Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today attended the eighth anniversary of his apology to the Stolen Generations, and went pretty H.A.M. during his speech. Like, impressively H.A.M.
“Perhaps [I was] just wishing that the better angels of our nature had begun to prevail in a newly reconciled Australia. Or perhaps I was just plain wrong.”
“People screamed back that it wasn’t because Adam was Aboriginal. It was just that they disliked his behaviour as a footballer. I’m not exactly a connoisseur of the finer points of the game, but I think the claim that this was to do with Adam Goodes as a sportsman and not to do with his Aboriginal identity. I think that claim is 100 per cent bullshit.”
He said that the presence of racism in Australia was “more confronting than we white folks are ready for”.
“I don’t believe this racism represents the mainstream of our society, but it would be wrong to conclude that we don’t have a problem.Even if it is expressed by a small minority, racist words still carry a great weight, because they are powered by the force of history. It’s like a cancer that eats away at the fabric of our society – the fabric that binds us together as a wider Australian family.The next time any of us see or hear racist behaviour, don’t be silent. Call it out for what it is. Name it. Shame it. For racism in any form has no place in the Australia of the 21st century.”
While Rudd has been far more vocal than many Parliamentarians about Indigenous issues, it still really is quite amazing to hear words like this from a politician, no? Especially one that used to be a leader of this country. Refreshing, indeed.