In summary, his argument is that, because Robert Manne couldn’t name ten people out of the 100,000 in the Stolen Generations, the Stolen Generations must be a myth. And because of that myth, Aboriginal people don’t trust the government to take their children away, even when it’s obviously the right thing to do.
Great argument, except that the Stolen Generations are real. Many, many children were really, in actual life, taken from their families for no reason apart from a smug, racist belief that it would be better to raise them in White culture.
It got my blood boiling. I wrote a Letter To The Editor:
I was stunned to read Andrew Bolt deny the tragedy of the Stolen Generations. If Aboriginal communities have lost respect for their government, it is because of actual mistreatment suffered by older relatives and friends, not because a bunch of latte-sipping, academic, city dwellers told them a reconstructed history.
As Andrew Bolt points out, lack of respect for the government is hindering the intervention. Regaining that respect will be a long process, but it must start with acknowledging past wrongs and apologising for them. Saying “sorry” is the first step toward helping these little children.
The sooner people like Andrew Bolt start to ground their rants in reality, the better off we’ll all be.
And while I’m at it, I’d just like to point to an interview with Alexander Downer in which he describes the Northern Territory intervention in terms that the uncharitable might take to mean that it was just grubby vote-grabbing.