David Pocock was a great rugby player and I admire his impetus and integrity as a Senator. He recently called on Rugby Australia and all sporting bodies to support the call for a Voice in Australia.
I take exception to that – to me it’s like telling all sportspeople they must take a knee.
Consequently, I read the Uluru Statement from the Heart*. I regret that I was disappointed but not surprised.
I accept this document represents the views and beliefs of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and that these various indigenous peoples were the sovereign rulers of Australasia at the time of European colonisaion.
Sovereignty relates to power. So, prior to colonisation, the indigenous people had the power over the land. They certainly were not united as one people and battles were common ** and it is assumed sovereignty over land changed over time – that is the explicit nature of mankind.
Colonisation is an economic force and those who are technologically superior will prevail, by seduction or force or both. The colonised are suppressed until over time they are assimilated or rise up and overthrow the colonists. That is the history of mankind.
The Uluru statement infers that longevity of possession confers eternal sovereignty over the land and states that the indigenous people “must one day return thither and be united with …. ancestors”.
It is remarkable to note the religosity that surrounds this concept of custody and ownership of the land – it has permeated Australian social values and is pronounced at every major public spectacle. A remarkable public relations coup!
Attachment to the land and access to the graves of ancestors is not just an Aboriginal thing – but they have made it iconic.
It cannot be disputed that Aboriginals have proportionally higher representation amongst the incarcerated and that children are alienated from their families at unprecedented rates. There are protestations that “we are not innately criminal” which suggests that while there may be evidence they committed crimes or abuse, they should somehow be exonerated as the victims of rapacious colonists.
Whatever and wherever, there is a strong case for effective and cohesive actions to be taken to facilitate opportunities to escape the spiral of ignorance, indulgence, poverty and crime.
However, the guilt scars left by the treatment of the stolen generation are strongly etched in the Australian psyche and the Voice is possibly seen as a simple way to ease that guilt. Virtue signalling is very fashionable at the moment…
The statement talks of possession of the land i.e. ownership … does that not suggest that ultimately there must be compensation for historical dispossession at today’s values?
It seems that the Voice is saying: Show me the money…!
In the US, some local governments are contemplating compensating present day African Americans for the hardships of slavery. The Canadian government will pay A$3billion in compensation to hundreds of Indigenous communities for decades of abuse suffered by First Nations, Métis and Inuit children in residential schools. The Maori in New Zealand have wrung millions from the Crown in recent years, which is an enticing precedent.
In the African sub-continent of my birth, there is a great push by Nguni tribes for return or recompense for land they once possessed for a while, and they are not even of First Nations aristocracy, just recent tenants!
Let us be clear on what is being sought:“substantive constitutional change and structural reform….to empower our people…... a Makaratta Commission to supervise a process of agreement making between governments and First Nations”
This is needed to end “the torment of our powerlessness“
The indigenous people are seeking more power than that which they share with non-indigenous Australians.
This is a classic manifestation of Woke thinking: generate guilt and moral wrong by highlighting historical inequalities and injustices and impute the blame on the current electorate and demanding rectification by reconstructing society and its institutions.
This is a modern application of democracy based only on sentiment.
Looked at objectively, granting more power to Indigenous people will only differentiate them more and cost more, with no guarantee of upliftment.
Beneficial action to uplift segements of society does not require constitutional amendment it requires clarity of purpose, consultation and adherence to a course of action.
Before you vote in the referendum, think carefully about the implications and why you are doing it.
Is it just to show you are sorry or do you believe it is right to give more power (money) to a differentiated sector of the population, based on that difference?
And who will be next? L G B T Q I … ?
*Uluru Statement from the Heart referendumcouncil.org.au/sites/default/files/2017-05/Uluru_Statement_From_The_Heart_0.PDF
3 thoughts on “Using my Voice”
A clear and concise read. Thank you for putting my thoughts so precisely into words!
I feel incredibly misinformed on the role and purpose of the Voice. But that would probably be due to not watching enough news, debates etc. I found this article from the Conversation very helpful:
I was not aware of the other two reforms; Treaty and Truth. I also worry about the outcome. My knowledge of Indigenous People of Australia is limited, but it seems relatively well documented that Indigenous Australia is multicultural comprising different nations. Having a Voice portrays that all nations will speak as one. What happens when there is difference of opinion and conflicting advice to government on issues that affect Indigenous People.
Will the Voice provide equality of opportunity or equality of outcome for Australians?
100% agree on the need for sports and politics not to mix!
I am still unsure on a Yes or No at this stage.
Couldn’t read the Uluru Statement Mal but agree with your comments – Find the Woke philosophy unpleasant and cant help thinking if we were all just brought up to treat others with respect and courtesy, we would not need to strike all these attitudes .