Tuesday, June 16, 2020

For protesters not all black lives matter

For both Australia and the USA, black-on-black violence is almost totally ignored, which indicates that the riots and demonstrations are about something other than black deaths.  For Leftist whites, it is just another expression of the hatred they have towards the whole society.  The riots are just Leftist anger and hostility unleashed

And for blacks the riots express resentment of their low status and general disadvantage  in society.  The Left always tell them that "whitey" is to blame for their disadvantage so it is no  mystery that they resent white society as a whole and welcome an excuse to smash what bits of it that they can

Not all black lives matter equally to Australian protesters. A life lost in custody, even to natural causes, is apparently a more worthy cause than the thousands of lives lost to black-on-black violence in Aboriginal communities.

It’s an issue blighted by a culture of forgetting. Those of us who were senior editors when the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody report was handed down in 1991 have always known its flaw: the commission found death rates of indigenous people in custody were no higher than for white people.

Paul Kelly wrote here last Wednesday that the 2017-18 report of the Institute of Criminology showed that year “the death rate of indigenous prisoners was 0.14 per 100 prisoners, compared with 0.18 per 100 for non-­indigenous prisoners.” Add to that the fact very few of these deaths are at the hands of police or prison guards — most are by natural causes or suicide.

Kelly said the different ways the ABC and Sky News treated the Black Lives Matter marches in Australia on the weekend of June 6 highlighted a “totally split culture” in media terms. “The ABC narrative was of the injustice of Aboriginal deaths in custody”, while the Sky News “narrative was the irresponsibility of mass protests … given the health and political advice” in the middle of a pandemic. Especially so given that COVID-19 has not hit the indigenous community.

That dual media narrative highlights another problem, an issue that has plagued indigenous affairs for four decades — the left’s preference for talking about race symbolism rather than dealing with actual murder rates, domestic violence, property crime, addiction and a lack of economic opportunity.

Long-term readers of this paper will know it has been reporting the real situation on the ground in ­Aboriginal Australia for decades. Reporters such as Rosemary Neill, Paul Toohey, Tony Koch and Nicolas Rothwell have won Walkley Awards for gritty reporting on the rape of women and children by indigenous men, petrol sniffing, the killing on Palm Island of Cameron Doomadgee, foetal alcohol babies and murder rates many times higher than in the wider society.

Three Aboriginal thinkers were prepared to tell the truth last week. The always thoughtful Anthony Dillon, of the Australian Catholic University, in a letter here on Thursday wrote: “The best way of reducing Aboriginal deaths in custody is to focus on reducing the rates of Aboriginal deaths, full stop.”

Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Price, always brutally honest, wrote that 70 per cent of indigenous people in jail were there for crimes of violence against their loved ones.

Warren Mundine, in The Australian Financial Review last Tuesday, said governments could not fix Aboriginal disadvantage linked to over-imprisonment rates. Economic opportunity created by business investment was the only way forward.

Here is the real problem for the media. Many leftist journalists will not report the issue as it is. They will not look at the reality of the black lives they say matter. With a couple of notable exceptions — Russell Skelton at The Age a decade ago and Suzanne Smith at the ABC ahead of the NT Intervention in 2007 — the national broadcaster and the Fairfax papers (now owned by Nine) have not wanted to look at the issue beyond allegations of systemic racism.

In my 2016 book Making Headlines, I discuss the episode that first brought home to me how wilfully blind many journalists are to the facts of indigenous disadvantage. I was a young editor, and Paul Kelly was editor-in-chief.

I was at the Melbourne Walkley Awards in 1994 when this paper’s Rosemary Neill won best feature for a piece about black women and children victimised by black husbands and fathers. After the presentation, a group of Fairfax editors rounded on our table to criticise the decision to publish Rosemary’s piece. They thought the issue should be off limits and the piece “profoundly racist”.

Three decades later, not much has improved in the indigenous world, and the media is worse. Young reporters educated in the ways of identity politics are left to campaign on issues they have not yet reported honestly or begun to understand. Once, senior editors would have tested their work, but not many such positions remain as the business model for journalism continues to disintegrate.

None of this is to deny racism exists. The Colt With No Regrets, a new book by an old regional Australian newspaper editor, Elliot Hannay, includes fascinating discussions of his relationship with Eddie Mabo and being lobbied at the Townsville Bulletin by the local Ku Klux Klan. Young journalists should read it.

I worked for Elliot in the late 1970s when he ran a series of stories about local soldiers who had started throwing Molotov cocktails on to Ross River under the CBD bridge where Palm Islanders often slept on weekend visits to Townsville. Elliot faced down a backlash from local business leaders wanting the rough sleepers out of town.

Such racism should be exposed. But so should facts about black-on-black violence. Jacinta Price wrote in The Daily Telegraph on June 9: “In 2018 in the NT alone, 85 per cent (4355) of Aboriginal victims of crime knew the ­offender. Half were victimised by partners. Aboriginal women made up 88 per cent (2075) of those victims.”

Aboriginal children were 5.9 per cent of the population but five times more likely to be hospitalised after an assault than non-indigenous children. “Between 2007 and 2011, 26 per cent of all deaths among Aboriginal children … were … (from) abuse injury,” she wrote. “The leading cause of child death between 2014 and 2017 … was suicide. This is a quarter of all child suicides in Australia (85 of 357).

“Realising that there are fun­damental connections between child neglect, child sexual abuse, Aboriginal victims of crime and the high rates of incarceration will allow us to address these critical ­issues effectively.”

But most left-wing media don’t want to know.

The Australian Institute of Criminology, in a paper by Jenny Mouzos, says that from 1989 until 2000, 15.1 per cent of all homicide victims nationally were Aboriginal, as were 15.7 per cent of all homicide offenders — and yet ­Aboriginal people were less than 3 per cent of the population.

Campaigners against law enforcement agencies who say “defund police”, even neo-Marxist ANTIFA protesters, should look at a Chicago Sun Times report published on June 8: “18 murders in 24 hours: inside the most violent day in Chicago in 60 years.”

From 7pm on Friday, May 29, to Sunday, May 31, 25 people were killed in the city and another 85 wounded by gunfire, all in the name of protesting against the police killing of George Floyd. The victims and perpetrators were ­almost all African-American.

Australian indigenous communities need to be able to trust police will protect them. Of course Aboriginal actor Nakkiah Lui was right on Q+A when she said “Just don’t kill us”. But she and the wider ABC, especially hosts such as Q+A’s Hamish McDonald, need to report why Aboriginal Australians need police more than any other group — to protect them from black offenders.

Last word to Mundine in The Daily Telegraph last Friday: “We won’t see change unless indigenous kids go to school, indigenous people are working in real jobs and there are real economies in indigenous communities.”


The universities always said Australians were racists, now look at their dilemma

"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive"

Australian universities are in quite the pickle. Not only are they watching as potentially $12bn in revenue from foreign student fees slips away, but they are also being accused of racism by the country they rely on for so much of their funding. Last week, Beijing issued a statement in which it warned Chinese students to give Australian universities a wide berth because of both COVID-19 and endemic racism.

In response to Scott Morrison’s suggestions that this amounts to “coercion”, Beijing has retaliated with the suggestion that Australia needs to do some “soul searching” and that the “racist incidents” were “based on a host of facts”.

This is a delicious irony. For years so many Australian universities have been making money out of the racism industry. Now they are on the back foot, having to defend themselves against an accusation that is demonstrably false.

For decades academics employed in our institutions of higher education, especially those in the humanities, have been using taxpayers’ money to paint a picture of Australia as a country of racists. They have been using their positions in various faculties to propagate the myth that we are a xenophobic nation.

They have taken every opportunity to berate mainstream Australians about how they should be both ashamed of their history and ashamed of themselves. They have been telling Australians that it is somehow immoral to celebrate Australia Day, that Captain James Cook was an invader, and that the whole existence of the modern state of Australia is a terrible mistake, a crime to be endlessly deplored and for which we must constantly apologise. They have insisted that the values and institutions of Western civilisation are racist, imperialist and outdated, and must be expunged from our society.

The University of Sydney leads the way in the business of race. A couple of years ago, its academics infamously rejected the Ramsay Centre’s bachelor of arts in Western civilisation as “white supremacy writ large”. The faculty of arts and social science boasts a taxpayer-funded “Resurgent Racism” project, which has concluded that unless something is done by the faculty, Australian society will face a dystopian future of white supremacy. Last year, the university hosted a self-styled “anti-racism educator” from the US to lecture everyone on campus about how racist they all were.

The staff in the history faculty seem to spend significant waking hours thinking, writing and talking about race and racism, all at the expense of the taxpayer. Since 2002, the faculty has received almost $9m from the Australian Research Council to fund 18 historical studies research projects that focus on racism in one form or another.

Nine months ago, the vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney, Michael Spence, appeared to comment that anyone who dared question the existence of Chinese influence on his campus was basically a racist. “We have to be careful that the whole debate doesn’t have overtones of the White Australia policy,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald. In this way, he ensured next year’s income — or so he thought at the time. No one predicted that COVID-19 would wipe out, almost overnight, $884m in international student fees for the University of Sydney, a generous portion of which would come from Chinese students.

Spence is the highest-paid vice-chancellor in Australia, earning $1.5m a year. As yet, he has not taken a pay cut like many of his colleagues.

This episode has revealed another crack in the crumbling facade of the Australian university, which is one of the crucial institutions of Western civilisation yet which fails the Australian public, having lost sight of its purpose. Our universities are facing a systematic crisis and have been exposed as incompetently run businesses more interested in ­foreign dollars, social justice, diversity and identity politics than they are the pursuit of truth, freedom of speech and intellectual inquiry. They are floundering in the midst of a free speech crisis, with a questionable commitment to academia and a terrible track record in dealing with academics and students who hold a contrary view to the established groupthink. Last year’s Independent Review of Freedom of Speech in Higher Education Providers (the French review) found that many of the higher education rules and policies in universities used broad language “capable of impinging on freedom of expression”.

Not only have we seen the censure and unlawful sacking of Professor Peter Ridd by James Cook University, but to add insult to injury, JCU’s court case is being funded by taxpayers, having already cost $630,000 in legal fees. Meanwhile, the University of Queensland employed one of Australia’s top legal firms to pursue philosophy undergraduate Drew Pavlou regarding his robust criticism of the university’s connections with China as well as that country’s history of human rights abuses.

Our universities have long ceased being institutions interested in the rigorous exercise of freedom or the scientific method and today better resemble elaborate public relations outfits.

Dr Bella d’Abrera is the director of the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs.


Left quickly turns on its own in Black Lives Matter debate

It was just a matter of time before the contemporary left started turning on itself. After all, this had been the practice of communist and other radical left-wing movements in the 20th century. Splitting is what ideologues do to proclaim the truth of their particular ideologies.

On any analysis, The New York Times is a liberal newspaper, in the North American sense of the term. In other words, it’s on the left. Not the extreme left but the left nevertheless. Look at it this way; Donald Trump cannot abide the NYT. For its part, the paper is a leading critic of the President and his administration.

The error of The New York Times was to publish an opinion piece by Republican senator Tom Cotton that supported the tough-minded policies of the Trump administration to deal with the looting and burning that followed the tragic killing of black American George Floyd by a white policeman in Democrat-run Minnesota.

In normal times, Cotton’s critics would have been content with a response on the op-ed page and perhaps some critical letters on the correspondence page. Not now. Op-ed editor James Bennet first apologised for publishing Cotton’s piece and thenresigned.

The left had forced out of a job another member of the left for allowing a conservative a say.

A less significant version of this attitude has occurred in Australia. Tasmanian Labor senator Helen Polley recently posted this message on Facebook: “Instead of black lives matter, how about every life matters, no matter what the colour of your skin is.”

This meme was condemned as racist. Polley removed the post and apologised. As a parliamentarian, she cannot lose her job because of public pressure.

Polley is a mainstream social democrat whose family has long-time connections with the Labor Party in Tasmania. She’s a conservative on social matters but is in no sense racist. Once again, as with Bennet, it was the left who condemned one of its own.

David Bartlett, a former Labor premier of Tasmania, tweeted: “It’s Hanson lite. It is tin-eared and a classic dog whistle. Remove it.” He also called on Polley to “educate yourself” — a term not distant from the “re-education” beloved of various communist regimes. And that’s the problem with the contemporary intolerant left. It’s not sufficient for the likes of Bennet to apologise.

No, they must be driven from their employment and/or volunteer for re-education. They are in error — and error has no rights.

There is nothing new about ideology-driven intolerance. It’s just that this is becoming increasingly widespread on the left.

At Australian universities in the late 1960s and into the 70s, the extreme left was into shutting down debate and driving speakers it regarded as conservatives off the campus.

A half-century ago, German-born American Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse was a hero of left-wing activists — although it was not clear if any had read his rather turgid prose. In his 1965 essay titled Repressive Tolerance, Marcuse advocated “intolerance against movements from the right and toleration of movements from the left”.

Marcuse’s essay was a long-winded effort aimed at intellectually rationalising the silencing of his political opponents — he called it “liberating tolerance”. It was a matter of out with debate and in with “truth” as determined by Marcuse and his like-minded comrades. What Marcuse did was to give an intellectual cover for old-fashioned political censorship. The rationalisation that conflicting views should not be heard because they are not deserving of a hearing. This concept pertains to the current debate.

The killing of Floyd has, or should have, opened up a genuine debate about race relations in Western societies and what makes for appropriate forms of protest.

Here a couple of case studies demonstrate the intolerance of the contemporary left.

On June 5, Fox News presenter Shannon Bream interviewed two commentators on the protests/riots in Washington on her Night Courtprogram, namely civil rights black attorney Robert Patillo and white lawyer and journalist Alex Swoyer.

Patillo was broadly critical of how the Trump administration had responded to the unrest in the capital while Swoyer was broadly supportive. It was a vigorous but respectful debate. Some viewers would have backed Patillo and others Swoyer, while others still might have changed their minds after hearing the intelligent but forceful discussion.

On June 9, ABC Radio National Breakfast presenter Fran Kelly did a long interview with two commentators on the unrest in US cities. They were Imani Perry, professor of African-American studies at Princeton University, and The Guardian columnist Richard Wolffe.

Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch and is subscription television. The ABC, on the other hand, is paid for by the Australian taxpayers and consequently has an obligation to be fair and balanced. But those listening to the Perry-Wolffe discussion would have heard only criticism of Trump and his administration to a greater or lesser extent.

Kelly quoted from various one-time Republicans who always were or have become “Never Trumpers” — the likes of Mitt Romney, Colin Powell, Jim Mattis, George W. Bush and so on.

Perry accused Trump of rejecting the stated core values of the US nation, putting out quite violent messages directed towards black Americans and engaging in the advocacy of Nazis.

For his part, Wolffe accused Trump of playing on racial prejudice, inciting violence at rallies and so on. No other view was heard.

A similar debate, for want of a better word, took place on RN Breakfast on June 3. Kelly interviewed Catholic priest Edward Beck followed by one-time Barack Obama counsel Jeffrey Bleich. Both bagged Trump. Once again, no other view was heard.

There is no conscious conspiracy here. It’s just that the ABC is a conservative-free zone in which many presenters and producers do not consider views contrary to their own to be worthy of a hearing. In this sense the impact of Marcuse’s thought extends beyond the grave.


Australian kids as young as eight in public schools are told to study eco-warrior Greta Thunberg's speeches and spread her climate change message

Lesson plans telling primary school students to study climate activist Greta Thunberg and spread her message have been found on the NSW Education Department website.

The unapproved material on the official website was aimed at children between Years 3 and 5.

The material, in a lesson plan since taken down, asked students to watch and study a Thunberg speech.

'Read about Greta and the transcript of her speech … What is the key message?' the lesson plan prompted.

'What techniques does Greta use … Can you now state what needs to change and why?' the plan asked.

The lesson plan asked students to conduct an 'energy audit' of their school to find areas where change is needed.

The revelation prompted swift criticism from education researcher Kevin Donnelly who called the material 'indoctrination'.

'The great shame is education is no longer about being impartial or objective … it is about indoctrinating students,' he told The Daily Telegraph.

The lesson plan had a guidebook to go with it telling students that school air-conditioning adds 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year.  

The NSW school system was heavily criticised last year during the so-called Climate Strike for allowing climate activists to indoctrinate impressionable young children.

Thousands of school children truanted school to take part in the Climate Strike street protests.

One father pulled his son out of a state primary school in Bilambil, northern NSW, at the time after he was asked to 'dress like a hippy' by his teacher.

Matt Karlos, 38, took his 10-year-old son Max out, saying the teachers were making the kids terrified for the future and scaring them with climate change.

'The ideologies were in his face all the time,' Mr Karlos said.

In September, Alan Jones accused teachers of brainwashing vulnerable children.

The former 2GB radio host pointed to a report which claimed children under the age of 10 were experiencing anxiety from the climate change debate.

'Young people are going to be concerned, they believe their teachers, they actually think that they're at school and what they're being told is true,' he said.

'The notion of using children in all of this is scandalous and the politics of climate change has become poisonous.'

In February last year, former NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes warned students and teachers they would be punished if they skipped school to join the climate strike rallies. 'School children, on school days, should be at school,' he said at the time.

Greta Thunberg's Twitter account responded, saying her followers didn't care. 'Ok. We hear you. And we don't care. Your statement belongs in a museum,' Ms Thunberg's Twitter account tweeted.

A spokesman from the NSW Education Department said they would investigate how the Thunberg lesson plans made it onto the official website. 'This web page was published without approval. We will have the web page taken down and reviewed,' he said.


 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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