Yesterday, federal parliament opened to the now-usual Welcome to Country by Aboriginal elders, followed by the chanting and dancing of Aboriginal performers and their accompanying smoking ceremonies. This was in aid of the obeisance to Aboriginality that has become part and parcel of contemporary political culture.
Also yesterday, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles rugby league club, the silvertail spivs of Sydney’s North Shore, were rocked by seven of their first-grade side refusing to wear a so-called ‘pride’ jersey, which they asserted as conflicting with their personal religious beliefs.
The boycott was prompted by Manly’s no-notice adoption of the jersey to conform with the National Rugby League’s scheduled ‘pride round’.
I don’t much care about the ostentatious flummery in Canberra. The political class can do what they like, as long as Parliament doesn’t go too Woke and makes us broke.
Nor do I care about the hurt feelings of the boycotting Manly players. Having signed their lavish contracts and, having chosen Mammon over God, they should suck it up.
Potentially torpedoing their club’s season is fine thanks to the champagne lifestyle of an NRL player that their contracts pay for. If there’s no contractual provision for a religious objection to the club’s promotional activities, that’s it, whether they like it or not.
What stinks in both cases, however, is the causes to which these ostentatious, divisive, and disruptive displays of Wokeness represent: the tyranny of the agendas of tiny activist groups over the rest of us.
According to census data, the proportion of Australians who prefer single-sex or unconventional sexual relationships is roughly three per cent. The percentage of Australians who self-identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander also is about three per cent.
Yet the public and corporate time and money devoted to their causes is well beyond three per cent. Think of how same-sex marriage paralysed the political agenda for two years, and how the proposed Voice to Parliament constitutional push will likely do so for the next two. And they’re just two of the many three-per-center issues chewing up public discourse and dominating our politics.
Add the huge expenditure of political and media time and energy on a fraction of a fraction of one per cent – the trans and non-binary ‘community’ – and you could be forgiven for thinking the public conversation revolves around these issues with Climate Change blah-blah filling whatever time remains.
I’m over it. Are you?
Why won’t the in-your-face activists leave us alone? Why do they stain all of us with their versions of original sin, and treat any disagreement, let alone outright opposition, to their causes as heresy? Why do we have to pay exorbitant prices for a corporate’s product (and the NRL is a corporate more than it is a sport) and still get an unwanted serving of Woke ideology on the side?
Indeed, why do businesses bend over backwards to prostrate themselves in obeisance to fringe activism when it means offending and denigrating many of the 97 per cent who actually give them their revenue and profits?
It’s not the individual manifestations of the three-per-center causes that should be called out. It’s the three-per-center causes themselves.
People should be free to be themselves, whether they are Aboriginal or gay. Or whatever.
But in return for the acceptance and respect they demand – or rather the activists who claim to speak for them demand – they should show some respect and acceptance of the silent majority in return.
A truly diverse society is one in which no one group can expect to have everything its own way. Activists should not expect, as their right, ostentatious and obsequious displays of public homage by governments, corporates, and churches that treat them as special people, distinct from the rest of the population. Nor should they, and their mainstream and social media cheerleaders, presume their conception of what’s right is always superior to anyone else’s. Indeed, most of the 97 per cent already act towards the three-per-centers with kindness, respect and acceptance – regardless of race, religion, and sexuality. But for the activists, that inconvenient truth gets in the way of a good, attention-getting story.
If we really want to claim we have a diverse and inclusive society, and redress the disadvantage and discrimination that still exists in our society in a collective spirit of tolerance and respect, we must do away with the pharisee-like ostentation of the likes of pride rounds and acknowledgments of country.
The 97 per cent will embrace the three per cent, but goodwill disappears when they are coerced and shamed into doing so.
The corrosive, destructive tyranny of the three-per-center activists must be resisted.
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