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80 responses to “Andrew Bolt sued under Victorian Racial and Religious Tolerance Act”

  1. FDB

    I agree 100%. The Act is a counterproductive waste of resources and a farce to boot.

  2. Casey

    Of course, the literary community, Indigenous and non Indigenous, had this argument years ago regarding Sally Morgan and Mudrooroo, and Archie Weller. But never mind, everything old is new again where Bolt is concerned. Was it a slow news day for him? I can’t believe he labelled Anita Heiss and Larissa Behrendt (as a professional Aborigine). Extraordinary.

  3. john

    It’s about time he got his for being such a racist, lying bigot.

  4. Jarrah

    Sometimes I look at your posts, Robert, and think you must be eavesdropping on my thoughts on the subject. I was also under the impression that this Act was considered a Good Thing by progressives generally (or at least its intention, correct me if I’m wrong), so I’m glad to see its faults criticised here at LP.

  5. Pavlov's Cat

    But never mind, everything old is new again where Bolt is concerned.

    Yes, that was my first thought too — humanities academics, particularly historians and including Indigenous scholars, have been teasing out these questions for nigh on 30 years. Bolt, of course, would scorn to read it.

  6. skip

    Liberty Victoria can keep fantasising about how it’s impossible to “proscribe all speech which causes hurt and offence”, but that’s not what the Act does is it? For a glimpse of what free, unrestricted Voltairean speech can achieve, check out the GZM debate in the United States, where the confident participation of mainstream media and political figures in a national discussion on the dangers of Islam has (so far) contributed to one throat slashing and one arson.

  7. Mercurius

    Hoo boy, Bolt’s gonna wallow in this one like a pig in filth.

    One possible side-benefit: is there any chance, just vaguely, that he won’t be able to comment publicly on the case while it’s in court? If so, Robert, I have to disagree with you and argue that the Act should stay on the statute books for a couple more decades, and folks should launch actions against Bolt on every conceiveable subject he ever commented on…

    ;)

    While shutting him up may be personally satisfying, it will merely make his considerable number of fans more convinced of his heroism and righteousness.

    Well sure, but his fans would remain steadfastly convinced of his heroism and righteousness if he ate a baby on live television. So, I say, let’s go for the personal satisfication angle on this one, baby!

  8. skip

    Robert, there’d have been no anti-mosque movement at all if racial and religious vilification were outlawed. It was confected entirely out of speech by one blogger, one news channel, and one political party’s candidates in the context of an election campaign. If the blogger had been convicted racial vilification laws, maybe she would have been convinced there was a conspiracy against her, but her feelings aren’t my concern. The party and the channel would have been unable to conjure up a national movement and nobody would have had their throat cut as a warning to other Muslims.

  9. skip

    And no comment on the total irrelevance of Liberty Victoria’s statement?

  10. harleymc

    Free speech that vilifies – you won’t find me queueing up to defend neo nazis. Yeah I’ve been on the receiving end (4 occasions) of violence from thugs empowered by ‘free speech’ vilification. Injuries have included broken bones, concussion and some pretty severe phsychological trauma.
    In the context that I can not use physical force against those who vilify and incite violence then the law is the answer. If Bolt doesn’t understand that with freedom comes resposibility then I hope he is taken to the cleaners.

  11. harleymc

    BTW I’m not claiming that Bolt is a neo nazi, merely that he walks and talks like them.

  12. James Wakefield

    I really don’t like these kind of laws. No doubt these very laws will swing around on to blogs like this. Perhaps we will never be able to imply that many Liberal party members are vile racist pigs without being threatened under hate speech legislation for vilifying people for their political affiliations. Actually, I hate Bolt and his ridiculous bunch of sycophants, in fact, I hate him with such a seething passion that there are shivers down my spine and my teeth clench when I read his moronic filth. So, sure, I am guilty of hate speech. As much as I hope that he dies from some vile painful disease or goes to jail for what ever reason any one can find, we have to protect this piece of shit over this issue.

  13. bmitw

    Is there some reason why he can’t be sued for defamation instead? Alan Jones cops those lawsuits (justifiably) all the time. He would not have a defence if his comments weren’t accurate.

  14. Phillip

    ” … I hate him with such a seething passion that there are shivers down my spine and my teeth clench when I read his moronic filth … ”

    James,

    Why do you read it?

  15. AC

    Haters gonna hate, James.

  16. p.a.travers

    Bolt is right, the pretence to Aboriginality by Culture is a sham.One can be Aboriginal with all these distinct backgrounds,but,I don’t think it is right then, to take advantage of the fact,one can trace Aboriginality to ones’ family.If there is nothing wrong in being Aboriginal,then why are the other inheritances exclusively rejected for that which is Aboriginal!?I have always supported Aboriginal Self Determination and Land Rights,I have also been deeply offended by the need to be super stars at everything,and bad mouth anyone who ,as I have, thought some musicians’ Aboriginal, and Slim Dusty aren’t that really crash hot as Artists.Although Slim was a pioneer, in a modern sense,of better Aboriginal relationships.The poor hard working,often,fuller darker Aboriginals know they are being conned a bit by all this,and are rapidly catching up linguistically and elsewhere,but, I am unsure wether the Bolt named folk are a help or hindrance,and if they have made great improvements for Aboriginals generally,the evidence of that, cannot be people like Bolt has suggested.

  17. James Wakefield

    I very rarely read his stuff, Phillip, it angries up the blood too much! Sometimes it is good to feel anger though and try and do something with the energy, hopefully something useful. It is important to know what others think about issues and to hear a broad range of ideas, even if those ideas make me or someone angry or hateful. I know that a lot of my ideas would make people feel hurt and angry at me, but surely we should be able to express these ideas and if our ideas are stupid then someone can make arguments to make us change our minds, or at least so it is known who has very unacceptable views so we can avoid those people.

  18. GregM

    Is there some reason why he can’t be sued for defamation instead?

    Possibly he can be, but truth (justification) and fair comment are complete defences in defamation actions.

  19. GregM

    And no comment on the total irrelevance of Liberty Victoria’s statement?

    In what respect is the Liberty Victoria statement irrelevant?

  20. Katz

    The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act is worse than useless.

    People who use the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act to promote their agendas condemn themselves to looking like whingeing dills.

    The Act is a trap for the self-righteous, and for professional victims.

    A sensible progressive government would abolish the RAcial and Religious Tolerance Act.

  21. Phillip

    Fair enough James. I wondered why you read his crap if it pisses you off so much, but if you put your state of high pissoff into something positive, then that’s a good thing.

  22. bmitw

    Thanks, GregM.

    Well in that case I prefer the Douglas Adams solution. Load up a spaceship with Rupert Murdoch’s entire staff and any other space cadets of the wingnut right and blast them into the furthest reaches of the Milky Way.

    Just leave the telephone sanitisers behind.

  23. Jack Strocchi

    Robert Merkel said:

    Bolt fails to grasp – or, deliberately ignores – the fairly simple and straightforward idea that cultural identity is, well, cultural.

    Left-liberals participating in the slow destruction of free speech and anthropological science fails to grasp – or, deliberately ignores – the fairly simple and straightforward idea that racial identity is, well, racial.

    An action bought on grounds on racial or religious vilification has to be grounded in the objective facts about race and religious identity. Subjective feelings are not enough, particularly when based on nebulous and ideologically tendentious notions of “culture”.

    Bolt is right to question the claims of some part-Aboriginals to Aboriginal identity. These claims are weak, literally on the face of it.

    I know for fact, from experience on the ground in the NT, that this type of expansive definition of Aboriginal identity is resented by full-blooded Aboriginals up North. To be blunt, by diluting the pool of Aboriginal identifiers it reduces the share available for those with stronger claims.

    The Australian (always a more reliable source on this topic than ABC, Fairfax or Left-liberal bloggers) reports on the problem of slicing the scarce pie of health resources at a party where gate-crashing is officially encouraged:

    some indigenous health experts are warning it could have unintended consequences by encouraging patients or their GPs to misidentify as indigenous in order to qualify for Aboriginal-specific health services.

    Another risk is that including an expanded pool of healthier people who identify as indigenous, despite sharing fewer of the socio-economic or other factors that cause Aboriginal people to miss out on healthcare, could dilute the statistics and make it appear indigenous health had improved.

    We can all pause for a moment to regret hurt feelings of those who may not get an invite. But they will just have to be brave about that.

    For more on this see any competent genetic analysis or, if that wont work for you, try the evidence of ones own lyin’ eyes. [groans with exasperation]

  24. p.a.travers

    How odd it is the last post of mine still going through moderation,whilst Mark Arbib,seems to be parroting me in some way.For the record Aboriginal languages as a first language is totally sane,and if teachers knew what they were doing the teaching of English would be enhanced. I doubt Arbib has actually talked to prospective employers,because ,the same employers who claim English is a requirement must of known there was a particular problem anyway.It don’t make sense.Recently I found in the local Post Office some phonetic charts ,one dealing with physiology and anatomy.How long does it take and how difficult is it to have drawings photos plans etc.and phonetic spelling and any comparative Aboriginal words.Even walking round work sites and developing phonetic and normal English with something like a audio compilation of descriptive word use etc.I would of thought arithmetic and mathematical matters were as pressing.You don’t need English as spoken word or writing with various machine use,it may help others understand what you are doing.Cameras and using them for communication would solve a few problems.So it would seem lots of attention seeking employers, who seem to want others to solve a problem which was one of the reasons Aboriginals remain unemployed.Crazy.Surely they knew that,or their comprehension is void null and without activity.

  25. Jack Strocchi

    Robert Merkel said:

    The Racial and Religious tolerance act has a decade of lengthy and pointless court action, and nothing else, to its name. It does nothing to actually help achieve racial and religious tolerance, and should be repealed.

    Even though most Left-liberal interventions in cultural policy are deluded at best I’d still argue there is a place for legislation that aims to curb malicious or mischievous attempts to forment racial or religious conflict. But Bolt’s articles don’t even come close to meeting the definition of racial vilification.

    The Racial Vilification Act (1996) defines the grounds for complaint under the Act:

    A person must not, by a public act, incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of their race by threatening or inciting other to threaten physical harm to the person, or members of the group, or to property of the person or members of the group.

    Bolt in no way “incited hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of…any persons on the ground of their race”. Nor did he “incite others to threaten physical harm to the person…or property of members of the group”.

    The more Left-liberals try to identify conservative criticisms of their own cultural follies with neo-Nazis or Klansmen the more they invite ridicule on themselves (or sympathy for neo-Nazis and Klansmen).

  26. Fran Barlow

    Well said Robert, Liberty Victoria, FDB …

    Laws on vilification are ethically offensive, certainly pointless and very likely counterproductive. I support repealing them immediately.

    If someone (whether in the media or not) urges criminal conduct against a distinct community or an individual then that is an entirely different matter. If actual criminal conduct ensues then that person can and should be made an accessory to the crime and then the matter can be tested in a court of law to see if a connection can be established between the utterance and the crime.

    Here, the circumstances aren’t dissimilar to a situation in which a gang rape ensues after someone has suggested it and urges his fellows to target someone. Whether he participates directly in the acts, the urger is an accessory.

    One recalls that the genocide in Rwanda was sparked by radio broadcasts urging violence aganist the Tutsis. Again, in context, these calls were incitement to commit serious criminal conduct and thus ought not to fall within the protections of free speech.

  27. Scott

    Hear hear!

  28. Mercurius

    Bolt is right to question the claims of some part-Aboriginals to Aboriginal identity. These claims are weak, literally on the face of it.

    The day Bolt expounds equal ridicule, scorn and disdain for the sixth-generation Australians who live around my area, but who once a year dress up in kilts, play bagpipes, and call this area “Celtic Country” and “New England” and the local rock formations ‘Stonehenge’ (hint: it was a sacred site for 30,000 years before Stonehenge existed, and the land had a name for 40,000 years before anybody pronounced the name of ‘England’), that will be the day I’d be prepared to entertain the notion that Andrew Bolt is motivated by anything other than craven anti-Indigenous bigotry.

    If Jack Strocchi, who is so dismissive of “ideologically tendentious” notions of “culture”, would like to put his mouth where his keyboard is, I’d invite him to come up here during the town’s annual Celtic Festival and tell the locals that they’re about as Celtic as a leprechaun fridge magnet and a tea towel printed with the lyrics for Danny Boy.

    Enjoy the shiners you’d get, Jack old boy. The locals wouldn’t resort to an anti-vilification lawsuit either — they’d settle the question of “cultural” identity for you with a good old fashioned Donnybrook.

  29. Helen

    Yes! And if people are concerned about people being too much into “identity”, consider how people of Welsh, Scots or Irish heritage go on about it… and on and on.. and on…. at least the ones I know.

  30. WD40

    Helen says:

    “And if people are concerned about people being too much into “identity”, consider how people of Welsh, Scots or Irish heritage go on about it …”

    It isn’t identity claims that bother people, what causes annoyance is vexatious claims to privilege and taxpayer funds, or as part-indigenous Ken Parish eloquently put it, “monetising a touch of the tar”.

    Bolt should have been more tactful, but ultimately he is making the same common sense point I’ve heard expressed dozens of times around the suburban Aussie BBQ.

  31. Fiona Reynolds

    RM @ 33, remind me now (my ageing memory dims): what did the small but perfectly formed Mr Jones get for that?

    A bit of slap and tickle from a limp lettuce leaf?

  32. Ginja

    Putting the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act to one side, I find it interesting that many companies and government departments – all with exemplary anti-discrimination policies, no doubt – have no problem advertising in parts of the media that actively and persistently stir up racial tensions.

    Perhaps governemnts in particular should start thinking about whether it’s right to prop up this kind of tabloid drivel. Andrew Bolt can say what he likes as far as I’m concerned, but should the rest of us have to pay for it?

  33. Ginja

    …governments – typing too quickly.

  34. Mercurius

    Bolt should have been more tactful, but ultimately he is making the same common sense point I’ve heard expressed dozens of times around the suburban Aussie BBQ.

    What point is that, WD? The one about special treatment?

    That suburban Aussie BBQ around which you hear so much ‘common sense’, WD, takes place on stolen land. And that ‘common sense’ you hear comes out of the mouths of middle-class people who received baby bonuses and other family tax benefits up the wazoo, first homebuyers grants and, now, private education tax rebates. And when they sell that stolen land, they keep the entire proceeds and pay not a cent of capital gains — most especially not to the people who once lived on it.

    But please, don’t let me get in the way of your chewing out the people who make ‘vexatious claims to privilege and taxpayer funds’, OK?

  35. Mercurius

    Or is it one of those special conjugations?:

    I get my fair entitlement.
    You get special treatment.
    They make vexatious claims to privilege and taxpayer funds.

  36. joe2

    So, Robert @33, we have there, perhaps, a good example of where this law may eventually come into it’s own. Let’s face it, this is fairly new legislation and is still in the testing stage.

    Just because, in it’s initial stages, a number of cases are brought before it and fail and even seem silly does not necessary mean it is going to be a bad law once it has some handy precedents behind it.

  37. Fiona Reynolds

    Mercurius @ 38, indubitably.

  38. James Wakefield

    Sorry to get a little hypothetical here Stocchi but please consider this simple example and why I disagree with your assertions of race being genetic as opposed to cultural: Imagine if a very Aboriginal looking man, who had been adopted at a very young age (and lets say for this example that it was an adoption that was done for very legitimate reasons) to a middle class white family who end up moving to England. They bought him up with much support and love and he sees them as his parents, but he did not engage in Aboriginal culture at all as a child except reading about it in a few books and was not interested in doing so later. If he was to become an author or an artist whose works had a very distinct Modernist European quality. Would he be ridiculed if he were to identify himself as an English modernist artist? If he were to correct people when they call him Aboriginal and say in the queens English “Although, that is my ancestry, I consider myself to be English” surely his genetic make-up is irrelevant, only something that he might choose to later connect with if it interests him? I think this would be the kind of Aborigine that even Bolt would love, and also accept as being English!

    Personally I hope more people do read the great works produced during the enlightenment and assosciate themselves by the ideas of the great philosophers of Europe such as, my favourite, Karl Marx instead of their race. However, people must be free to identify with what ever they like. If I wanted to call myself an Aborigine that would be preposterous, but if I moved out to central Australia and moved in with a community of Aborigines, converted to their religion (which sounds no more ridiculous then Christianity to me), spoke their language and was initiated into their community and was accepted as one of them by most of the community, then surely I would be able to make the claim of being Aboriginal. This would be a remarkable level of commitment and work if I was doing so only to conspire to be able to get access to government grants and Abstudy. I think there are easier ways to commit fraud that are more lucrative.

    Genetics defines what we look like, and possibly our temprement and maybe has some minimal impact on intelligence but we still aren’t sure here, but all races have IQs that are high enough to do anything and usually differences in brain capacity are better described by other factors like poverty and fetal alcohol syndrome. If you have a 90 IQ you can do anything a 140 can do, it will just mean that it will take you longer to work it out, and you won’t be smart enough to be able to convince yourself that ridiculous things are true. Einstein apparently didn’t have a particularly high IQ.

    Sorry for going off topic.

  39. Old Yobbo

    My wife of 42 years was Indigenous and we both worked for many years in Indigenous tertiary student support programs for a total of forty years. We were involved in making Aboriginal flags through the seventies when people ran a mile from them, and lived on a couple of communities for a total of about five years.

    In our jobs at universities, we came across many people who claimed to be Aboriginal (or Islander) and threatened us if we questioned this claim. I remember one particular guy whose father turned out to be Austrian and mother Calabrian, lovely lady too. Another guy was the descendant of a major Adelaide and NT landowner family from the nineteenth century. As far as we were concerned, they were whites trying to take Black places and, ultimately, Black jobs. And quite a few of them did very well, while our kids had trouble gaining employment.

    So Andrew Bolt’s views on this issue ? Spot on. If that makes me a racist bigot, then sue me too.

  40. Razor

    @41 – James, I don’t care if you identify culturally with the flying spahgetti monster, except when it also entitles you to accessing tax payers dollars – then I want some verifiable evidence.

  41. WD40

    Mercurius,

    The average lifespan in hunter-gatherer societies is approx 30-35 according to the general consensus. Indigenous Australians were a martial people and the various clans and nations engaged in semi-permanent warfare, and no doubt conquered each other’s land many times over. Women were tradeable commodities and were also routinely kidnapped from neighboring clans and forced in to marriage. William Buckley and others detail the brutality of daily life, for instance how people suspected of sorcery were butchered, their flesh cooked and eaten and the fat of the deceased smeared about the body of children.

    (I have no doubt all our ancestors were no different somewhere back in the mists of time, none of this has anything to do with race ….)

    So whenever someone with a white face and the most fragile of claims to aboriginality cries wolf I’m inclined to think of that old Monty Python skit, “What have the Romans ever done for us?”

  42. Peter

    Some material in the link below (read comments) that may be relevant to the Act in question, though not, perhaps, to the case being considered:

    http://bolttheracist.blogspot.com/2010/03/andrew-bolt-ultra-racist.html#comments

  43. john

    Well, that’s lies. First of all, the life expectancy error comes about as a result of factoring infant mortality into averaging age. Most people actually lived into their 60′s if they survived the first 5 years. Second of all, as you said, there were many about 200 nations, so saying any broad, sweeping racist statements about selling women and eating babies is about as reliable as posting unsubstantiated propaganda on a blogs post’s comments thread. Oh, hang on.

    The bracketed “I’m not a racist, but” at the end, all class mate. And then coming full circle, doing a Bolt, and saying those evil cannibal, cannibal, slave-trading, darkies aren’t even dark enough to count. People like you are the reason these laws exist.

  44. john

    That comment was @WD40

  45. Tom R

    Exactly what Robert said.

    Watching the papal visit circus in England and wondering how that would fare under the Victorian legislation…

    Also, keep in mind that most European democracies have strict laws against vilification (going beyond incitement to imminent violence). How’s that working as regards the cut-throats count?

    Related point: As a middle-class whitefella I am probably missing something, and would welcome (sincerely, would welcome) an Aboriginal person explaining this to me, why many Indigenous people consider it racist and/or offensive to question whether a particular person is in fact Indigenous.

    NOT, note, to argue that there should be no Indigenous-only benefits (whether as general compensation for racial discrimination, or as a restoration of what was taken from them since 1788), but to argue that such benefits should be restricted to people who can show some proof or at least prima-facie evidence that they did in fact have ancestors who lived in Australia before 1.26.1788.

    Given that having more people officially recognised as Indigenous doesn’t, for example, increase the number of Indigenous reserved seats in Parliament or something (unlike Maori in NZ), but instead means that a limited funding pie must be cut into more (and therefore smaller) slices, I would have assumed people of undisputed Aboriginal/ TS Islander descent would have an interest in preventing pretenders coming aboard.

    Perhaps one can argue that it is all right for Indigenous Australians to question whether, say, Bobbie Sykes or Faith Bandler did in fact have such ancestors… but offensive for non-Indigenous persons. This then creates a circular loop.

  46. FDB

    “As a middle-class whitefella I am probably missing something, and would welcome (sincerely, would welcome) an Aboriginal person explaining this to me, why many Indigenous people consider it racist and/or offensive to question whether a particular person is in fact Indigenous.”

    Sorry, I’m not in your target demographic, but Richard Frankland (Vic indigenous activist/muso/filmmaker) explained one aspect of the thinking to me as being resentment at the idea that simply looking passably white magically disappears all the generations of disadvantage, discrimination and disenfranchisement going back up the family tree.

    The underlying idea being that Indigenous-only funding sources, jobs etc are not just intended to counter present racism and discrimination (to which fair-skinned folks can be argued to have some immunity), but also to deal with the legacy of the past (to which they are as beholden as anyone).

    Does that help a little?

  47. Fran Barlow

    Tom R asked in part:

    NOT, note, to argue that there should be no Indigenous-only benefits (whether as general compensation for racial discrimination, or as a restoration of what was taken from them since 1788), but to argue that such benefits should be restricted to people who can show some proof or at least prima-facie evidence that they did in fact have ancestors who lived in Australia before 1.26.1788.

    A part of the colnial experience of contact, with its taboos, racism and so forth, is that Aboriginal ancwestry is very poorly documented, and of course, the assimilation period was an exercise in trying to obliterate Aboriginality entirely.

    Accordingly, imposing the kinds of test we might apply to Europeans in such circumstances will inevitably prejudice the claims of people who have them. That is why the broader ‘acceptance’ by an indigenous community as an indigene is a fairer measure.

    NB: I’m not of indigenous origin either

  48. Fran Barlow

    Damn! Must stop using the phone to enter text …

    [colonial; ancestry; ]

  49. Fine

    Yes, FDB – I’ve had a similar conversation with Richard. But WD40 comes up with same tired, racist tropes. They were all miserable cannibals who should be entirely grateful for the largesse they’ve received from their kind, white benefactors.

  50. Paul Burns

    Meanwhile, in England they’re complaining about this:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/opinion/stephen-glover/stephen-glover-a-prissy-judgement-by-the-pcc-2083882.html
    Which I suspect most Aussies will find a little strange given the traditions of Sydney’s G and L Mardi Gras.

  51. Tom R

    Thanks, Fran and FDB, that makes sense. Especially Richard Frankland’s point, and Fran’s point about lack of documentation.

    I suppose if the law starts with “These bods here are indisputably of Indigenous ancestry, and if they choose to accept others as Indigenous too, then that’s their call, even if those others are light-skinned/ blonde/ etc” avoids the circular loop problem of “I say I’m Indigenous, and if you don’t believe me that proves I’m racist”.

  52. Tom R

    err, “proves you’re racist”.

  53. Gummo Trotsky

    With all the sensitivity and nuance Bolt typically brings to his columns, [these columns] question the Aboriginality of a few easy targets – academics and artists, in the main.

    But not, say, Liberal Party MHRs. A completely different standard applies there.

  54. Casey

    There’s a can of universal fluid up there that has dispensed with pretense and jumped straight back into the febrile imaginings of savagery which throb at the temple of all good colonists.

    Well – good for you and your mists, can. However, when they clear, you might note Australia is no longer a colonial outpost and AO Neville actually died. Or you might go back in the jungle and fight for another 50 years. Up to you.

    Meanwhile, Gary Foley has some good thoughts on the matter of identity:

    http://www.kooriweb.org/foley/essays/essay_10.html

  55. Paul Burns

    Well, if a light-skinned Indigenous person tells me they’re Indigenous and his/her Indigenous peers accept them as such, seems to me they bloody well are! Bolt, though has always been insulting to Aboriginal peoples if it means he can have a shot at the left. Its just something that comes with Liberal supporting dingbats. That doesn’t excuse its incredible hurtfulness though.
    The Convincing Ground was one of the best books I’ve ever read about Aboriginal Identity and it was written by a light skinned Aborigine.
    But Bolt is also the kind of person who would like to pretend there’s no such thing as the Stolen Generation, isn’t he? Which just about explains ewverything about his stuffed attitudes.
    I hope these guys take him to the cleaners.

  56. jane

    The average lifespan in hunter-gatherer medieval to mid nineteenth century European societies is approx 30-35 according to the general consensus. Indigenous Australians Europeans were a martial people and the various clans and nations engaged in semi-permanent warfare, and no doubt conquered each other’s land many times over. Women were tradeable commodities and were also routinely kidnapped from neighboring clans and forced in to marriage. William Buckley and others detail the brutality of daily life, for instance how people suspected of sorcery were tortured, brutalised butchered, their flesh cooked and eaten and the fat of the deceased smeared about the body of children and burned at the stake.

  57. Syd Walker

    Although not a Victorian, I think the Victorian Racial and Religious Tolerance Act should be repealed and I’m glad that view seems well-represented here.

    In similar vein, I’d like a thorough review of the Human Rights Commission with genuine public iunput. I was supportive of it when first established, but having seen it used as a catspaw to criminalise heterodox opinion on historical matters of dispute, my enthusiasm has evaporated. Naively I’d imagined the HRC would be an organisation that would help defend free speech.

    Fool me once…

  58. Martin B

    Well said annotated, jane :-)

  59. Martin B

    D’Oh! Well said annotated, jane :-)

  60. WD40

    #62 Jane- yes, precisely. That’s what I said, as you would know if you if your reading comprehension surpasses that of the average 9 year old.

    But note how Jane’s brutal but honest assessment of medieval to mid nineteenth century European societies hasn’t been met with a conga line of brainless accusations of racism. Now why is that, I wonder.

  61. joe2

    Nice one Gummo@58.

    I wonder if the act could be extended to include the vilification of leftists. That would keep andy pandy very busy.

  62. FDB

    WD40 – John took you to the cleaners already. Why are you still talking like it never happened?

  63. Martin B

    Now why is that, I wonder.

    Because, exactly unlike Indigenous Australians, people from the indigenous cultures of north-western Europe do not face a continual barrage of insults and oppressions based on the notion that they are a primitive culture unworthy of respect.

    Meaning comes from lived experience.

  64. jane

    It appears that you missed the point, WC40, when you associated aboriginality with skin colour.

  65. WD40

    Jane says: “It appears that you missed the point, WC40, when you associated aboriginality with skin colour.”

    Well, dude, tell that to part-indigenous folk like Ken Parish, who sneer at other part-indigenous folk who play the race card.

  66. Gummo Trotsky

    WD40:

    At the risk that a vanity Google might bring Ken Parish here to contradict me, I think you’re a little careless in describing him as “a part-indigenous [person] who sneer[s] at other part-indigenous folk who play the race card.”

  67. akn

    Ann Curthoys has quite a good chapter The Volatility of Racism in Australia,in Hate Speech and Freedom of Pseech in Australia (Gelber and Stone, eds)

  68. Geoff Robinson

    My understanding is that many indigenous people regard themselves as a seperate sovereign nation (although what exactly that means for political arrangements is unclear). A sovereign nation has a right to define who are its members they are not defined by external forces such as the European occupiers. To claim that aboriginality is defined only by a racial test would be like arguing that to be Australian is defined by a racial test rather than meeting criteria of citizenship, citizenship in an Aboriginal nation is defined by the nation itself just as Australian citizenship depends on law. Imagine if 70s black power advocates had been successful and formed a separate sovereign nation including NT and parts of the outback being aboriginal would mean being a citizen of this nation.

  69. Kaf

    Use the whole case as a platform for a Bill of Rights…

    Because last time I checked we still don’t actually have a constitutional Right to Freedom of Speech in Australia, merely the political convention of doing so. Pretending we do, in other words.

  70. Alex

    Race hate is one thing, but laws that gag free speech are just as bad. Bolt’s well moderated observations are tame compared to what ordinary Australians have to say on the subject. I live in a country village where a single white family is vilified by the other 400 inhabitants for using an aboriginal link to claim special treatment and benefits. Few dare mention the matter openly, but no laws can hide their sneering contempt.

  71. whatda

    only brave people would put their hand up and say they are aboriginal in a colonial throw back society as racist as Aus.

    Dont know where some of the people leaving comments get their info from (bolt loser followers) but indigenous australians are treated worse than most will ever know.

    sorry your parents didnt teach you respect

  72. Barbara

    I agree, regarding repealing the ‘Racial and Religious vilification’, it was brought in by people who want to silence the free speech our war dead shed their blood for!!! The Anzacs, the military past and present fought for our Freedom!!!
    It’s time decent Aussie’s marched through the land and demanded that wicked law be struck off!!
    If any-thing, those who are so anti=west in their ideology and are supporting suicide bombers and regimes that indulge in such wickedness are the very ones who should come under the full weight of the law – they do show intolerance and racial division!

  73. Sam

    how can a bunch of people hung on material proof (i.e historical paper records) claim they own Australia when they cant provide any records of Aboriginals giving up their land and birth right, yet Aboriginals have to provide whats called proof of Aboriginality to access any so called special treatment. Keep your programs for your selfs if they are so good and pay Aboriginals compensation and land tax, your living off the proceeds of stolen wealth and just as guilty as the invaders