Friday, February 5, 2010

Children [still being] killed by the "stolen generations" myth

Before getting on to the latest example of how the stolen generations myth continues to harm and kill Aboriginal children, you can read how one of the chief propagandists of the myth, Robert Manne, continues to be unable to provide a list of even ten names, out of the 25,000 he claims were "stolen," who clearly and unambiguously were taken for no good reason.

Indeed he includes in a general response "a fatherless 12-year-old girl with syphilis, a 13-year-old who was seven months pregnant and working for no wages on a station, and a boy who was kept chained up in a back yard by white employers when he was bad."

Manne gives these three tragic and pathetic kids as part of his "proof" that Aboriginal children were "stolen!" Whereas the real crime for the state would have been not to take these terribly abused children into care.

So, if these are the kinds of cases that Manne has to refer to to support claims of a stolen generation, then what real evidence is there for it then? Remember that the Bringing Them Home report was based solely on the acceptance of untested anecdotes and claims by people. No effort was ever made to verify whether or not any of these were true.

Also, see how poisonous this myth has become - even producing false claims that "stolen" children had been used as guinea pigs for drug testing.
Yet another example of how the “stolen generations” myth can kill - by making welfare officials too scared to remove Aboriginal children they’d save if they were white:

AT a remote health clinic in the dusty reaches of central Australia, a toddler is being airlifted to hospital. The little boy, John (not his real name), has been burned so badly he needs skin grafts. Despite the severity of his burns and his agonising pain, John’s Aboriginal carers have not sought medical aid for the boy. Amid the alcohol-ridden violence of their remote community life, it takes a lot to trigger an emergency.

In the offices of Northern Territory ministers, there is a growing understanding that the crisis in child protection is finally coming home to roost… At the centre of the crisis is a particular failure to protect Aboriginal children, who are routinely placed in the care of relatives in unsafe circumstances, where they are often exposed to sexual abuse and violence.

(Pyschologist Howard) Bath (in a government report) blames the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle—a national guideline that stipulates indigenous children should be put in the care of relatives wherever possible to maintain links to their culture—for the lack of rigour in assessment of relative carers.

“The present data suggests, as do some of the decisions in the case studies, that in some cases this principle appears to be given primacy over basic child protection considerations,” Bath says…

Recent coronial hearings into the deaths of 12-year-old Deborah Melville and a seven-week-old baby hinted at the extent of the government’s failings…

The Country Liberals’ member for the Alice Springs seat of Araluen, Jodeen Carney, says the scale of the crisis is on clear display in the streets of Alice Springs, where children as young as five roam the streets in packs at midnight.

“In Aboriginal communities and in Alice Springs, anyone can walk down the street and see children who are clearly neglected,” she says.

“And there seems to be an acceptance of that neglect. Anywhere else in Australia, those children would be reported to welfare and they would be taken away from their families because they are not being fed properly, they are allowed to roam the streets at night and they are not going to school. If that’s not child abuse, I don’t know what is.”
Those who helped to fake the “stolen generations” myth have blood on their hands.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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