Aboriginal politics

April 16th, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Australian reports:

LARISSA Behrendt was appointed to head the Gillard government’s review of indigenous higher education on the same day it was revealed she used her Twitter account to describe watching bestiality on television as “less offensive” than Aboriginal leader Bess Price.

The high-profile indigenous lawyer was yesterday forced into a humiliating apology to Ms Price, an Aboriginal woman who supports the federal intervention in Northern Territory communities, after indigenous leaders expressed outrage at the comment.

After watching Ms Price appear on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Professor Behrendt tweeted: “I watched a show where a guy had sex with a horse and I’m sure it was less offensive than Bess Price.”

Bess Price’s crime was to have supported the Howard Government’s intervention.

Respected indigenous academic Marcia Langton writes in The Australian today that she has “never witnessed such extreme disrespect shown by a younger Aboriginal woman for an older Aboriginal woman in my life, except where the perpetrator was severely intoxicated on drugs or alcohol”. She says Professor Behrendt’s “foul” tweet “is an exemplar of the wide cultural, moral and increasingly political rift between urban, left-wing, activist Aboriginal women and the bush women, who witness the horrors of life in their communities, much of which is arrogantly denied by the former”.

Sums it up perfectly I’d say.

The opposition yesterday called on the Gillard government to stand down Professor Behrendt, saying her appointment to the new role was offensive. Indigenous leader and former ALP president Warren Mundine said the tweet was one of the most offensive comments he had seen made about an Aboriginal woman. “I think some people need to grow up,” he said. “What she said was just dreadful. It was one of the worst comments I’ve ever heard. It’s very juvenile. Some of this debate has turned into schoolyard arguments rather than actually giving the facts and dealing with reality of life in these communities.

“I’ve heard Bess speak before and I think she speaks very powerfully about what it’s like to live in these places.”

This could damage the Gillard Government if they persist with her appointment.

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12 Responses to “Aboriginal politics”

  1. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    What was the TV programme: Equus?

    Very odd.

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  2. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Probably something with Sarah Jessica Parker.

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  3. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    “never witnessed such extreme disrespect shown by a younger Aboriginal woman for an older Aboriginal woman in my life, except where the perpetrator was severely intoxicated on drugs or alcohol”.

    The sad state of affairs is that would be most of the time in many bush communities.

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  4. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    It reminds me of the performances by the younger Maori we saw in the 90’s. The idiots would burst onto the marae and desecrate the NZ flag.

    Not only did they directly disrespect their tribal elders, they also ignored the fact that those same elders fought for that flag, and many of their mates died for it.

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  5. Ed Snack (1,829 comments) says:

    Why the surprise ? Surely Behrendt is simply using the traditional leftist methodology, personalize and HATE. It is their modus operandi, and it works; the mud sticks, especially when the majority of the news media will do the very best to minimize the publicity this gets.

    Behrendts also demonstrates the massive contempt that the wealthy urban left have for those who actually live and work in the real world. Funny, at a time where she is party to a “Racial Hatred” court case against Andrew Bolt, she can not only come out with this bit of utterly sexist and racist bit of comment, but the Australian Government is standing by her appointment !

    What could you possibly say that WOULD offend enough to undermine your position on the gravy train ?

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  6. Rex Widerstrom (5,342 comments) says:

    I’ve heard many “aunties” speak of the deprivations of life in the bush. Similar to those who take a balanced view of justice issues, they generally support a balance of carrot and stick. Till Howard intervened, the outback was awash with carrots and nary a sign of a stick. The elders – the female ones at least, as sadly the males are often too wedded to their handouts – realise their young people will only respond to a no-nonsense approach designed to incentivise good behaviour while at the same time disincentivising the bad. Behrendt, of course, is one of those suing Andrew Bolt, as reported here earlier, so clearly doesn’t take kindly to criticism.

    Not that she’s had to face much. In Australia, profiles of her amount to cringe-inducing hagiographies with no attempt to critique her views:

    There can’t be much space left on Larissa Behrendt’s mantelpiece. Alongside her countless degrees, including a doctorate from Harvard Law School, and a David Unaipon award, Larissa now needs to find room for her latest prize – a Deadly for Outstanding Achievement in Literature.

    Larissa won the award for her novel Home. It tells the story of the effect that government removal policies had on three generations of one Indigenous family. It follows the lives of these stolen children as they struggle to find their place in a white world that they know is not their own.

    Although Larissa has published several books on Indigenous rights, Home is her first novel.

    That novel, as Bolt pointed out, featured a light-skinned heroine named Candice Brecht who, at one point, is raped by the evil white Mr Howard. Projecting, much?

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  7. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Nuke the cunts….

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  8. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    So this is a nobrainer. She goes, for sure.

    But what is the deeper sub-text of this story? Is there any kind of illuminating analysis? I’m scratching my head here. Surely the right can stitch together a reasoned narrative on this topic? I wonder some times where Duncan garner gets his reporting style:

    So – the public figure has made a politically unwise move. This will not look good for them. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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  9. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    From Rex:

    Till Howard intervened, the outback was awash with carrots and nary a sign of a stick.

    Probably the crappiest thing Rex has said on here. Maybe anywhere.

    Try this Rex: 2% of the population, 23% of the jail population.

    In the NT, fully 85% of the jail population.

    The NT premier’s response? To say he is doing his bit by building a new prison.

    No stick, eh Rex?

    Maori had it really good here compared to Aboriginals yet, like dispossessed indigenous peoples the world over, they are overrepresented in terms of “stick.”

    What should that all tell us?

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  10. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Luc he was talking about welfare handouts, not justice. Using benefits to incentivise the good and disincentivise the bad. Everyone understood that except you. “Similar to those who take a balanced view of justice issues…” should give you a clue he’s not talking about justice in this post.
    If you did less kneejerk ranting, and more reading and attempting to understand what he’s saying, you might look less of an idiot. Don’t fancy your chances though.

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  11. Ed Snack (1,829 comments) says:

    Magicbullet, “public figure makes unwise move”, that’s an awfully anodyne way of describing a bestial piece of racist abuse. One cannot but wonder at your response had someone like, say, Pauline Hanson or John Howard had ever been so warped and poisonous as to utter something similar. Would you, do you think, have described their comments as just “unwise” ?

    And this just ain’t anyone, this is the blonde aboriginal who has made a good deal of money and obtained power by claiming such aboriginality, and who has just been appointed to a position of some additional power and responsibility (and just as an aside, a well paid position of course) over government aboriginal policy.. And doesn’t this “tweet” (well justifying the description that tweets are mostly produced by twats) imply an almost absolute disregard for certain aspects of the aboriginal experience based it would seem on purely personal political grounds ?

    Myself, if I were feeling vindictive I would recommend that an appropriate approach to Behrendts would be prosecution for racial abuse, fired without compensation from her University position, naturally removed from her recent appointment, plus civil suits suing her for everything she has. Perhaps then she might get a little of what Bess Price has actually experienced. She might, then, perhaps change her mind a little, if she has a mind capable of changing which I would rather doubt.

    Then again, in real life she will of course suffer no penalty at all except the humiliation of having to issue a groveling public apology. The gravy train will continue, and aborigines will yet again lose another chance for any real consideration of their actual plight.

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  12. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    Corelation does not equal proof of cause . yada yada yada ….. It might look like all dispossessed indigenous people are heavily marginalised, and over-represented in negative social statistics – but that just means that they don’t work hard enough as individuals. blah blah kiwiblogist blah.

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