Smells like bad old days
Posted by Pia på torsdag 21 juni 2007
Today, according to an article in the Guardian, Australia’s PM John Howard announced a ban on alcohol and porn, for Aboriginies, in the Northern Territory. A report has shown that alcohol is destroying the aboriginal communities and is linked to the sexual abuse of children. There will now also be restrictions to their welfare payments, of which half has to go to things like food.
The welfare will also be subject to school attendance. The above-mentioned report shows that Aboriginal parents don’t emphasize schooling enough to their children. This is supposed to put a stop to that.
But is there something wrong with this picture? The Aborigines have lived in Australia longer than most peoples have ever lived in one place. They have a unique culture including for instance the concept of Dreamtime and far-developed music, art and sports. When the imperialists came just over 200 years ago, the Aborigines were first considered animals and only in 1967 taken as human beings. Slowly, the path towards reconciliation started and a national Sorry Day was introduced in 1998, with prominent politicians from all sides celebrating. John Howard chose not to take part. (Thank you Wikipedia and the great film Rabbit-proof fence, for educating me).
First of all. I don’t wonder why the Aborigines are unwilling to put their kids to school. The school is driven by the same government that has been treating you and your parents as animals. Could you appreciate that? And is it really John Howard’s decision to make, that alcohol and porn should be banned? Perhaps the patronizing treatment is what has driven the community this far, as is mentioned in the article.
Second. Banning alcohol, if that seems to be such a good idea, shouldn’t be restricted to the Aborigines only. In Finland, a hundred thousand children suffer from living in families with alcohol problems. That is one in fifty of all Finns. And they are just the kids, the beaten-up wives are not included in this study’s statistics. Sadly, us Finns don’t have a Pater Patriae like John Howard to lead us on the way.