January 26 has certainly become a controversial date on the Australian calendar, ever since john Howard picked this date to observe Australia Day in 1994. He did this, at a time when he was pushing white Anglo Australia as thew definition of the nation. This was always going to be a problem.
First Nations Australians and their supporters have continuously sought to change this.
The campaign to change the date should be supported by every fair-minded person.
Public opinion is shifting. A recent survey by French social media platform Yubo found that 53.6 want the date changed, and this is heavily weighted towards younger people. One survey is not the whole story. But this is matched by the decision by and promoters of the official events to recognise the hurt. A change like this would not take place without public opininion demanding it. unless they knew public opinion demanded it. The decision by Cricket Australia’s decision to omit any reference to Australia Day is another indicator of the change.
Some are not happy with the shift. They do not yet appreciate the context of 26 January. There are also those few who have less than honourable motives.
Having Australia Day on a day that marks the arrival of the first fleet, is to celebrate the dispossession of a people. It also elevates the establishment of a penal colony, the imposition of martial law. a settlement that created convict slave labour, imposed martial law, and divided society into those who rule and those who are ruled.
It was resistance to all this by the First Nations and the ruled who came from overseas that gave the best that Australia has.
Other nations celebrate their liberation and emergence as an independent nation. Two examples are the Fourth of July in the United States and Bastille Day in France. Australia presently stands alone in celebrating being colonised by another nation.
We should all be proud of being Australians. Real pride comes from standing against injustice, opposing being under the thumb of another nation, and striving to build unity among all our peoples.
This is not about draping a flag over one’s shoulders and pretending a few of us are better than every else. If one really loves their land, they want to care for all who live here and want to build a better future.
Those who really care for this land know that we can’t move forward without righting past wrongs. First on the list is to make things right with the First Nations peoples.
Then it is to recognise that Australia is made up of peoples from all parts of the world, building a new culture and society together, which incorporates many strands, to create something unique.
This does not mean that all those presently observing Australia Day on 26 January should be attacked. Most have been led this way by those who are manipulating the matter for their political purpose of fostering white Anglo superiority, which is the old strategy of divide and rule to maintain the power of the elite.
Celebrating being Australian has its importance. The date on which this happens should be based on what is positive. There are two alternatives. One is 3 December, marking the Eureka rebellion against tyranny, the power of the landowners, and the British Crown. The other is the subsequent federation into a single nation and a form of self-rule, which came about on 1 January 1901.
The debate should now be on which one of these should be Australia Day.