Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun:
Tony, you’re wrong. These new ceremonies to acknowledge traditional owners aren’t wrong because they’re tokenist.
They’re wrong because they’re divisive. Even racist.
And that’s especially true of the related “Welcome to Country”.
I was once taught the great glory of Australia was that this land is yours, mine and every Australian’s.
I believed that whatever the injustices of the past, this country now belonged to us all, whether we or our ancestors had been here for two years, 200 or 20,000. It belonged to us all, whether we or our ancestors were Aboriginal, English, Vietnamese or Greek.
We’d learned to see through such petty differences of skin or ethnicity, and meant to transcend them.
Similarly, I thought one of our great ideals was that we judged people by what they were and did, and not by their ancestors. No one had a prior right to respect or to the name “Australian” because their forebears were rich, noble, famous or, now, Aboriginal.
We did not divide into tribes or into First Australians or Last. We’d have laughed at a Jackie Huggins, the activist, who, when asked how old she was, replied: “I’m 70,000 years old.”
No one in this country is 70,000. We are only who we are as individuals, with only as much claim to respect as we have with our own deeds deserved.
Or so I thought. Alas, we are reverting to older, tribal values, and what the Welcome to Country and acknowledgement ceremonies now teach is what once more divides. They make intruders of non-Aboriginal people, even those born here and who feel indigenous to this land.
What makes the welcoming ceremonies even more absurd is that those doing the welcome often have nearly as much non-Aboriginal heritage as those they welcome. Does the pale-skinned Matilda House, who did the welcome that opened Federal Parliament in 2007, represent the invader or invaded?
How artificial are these distinctions we now insist on.
Welcome me to my own country? Tell me it’s not really my own? How dare you.
Source: Andrew Bolt Blog