Ron Bradfield Jr is the blogger behind Belongum’s Blog. Ron got in touch with us some time ago and contributed to our discussion on What Is Cultural Heritage? At the moment Ron trains Youth Workers and soon he will be working with Artsource – the peak body in WA for professional artists – driving their Regional Indigenous Artists program across the state, a new challenge he’s really looking forward to. I love Ron’s latest blog…
…why is this such a dirty word in Oz?
I try not to tip into my everyday business too much in this world, but the ongoing debate about this “Sorry Business”, just does my head in. I’m going to drop the following article into your lap’s folks – as I’d like to hear your take on it.
I’m in the business of going between worlds here – between blackfellas and whitefellas – and all the ’shades of Grey’ you can imagine, coming along for the ride. I know from personal experience, the nature of racism and silly business (on BOTH sides of the fence) that occurs here in Oz. That we (Australia) had the hide to Judge South Africa in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s for the way in which they’re government shaped their policies (and hence their populations ‘general’ behaviours), belies belief:
Pot, Pot… this is Kettle – Over!
Having said that – it does no bloody good at all attacking a people, and stabbing hard fingers of absolution into their chests. Nailing guilt – or guilt by association – into a person wins you no friends at all. I’ve conducted “cultural awareness” training on all sides of this debate, throughout many different professional (and community) spheres, and most times – people are happy to discuss this topic properly if they’re free to speak their minds, free of blame, free of ’shame’ and free of malice. Your opinion after all – remains your opinion… how you support this afterwards in relation to actual facts – is up to you.
I can tell you, that most times I’ve discussed with individuals the absolute messy myriad of topics concerning blackfellas and whitefellas in this country (in more places then you could possibly begin to imagine), we’ve reached a common consensus – and usually it’s the one that supports the strategy above. However, this has ONLY happened when people – from both sides of the fence – are allowed to speak free of fear and have their OWN say – from their OWN point of view. My own personal feel on this topic is that most people want it over and done with: Make a decision, commit to it – and MOVE ON! Most Aussies I deal with simply want to get on with living, and life. Surprise, surprise – most simply want to be able to do this together, without the political bulldust attached to it.
I’m opening the floodgates here – because I’d like to hear yours. So read on – and give me your feedback – “No names – No court martial’s”.