Dealing with the Aborigines

August 13, 1999

Here is an excerpt of an editorial from the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald, which was published Monday.

WHEN WORLD attention focuses on Australia before and during the Sydney Olympics next year, international interest in the position of Aboriginal Australians will intensify.

It is the story the foreign media will want to explore, raising the specter of possible Aborigine-inspired boycott action.

Now, barely a year away, Aboriginal leaders are talking not of boycott but a more subtle strategy -- that of shaming Australian governments in the eyes of the world for their mistreatment and neglect of Aborigines.

This strategy will anger many Australians but such anger is not only futile but misdirected.

If international scrutiny shames white Australia into necessary reappraisal of flawed policies, well and good.

If it also sharpens Aboriginal leaders' understanding of the need for greater efforts on their part, even better.

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