Walking Backwards Into the Future

That was a motto of one of my teachers in life. One interpretation is respecting and acknowledging the past, as we push forward to create the new world that the future holds. And when possible, addressing and correcting it. As I have said many times, in different ways, the future depends on all of us silly humans finding a way to live together and work cooperatively to make a better world.

A step is being taken in that direction now.

It may seem small, in light of everything else we are going through, but I think it, and all efforts like it…. is vital to walking forward in the right way..

Hat tip to mishima…

It is difficult to convey the deep emotion many Australians feel about the apology that is to be made to those indigenous Australians now known as the Stolen Generations, this Wednesday at 9am, as the first act of the newly elected Australian parliament. The national excitement around the event is palpable, with thousands heading to Canberra for it, and public screens being erected in most major cities for the live, national broadcast of the event.

Newly elected prime minister Kevin Rudd spent time last weekend with a Stolen Generation survivor, listening to her story. He has pointedly negotiated the wording of the apology with indigenous leaders


In the late 19th century the theory that the Aborigines were an inferior race that was doomed to die out became accepted as fact. But such faux science was threatened by the increasing number of children of mixed descent who, unaware of their superior bloodlines, took on indigenous ways and values. To wash the blackness out, a prejudice was raised to the level of a supposedly compassionate act and became known as the policy of assimilation.

In its name it is officially estimated that, over the course of the last century, over a hundred thousand indigenous children were taken from their families and tribes – often forcibly – and raised in institutions and foster families where they would pointedly not be allowed their language or culture. These children were the Stolen Generations. How many lives – of both those taken and those left – were blighted and destroyed will never be known.

Walking backwards into the future, healing the past in order to create a new world where the wounds of the old do not fester. Good stuff, much needed. I wrote an essayabout my perception of history in regards to this issue. We cannot erase history and all the wrongs that have been done to our brothers and sisters, our fellow humans…our ancestors…but we can do what we can to acknowledge the wounds and wrongs and try our best to heal them.

Good on you, Australia. Good on you, Human Race, keep up the good work!!


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  1. Photobucket

    or will be….maybe…eventually….if we try!

    (please to be overlooking any missing ‘n’s in this essay, I have a team of experts workig roud the clock to restore my n key to life!)

    • Edger on February 12, 2008 at 18:32

    With both feet propped against the door jams fighting being dragged though.

    I wonder how many thousands of years it will take till there are not enough visible seeming differences left for people to label as “races”, and remember what they already know – that there is only one.

  2. words from an essay in her book “Living by the Word.”

    We are the African and the trader. We are the Indian and the settler. We are the slaver and the enslaved. We are the oppressor and the oppressed. We are the women and we are the men. We are the children. The ancestors, black and white, who suffered during slavery – and I’ve come to believe they all did; you need only check your own soul to imagine how – grieve, I believe, when a black man oppresses women, and when a black woman or man mistreats a child. They’ve paid those dues. Surely they bought our gentleness toward each other with their pain.

  3. Dunno if everyone here is old enough to remember when “Roots” showed on tee-vee.

    I certainly didn’t learn in school how Africans were forcibly brought to the US to work as slaves.  Sure, I knew there was slavery.  But it was just something in the back of my mind.  I hated racial prejudice from a young age, but didn’t really know the history because it sure wasn’t taught in my school.  I read Malcolm X’s autobiography, but that told me only of the brutality towards folks already in this country for generations, tho there were glimpses of the earlier story.

    Then “Roots” appeared on TV and the nation was transfixed with the story of what happened to Africans forcibly brought to America, there was a human face put upon this journey.  It wasn’t enough, it was just a start, but it changed people’s minds.

    For some reason this essay reminded me of that.

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