On seeing the film, I was left shocked, angry and deeply saddened. How can Australia have acted like this to our First Peoples? How can we continue to do these things?
However, I know that there is no point in remaining shocked, angry and sad. That doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t change the situation.
The film left me feeling stronger and for that I am grateful. I know I am doing the right thing in trying to help the indigenous people of Australia and those who live further afield.
Yesterday, I found this quote from Maya Angelou – on the root of the problems we face in the world - in an article by Marianne Schnall in the Huffington Post:
“Ignorance, of course, but mostly polarization. You see, it's a long time arranging this sort of condition. And it will not be over in one term, or even two. But we are on the right road.
If you have a person enslaved, the first thing you must do is to convince yourself that the person is subhuman and won't mind the enslavement.
The second thing you must do is convince your allies that the person is subhuman, so that you have some support.
But the third and the unkindest cut of all is to convince that person that he or she is not quite a first-class citizen.
When the complete job has been done, the initiator can go back years later and ask, 'Why don't you people like yourselves more?'
You see? It's been true for women, it's been true for immigrants, it's been true for Asians, it's been true for Spanish-speaking people.
So now we have to undo. And it will be no small matter, but we can undo it.
We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.”
Yes, we can undo what has been done to indigenous people in Australia. It will take a long time and will not happen in my lifetime. But it can be undone.
I’ll talk more about this in coming blogs.