 year old gay white male, what would I now about racism? Well, I have learnt rather a lot about it in my job of about 40 years where about 70% of my workmates are foreign born and I could do nothing when my then best friend, an Anglo Indian who went to the poshest private school in Calcutta, was called a fucking faggot black cunt. I pretended I did not hear.

      Yes, you are judged, especially by people of my generation, but much less so by younger people. I am rather proud of my nieces and nephew in so far as they don't have all this historical baggage that people my age do, and perhaps you do too. They are accepting of everyone. I think I have made a reasonable reply to an anonymous comment. I'll just go back to my hand wringing about the 'Aboriginal problem'. Btw, have you ever watched an old ABC tele show called Barbecue Area, where white people did have their children stolen by Aboriginal Authority in charge? It may be better in my memory than it actually was.

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