In 2008 prime minister Kevin Rudd issued an official national apology for the mistreatment of Australia’s indigenous people. Since then, evidence has abounded that race relations have simply got worse with open resentment and even violent protests of Australia. The latest despicable display of racial bitterness is NRL star Cody Walker’s unoriginal refusal to sing the national anthem before the State of Origin opener.
You’d never guess it’s actually “National Reconciliation Week”, unless that means racist virtue-signalling week. Yes, the people complaining loudest about racism are plainly racists demanding obeisance. This week will potentially only serve to deepen resentment and widen divisions between Aussies who really don’t see any differences between us and those with varying fractions of indigenous blood who may or may not hold everyone else guilty for historical wrongs. Fortunately most non-Aboriginal Australians are sensible enough to overlook these childish acts.
Merriam-Webster defines reconciliation as restoring friendship or harmony. Reconciliation has never been further from grasp than it is now, but there are profound changes that must happen and obstacles, which must be removed before it ever can happen.
Apologies are useless without forgiveness.
I can’t tell whether it’s a majority or a minority of Australians with indigenous heritage, but far too many are clinging to victimhood in a way that makes reconciliation a long way off. Just this morning on one of the breakfast news shows one Aboriginal elder nonchalantly mentioned there can “never be forgiveness” for some historical attack.
Various notable figures including Nelson Mandela have been quoted as saying “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” There can be no moving forward while so many people are hopelessly mired in the past. There can be no friendship with people constantly reminding you of what people you don’t know did to other people you never met and holding you responsible for it.
There’s no substitute for personal responsibility.
The standard rejection of this sage wisdom by bitter blacktivists cites ongoing injustices as justification for constantly picking the scabs cherished since the eighteenth century. But that’s the problem. There’s always going to be immature jerks of deficient character to legitimise the grievance industry. At some stage you’re going to have to put down the poison and stop waiting for the other person to die.
The only person you can control is you. The only attitude you can adjust is yours. Placing all your hopes for reconciliation in behaviours desired of other people is to abdicate your own responsibility and transfer all your power to those people.
There’s no such thing as ‘your truth’.
One thing many are calling for in this year’s virtue signalling week is a foundation of truth. The obese elephant in the room though is the omnipresent imposition of a single perspective being offered as objective truth. The implication is that if you dissent from the status quo, you are the problem, and you must be re-educated to understand concepts such as white-guilt, white-privilege, and pervasive, systemic racism. Consequently, you must agree to whatever reparations are unreasonably demanded by the grievance industry. Never mind that frequent inter-tribe invasions, massacres and wars were at least as common here as the rest of world history: but when whites do it, it’s unforgiveable.
Race-based solutions are just racism in lipstick.
An objective Truth, which undergirds Western common law, is Imago Dei, a Latin phrase which means that every human being is made in the image of God and as such is of equal value. That’s why slavery is wrong, the holocaust is wrong, segregation and abortion are wrong – they devalue entire classes of humans. That’s why suffrage is right, as are equal pay laws. There is no natural difference between any two persons’ inherent value regardless of age, gender, religion or race.
To suggest then that our constitution should honour one ethnic group and no other is to divide Australians on race, something we’ve rightly strived to erase over time. To suggest there should be extra recognition in our parliaments for certain voices, solely because of their race and to the permanent exclusion of all others, is to violate the sacred democratic value of one man, one vote.
Blacktivists hate Australia.
There are some people who simply want no part of this nation. They have no affection for Australia in their hearts. They loudly decry the evils of the continent’s settlement by ignorantly calling it an invasion. Some athletes, revelling in the platforms and privileges, which accompany the elite levels they’ve achieved, even refuse to sing the national anthem; bitterly claiming it doesn’t represent their family.
How are we meant to be reconciled to people who take great pride in utterly rejecting having anything to do with us? We have a flag that includes everyone who wants to be and excludes no one because they aren’t the right colour. We have an anthem that rejoices in equal opportunity for everyone. We have a government that grants every adult equal voice regardless of their identity.
There can never be reconciliation until the voices of mature Australians drown out those who prefer to exploit and prolong division. Maturity requires forgiveness instead of resentment, moving forward without demanding certain conditions from others, accepting that we’re going to have divergent opinions about who done what when, relinquishing a subjective notion of reparative ‘justice’, and happily choosing to be one of us: a functional Australian without a racially-charged chip on your shoulder.
National Reconciliation Week is only intended to change white people, only makes demands of white people, and only holds white people responsible for any lack of reconciliation. As such it disempowers black people, locks them in a prison of paternalism, and tells them they are entirely helpless victims dependent on the good will and character of others.
It’s another example of how the ‘progressive’ road of good intentions doesn’t lead to anywhere.
Dave Pellowe is a speaker, writer and political commentator. He blogs at PelloweTalk.com.
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