During the week just gone, Australia had its 'Sorry Day', where the government apologised to the Aborigines for the treatment they experienced generations ago. I can certainly understand the need for the Australian government to be seen saying sorry for something the government was responsible for generations ago, and I see it as a positive step forward for reconciliation.
However, the problem I have is apologising for something that's not the fault of the current generation. There's two forms of 'sorry'. One is 'I'm sorry you experienced something tragic. I know I can never know what it's like for you as a result of what happened.' The other is 'I'm sorry that I caused you great suffering.' The first is valid for Australia's 'sorry day', while the second is not. The current government is not responsible for the actions of its predecessors 40-50 years ago.
Unfortunately, the Aboriginal people seem to be split in their desires for reconciliation or compensation. Some just want to move forward, acknowledging the mistakes of the past, and working towards the future. Others don't think that's enough, and want more. A lot more. These are the people who are preferring to believe that 'I'm sorry' means 'I'm responsible', and the court cases are already beginning.
Within 24 hours of the 'I'm sorry' day ending, I heard news reports that one group of Aboriginals are planning on taking the government to court so sue for compensation, as they're 'victims' of the current government. Another Aboriginal woman wants to take the leader of the Opposition party to court because he used examples of past Aboriginal tragedy as outlined in a book. Her example was referred to by him, and since he never asked her permission to read something that's in the public record anyway, she now claims she feels 'violated' all over again.
I can see opportunists coming out of the ground. People are naturally greedy, and they will grab every opportunity they can to get money from a situation. The government did what they could to ensure they were not claiming liability for something that happened 40+ years ago, but some people just don't care. They'll screw others for everything they can, whenever and wherever they can.
It's pretty disappointing. What are your thoughts on the matter?
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