I had a funny blog (hilarious even) all mapped out in my mind to pop up here, but I’ve just watched Q and A, and now it all seems a bit frivolous.
Did you watch it? I usually can’t stand it, mostly because of Tony Jones and the fact that my Twitter blows up with all the #qanda tweets and I’m too lazy to mute them. But also because of all the grand-standing and posturing, that I can’t help but think is all for show, and that they might all go out for a beer together afterwards.
But tonight was different.
There was a reflective reverence to the panel. The answers were thoughtful. The interactions respectful. No yelling. No name-calling. Perhaps it’s because the panelists weren’t as polarised by politics as they usually are, or maybe it’s because regardless of the methodology in which each one believes change can best be implemented, there was a commonality of intention. A bigger picture that each one, in their own way, would like to work towards.
And there was a warmth.
As it ever is: treaty is one of the goals, as is creating the best outcomes for families- children in particular, as well as encouraging bilingual-ness (I’m not sure what the correct term would be). These issues were only just touched on and then moved along. There was much to discuss and very little time. Not enough for any actual deepening of understanding.
I’m sure there will be tirades on blogs tomorrow, for example: the maligned Noel Pearson will be praised from one side for being eloquent and sensible and caring for the rights of children, and criticised from the other for being simplistic with an ‘either/or’ policy and of course for being Toned Abs’ right hand man.
And so it goes.
For if you care enough about an issue to go on National television and state your opinions outright, and are then following up those ideas with your life’s work, you will expect that someone, somewhere to have an opinion that is both equal and opposite. And they will voice it. Most likely without you being in front of them, to have the right of reply.
I can’t help but think: why are there still sides?
I have no idea what the best course of action is for Australia as a nation right now. This big warm-hearted country steeped in guilt and shame, and yet still unable to back down and apologise, and make change on a meaningful level- and not just with a few words of acknowledgement before a seminar, about the traditional custodians of the land- but with real action. I don’t pretend to know what the next step is, nor do I think I’m alone. Even the people intimately involved in putting forward suggestions seem to be lost on where to go.
So instead, we sit on our hands, or throw them in the air, afraid to weigh in, lest we say/think/do the wrong thing. Offend someone. Over-simplify. Make the wrong choice. Be seen as too white or too brown. Yet we know, that every single time we don’t make a choice, we are making a choice. Not choosing is still choosing.
And still we wait.
And yet again, the little children are taken away.