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Australian Aboriginal Genocide Continues Despite Historic Apology

By Dr Gideon Polya

19 February, 2008

On Wednesday 13 February 2008 the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, publicly said “Sorry” for the Stolen generations, the 19th -20th century policy of forcible removal of as many as 0.1 million Australian Aboriginal children from their mothers. PM Rudd’s speech was outstanding and the historic Apology was important in its healing implications for the victims and Indigenous Australians in general. However the harsh reality is that on the next day, 14 February 2008, 0.5 million Indigenous Australians were STILL mostly living in Third World conditions and the Aboriginal Genocide (9,000 Aboriginal excess deaths annually, 90,000 Aboriginal excess deaths in the 11 years of the previous Bush-ite Coalition Government) was continuing. Indeed it took an ultra-conservative commentator to point out that the term “genocide” was not even used by PM Rudd or the Leader of the Opposition in their “Sorry” speeches.

It took 220 YEARS for the White Australians to finally say "Sorry" - not for the Aboriginal Genocide which they don't Acknowledge or don't talk about but for the "collateral" White abuse of Aboriginal Children. However it only took them several HOURS to show the world that they didn't actually MEAN it.

Thus a few HOURS after the "Sorry" vote in the Australian Parliament, the Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown (a very decent, honest, anti-racism, pro-humanity, pro-Planet medical doctor who has gone to jail to save Rivers, Trees and the Environment) moved to amend the historic "Sorry Motion" by adding a commitment to offer, “just compensation to all those who suffered loss" - but this was, of course, LOST (65 to 4 votes in the Senate) when the neo-Bush-ite, Clintonesque Labor Government, the Bush-ite Opposition, the Australian Democrats and the assertedly "Christian values" Family First Party all voted AGAINST it (see:

This simply shows that the neo-Bush-ite Australian Labor Government (the Labs), the Bush-ite National-Liberal Coalition Opposition (the Libs) - collectively the Lib-Labs - the Australian Democrats and the (joke) Family First are simply not "genuine" about "Sorry" to the Stolen Generations - they are simply not "fair dinkum" as we say in Australia, self-assertedly the Land of the “Fair Go” but actually the Land of Lies, Slies (spin-based untruths) and Flies .

Only the Australian Greens are "fair dinkum" about "Sorry" to the Indigenous Australian Stolen Generations. Indeed their leader and Senator, Dr Bob Brown, publicly said "Sorry" way back in 1997 on behalf of the Australian Greens, immediately after the release of the shocking "Bringing Them Home" Report on the Stolen Generations - the sustained, racist, genocidal, forcible removal of 0.1 million Aboriginal children from their Mothers (see:
) .

What a contemptible, proto-Nazi, politically correct racist (PC racist) society is Racist White Australia that does this evil, genocidal, forcible removal of 0.1 million Children for 70 years ON TOP OF a prior over 1 century "Guns, Germs and Steel" Aboriginal Genocide (the Aboriginal population dropping from about 1 million to 0.1 million in a century), then says "Sorry" for the Stolen Generations after sitting on the “Bringing Them Home” Report for a dozen years while resolutely IGNORING the ongoing Aboriginal Genocide - and then immediately turns around and overwhelmingly makes it clear that they didn't really mean it !

I and my partner (a non-Indigenous Black Australian whose grandparents were "slaves" of Australian cane farmers in the 1920s) watched most of the broadcast of Kevin Rudd's outstanding and historic speech ON OUR FEET in our living room. However our joy turned to disgust when we heard the Opposition Leader Dr Brendan Nelson attempt to obfuscate the seriousness of the crime and excuse those responsible for the forced removal of as many as 0.1 million Indigenous Children from their Mothers (the crowd outside Parliament House in Canberra’s Federation Mall showed their disgust by turning their backs on the giant screen, as did a huge crowd watching the proceedings in Melbourne’s Federation Square).

Disgust turned to anger when I got an e-mail from the Australian Greens stating that just a few HOURS after the "Sorry" vote in the Australian parliament the Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown moved to amend the historic "Sorry motion" by adding a commitment to offer "just compensation to all those who suffered loss"- but that this voted out by all the non-Green Australian Senators

While I can understand the JOY of so many Indigenous Australians at the Apology for the Stolen Generations and its healing and "new chapter" implications, I can also understand their caution over the future path to justice and reconciliation. It only took a couple of HOURS for White Australia, the Lab-Labs and their fellow travellers, to turn around kick Indigenous Australia in the teeth. Old habits die hard, I guess.

In the Indigenous Australian (Aboriginal) cultures “sorry business” connotes “mourning” (see: ). In an outstanding, historic and healing speech new Australian PM Kevin Rudd has said “Sorry” – however the horrible reality (IGNORED by lying, racist, holocaust-ignoring mainstream media) is that the Aboriginal Genocide is continuing (9,000 Indigenous excess deaths annually, 25 will have died avoidably on Australia’s historic Day of Apology to the Aboriginal Stolen Generations).

A major omission in PM Rudd’s otherwise excellent speech was the history of the Aboriginal Genocide – indeed the world “genocide” was scrupulously avoided in the Apology proceedings. Permit me to fill you in. Indigenous Australians have evolved rich, highly-varied cultures over Australia over 60,000 years. In 1788 Australia was invaded and the Indigenous population dropped from about 1 million to 0.1 million over the next century through disempowerment, dispossession, deprivation, disease and massacre (the last massacres occurring in the 1920s). However in the 20th century, the Aboriginal Genocide largely continued due to egregious deprivation, “captive” labor (paid in flour, tea and sugar) and a racist policy of forced removal of children from their mothers (the so-called Stolen Generations). This shocking, large-scale, genocidal practice was only terminated in the 1970s.

For detailed accounts of the Stolen Generations see Sally Morgan’s brilliant, autobiographical book “My Place” about 2 generations of stolen children; the movie “Rabbit-proof fence” about stolen Aboriginal children escaping and trecking thousands of kilometres back home:
; “Bringing Them Home”, the shocking official 1997 Report on the Stolen Generations:
; and also see also articles on the Aboriginal Genocide: ; ; ; ; and ) .

As a scientist I have endeavoured to inform my fellow citizens and the World about the on-going Aboriginal Genocide by documenting the horrendous statistics: ; ; ; ) .

However words having evidently failed (the Aboriginal Genocide continues, the very term is resolutely ignored in Racist White Australia and I am resolutely ignored in my own country), as an artist I have turned to painting HUGE paintings to convey my moral concerns about the on-going Aboriginal Genocide) e.g. the “Sydney Madonna” (to illustrate the primacy of Mother and Child; see “Sydney Madonna & Aboriginal Genocide”: ) and “Bundoora Arabesque” ( an appreciation of the Love of Land and the Wild Nature of Australia; see “Racism in Australia. La Trobe, “Bundoora Arabesque” & Aboriginal Ethnocide”: ).

The Aboriginal Genocide continues. There are 9,000 avoidable Indigenous deaths annually (25 daily); 90,000 avoidable deaths in the 11 years of the Coalition Government; Indigenous infant mortality is over 4 times greater than that for White Australia (as noted by PM Rudd in his speech) ; one of Australia’s top academic and clinical diabetologists has recently predicted disappearance of Indigenous Australians this century in the absence of requisite urgent action (about 20% pof Indigenous Australians have diabetes, mostly type 2 diabetes) :
; the “annual death rate” is 2.2% for Indigenous Australians, 2.4% for Northern Territory Indigenous Australians and 2.5% for Australian sheep; life expectancy is about 17 years less for Aboriginals than for non-Indigenous Australian (also noted in PM Rudd’s speech); and there are horrendous health problems: and National Indigenous Times, ”The Awful Truth”, Issue 131, June 14, 2007: ).

PM Rudd’s speech and Apology was largely confined to the Stolen Generations – indeed the word “Aboriginal Genocide” was NOT used even though what happened to the Indigenous Australians has been recognized as an Aboriginal Genocide by Australia’s outstanding and world-renowned Genocide scholar Professor Colin Tatz, Director of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Shalom Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (see “Australia: Defining and Interpreting Genocide”, Chapter 4 in “”With Intent to Destroy”, Verso, London, 2003; see also Chalk, F. & Jonassohn, K. (1990), “The History and Sociology of Genocide. Analyses and Case Studies” (Yale University Press, New Haven); Polya, G.M. (1998) “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History.
Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ; Polya, G.M. (2007) “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: and ).

Professor Tatz’s analysis involves the definition of genocide as set out in Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention

“Article II. In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

One of the world’s outstanding bio-ethicists, Australian philosopher Professor Peter Singer (Princeton and Melbourne Universities; dubbed “the most influential living philosopher “ by the New Yorker: ). Professor Peter Singer's views on the deliberate withholding of medical care from infants are crucially relevant to deliberate, racist Coalition neglect and consequent horrendous, avoidable mass infant mortality in Occupied Iraq: "Doctors who deliberately leave a baby to die when they have the awareness, the ability, and the opportunity to save the baby's life, are just as morally responsible for the death as they would be if they had brought it about by a deliberate positive action" ( Helga Kuhse & Peter Singer (1985) "Should the Baby Live?", Oxfrod University Press, Oxford). Professor Peter Singer further states:"We are responsible not only for what we do but also for what we could have prevented...We should consider the consequences of what we do and what we decide not to do" (Peter Singer (2000) "Writings on an Ethical Life", Ecco Press, New York).

It is clear that (A) if we regard “sustained, remorseless conduct” over decades and indeed centuries as evidence of “intent” and (B) if we follow Professor Singer and regard morally culpable “killing” as including both active, violent killing AND passive, non-violent killing (e.g. through deliberate, sustained deprivation), then Australia has been guilty of conducting an Aboriginal Genocide on all counts over nearly 2 centuries on the basis of items (a)-(e) of Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention and is STILL currently violating items (a)-(d) of the UN Genocide Convention (having finally given up forcibly removing Aboriginal children from their mothers 3 decades ago)..

Indeed Australia is not only involved on an on-going Aboriginal Genocide – it is intimately and remorselessly involved in an ongoing Iraqi Genocide, an ongoing Afghan Genocide and ongoing and accelerating Climate Genocide (see: ). While remorselessly IGNORED by lying , racist, holocaust-ignoring mainstream media, Australia is complcit in the ongoing Iraqi Genocide (1.5-2 million post-invasion excess deaths, 0.6 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths, 4.5 million refugees), the ongoing Afghan Genocide (3-6 million post-invasion excess deaths, 2.3 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths, 4 million refugees) and an ongoing Climate Genocide (global avoidable deaths are set to rise from a current 16 million annually to a total of over 6 BILLION this century due to unaddressed global warming, with Australia, the US and Canada being major greenhouse gas pollution culprits) (see: ; see also “Climate Emergency, Sustainability Emergency”: ).

PM Rudd has indicated in his speech that he will institute SOME things to help alleviate the Third World conditions of Indigenous Australians over the over the next decade. But it is not good enough. There must be URGENT action NOW to stop the Aboriginal Genocide NOW - by IMMEDIATELY delivering to Indigenous Australians at least the SAME basic health, education, welfare, housing, employment, child protection and security régimes enjoyed by the most impoverished White Australian families in Australia’s cities and towns.

An analogy will help here. In 1997 it cost Australia A$6 million to rescue lone, round-the–world, UK yachtsman Tony Bullimore from his upturned yacht in the Southern Ocean and similar amounts to rescue other solo yacht-persons who have deliberately and knowingly put themselves at enormous risk in Australian waters (e.g. Isabelle Autissier and Thierry du Bois, similarly rescued in dangerous operations involving the Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian Navy at million-dollar costs; see: ) . Yet there is NO such urgency in dealing with the ongoing passive Aboriginal Genocide that surely kills 9,000 Indigenous Australians each year, 25 every day in one of the richest and most racist countries on Earth.

PM Kevin Rudd and his Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jennie Macklin (my very nice local MP), both deserve profound congratulations for this historic and healing Apology to the Stolen Generations. But their job has just begun – the Aboriginal Genocide must stop NOW. The whole World is watching.

Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003). He has just published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: and ).

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