From The Australian, March 24 2008:
THE forced removal of children from Aboriginal families has been included in an international compilation of genocide events, reviving the controversy about the use of the term to describe the Stolen Generations.
Paul Bartrop, who co-authored The Dictionary of Genocide with US scholar Samuel Totten, has rejected the use of the word genocide to describe Australian colonial history in general, but says the use of the term can be “sustained relatively easily” when describing the Stolen Generations.
Dr Bartrop, who wrote the entry titled “Australia, Genocide in:”, said he used the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as cited by Ronald Wilson in his 1997 Bringing Them Home report, as the benchmark for the use of the term genocide.
Dr Bartrop’s entry states that the charge of genocide was “vehemently rejected by many who had previously viewed genocide only from the perspective of killing. Others agreed that removals had taken place, but that the report was unfair in labelling the policy as genocide in view of the fact that those carrying it out were acting from good intentions”.
“When we look at the Stolen Children, it’s unequivocal,” said Dr Bartrop, head of the History Department at Bialik College in Melbourne.
“But there seems to be a strong view among Australians that we’re too good for that, we’re all good blokes and we don’t do those things here. People who think that way need to grow up and face facts.” [emphasis mine]
That’s it. I’m speechless.