Monday, August 28, 2017

Stan Grant slams ‘disgraceful’ statue vandals

ABC indigenous affairs editor Stan Grant has slammed the vandals responsible for defacing Hyde Park statues, saying their “disgusting criminal behaviour” dishonoured indigenous Australians.

UPDATE: Federal Minister Dan Tehan has today slammed the attack, along with council moves to change the date of Australia Day.

Grant, who sparked fierce public debate earlier in the week when he called for amendments to the inscriptions on colonial statues, said the statues in Sydney’s Hyde Park were a part of the nation’s history and should not be removed.

The Captain Cook statue and a number of other monuments were vandalised across Sydney’s CBD in the early hours of Saturday morning, graffitied with the phrases “change the date” and “no pride in genocide”.

“It is disgraceful criminal behaviour. They (vandals) don’t support indigenous people, they dishonour us,” Grant told The Australian.

“They (the statues) are a symbolic starting point to discuss who we are today and who we wish to be in the future.

“This is a democracy and we should conduct ourselves with dignity and respect. Those statues are our history they tell us who we have been which is why I would not want them removed.

“I want a national story that speaks for us all. You don’t achieve that by illegally smearing monuments.”

In a column earlier this week, Grant called for an amendment to the Captain Cook statue’s inscription, which says that he “discovered this territory in 1770”. Grant said those words ignored the complexity of indigenous Australian history.

“I have advocated freeing ourselves from the damaging legacy of history, not chaining ourselves to the past,” he said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull responded by saying Grant was “dead wrong” and that “rewriting history”, “editing statues” and “deleting Australia Day” was a Stalinist exercise to blank out parts of history.

Grant said he didn’t think Turnbull was responding to what he wrote and that he and the PM were in agreement with each other.

“He says we shouldn’t edit history — I totally agree.” he said. “I think we should enlarge it and include indigenous perspectives.”



Blackface OK if you are a Leftist

The Chaser is an ABC program. Australia's ABC is relentlessly Leftist

Comedian Chas Licciardello has surprisingly revealed that he and his colleagues from The Chaser escaped any criticism for using blackface on national television, despite other entertainers being slammed for the same thing.

In a now largely forgotten skit broadcast on the ABC in 2007, The Chaser case used blackface to parody a Jackson Five song and received 'no blowback' at all, Licciardello said.

'We were blackfaced. There's no other way to describe it. And at the time, it didn't occur to me there was an issue,' Chas said on ABC chat segment The Mix on Friday night.

'There as no [blowback]. None. There was no complaints, there were no phone calls. Social media was around and we got nothing. It never occurred to us...I just hadn't even been aware of it.'

'If I had my time again, I absolutely would not have done it. Not because of the controversy...but because it obviously offended people, and that's wrong.'

Chas went on to say that he thinks what was racist in 1990 is very different to what's racist in 2017.

'As a comedian what I feel you have to do is be skilled at taking the temperature of society and saying, ''What can I get away with?''.'

The Mix's other guest speaker, performing artist Candy Royale, vehemently disagreed, saying that nobody has been doing blackface in America for decades.

'Australia is so far behind in its racial politics that there are people here who think it's okay to do blackface,' she said. 'And it hasn't been okay to do blackface for a really long time.'

The Mix segment has ignited debate about why the ABC stars were able to get away with doing blackface, but when Hey Hey It's Saturday aired a similar skit two years later there was public outrage.

Despite an on-air apology by host Daryl Somers, the skit titled 'The Jackson Jive' featuring a blackface performer was widely slammed.

'I think we may have offended you with that act and I deeply apologise on behalf of all of us - because I know that to your countrymen, that's an insult to have a blackface routine like that on the show, so I do apologise to you,' Somers said to Connick Jr. t the end of the segment.

The skit was also raked over the coals online, with one person writing, 'Nice going Australia, now your [sic] back to being racist again'.

Other praised the singer for 'not just going along with it' and standing up for his belief that black people should not be made to look like 'buffoons'.

Online commentary about The Mix segment has been widespread, with one commenter calling Chas weak and hypocritical.

'The whole point of the chaser was to be offensive, but according to him now causing offence is wrong,' Michael Mahoney wrote on Facebook. 'I think he has no spine and bends easily under pressure.'

His comment was joined by others accusing Australian society of being too easily-offended, whereas blackface is 'pretty damn common' in China and South Korea.

Other wrote that that they don't understand what the 'big deal' is about blackface, because actors change their looks all the time to suit a persona or character.

'If a black fella wanted to White up and demonstrate how I dance compared to him, I'd not have a problem,' Benjamin Smith commented under a video snippet from The Mix.

'Geeez we are all a sensitive lot these days. Let's just have fun and love each other. It's not about offending it's about entertaining!'

Still others wanted to clarify that blackface and 'cultural appropriation' being brought up in the same sentence is inappropriate, they are not the same thing.

'Appropriation means stealing or borrowing depending on how you look at it,' clarified Christian Findlay on the ABC Facebook page.

'But blackface is not appropriation. It's just mockery...Can we please stop conflating the concept of cultural appropriation with mockery?


Sydney public schools record a huge rise in the amount of Muslim and Hindu students - while Christianity continues to decline in popularity

Public schools in Sydney have recorded a huge rise in the number of Muslim and Hindu students with Christianity on a sharp decline.

A New South Wales Department of Education survey found the number of Muslim and Hindu students were standing at 52,000 and 20,000, respectively.

Last year, enrollment for Muslim students in public schools was at 50,000 while Hindu students were standing at 18,600, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The newspaper reports that more than 230,000 students did not identify themselves with any religion at all. 

There was also a sharp decline in the number of Christian students with the number of Anglicans falling from 105,300 students last year to 99,000 this year.

Other forms of Christianity such as Presby­terian, Protestant and Baptist were also on the decline, according to the newspaper.

However, the number of Catholic students were unchanged at 103,000.

Parents and teachers have also called for ethics classes to be more readily available across the state after the data showed 230,000 students identified with 'no religion'.


Australian Muslims charged with terrorism over mosque fires

Muslim on Muslim violence comes to Australia

Australian police have charged three men with committing terrorist acts on suspicion of starting fires at a Shiite Muslim mosque in Melbourne last year, inspired by Islamic State and intending to divide the Muslim community.

Two of the men are already in custody and awaiting trial on suspicion of plotting bomb attacks in Australia's second largest city last year, while a third – a 29-year-old Melbourne man – was arrested late on Saturday.

All three face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment over the arson attack at the Imam Ali Islamic Centre in December 2016.

Australian Federal Police's counter terrorism national manager said that attacking a place of worship had no place in society.

“It is clear that these arson attacks were designed to intimidate and influence those that attend this mosque and the wider Islamic community," Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney said on Sunday.

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally that has sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, has been on heightened alert since 2014 for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East, or their supporters.

While there have been several "lone wolf" attacks, officials say 13 significant plots have been foiled in that time.

Police say the three men were adherents of militant Sunni Muslim ideology.

Police said the arrest of the man on Saturday came after extensive investigations into fires at the Melbourne mosque – but said it did not relate to any direct threat to the community.

The other two men facing charges are in custody and awaiting trial for allegedly planning militant attacks around Christmas Day 2016 in Melbourne.

The two, a 25-year-old and a 27-year-old, will also be charged with terrorist offences for causing a previous fire at the Imam Ali Islamic Centre in November 2016.

The man arrested on Saturday will appear in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Sunday, while the other two will appear in court on Monday.

This month, two men were charged with terror-related offences after authorities disrupted what they described as an Islamic State-inspired plot to bomb an Etihad Airways flight.

Another man arrested in relation to the foiled plot was charged with weapons offences and released on bail. A fourth man was released without charge.

A gunman in a 2014 Sydney cafe siege boasted about links with Islamic State militants, although no direct ties with the group were established. The gunman and two other people were killed in the siege.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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