Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s call for an end to “welcome to country” ceremonies at public events is not racist, it is unifying.
Family First supports her.
Never has there been such goodwill towards Indigenous Australians from their fellow Australians.
That is why it is ironic that the Anthony Albanese’s Voice referendum is on a path to failure.
Like the Matilda’s World Cup bid, Australians regardless of race, creed or identity earnestly desire unifying moments.
Soccer is not everyone’s sport, but we love, indeed crave, the sense of togetherness this Matilda moment brings. Cathy Freeman created the same atmosphere 23 years ago.
If they’re not supporting the voice, it is because Australians know that the race politics of the Voice is only brings division.
Almost no one has anything against Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people but mainstream Australians have become more and more resentful of being welcomed to the country they too were born into.
Whether we came two years ago, 200 years ago or 60,000 years ago, we all want to feel equally part of this great country.
As former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said last week, a welcome to country may be appropriate when visiting an indigenous community but not at the footy or a seminar.
Desire to recognise and respect Indigenous Australians has arguably never been greater.
But Australians also have well-honed bull dust detectors.
They can see that the Prime Minister and a radical class of political activists have a bigger agenda, and they don’t want to reveal it before the vote.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is no Gettysburg-like address as the Prime Minister likes to claim.
Abraham Lincoln began his famous oration with the assertion that “all men are created equal”.
The Voice, in contrast, begins with the proposition that some peoples are more equal than others.
Lincoln was seeking the unity of his nation going forward, despite the soft earth of the graves of the soldiers where he stood on a slope over-looking a battle-scarred town that day in 1863.
Again in contrast, the Uluru Statement from the Heart seeks “sovereignty” - a nation within a nation based on race.
It demands a “Makarrata”, which is a Yolngu word that means peace comes after payback.
Lincoln rejected revenge, despite having every right to seek it.
His Union government was losing the war, he could have rallied his people to lash out especially given emotions still raw in Gettysburg.
Instead, he remined both sides they were created equal – part of the same country.
Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address, delivered a month before the war ended but with the Union clearly now ascendant, built on the themes of Gettysburg.
“With malice towards none,” he famously intoned.
Sadly, the Uluru Statement from the Heart, its longer version and the supporting documents, are full of malice towards the Europeans who settled Australia and towards their descendants.
Demands for compensation and to “pay the rent” abound.
It talks of treaty and “truth telling”.
While there are hard truths about our past that we must be honest about, there is no conspiracy to lie about Australia’s past.
No one pretends our past did not have atrocities. The massacres are well documented.
But the truth is the massacres and diseases are not the full story.
If we are going to tell the truth about the past, we should tell the whole truth. As indigenous leader Warren Mundine says, a mark of a nation’s greatness is its ability to correct its mistakes – something Australia has done in spades.
This nation has changed. Racist and violent actions and attitudes have slowly been removed. Indigenous culture is being recognised and absorbed into our nation as other cultures have been.
We should also tell the truth that we have built a great nation. A strong democracy that seeks peace, justice and opportunity for all people regardless of their background.
Are we perfect? Of course not. But we are a very long way from where we started and where many other nations are today.
Despite the claims of the self-declared communists like Thomas Mayo who helped create the Voice and who helps run the official Yes campaign, there is no systematic or wilful oppression of Indigenous people in Australia.
Ten years of welcome to country ceremonies have done nothing to stop child rape or ease the alcohol-fuelled violence against Indigenous girls and women.
That a significant minority of Indigenous people still live in squalor and have terrible health and life outcomes is a tragedy that a new advisory committee, even if entrenched in the Constitution, cannot fix.
Work to fix it we must. Lincoln showed that with forgiveness and goodwill, even to towards a bitter enemy, a way forward could be found.
If the PM wants the same unifying moment that ordinary Australians do, he should drop the malice and racial inequality that lies at the heart of the Voice.
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