26 January 2022

Claire G Coleman [$]: “Every year 1994, on January 26, Australians have celebrated the invasion and subsequent genocide of Indigenous people. Every year, … [t]he calls to change the date, the calls to abolish Australia Day, become increasingly loud. Perhaps people are beginning to see what the day truly is for many people — a spasm of jingoistic white nationalist fervour and an insult to Indigenous Australians, the survivors of genocide. … The original decision to celebrate January 26, to hold Australia’s national day on the date that the continent was invaded and the genocide of Indigenous peoples began, was a political one. It can be seen as nothing more than a statement of intent, to celebrate and idealise Australia as a British colony and, above all, as white. … I consider it the responsibility of the coloniser to fight against the colony, even to dismantle it. You outnumber us, you have the political power, although you apparently lack the political will to do better than you are doing. … The colonisers benefit from the colony. Every coloniser and descendent of colonisers, every non-Indigenous person, is advantaged by the colony. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the colonisers work to dismantle their own privilege. That is something for you to reflect on: how much do you believe in justice? Even that is not enough. It is time to ask yourself: what can you do for the people of this land, what are you willing to do? Do you think you are doing enough? Honestly?”