“Get Over It” On Colonialism.
The response ‘get over it’ I find, is a response given to many peoples various issues, issues most often centered around personal experiences, or empathy with others experiences. I have seen the term used in response to the Holocaust, depression, rape, wars, racism, sexism and lack of services among many other things.
I was told to get over it regarding colonialism and the impact it has created on the Aboriginal population of Australia.
My response to get over it? I am trying, everyday I try. And everyday I open my news browser, read my twitter feed, talk to colleagues and friends, and everyday I see the effects of colonialism being played out in large, small and micro ways. And everyday I am reminded that colonialism is not over.
So the short answer?
I cannot get over it.
The long answer?
What started as a rather innocuous question I asked Dr Dennis Jensen – Why did you boycott parliament the day that then PM Kevin Rudd gave his, what will surely become historical, apology to the Stolen Generation?
I wont go into details, as these stories are not mine to tell, but I will say this. To deny the Stolen Generation did not happen, that these people do not exist, through some ridiculous legal posturing, is a slap in the face to every. Single. Aboriginal. Person who is living with the repercussions of having their family torn apart by a government who apologists will say were only doing what they thought was right at the time.
Dr Jensen then went on to tell me to ‘Get Over it’. To which I replied, Do I just snap my fingers and forget 213 years of oppression?
He then went on to ask me if I am in fact 213 years old, and then told me to Work out ways to maximise my own life experiences, as I can’t for deceased ancestors.
So in reply to your claim colonialism was 213 years ago Dr Jensen, I disagree, I disagree with a heart that is sore from watching and still feeling the effects of colonialism today.
I am watching in despair as a second round of what to me, and many other Aboriginals is the beginnings of another Stolen Generation in the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales through the Intervention and Stronger Futures Acts.
It seems to me Dr jensen, colonialism is as alive today as it was 213 ago.
So as an Aboriginal woman, one of many I might add, what exactly am I supposed to do to get over colonialism and pretend like it never happened?
Do I turn my cheek on my black sisters who are getting their children removed from their care, for the simple reason they live in an area where there are no jobs and a Govt payment doesn’t even begin to cover the costs of clothing, feeding and sending 1 child to school everyday, let alone 7?
Do I ignore the fact that the reasons my Sisters and Brothers cant get jobs is because of the colour of their skin? The fact they have children, because they have obligations to other family members, be it Aunts, Uncles or Grandparents, and even Great Great Grandparents?
The lack of flexibility in your workforce is not my problem, but it is the problem in many cases. But some employers refuse to see this. They will still insist on 9-5. And in this day and age, 9-5 is the death knell for many workers. Black and white.
I asked a very good friend of mine to critique what I have written. He advised me to link to Dennis Jensens comments, what the mainstream media had to say in reply to those very stupid remarks from that very stupid man. I decided, probably stupidly, that my words alone would stand on their own in refuting his ridiculous remarks about colonialism.
The only people that think colonialism is over, are the people that are benefiting from it.