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Australian Indigenous rights vote fuels racism

28 Comments
By Kate TAN

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The people with the mindset 'You have to vote the way I think or you are a dumb racist and deserve to lose your job and house and be publicly ridiculed' need to chill out, they aren't helping anything.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

The whole suggestion of dividing Australian citizens over their race and granting privilege for one citizen's ancestry over another's ancestry, explicit in the question of the refferendum itself is the most racist thing about it all.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Australian Indigenous rights vote fuels racism

The vote itself is racist. A choice to give special attention to one specific race over those who are of a different race.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

The whole suggestion of dividing Australian citizens over their race and granting privilege for one citizen's ancestry over another's ancestry,

You just summarized the founding of modern Australia and some hundred years of history. Well done self-own.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

I recently took a trip to Australia and took in a performance at the Sydney Opera House. Before the concert started, a speaker came out to welcome the audience, and announced that the group behind the performance is strongly in support of the "Yes" side. A very, very long ovation from the audience followed.

That kind of fervor often leads to ugly fighting, and it appears that's what's happening here. I wish they (and everyone elsewhere in the world that is experiencing similarly ugly in-fighting) would find their way back to civil discourse.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

No-one, not even the politicians know or seem to be able to coherently explain what it involves and what it will involve into the future! The dissemination of information has been abysmal if not downright disingenuous! They should have kept it simple. Enshrine in the constitution that there were a people here before white settlement…end of story! Everyone would have voted yes. But no, albanese had to create some BS “that no one even understands” as HIS legacy not the first nations peoples legacy.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Here we go again, another ridiculously biased article from a self-proclaimed "social justice journalist."

Australian Indigenous rights vote fuels racism

No, it doesn't. The fact is, if this "Voice" was going to be that good for our Indigenous communities, this level of desperate persuasion or irresponsible allocation of money spent toward campaigning would be unnecessary.

We know that enshrining racial division, victimhood, and inequality of citizenship in the Australian Constitution is a bad idea. The Prime Minister should not have taken sides and should have sought to lead and unite the country, rather than attempt to tear it apart as he has done.

Despite the Yes Campaign attempting to portray us otherwise, Australians are not racists - we are a fair-minded people who believe in a fair go for EVERYONE.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Maybe the invasion and "civilizing" should have been the other way around eh?

Did you really just try and counter historical fact with a piece of "slum fiction" from a Windows '95-era website?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Despite the Yes Campaign attempting to portray us otherwise, Australians are not racists - we are a fair-minded people who believe in a fair go for EVERYONE.

Well done Jay. 100% agree. How many times did the author of this idea try to conjure the racism specter in this latest attempt at journalism?

Disinformation, scaremongering? Please.

Any calm headed well-meaning Australian (which is 99.9% of us) who has been closely following the dialog on both sides knows exactly going on. We have heard the two propositions and it has become fairly clear to most which one stands on sturdier ground. One of the YES campaign's final desperate pleas is that a NO vote will brand Australia as a racist country in the eyes of the international community. They actually want us to disregard our better judgment for the sake of some sort of cheap and empty collective virtue signal to the world, show them what good people we are, no matter what the consequences of this deeply flawed proposal may be. They are having a laugh! Most Aussies could care less about what outsiders think of us, and I dont think the rest of the world wake up every morning to immediately check their phones to see what the latest news is from down under either. Truth is this has been a disaster for the Prime Minister and his party, he started the fire that now burns him. Racism, please. Most of the bad actors and name-calling has come from the side that's about to take the fall. The journalist of this article forgot to mention that part!

Australia being guilted and tricked into left-wing smoke and mirrors power grabs.

Australia, "Hold my beer".

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Did you really just try and counter historical fact with a piece of "slum fiction" from a Windows '95-era website?

Dickens illustrated the hell of London's slums very well.

Maybe this is more your pace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbgAscHeRcE

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Truth is this has been a disaster for the Prime Minister and his party, he started the fire that now burns him.

Nah, that fire was started long ago which you as an Aussie should know.

https://americansongwriter.com/the-aussie-meaning-behind-beds-are-burning-by-midnight-oil/

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I think some serious questions need to be asked:

1 Australia was comprised of many indigenous tribes that have now become Nations/Countries. If this is true then, have these Nations/Countries been listed, their constitutions ratified and a hierarchy of power established? Do they now all stand under the one flag?

2 If the billions of dollars allocated yearly to fix the indigenous people's issues have not brought them up to modern standards, laws and opportunities. Why not? Has this cash cow bucket been recklessly allocated? How many more BILLIONS are needed then to fix the problem once and for all?

3 If the indigenous people see themselves as disposed owners of this land and prefer their own sovereignty, flag and laws, then surely they are not Australians in the true sense and therefore should not be incorporated into the Australian constitution?

4 How can the ways of the past be held against those of the present? The world has seen many changes in its history with present day inhabitants working towards uniting their countries.

5 What filter/system is to be used to ensure the true numbers of indigenous people?

6 When will we acknowledge that all nations on this earth had violent pasts with indigenous tribes, tribes that also committed atrocities against others including slavery?

Vote 'NO' and instead, how about we investigate the blatant waste over decades to supposedly fix this issue instead.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Good one, champ

Jay, you were the one to bring up cannibalism. If you want a serious discussion, cut out that crap.

I'll have a crack at your questions:

I think you're looking at it from a Western mindset. When we came over and *~";-ed up their lives for them, they had been living happily in their own way for 50,000 years or so. The idea of constitutions, flags etc. was completely alien to them. I'd guess that still applies to a fair degree, but there have been aboriginal troops involved in our various wars, so you can't say they haven't had a go at fitting in with the powers that be (us).

THIS IS YOUR BEST QUESTION! It gets to the heart of the matter. As you say..."Why not?" The answer, I and many others are convinced, is that governments have been deciding what they need, where and how to allocate the money. Aboriginals themselves haven't been consulted in where and how such assistance has been directed. This is exactly the problem that the Voice is trying to address! Give them a say in decisions that are made in their name, and the outcomes are almost guaranteed to be better.

Yes, clearly they ARE dispossessed owners of the land. There can be no question of that. Again you bring in the concepts of "sovereignty, flag and laws". When Europeans came, did aboriginals have these things? No. They just got on with living, observing the seasons, taking care of the land etc. Laws as we understand them were unnecessary. How much breaking and entering went on, do you think? Zero. Booze? Didn't exist. People depended on each other & co-operated together, on the whole.

I'm guessing now, but maybe they would be interested in some kind of semi-independence within Australia. I don't know how that would work exactly, but the bottom line is that they're undemanding types (though you won't accept that). The most that they would ask us is don't dig up more of the/their land (and given the state of the climate, do we need more mines anyway??).

Not sure, but I think you're asking how they can expect to maintain their traditional ways of life/ stand against the tide of modern "progress". Another tricky one, but remember there are very few of them, and it's a huge country. A big bonus of giving them more of a free hand in how they manage things is that they understand the environment better than we do. In a bit over 200 years we've managed to screw up the environment spectacularly. Getting aborigines back into a more active role could have noticeable environmental benefits (less devastating bushfires, for example).

Not sure. Does it matter? If government money goes to aboriginal communities, and those communities are happy to accept people into their communities as "their own", to share in whatever resources are allocated, I guess they act as their own filter.

I think we all accept that violence against indigenous people has gone on all over the world. Many countries are still doing a rotten job of relations with these people. I'm not saying that we're the worst. That doesn't mean mean that we should content ourselves with the fact that we're not the worst, and give ourselves a pat on the back for it. When we mouth off to China, for example, about human rights, we need to be able to point to a good record of our own, otherwise we're just a bunch of hypocrites.

Vote "YES". Don't waste loads of money on pointless investigations into what went wrong when the answer is in front of your eyes. Treat indigenous people with some dignity and respect, and we'll ALL benefit.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Obvious this would happen, it’s part of the divide and conquer agenda used by governments to gain full control. Seems thy are emulating the US way of addressing racial matters.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Treat indigenous people with some dignity and respect, and we'll ALL benefit.

We all do mate. No need to force them into external victimhood through the racism of low expectations. Loads of top leaders within their ranks, absolutely killing it, they are the inspiration that the country needs now. Jacinda will be PM because of all this. Now that’s progress!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

To my Australian friends, face the fact that you took their First People's land from them, pushed them off onto the worst lands in the nation, the land no white settler wanted to farm or ranch, deprived them of any means of being economically viable and then stand their and tut tut criticize their resulting poverty.

As for representation they effectively have none now. Their populations are spread amongst multiple Parliamentary districts and they are never even a sizable minority much less a majority in any district. Their point of view and needs are seldom if ever represented in Parliament. Then some try to claim that giving the original inhabitants of the continent a voice in Parliament, not a vote even but just a chance to make a unified policy pitch to those who have a vote, is panned as somehow being racist in and of itself.

To me it seems like the very least that Australia could do for the people it dispossessed from their land. The very least.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Desert Tortoise

Okay, but is any of that any different than in Canada and the US? How long before an advisory role becomes an official role? We're facing a country in China that is trying to buy up supply chains around the world and the free countries may have to dig deep and make some people unhappy to keep their economies afloat.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To me it seems like the very least that Australia could do for the people it dispossessed from their land. The very least.

When you take/steal something from someone else, you should strive to return it. If that isn't possible, then you should try to make amends with something "worth" as much or more, realizing that anything less than returning/replacing what was taken isn't the same.

Lots of countries have these issues in their histories. There's no perfect answer and even a good answer won't make everyone happy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Okay, but is any of that any different than in Canada and the US? How long before an advisory role becomes an official role? We're facing a country in China that is trying to buy up supply chains around the world and the free countries may have to dig deep and make some people unhappy to keep their economies afloat.

The idea that indigenous rights have to take a back seat to competition with China is nonsense. It is just a lame excuse to do nothing. Keeping the indigenous population poor does nothing for your economy. Educating them, getting infrastructure and health care to their communities does. Those are the three most important things to grow any economy including a nation's indigenous population. Not shutting them off on your worst lands with dirt roads, poor services and a second rate educational system.

It has bothered me most of my life that in the US at least the Native Americans have been so badly treated. They were similarly marginalized and in most cases subject to outright genocide.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They learned nothing for the Brexit referendum, the hate crime it spawned and the division it caused.

The Voice referendum is an incompetent act of political cowardice. They could have implemented equivalent reforms based upon their electoral mandate, without all this. Perhaps they were happy for it to fail at a referendum, rather than take responsibility for it being implemented by them on their watch.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

correction: 'from the Brexit referendum'

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The truth is that people need almost no reason to be racist. C'mon. Reasonable thought should prevail. This applies to both sides.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Referendums are divisive by nature, the Voice is particularly so. Australians will vote NO to help prevent further division.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Desert TortoiseToday 05:39 am JST

The idea that indigenous rights have to take a back seat to competition with China is nonsense. It is just a lame excuse to do nothing. Keeping the indigenous population poor does nothing for your economy. Educating them, getting infrastructure and health care to their communities does. Those are the three most important things to grow any economy including a nation's indigenous population.

The things you mentioned are of course reasonable. I was thinking more of the requests from some indigenous communities that there not be any drilling, mining, or transport even outside of land that is acknowledged theirs. That I think that very much needs to weighed against keeping the economy afloat.

Not shutting them off on your worst lands

Not sure how that would be changed now. If any government entity in the US transferred land out of its control, I would be incandescent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@GBR48

Agree with you that Brexit was a disaster. Shooting yourselves in the foot with a bazooka, basically.

Re the Voice (which entails an amendment to the Constitution), here's a word from the Australian Electoral Commission:

"The Constitution has a special status as it overrides all other laws and can't be changed by the Parliament of the day. While the Constitution enables Parliament to create or change laws (legislation), the Constitution itself can only be changed through a vote by the Australian people - a referendum.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Andy

Referendums are divisive by nature

Rubbish. Referendums offer the chance to clear the air. They are only divisive if they are perceived as having been decided by lies and disinformation, which was clearly the case with Brexit, for example.

Australians will vote NO to help prevent further division.

Disinformation is increasingly turbo-charged, year by year, mostly by the right. Sadly, I suspect the vote WILL be NO, because of the fear caused by disinformation. It will have nothing to do with "preventing division". It will be precisely the opposite- because of the insidiousness of right wing "alternative facts" poisoning democracies around the world.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Dr Maybe, you have no clue what you are talking about. Like nada. Nothing sad about the No vote, nor are we mis/disinformed about it. No insidious racist plot to keep anyone down either, quite the opposite.

Right-wing "alternative facts' poisoning democracies?

Yeah, naaaa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Indeed. And what a move from our Prime Minister - push for a referendum to vaguely change our constitution, then threaten us with the potential ramifications of racist world opinion.

Classy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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