The ‘black armband’ view of Australian history – Part 3

The following extracts from my book ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity’ (chapter 3 ‘To have a dream’) touch upon the terrible practice of forcibly removing lightly-coloured children from their mothers. What happened to Christian morality?

“The same sort of negative attitudes surfaced when the report on the ‘stolen generations’ was released, except that the counter-attack was strangely bitter. The authors of the report, their motives, methodology, definitions, and findings were all attacked, but only by a noisy handful.

The semanticists, pretending to be fair, focused on the meaning of ‘stolen’ and the scope of the word ‘generation’. The other critics, seemingly less erudite, simply went ballistic, with all manner of quaint arguments. Yet, no one could deny, that many, many, lighter-skinned children were removed from their mothers (pounded may be a more appropriate term in some cases) in ways which were both immoral and illegal. Can the white tribe do no wrong?

The claimed motivation for removing the children seemed to be multi-faceted. The need to save them from a terrible future amidst the dust of the cattle stations was one claim. A related caring claim was that, as part-whites, they could be assimilated through separation from their mothers and the rest of their people.

If these motives were genuine, how did those in authority see the rights of the mothers and their communities? Since the children were to become no more than servants, what did assimilation offer them? … A more honest motive was to ‘to f..k them white’, in order to avoid a biological throwback to their indigenous heritage.

Preventing the allegedly ‘quick-breeding half-caste’ from contributing to the growth of the creole community seems a more honest motive. As the Aborigine was then seen to be an early version of the Caucasian stock, there were thus hopes of breeding out the black peoples as a whole. But was there any intention to have white families adopt these poor kids, as claimed by a friend of mine? What were the odds of white families even considering such adoptions? I am, however, inclined to believe that some did. … …

… … The maltreatment of many of these ‘pounded’ children is now well documented. They were forbidden to speak their language; denied food, clothing and blankets at times; physically and sexually abused; and not taught to read and write. So said many of the survivors of the policy!

The priesthood does not come out too well from this experiment either. But, why punish the children for the sins of their parents? Who were the sinners? Weren’t they the white men who sired them so casually without accepting responsibility? Or, like rape victims, does one blame the women, or perhaps their ‘culture’? To claim that the intent of the practice of removing the fairer children was of the highest order was to ignore what actually happened.

There seems to be clear evidence of white males in the outback traveling with a black teenager in tow (a sort of multi-purpose slave); of masters of cattle stations and their white employees ‘begatting’ and then ignoring their mixed-blood offspring; of black drovers being ordered to stay out until the sun went down, so that the white men “… could go and f..k … the gins …”; of Aboriginal women who had been “… raped by whites, Greeks, Japanese, Chinese or whatever …” (indicating the common ends of many men in the outback).”