How am I going to write a persuasive letter to my cousin to accept Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generations?Umm im not really writing to my cousin its an english assignment...

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that there are several approaches you can take to this.  The first step that needs to be clearly established is how your cousin stands on the issue of the "Stolen Generation."  Simply put, is he unaware of what happened or does he not see the need for an apology, given his stance?  I think that clarifying this might help construct your letter.  I would say that one of the strongest points that needs to be made that nations are no different than people.  When something traumatic or repugnant has happened in one's life, there has to be a point of reckoning where one can understand what happened and then be able to move on from it.  One cannot be pinned against nor to the past in trying to forget it.  I think that convincing your cousin of the need to acknowledge what happened in the past is going to be important.  Australia's approach to children who were kidnapped and taken by the government from their homes and families for whatever reason has to be acknowledged.  The raping of this group of people is no different than the forced servitude and treatment of indigenous people marking the relationship between the "West" and the rest of the world.  As these nations have had to make the unpleasant acknowledgement of wrongs being committed, why should Australia be any different?  Acknowledging and accepting wrong is what makes a nation stronger and even more morally righteous.  I think that this would be a part of your letter.  Additionally, I think that if your cousin possessed fear as to what the apology actually means, you could argue that it is a highly symbolic act.  There was little, if anything, in the speech that spoke to the need for financial consideration or compensation for those who have suffered and this should allay your cousin's fears.  (I, of course, mention this in part tongue in cheek, as the apology did ring hollow without any sort of just compensation outside of words and symbolic action.)  Finally, I would strongly suggest that you make mention of the art that comes out of this moment in Australian history.  The film, "Rabbit Proof Fence" or in America, "The Long Walk Home," might be a great resource for you to employ in your battle to get your cousin to accept the need for Rudd's apology.  After watching this film, there is much to be understood in the repugnance in the actions of the Australian government.  In the end, appealing to your cousin's moral sense of right and wrong could be the best way to ensure that your goals in the letter are met.

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