By Andrew Bolt ~
Australia’s first Prime Minister with Aboriginal ancestry will not be Stan Grant or anyone like him. Every time Grant refers to ”my people” he alienates the Australians he excludes on the grounds of race and who should be “his” people, too. He creates a division and sets up the politics of grievance and victimhood that will get us nowhere good, and which is contradicted by his own great success.
No, our first Prime Minister with Aboriginal ancestry will be someone who speaks like LNP Senator Jo Lindgren, the grand niece of Senator Neville Bonner, who was the first Indigenous Australian to become a member of the Parliament of Australia.
Lindgren (pictured) last night gave a stirring speech in the Senate in which she opposed racial division, attacked the new segregation and insisted on the right of Australians to debate such important things without fear of smears and legal action.
This message must be our future, and one day someone preaching it will be Prime Minister:
In 1964 and 1965, Charlie Perkins and students from the University of Sydney organised a series of freedom rides inspired by the American freedom rides to end segregation. Segregation of Aboriginals from other Australians included divided movie theatres, bans at some swimming pools and Indigenous ex-service personnel being unable to enter some RSLs—the list goes on. Today, Australians would be horrified if those restrictions were reintroduced, yet over 50 years after the freedom rides we see segregation of another form. We still see races being kept apart for so-called do-gooder reasons supported by intellectual elites.
To those who support this new form of segregation, I support your right to speak about it but I do not support any kind of segregation whether it is at university, in classrooms or in any other forum, for that matter, and nor do I support the constant hiding behind section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and the constant use of racist tags against those who oppose your ideals…
Some universities appear to be now promoting segregation albeit for different reasons. When I attended university I identified as an Aboriginal and I was proud to do so. I sought no special treatment from my university. I used the same library, the same computers and the same lecture theatres…
Yes, there was an Indigenous unit at the university that I accessed, but my non-Indigenous friends were also welcome there… The Aboriginal unit was inclusive and supportive of all of those who sought its assistance. I ask: how do we break down racial barriers when some modern institutes are keeping people apart? …
Imagine the surprise of a young man who went into a computer room only to find out that it was segregated and now finds himself embroiled in a legal saga because he voiced his opinion. I have to ask the question: if computers were not being used, why couldn’t any student wander in and use them? How do Indigenous and non-Indigenous students form study groups and potential friendship groups when sitting apart? How do we build on the great work of those who have paved the way to end segregation? …
Today, many younger and new Australians may see these Indigenous support systems as contentious or difficult to understand. We will not change that understanding if we keep people apart and stifle debate, and that is what the current wording and use of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act does. We will create battle lines when people do not have the opportunity to debate freely and feel that they have valid grounds to complain.
It is now the case that some universities … wish to continue to believe that Indigenous people lack the skills and intellect to manage university life without their benevolence. One of the consequences of this excessive paternalism is that it can and does devalue the achievements of Indigenous people. I know this first hand. I earned my degree like many other students by study, part-time employment and sacrifice, yet I have heard it being referred to as a ‘tick-in-the-box degree’….
For those who harbour internal guilt due to past injustices or those who think they are doing good, let me say this: you are creating division and resentment. The gaining of my degree, my appointment to the Senate, did not remove any past injustices to my forebears and it never will… What it did prove was that Aboriginal Australians are more capable of taking their place in all parts of Australian society.
We need to remember that most Australians of today are not responsible for the past… I back realistic, proactive support for Indigenous students but not enforced segregation, and I scorn the constant hiding behind section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act with chants of racism.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.