:: Tuesday, 5 April 2005 ::
Actually Vale Half Black Half White Man. But that makes him a wog in my book, as I will explain.
Do not read this if you think Koori is an important word to use.
I prefer Aboriginal. It is a nicer looking word on the page. When I think of Koori's I think of passed out drunks in Kings Cross. When I think of Aboriginals I think of people.
Just me, so do not bother taking offence cos none is intended. And there are passed out drunks in Kings Cross who are Aboriginal people so do not get all precious about that.
This is sad stuff, the death of Peter Gunner.
Not cos he was a hero, as The Australian would have us believe, but because he was not.
He was one of the two losers in court over the whole Stolen Generation(s) thing - the plural is optional depending on how far removed from reality you wanna be, given there was no stolen singular generation top begin with - the numbers for a generation do not stack up. And there was no theft, no stealing - there was removal for a period of time. In some cases against folks' wills in others with full support.
So no stolen generation.
But for sure there was a forcibly separated population.
To my mind that is just as serious. By overemoting with the 'stolen generation(s)' much sympathy evaporates, specially from those of us not involved and not responsible who had a few hardships of our own to contend with from the skips - I am of course referring to Nature's Noblest: The Wog.
Anyhoo, I digress.
Read the judgements. This will get you going.
And never believe anyone who says Oz law has not been sensitive to this issue. The judgements are compassionate, careful, and did not find any stealing nor did they find any policy or process of harm in the skippy gumment actions.
Notice I am using skippy cos wogs reallydo not have a dog in this fight.
Mr Gunner was, with Ms Cubillo, a sad man in my opinion used by skippy do-gooder lawyers to try to run a case that says if you get moved from your home when you are young it is a permanent injury and you should be compensated.
If you can get the transcript and you can manage this stuff which is hard going, have a read.
I recall a passage involving Lorna Cubillo talking about how she never learned her family language. And she lost her reserve giving evidence (hardly surprising when your whole victim worldview about yourself is getting challenged) and said to the gumment barrister questioning her something like "It's white women like you that have ruined my life" or some such.
Now, maybe Lorna was referring to manipulative lawyers acting for her in her own case - but more likely not since she was a willing participant and I do not think for a second her legals were anything other than earnest - wrongheaded for trying to test the whole removal of half-black half-white kids from their mums leaving the all black kids behind thing done by Oz authorities in the past Lorna and Mr Gunner whose mums gave them up. But earnest. (I know the facts are more nuanced but the end is the same so do not write to me about this.)
I reckon Lorna meant what she said - that she could not speak her mother's tongue because of white people. That she lost her culture cos she was removed.
And that is where I say Get. Far. Away.
And I know I sound hard when I say that but for me Aborigines are just another wog group. And the kids either get it together to learn the old ways or they don't.
But that is a matter for the kids.
See in wog world, Lorna is a bad wog - one who has not bothered to learn the old language. Old customs.
I am an okay wog hoping to be a good wog by spending some time in Italy and getting my Italian from clumsy conversational up to fluent.
Lorna was a bad wog and her excuse? I was not with my mum.
Failed marriages. her excuse? I was not with my mum.
You donavetabee with your mum to learn a language. Granted, Aboriginal languages are not exactly CD and Booklet type languages like Italian, French and Spanish etc etc. But they can be learned. If they cannot be learned then they are not languages - they are more like habits. And I do not believe they are mere habits. And you do not have to be with your mum to know the man you are about to marry is a jackass.
Lorna's excuse-making for her life, blaming whitey, is not on. She is loved by folks. She loves folks. There is good in her life. Read the judgements and see what good you can find her describing. Pff. Not a lot.
It was like a charicature of failure. All to blame whitey and get him to say 'sorry'. And toss the wogs in for a sorry as well, while you're at it, eh? They're whities too. They should say 'sorry'.
I ain't got nothing to be sorry about. This is a skippy Abo thing.
Mr Gunner was definitely the more dignified of the two plaintiffs. And he had the way harder life I reckon. Grog and stuff. Very quiet man, if memory serves. But his fact situation did not show any stealing either.
All the agitation came from his lawyers. Needless to say they squealed then and now again on Mr Gunner's death, about how they 'won really'.
These two cases seemed to set the cause of Aboriginal affairs back by a good 5 years at the time when they were lost. But I reckon they were the start of a new era in non-victimhood thinking (or at least not-a-victim-all-the-time-cos-of-whitey type thinking).
Why do I reckon that?
Cos they got heard by sensitive courts, who tried as hard as possible to empathise and find a solution for these two, to let them feel something positive.
But it cannot be done when the score is already written - victim enters, victim endures, victim leaves, always a victim. There is no positivity. There is no good feeling. No getting over stuff and living well. The court was quite wonderful to be sensitive and I expect it of them every time. But so misguided to think anything good could come from such sensitivity. There was just more victimhood and a perpetuation of the need, the desperate need for an apology for something that did not actually happen to these two plaintiffs.
There were no other cases, just Phillip Noyce's egregious slur of a movie "Rabbit Proof Fence". There is no more ATSIC now which is great (how embarrassing for the leading Aboriginal representative in the country to be a red headed bar room brawler. I mean, puhlease. Geoff Clark?) and Noel Pearson and other Aboriginal representatives, top folks, still call for the apology (so I disagree about that) but recognise that saving their culture is something for them to do, not a matter for an apology alone (and I totally agree with that).
I maintain if you are a bad wog it is your own fault.
RIP Mr Gunner. Your case, while a loser, saw a court take real care to describe its decision sentively as you deserved. As every plaintiff deserves. It saw the Aboriginal victim industry go quiet, and start focussing on real people not just big issues like an apology. What it did for you orunno. But you may posthumously get your apology - not from me mind, I am afraid I will have to decline (in advance if PM Costello goes ahead and does it as he has indicated may occur under his watch if that comes) - but in any case you were and remain and important part of Oz law.
:: WB 9:45 pm [link+] ::