While the journalistic commentariat lines up behind Howard's totally inappropriate approach to the crisis in child care amongst remote indigenous communities, it begs the question, what should have been happening in these communities and what should be done now?
It is amazing that Howard's cheer squad is'nt asking why the resources that mainstream society take for granted have not been provided adequately to remote communities. From my perspective, the whole sorry story is a product of the ongoing malaise of colonization, cultural oppression, disempowerment and dispossession. Faced with the grinding reality of deep seated racism, is it really so surprising that these communities are often awash with substance abuse and child neglect? Surprise surprise, we also find these communities have been grappling with totally inadequate official support for community development programs and resources to address substance abuse problems and women's and children's health & welfare.
Radio National's Health Report this morning was illuminating.