There's no virtue in divisive identity politics
(Published in the Examiner 10th February 2021, publication available here)
How on earth are we going to wake up the "woke"?
Martin Luther King put it well when he asked for his children to be judged on the basis of character rather than skin colour.
The public splutterings by some and sundry, ever so desperately signalling their virtue, including local councils, wanting to change Australia Day out of "respect" for our Indigenous brothers and sisters and holding ceremonies on different days, might like to stop and ask what those whom they assert they are championing actually want.
Why? Because according to recent Roy Morgan polling 73 per cent of self-identified Indigenous Australians actually support 'Australia Day' while 27 per cent favour 'Invasion Day'.
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine explains:
"Perhaps most surprisingly amongst all the arguments about what the day should be known as is the views of people who consider themselves Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Amongst this group 73% say the day should be known as 'Australia Day' compared to only 27% that say it should be known as 'Invasion Day' - a significantly higher level of support for 'Australia Day' than amongst other Australians."
That's right, 73 per cent of Indigenous Australians support and understand 'Australia Day'.
So those activists who relentlessly bombard us with "change the date" because of their "solidarity" with the Indigenous are in fact embarrassingly out of step with those whom they are allegedly championing.
How silly must the management of Cinema Nova now feel?
In response to only one objector (who felt uncomfortable with it) the cinema pulled the innocuous "Reflect. Respect. Celebrate." Australia Day advert from their screens.
One suspects the silliness of renaming the Coon Cheese brand (named after its developer, Mr E. Coon) is similarly out of step with the sentiment of our fellow Australians, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike.
Spare a thought for those with the surname Coon!
Some eight years ago the ABC developed new offices in Brisbane. Before opening, a smoking ceremony was held to "cleanse" the building and to "expel bad spirits". This was done by way of a non-Christian ceremony - in fact an Indigenous smoking ceremony.
When asked why this methodology was preferred, Senate Estimates was told that it was a "symbolic event" out of solidarity with our Indigenous community.
According to the ABS and inconveniently for the ABC, the religion to which the Indigenous community overwhelmingly subscribes to in Queensland is, in fact, Christianity.
The ABC, one assumes, was symbolically telling the vast majority of the Indigenous community that their beliefs didn't matter.
Virtue signalling by the non-Indigenous board and management was far more important than the wishes of the majority they so patronisingly sought to champion.
If the majority of the minority being "championed" by the woke don't understand their patronising and misguided intentions, one assumes it's their own fault and not the virtue signallers.
But back to Australia Day. The voices of Indigenous leadership on this, be it Australia's first Indigenous Commonwealth parliamentarian, the late Liberal Senator Neville Bonner, or up and coming, inspirational Deputy Mayor of Alice Springs, Jacinta Price, among a host of others including Indigenous Minister Ken Wyatt, are in tune with the overwhelming majority of their people and the Roy Morgan findings.
So it was on Australia Day at Sandy Bay at a wonderful citizenship ceremony welcoming 60 people into the Australian family the small audience witnessed the hijacking of the event by the Greens Deputy Mayor of Hobart encouraging those in attendance to attend an 'Invasion Day' Rally.
We couldn't have the usual full Sandy Bay Regatta because of COVID restrictions but a rally for a "woke" cause self-evidently keeps COVID at bay. A bit like Black Lives Matters marches presumably do, whereas ANZAC Day parades don't.
The hypocrisy and duplicity, if not deceit, is breathtaking.
Some officials really treat us as mugs but the majority of us thankfully see through it.
For those that revel in minority identity politics and divide and compartmentalise our society while patronisingly ascribing group thinking to them, please stop and listen to what they actually want, not what you need them to want.
Those that divide, deflate and destroy do our society a great disservice and miss the opportunity of uniting, inspiring and building a stronger Australia, an opportunity to which the "woke" may never wake up.