NATIONAL: In a relationship, if someone is hurting, be it physical or emotional, the general human response is to exercise compassion, sympathy and understanding, writes Tania Lee Searle.
Unless you a parent of a whining child and you know for certain that the child is overdoing it then maybe you have the right to say, “Come on! That’s enough!”
All Australians are in a relationship together as fellow citizens. For non-Indigenous Australians to tell Aboriginal people to get over it, to get over their past and present pain, is the attitude of the parent over the child.
This is precisely what pisses Aboriginal people off. They are not whining children. And you are not their parent, with the right to tell them how they should feel or how they should heal, even if their pain is invisible to you.
In a normal human relationship, in a conversation, when someone is not being heard they tend to raise their voice.
Unless you’re the Dali Lama and can exercise incredible self control and maintain calm in the face of continuing insults, opposition and a lack of acknowledgement.
Generally, the less people feel heard the more they raise their voice, the more they up their protestations. It’s time to stop and listen. Sorry doesn’t mean s**t when the behaviour doesn’t change. Rudd made a noble speech, but the behaviour of the Australian government has yet to change.
Aboriginal people are tired of being told sorry while they continue to be treated disrespectfully, with paternal policies and insensitive statements. I can only imagine the reaction if someone told an old digger, or their descendants, to ‘get over it’ on ANZAC day.
New York will not get over 9/11, and judging by the memorial that now stands at Ground Zero, that event and that day will still be mourned in two or three hundred years to come.
As with the Jewish Holocaust, forever it will remain in the hearts and minds of the Jewish nation. And the world respects that. Those who don’t respect are called cold hearted bastards.
So why don’t you get over it? Get over yourselves thinking that you have the final authority over an entire race of people.
Tania Lee Searle