Dr Kevin Donnelly: Time to walk the walk

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Bishop Mark J. Seitz of the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, kneels at El Paso’s Memorial Park holding a “Black Lives Matter” sign June 1, 2020. CNS photo/Fernie Ceniceros, courtesy Diocese of El Paso)

Since the black American George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May this year and the global emergence of the neo-Marxist inspired Black Lives Matter movement, gestures like taking the knee have become a symbol of politically correct Wokeness and fabricated virtue signalling.

In America NFL football players take the knee during the national anthem to demonstrate solidarity with black Americans always portrayed as victims of structural racism. In the state of Vermont over 200 students took the knee to protest against white supremacism.

Proven by this year’s events it’s obvious the BLM infection that began in America has spread world-wide. In the United Kingdom, instead of remaining impartial and upholding the law, police have sided with rowdy and often violent activists to demonstrate sympathy and support.

During the recent international cricket season in the UK the West Indian ex-player and commentator Michael Holding, in addition to expressing strong support for BLM, criticised the English team for not taking the knee before every match.

“In Australia we think the most marginalised group is the First Nation’s people … this is the best way we can demonstrate anti-racism as well as celebrating Indigenous culture”.

Such is the dominance of radical secular, cultural-left ideology that even the Australian cricket team, once known for its larrikin, anti-authoritarian streak, has also succumbed to politically correct group think.

This week, in deference to Aboriginal Australians the cricket team has announced it will appear bare footed in the centre of the ground at the start of the upcoming ODI match against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Australian vice-captain Pat Cummings justifies the cricketers’ actions by arguing “In Australia we think the most marginalised group is the First Nation’s people” and “this is the best way we can demonstrate anti-racism as well as celebrating Indigenous culture”.

The Australian coach Justin Langer agrees when arguing Australia is a racist society riven with prejudice and hatred towards Aborigines. Langer justifies the team’s actions by observing “Racism is wrong, that is a universal law, simple”.

Protest at UN Climate Summit. Photo: SFT HQ, CC BY 2.0
Protest at UN Climate Summit. Photo: SFT HQ, CC BY 2.0

Ignored by Cummings and Langer is that unlike communist China where the Uigurs are being imprisoned and Islamic states where Christians are oppressed and beheaded Australia’s Aborigines have the right to vote, are equal before the law and as proven by the High Court’s Mabo land rights decision have ownership over their own tribal lands.

Aboriginal communities across Australia also receive over a billion dollars each year in mining royalties from companies including BHP and Rio Tinto and enjoy positive discrimination in relation to employment.

Based on the most recent Productivity Commission Indigenous Expenditure Report, state, territory and commonwealth governments in 2015-16 spent $33.4 billion on Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander people, amounting to a per person figure of approximately $44,886.

The equivalent figure for non-Indigenous people is $22,356 per person.

“all the Australian cricketers are doing is engaging in an empty and self-serving display of moral righteousness and fabricated guilt.”

Even worse, much like original sin that can never be expunged each and every succeeding generation of non-Aboriginal Australians are forced to pay as they are seen as complicit in the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 and the start of the so-called European invasion.

In reality, rather than proving they are against racism and dedicated to overcoming the disadvantage suffered by Indigenous people all the Australian cricketers are doing is engaging in an empty and self-serving display of moral righteousness and fabricated guilt.

As argued by Aboriginal activists like Anthony Dillion from the Australian Catholic University and Jacinta Price the Deputy Mayor of the Alice Springs Town Council engaging in politically correct virtue signalling instead of helping Indigenous people only makes their disadvantage and suffering so much worse.

Such transitory and empty public gestures take attention away from the need to address long term, intractable problems like high rates on incarceration and family violence, welfare dependency, poor health, educational disadvantage and joblessness.

In Australia the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody is overstated and as a result other more pressing issues are ignored, such as domestic violence, homelessness and poor health.
In Australia the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody is overstated and as a result other more pressing issues are ignored, such as domestic violence, homelessness and poor health.

In remote communities, as argued by Jacinta Price, far too many Aboriginal children, especially girls, are suffering from depression and anxiety plus physical and sexual abuse.

Too many Aboriginal teenagers die from violence inflicted by others in their communities.

Instead of endorsing meaningless public displays of support and sympathy like taking the knee or performing a barefoot circle before a match, if the Australian cricketers were genuinely concerned they would get involved in practical and much needed action.

Players could even donate part of their day’s pay to sponsor programs and initiatives directed at making a difference on the ground in Aboriginal communities in areas like health and education.

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