Sankofa #13

Sankofa #13


I refuse to switch on my TV since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8th of September 2022. Our local Australian media has been covering the fact, and its aftermath in church and state, on a 24/7, 7 days per week basis. Truth be told I found it a bit nauseating. I mean no disrespect for the life and memory of Queen Elizabeth II and for the grief of her family. 

Now is not the Time

I have chosen not to say anything regarding the death of the Queen Elizabeth II. But after reading Stan Grant’s article I want to muse with you on the refrain “It’s not the right time to talk about this” or “Now is not the time”. Stan in his article reacted very strongly to the phrase and said: “We aren’t supposed to talk about these things this week. We aren’t supposed to talk about colonisation, empire, violence about Aboriginal sovereignty, not even about the republic.”  

Really? Now is not the time? Who decides when is the right time? When is it the right time anyway? Stan in his article said, “Everyone from the prime minister down has told us it is not appropriate.” And clearly, he is angry and frustrated by the refrain that has rung out since the death of the Queen. Who can blame him?

As Rev Dr Garry Deverell, a Trawloolway Pairrebeenener man from Lutruwita/Trouwerna (Tasmania) wrote in his post, “Most people I know personally, regardless of ethnicity and origin, seem able to distinguish between a certain sympathy for the royal family and the British people in their grief and loss, and the Crown as an institution and arch-symbol of empire.  This distinction enables them to generate real feeling for those who mourn, without, at the same time, losing the capacity for critical assessment when it comes to the brutal legacy of the Crown both at home and in the colonies.

I am a keen follower of politics in America. Every time there is a school shooting in America the GOP’s excuses (if anyone want to talk about sensible gun control) is “Now is not the Time” or bleating about the second amendment and anything else they can come up with to avoid even minimal action on gun control. Their preferred refrain is “Thoughts and Prayers”.

Over the years I am tired of hearing people telling the indigenous people to “just get over it”. It’s been 234 years since the British colonised the land now known as Australia. Clearly those people who insist that the indigenous people to “just get over it” don’t understand generational trauma. 

The Time is Always Right

There is a quote from Martin Luther King that I like to muse with you too – “The time is always right to do what is right.” What does that mean? It means that it’s never too late to stand up for justice, against what you consider is wrong. We must all stand against injustice and it’s never too late to turn around.

Don’t hesitate. There is nothing like right or wrong time, the time is always right to do things that seem right to you. Waiting for the right time could be nothing less than an excuse to delay those things which you could have done today.

Waiting for the right time is a procrastinator’s way of delaying things, and perhaps everybody does it at some point.

I strongly believe that the time is always right to stand up against all forms of injustices. The time is always right to call our bullies or those who behaved badly. 

You and I know that doing the right thing is not always easy. We are tempted to take shortcuts, or avoid pushback and conflict, but the message remains, “The time is always right to do what’s right.”

Prayer:  O God, doing the right thing is often not easy.  By your love and grace, may your Spirit impower us this day to do the right thing, no matter the circumstance.  Teach us again it’s always the right time to do the right thing.  Amen. 

… in the meantime, blessed be.

Rev Swee Ann Koh