of my ancestors. I am not responsible for what they said or their attitudes.
What people said or did in the past may now be considered wrong but it does not make me responsible for that. How could I be?
Yesterday someone asked me to explain "what the current uproar in netball (was) all about". I explained it was because the one indigenous player objected to wearing a logo on a uniform because of something that was said thirty-eight years ago by a now dead person. It is the dead person's daughter who was willing to sponsor the sport to the tune of $15m. That same person, a billionaire, is also using her money to support a range of activities her late father would be unlikely to have approved.
Yes the billionaire is different. She doesn't share her father's views about many things. What is more she is not responsible for what he said or did any more than I am responsible for what my beloved Senior Cat did.
"Apologising" for the deeds of others seems to have become something which is expected. In this country there was a national "apology" delivered by the Prime Minister of the day to the indigenous people of the country for the past wrongs done to them. It was one of those "feel good" acts for which he was widely praised.
I actually cringed. It was embarrassing. Here was a man I had not voted for apologising on my behalf to a present day group, not all of whom supported or wanted the apology, for past actions taken by people over whom we had no control. Had the PM simply said, "We acknowledge the harm done by past acts" and then outlined how they intended to ensure such things did not happen again I would have been much happier. I also know indigenous people who feel the same way. They don't want "apologies". They feel uncomfortable being asked to accept them.
I am well aware that my feelings about this are far from "politically correct". It may even lose me the remaining readers of this blog but, if you do go, then please at least think about it. Hartley's idea that "the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there" is something we need to acknowledge but we also need to acknowledge we are not responsible for what our ancestors did. What we are responsible for is what we do now.