Protect Free Speech Pt 2

Andrew Bolt has just been found guilty of racial discrimination for having the guts to raise questions about those aborigines who claim they are discriminated against and must be protected while all they are doing is being part of a system that separates us into different racial and social groups.

In light of this attack on free speech in this country I have decided to reprint in full the articles so that they may be read even if Bolt if forced to take them down

This is the second of the articles that Andrew Bolt wrote

Column – The new tribe of white blacks

AS you see, the two men above are from a tribe of people who face terrible racism just because of the colour of their skin.

So you’ll be thrilled that both have won a rare opportunity – one offered to their race alone to end such injustice.

The man to the right, Sydney arts academic Danie Mellor, this week won our richest prize for Aboriginal artists – the $40,000 Telstra Award.

And the man to the left, Sydney law academic Mark McMillan, has won one of our richest prizes for Aboriginal students – the Fulbright Indigenous Scholarship.

If, studying the faces of these two “Aboriginal” men you think this is surely the most amazing stretch of definition, you’re wrong.

McMillan has gone one better still: he’s also won the Black Women’s Action in Education Foundation Scholarship, originally intended to help educate black women, not white men.

But that’s modern race politics at our universities and anywhere else where grants and privileges are now doled out.

Hear that scuffling at the trough? That’s the sound of black people being elbowed out by white people shouting “but I’m Aboriginal, too”. Hark! – is that a man’s voice I now hear bellowing: “And I’m an Aboriginal woman.”

You see, Mellor and McMillan are representatives of a booming new class of victim you’d never have imagined we’d have to support with special prizes and jobs.

They are “white Aborigines” – people who, out of their multi-stranded but largely European genealogy, decide to identify with the thinnest of all those strands, and the one that’s contributed least to their looks. Yes, the Aboriginal one now so fashionable among artists and academics.

Let McMillan himself describe the torture he’s faced as a result – the shocking pain of having not been discriminated against for being black.

“I am a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, fair-skinned Aboriginal Australian . . .

“As a child, I grew up expecting everyone to be like me, to look like me – with the blonde hair and blue eyes.

“Clearly, my naive ideas about how Aboriginal people were ‘supposed’ to look were wrong. But being Aboriginal and fair and blonde was normal to me and I grew up in a world where I was treated ‘normally’ . . .

“Impeding my growth from that young person into the adult I wanted to become was the profound issue of identity. I was a white black man . . . I was becoming a victim.”

You’d swear this was from a satire—a local version of Sasha Baron Cohen’s jive-talking routine as the fashionably aggrieved white rapper Ali G, complaining: “Is it cos I is black?”

But no, this is meant seriously, and serious perks and Aboriginal-only benefits flow as a consequence.

McMillan – whose confusion about his identity leads him also to declare he’s both a “proud gay” and a “proud father” – has received all the special help you once thought, when writing the taxman another cheque, would at least go to people who looked Aboriginal, but which is increasingly lavished on folk as pink in face as they are in politics.

This trained lawyer has not just won several prizes intended for Aborigines, but has worked for Aboriginal groups such as ATSIC, and is the Aboriginal representative on several boards, including that of a local land council.

Now he’s a researcher at Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney – an “indigenous” outfit run by the very pale Prof Larissa Behrendt, who may have been raised by her white mother but today, as a professional Aborigine, is chairman of our biggest taxpayer-funded Aboriginal television service.

The blue-eyed and ginger-haired Mellor has been similarly privileged, despite having an “American-Australian” father and a mother with only part-Aboriginal ancestry in her otherwise Irish-Australian past.

He now lectures on “Indigenous and Western perspectives of culture and history” at Sydney University and his indigenous art now hangs in most of our national and state art collections.

Nor are Mellor, McMillan and Behrendt atypical or even rare as “white Aborigines”.

St Kilda artist Bindi Cole, raised by her English mother, explored her own pain at being too white in a Next Wave Festival show, Not Really Aboriginal, for which she photographed herself with black powder all over her distressingly white face.

Blond Annette Sax, daughter of a Swiss immigrant, also identified herself as a “white Koori”, which fortuitously allowed her to make the shortlist for the Victorian Indigenous Art Award, alongside other Aboriginal artists as pale as a blank canvas.

T HE auburn-haired Tara June Winch was just as lucky. She needed to write just one book—and say her dad had Afghan-Aboriginal ancestry – for the Australia Council to snap her up as its Indigenous Literacy Project ambassador.

I’ve written before of a dozen similar cases, several even more incongruous.

For instance, how can Graham Atkinson be co-chair of the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group when his right to call himself Aboriginal rests on little more than the fact that his Indian great-grandfather married a part-Aboriginal woman?

Yes, yes, I know. What business is it of anyone else how we identify ourselves? In fact, we’re so refreshingly non-judgmental these days – so big-hugs-for-all – that the federal Human Rights Commission wants our laws changed so a man can even call himself a woman, should he feel like it.

Hear it from the HRC itself: “The evidentiary requirements for the legal recognition of sex should be relaxed by . . . making greater allowance for people to self-identify their sex.”

Lovely! Soon there’ll be no end of white men claiming prizes meant for black women. And don’t dare then tell the HRC’s anti-discrimination police you object.

Yet I do object, and not just because I refuse to surrender my reason and pretend white really is black, just to aid some artist’s self-actualisation therapy.

That way lies madness, where truth is just a whim and words mean nothing.

I refuse also for two other reasons that should be important to us all.

First, of course, is that the special encouragements and prizes we set aside for Aborigines are actually meant for . . . well, Aborigines. You know, the ones we fear would get nothing, if we didn’t offer a bit extra, just for them.

So when a privileged white Aborigine then snaffles that extra, odds are that an underprivileged black Aborigine misses out on the very things we hoped would help them most.

Take Mellor’s art prize. This white university lecturer, with his nice Canberra studio, has by winning pushed aside real draw-in-the-dirt Aboriginal artists such as Dorothy Napangardi, Mitjili Napanangka Gibson and Walangkura Napanangka, who’d also entered and could really have used that cash and recognition.

DOES this make sense? What’s an Aboriginal art prize for, if a man as white and cosseted as Mellor can win it, and with a work that shows no real Aboriginal techniques or traditions?

What’s a black Aboriginal artist from the bush to think, seeing yet another white man lope back to the city with the goodies?

Same with McMillan. When a man as white as I, already a lawyer with a job, wins a prize meant to encourage and inspire hard-struggle black students, what must those Aborigines conclude?

And here’s my other objection.

Seeking power and reassurance in a racial identity is not just weak – a surrendering of your individuality, and a borrowing of other people’s glories.

It’s also exactly what we have too much of already.

The noble ideal of Australia, that we judge each other by our character and deeds, and not our faith, fortune or fatherland, is breaking down. We’re not yet a nation of tribes, but that’s sure the way we’re heading.

I’ve never before seen so many Australian-born people identify themselves by their ethnicity, whether by joining ethnic gangs, living in ethnic enclaves, forming ethnic clubs, demanding ethnic television, playing in ethnic sports clubs, or grabbing ethnic prizes and grants.

Why is that a problem? Because people who feel they owe most to their tribe tend to feel they owe less to the rest. At its worst, it’s them against us.

Feel that fracturing yourself?

So when even academics and artists now spurn the chance to be people of our better future – people of every ethnicity but none – and sign up instead as white Aborigines, insisting on differences invisible to the eye, how much is there left to hold us together?

Protect Free speech Pt 1

Andrew Bolt has just been found guilty of racial discrimination for having the guts to raise questions about those aborigines who claim they are discriminated against and must be protected while all they are doing is being part of a system that separates us into different racial and social groups.

In light of this attack on free speech in this country I have decided to reprint in full the articles so that they may be read even if Bolt if forced to take them down.

Column – White is the new black

 

MEET the white face of a new black race – the political Aborigine.

Meet, say, acclaimed St Kilda artist Bindi Cole, who was raised by her English-Jewish mother yet calls herself “Aboriginal but white”.

She rarely saw her part-Aboriginal father, and could in truth join any one of several ethnic groups, but chose Aboriginal, insisting on a racial identity you could not guess from her features.

She also chose, incidentally, the one identity open to her that has political and career clout.

And how popular a choice that now is. Ask Annette Sax, another artist and – as the very correct Age newspaper described her – a “white Koori”.

Her father was Swiss, and her mother only part-Aboriginal. Racially, if these things mattered, she is more Caucasian than anything else. Culturally, she’s more European. In looks, she’s Swiss.

But she, too, has chosen to call herself Aboriginal, which happily means she could be shortlisted for this year’s Victorian Indigenous Art Award.

Shall I go on? Not yet convinced that there is a whole new fashion in academia, the arts and professional activism to identify as Aboriginal?

Not yet convinced that for many of these fair Aborigines, the choice to be Aboriginal can seem almost arbitrary and intensely political, given how many of their ancestors are in fact Caucasian?

Then meet now Tara June Winch, who is just 26 and has written only one book, Swallow the Air, yet is already an ambassador for the Australia Council’s Indigenous Literacy Project.

Yes, indeed, because despite her auburn hair and charmingly freckled face, she, too, is an Aborigine, who claims her “country is Wiradjuri”.

Yet her mother, who raised her in industrial Wollongong, is in fact boringly English, and her father has both Afghan and Aboriginal heritage.

She could call herself English, Afghan, Aboriginal, Australian or just a take-me-as-I-am human being called Tara June Winch. Race irrelevant.

Instead, she’s an official Aborigine, and hired as such in a nation that now institutionalises even racial differences you cannot detect with a naked eye.

Larissa Behrendt has also worked as a professional Aborigine ever since leaving Harvard Law School, despite looking almost as German as her father name, and having been raised by her white mother.

She chose to be Aboriginal, as well, a member of the “Eualayai and Kammillaroi nations”, and is now a senior professor at the University of Technology in Sydney’s Indigenous House of Learning.

She’s won many positions and honours as an Aborigine, including the David Unaipon Award for Indigenous Writers, and is often interviewed demanding special rights for “my people”.

But which people are “yours”, exactly, Larissa? And isn’t it bizarre to demand laws to give you more rights as a white Aborigine than your own white mum?

How much more of this madness can you take? Meet now Associate Professor Anita Heiss, who says she’s a “member of the Wiradjuri nation” who prays to Biami, the tribe’s creator spirit.

Heiss’s father was Austrian, and her mother only part-Aboriginal. What’s more, she was raised in Sydney and educated at Saint Claire’s Catholic College. She, too, could identify as a member of more than one race, if joining up to any at all was important.

As it happens, her decision to identify as Aboriginal, joining four other “Austrian Aborigines” she knows, was lucky, given how it’s helped her career.

Heiss not only took out the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry, but won plum jobs reserved for Aborigines at Koori Radio, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and Macquarie University’s Warawara Department of Indigenous Studies.

I’m not saying any of those I’ve named chose to be Aboriginal for anything but the most heartfelt and honest of reasons. I certainly don’t accuse them of opportunism, even if full-blood Aborigines may wonder how such fair people can claim to be one of them and in some cases take black jobs.

I’m saying only that this self-identification as Aboriginal strikes me as self-obsessed, and driven more by politics than by any racial reality.

It’s also divisive, feeding a new movement to stress pointless or even invented racial differences we once swore to overcome. What happened to wanting us all to become colour blind?

Of course, the white Aborigine – or “political Aborigine” – is not new.

In 1972, Pat Eatock, founding secretary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, officially became the first Aborigine to stand for federal parliament in the ACT, even though she looked as white as her Scottish mother, or some of her father’s British relatives.

Indeed, Eatock only started to identify as Aboriginal when she was 19, after attending a political rally, so little did any racial difference matter to her before her awakening to far-Left causes.

But she thrived as an Aboriginal bureaucrat, activist and academic, leading the way for Leeanne Enoch, who stood for Labor in last month’s Queensland election as its “first Aboriginal candidate” in a winnable seat, despite looking as Aboriginal, or not, as Premier Anna Bligh.

The white Aboriginal artist, too, is more than 15 years old. Kim Scott was hailed as the first Aborigine to win the Miles Franklin Award, and calls himself a Noongar, despite conceding that the Aborigines who did not know him called him wadjila – a white.

No doubt he has Aboriginal ancestry, but why does he not also identify with his obvious European background?

That is now a question even for our most famous Aboriginal leaders. Geoff Clark, the last chairman of ATSIC, the Aboriginal “parliament”, had an English a Scottish father. Lowtija O’Donohue, another ATSIC chairman, had an Irish father. Blue-eyed Michael Mansell, the Tasmanian firebrand, clearly has more European than Aboriginal ancestry.

Even Professor Mick Dodson, the Australian of the Year and a fierce advocate for a treaty between black and white, had a white father and from the age of 10 was a boarder at a Victorian Catholic school. Sign a treaty with yourself, Mick.

Or take the most prominent Yorta Yorta leaders – Melbourne University academic Wayne Atkinson and Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group co-chair Graham Atkinson. Both are Aboriginal because their Indian great-grandfather married a part-Aboriginal woman.

I think it sad if we keep harping on about differences and rights based on trivial inflections of race.

And how comic it can be. We get fair-faced Dr Mark Rose, director of Melbourne University’s Centre for Indigenous Education, falsely claiming as “a member of the western Victorian Gundjitamara Nation” that the northern Australia didgeridoo is banned to women.

We get Daniel Browning, host of ABC radio’s Awaye! program for Aborigines, insisting he’s Aboriginal when he looks more like one of his West Indian ancestors, and could just as correctly claim to be South Sea Islander, English, Australian or who-cares.

To me, this blacker-than-thou offends the deepest humanist ideals, and our “enlightened” opinion is debased when it takes a Casey Donovan, a mere Australian Idol winner, to hint at the healthier truth, saying she’s proud of being Aboriginal, but “proud of being half-white, too”.

In fact, let’s go beyond racial pride. Beyond black and white. Let’s be proud only of being human beings set on this land together, determined to find what unites us and not to invent such racist and trivial excuses to divide. Deal?