How about Forgiveness Day?

Jacinta Price

25 January 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

I was always of the understanding that if someone truly respects you they will speak the truth rather than lie or distort the conversation for their own ends. Virtue signalling does that; it perpetuates lies and distortions to enable the signaller to feel — and appear — as if they are leading some ‘virtuous’ cause.

The Australia Day debate continues to rage on, with claims the date allegedly causes pain for some Aboriginal people because it ‘signifies the start of an invasion’. The ‘invasion’ myth has repeatedly been busted. It has also been argued that the date is not inclusive and that we as a nation do not recognise or honour our Indigenous people enough, despite doing exactly this on the following dates — Apology Day February 15, National Close the Gap Day April 2, Sorry Day May 26, Reconciliation Week May 27–June 3, Mabo Day June 3, NAIDOC week July, and International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples August 9.

Another argument is that we need to learn our history and particularly so from the Indigenous view point — which I absolutely agree with. But how then are we to recognise our history if we are going to ignore one of the most significant dates in it?

As an incredibly culturally-mixed nation, we should be thankful that Australia is so peaceful. After all forgiveness has always been an important aspect of Indigenous culture. It is understood that holding onto resentments leads to further conflicts, which can very easily result in serious violence. Resentment toward white Australians for events they had no part in during our country’s earlier history does not contribute to the reconciliation process today.

And since we have had ‘Sorry Day’, why not have ‘Forgiveness Day’ so we can truly begin to heal as a nation?

This is an edited excerpt of an address given yesterday at the CIS event Australia Day: change or stay?

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