Australia has never had it right.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister.
It has been months.
I was nine, and this voice came up on our cushion size television. As I adjusted the aerial it was finally in focus and the dictator came through. Announcing his awareness of what was at stake and how he should apologize formally but was not going to. I didn’t really understand? How can you know you need to do something so easy, so simple - yet refuse?
When everyone seems so eager. When everyone around me is telling me “bloody bastard” or “cannot wait to vote him out”. I thought maybe they all need to step down the line a little, you know? Just chill out. And so, I devised a plan - I thought to myself I am going to write this man a letter and speak to him myself just so that everyone can stop bickering. It went like this -
“Dear Mr. Howard. I know that I am young but I am old enough to know when people are upset. I am old enough to see that a long time ago some people were not treated very nicely and that white people were mean to them just because they are black. My skin isn’t white it’s a kind of green, my mum says I am olive but it is definitely green. And when I was smaller kids used to ask me why I was not white like them and we would put our arms together and compare. I don’t know why I am green? My Nonna had green skin too so I guess I got it from her? I didn’t ask to be green and I didn’t ask to be teased. But it happened. And it happened on this land and in this country. I don’t expect you to say sorry instead of the people who actually teased me but I was only teased, a few mean words were said. My children weren’t taken from me, my people were not tortured and my land was not taken from me just because I was green but it was done to people just because they are black. You are now in charge, just like a principal is in charge of a primary school or a boss in charge of a company. If people were to hurt each other inside of the company or school I am sure they would say sorry for what had happened to them. Not because it was their fault, not because they had to but because it goes to show that this behaviour is bad - it is wrong. And that your skin colour should not define what happens to you - and that through all this they are not alone.”
There was nothing more empowering then understanding, imagine a nine year old trotting up to Mr. Howard just to recite those words. Do you think it would have even flinched his skin? People are caught up in power, and they strive to keep it. They don’t want to be seen as vulnerable and they do not want to be seen as incompetent for the job - since this job requires strength and apparently you have to be emotionless. But at the end of it all we are all human, we are built in with sensitivity and we are responsive to events. It is in our blood to feel guilty, sad, hurt and even depressed. We have seen all the facts it is never hidden. We have seen the blood shed and rape. We have seen the stolen generation they teach us about that in our early years. So none of us are uneducated on the facts. It was our ancestors who committed all these crimes. Their blood leeks through our veins. And even if these people's blood isn’t mixed in ours we mix with these people and we see what has happened. It never left. The pain still seeps through their towns and they drink their sorrows away. Maybe that’s how they ended up there. Regardless of how they choose to live their day to day lives no one has right to remove a child from it’s mother. To break the maternal bond is a sin greater than murder. It is a bond that can never be replaced. Who can simply dictate that they can raise a child better then the woman who has a natural instinct toward that infant. Who? It is no secret John. It is no secret. How could you not see this and be sad? Was it because you never had to look them in the eye? You only spoke through a lens? Coward. Why treat women so badly when you came from one, you were raised by one and you are in this position you are today because of that woman. Who are you to say “I will not apologize” that is child’s play. “Oh but it wasn’t my fault”. That is correct it was not your fault but these people need something, they needed closure they needed an ending. They needed hope. To know and understand they modern society is against the past and we do not condone what happened. To have an understanding. All you had to do was step up to that microphone even by your own will and utter one single word. You couldn’t do it. I hope it haunts you every day. Can you imagine small girls out there crying to their mothers “Why won't he say sorry, why wont they admit it was wrong?”. Lost children and loved ones all sitting waiting. You made a small part of everyone wonder - “maybe this is not the end, maybe it will happen again.”. So long as people like you exist - the chance of a reoccurrence is likely. It is amazing the way the world works, people soften at powers touch. Morality goes out the window and insanity floats back in.
It has been years now.
Rudd said sorry and left it all behind in the sand. The ashes of lost ones fly up and away. And the children who are now adults stand at their mother’s graves telling them what a wonderful speech Rudd made. Wishing and hoping that they could have just been able to love these women as you were once loved. But these people carry strength now, they carry confidence and hope. You my dear carry sorrow, it follows you around like a dark shadow. We can all see it. And if you are or were ever loved it was by dark people. With dark minds. Regardless of how white you appear, your soul is as dark as coal. Ironic - don’t you think?