Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Towards a new racial hierarchy?

Nicolas Rothwell writes in The Australian about the proposals made by legal and Aboriginal activists to change the Australian constitution:

The expert panel is asking them to accept several measures that tug in different directions: both to deracialise the Constitution and to insert in it a clause recognising the special need for indigenous advancement; both to prohibit racial discrimination and to recognise the special place of Aboriginal languages, cultures and ties to the land. Equal rights - and a special role as well..

At core, the dilemmas lurking in the referendum lurk there because of the bedevilling concept of race and a keenly maintained conviction of indigenous difference. The expert panel’s aim is virtually to ban racial thinking, while exalting a particular racial category.

Despite speaking in the language of "anti-discrimination", it is clear from the proposed amendments that the "expert" panel's real aim is to promote one racial group over another - in this case, Australia's tiny indigenous minority over the European Australian majority. They want to legally enshrine a privileged place for Aboriginals in the Australian constitution. This is not about ending racial discrimination. Quite the opposite in fact.

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