I’m an Aborigine: just ask Andrew Bolt

‘‘It’s so hip to be black’’ wrote Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun just over a year ago.

Bolt also wrote on his blog under the headline, ‘‘White is the new black’’. Here Andrew Bolt provided an inventory of light or white-skinned people who identified themselves as Aboriginal, and suggested that their choosing to do so was proof of ‘‘a whole new fashion in academia, the arts and professional activism’’. Bolt added that ‘‘for many of these fair Aborigines, the choice to be Aboriginal can seem almost arbitrary and intensely political’’.

Miglo subsequently wrote his excellent and informative article I’m an Aborigine…just ask me where he put forward:

Aborigines face the unending task of resisting attempts, on the one hand to cut them off from their heritage, and on the other to bury them within it as a thing of the past. This statement is indicative of the struggles that Indigenous Australians face in the constructions of their own Aboriginality.

And also:

In denying people the right to relate to themselves through their bodies and where notions of kinship are organised around cultural notions of the body is denying Aboriginal a major aspect of their Aboriginality. The dominant theoretical prescription of ideal Aboriginality would act to prevent Aborigines from creating their identities out of the body and out of biology, and would also in effect prevent them talking descent and moreover reinventing their notions of descent.

The assertion of Aboriginality is part of a political process. Although the legal and social status of Aborigines has changed significantly, they are by no means equal participants in Australian society. They still suffer severe social disadvantage and defacto discrimination; in the eyes of many whites, being Aboriginal is still a social stigma. Against this background, many Aborigines are consciously and actively working to establish positive images of themselves and their cultures. This involves the rejection or reversal of dominant European definitions; the promotion of colour as a desirable feature rather than a taint; and the revival, invention, or adoption of distinctively Aboriginal cultural behaviours and symbols . . . The construction of a new identity in which all Aboriginal people can share.

So there you go. If you want to know if I’m an Aborigine, just ask me.

The action brought by Ms Eatock and others (Eatock v Bolt [2011] FCA 1103) claimed that “the articles conveyed offensive messages about fair-skinned Aboriginal people, by saying that they were not genuinely Aboriginal and were pretending to be Aboriginal so they could access benefits that were available to Aboriginal people.” In doing so Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) including sections 18C and 18D were invoked.

In addition, and in order for the claim to have been successful Ms Eatock had to establish that:

  • It was reasonably likely that fair-skinned Aboriginal people (or some of them) were offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by the contuct; and
  • That the conduct was done by Mr Bolt and the Herald & Weekly Times, including because of the race, colour or ethnic origin of fair-skinned Aboriginal people.

Andrew Bolt denied the above, plus put forward that the articles should be “exempted or excused”, and that is it was done “in good faith” and was “fair comment”.

Justice Bromberg concluded that the above criteria regarding offence, humiliation and intimidation were upheld. Justice Bromberg also concluded that for the purpose of the Racial Discrimination Act that “Aboriginal people are a race and have common ethnic origin”.

Justice Bromberg also importantly concluded that the actions of Andrew Bolt were not exempt due to “the manner in which the articles were written, including that they contained errors of fact, distortions of the truth and inflammatory and provocative language”.

And it’s worth repeating, Bolt lost his case because he got his facts wrong and because he distorted the truth and tried to inflame and provoke.

Addendum: I thought that this might be of interest..from 1970..



183 comments on “I’m an Aborigine: just ask Andrew Bolt

  1. Just how many people out there have been in TV land have witnessed the smugness of the man who likes to push his opinions. And now he had to be in a court and he was told, you got your facts wrong, you distorted the truth, you tried to inflame and provoke. Thank you judge.

  2. Sue, I thoroughly enjoyed Justice Bromberg’s summary. Actually I might put that in italics so that it stands out a little better 🙂

  3. I think you should Min.

    Bad reporting on the issue at the ABC. The ABC has chosen to write some of the Bolt article but not the reason why they are factually wrong . The ABC has also chosen to relay what Bolt has written today, and you wonder why they would do this? A judgement has been made on Bolt, leave him and his OPINIONS, not facts, in the Murdoch press.
    Bolt unrepentant after court ruling

  4. He’s not listening, not listening still, perhaps he never will. (with apologies to Don McLean).
    Bolt presents as a disturbed guy, who gets off on being a martyr and refuses to acknowledge when he is not only wrong, but rude and offensive.
    There is no shortage of such people in the world, I just don’t find them clever, entertaining or interesting in any way. Many people do, in a Basil Fawlty kind of way, but only really stupid people believe there is a freedom of speech issue at stake here.
    He will suffer for his insanity, but in his case, it is his choice.

  5. Lunalava, I believe that you are spot on. Freedom of speech was what Bolt tried to argue, but if that was the case under Bolt’s criteria one should always be ‘free’ to say and do whatsoever one liked and that there be no ramifications and certainly no responsibility taken.

  6. Thank you wixxy. I did a little on Aboriginal issues a number of years ago via law, but it was Migs who has added to my knowledge of the subject..and substantially.

  7. Bolt and Jones have been blurring the lines between opinion and fact for far too long. I suppose if I wrote on here that I saw Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones head into a public toilet together and not come out for half an hour that would be ok according to Bolt because I’m allowed to write whatever I want and I should be free to do so! Freedom of speech can work both ways bolty baby.

  8. Loz, you may have noted over the years that Bolt never publishes dissenting opinions on his blog. He controls the information. He determines which speech is ‘free’.

    He wants freedom of speech only if it concurs with his radical opinions.

  9. Not only am I glad that bolt was found guilty (I wonder if more people who have been mis-represented by him will be coming forward?) I also appreciate the way the judge explicitly went out of his way to detail that bolt is free to discuss any issue he wants, he is not free to get facts wrong.

    David Marr sums it up perfectly Min. Reading the outrage in the ltdnews interpretation, they all apear to have missed the salient point the judge was making. Talk about what you want, but stick to the facts.

    This of course will worry them, it strikes at the heart of their ‘mudus operandi’ When facts dont; suit the story, Make Shit Up!

    I also liked this comment from a pathetic attempt at excuses at theirabc(tos)

    Thirdly, no freedom is obsolute.


    I also note that theirabc(tos) is giving bolt a lot of air, but not focusing a lot on the actual comments the judge made.

    bolts freedom of speech is not being hindered, only his ability to publish lies.

    They are not the same thing, and if they were, our society would be damned.

  10. Tom, added to it is that Justice Bromberg considered that a person in Bolt’s position should have the ability to get his facts right and especially…that Bolt used these distorted facts in order to inflame and provoke racial hatred. It’s a damning case against Andrew Bolt and nobody can call it otherwise. Mind you..they will still try…

  11. Tom R
    Their ABC gave Bolt the freedom to launch his opinions for years on the Insiders, if Gina had not come forward, he would still be there. The ABC is defending its poor choice, hence the constant showing of the “martyr ” outside the court house, and the pathetic excuse of an article in the online news.

  12. that Bolt used these distorted facts in order to inflame and provoke racial hatred.

    It is how he works, I also understand that the judge said he came to that conclusion after reading a lot of bolts work. It is not an accident or out of the ordinary for him, as many have stated over the years.

    I would like to see the scientists he has slandered over the years form their own action, particularly in the way he defamed them after the email hacking ‘hoax’

  13. This part of the adjudication you might not read about in the MSM so I thought to reproduce it here:

    This is Item #24 of Justice Bromberg’s ruling:

    In coming to that view, I have taken into account the possible degree of harm that I regard the conduct involved may have caused. Beyond the hurt and insult involved, I have also found that the conduct was reasonably likely to have an intimidatory effect on some fair-skinned Aboriginal people and in particular young Aboriginal persons or others with vulnerability in relation to their identity.

    What Justice Bromberg is recognising is that he could not agree with Bolt’s argument due to the possibility of flow-on effects to other sections of Anti-Discrimination legislation, specifically gay youth and people with disabilities.

    That is, if it’s ok to discriminate against people due to their appearance and perceptions of ‘who they are’ then it would likewise be acceptable to discriminate against people based on gender, sexual orientation and disability..solely based on their appearance and whether or not they might receive ‘favorable treatment’ based upon their disability or sexual orientation.

  14. I would like to put in what I see as perspective, the argument that Mr. Bolt is putting forwarded.
    I believe he is trying to say those who only have a little Aboriginal blood are wrong to classify themselves as Aboriginal.
    Yes, there are many who support where he is coming from, including many young Aboriginals.
    The world that I was bought up in did not see things that way. If one had a splash of Aboriginal blood in their veins, they went to great pains to hide the fact. The white community saw them as Aboriginals. Many were ashamed of this fact.
    It was sad to see light skinned Aboriginals denying their birthright. Many that suffered the indignity of being removed for this reason and spending their upbringing in such places as Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls Home.
    Here they were convinced to ignore their Aboriginality and see themselves as white. The problem is that they were taught to be second-class whites, where their role was to serve their betters as housemaids and not much more. The alternate for boys, was to be farm hands.
    My mother was an ill and has to rely on others to do the housework. Thus, we often had in our homes young women from either the local Aboriginal Reserve or Cootamundra. Many hated the role they were expected to play. Some could not get back to their people quick enough; generally, they would head to Redfern. (To do this, they were breaking the law). Others refused to acknowledge any Aboriginal blood. They were the saddest, as the rest of the community did not see it that way. One young woman, nearing twenty, was refuse marriage by the church, which she had attended all her life, because the minister did not believe in mixed marriages.
    How dare we as whites tell these people how they perceive themselves.
    These people are doing, as is their right, choosing how who they are.
    Mr. Bolt, do you see yourself as Dutch or Australian. How does your young son, standing behind you, see himself?
    It is pleasing to see that the younger Indigenous person does not see they have to make this choice, that they are proud of their heritage. They find that both communities respect them. This was not true a few short decades ago. It is the actions of those that Mr. Bolt has set out to condemn that have bought about this change.
    Mr. Bolt, it is true there is more that unite than divide us. It is also true that what is good in a race should not have to be discarded to fit in.
    We are a country that is big enough in spirit and generosity to meet the needs of all comers.
    It is my experience that whites who claim without any evidence, Aboriginal blood get short shrift by the Indigenous community. It is not a large community and they know the background of their people. This was helped by being confined to reserves for most of our history.

    The question I ask of most. How many would have accepted a grandchild that had a little Aboriginal blood a couple of decades ago. Not many, I believe. My father, born in 1900 and a good man found it hard.

  15. CU, you are brilliant. I would highly recommend to all to read this. This was precisely the state of society. I can’t add to this, just would like everyone to read it.

  16. PS.

    Most of ancestors came to this country in the early 1800’s from Ireland, north and south and France.

    After five generations, I still see my heritage in that light. I also see myself as Australian and do not align myself to any other country.

    I do not see myself as English, in spite of the fact that I also have a little English blood. I have to draw the line somewhere.

    I have all my life had problems with those who tell me I own my heritage to mother England. I feel I do not.

    I am a proud Australian.

  17. Thanks Min. It took me a long time to come to that view. I had a close friend in my teens, that was very fair. I could not understand why he was reluctant to marry a girl he was deeply in love with. It was not until I met more of his family that I realised what his dilemma was. His mother was not only an Aboriginal but a very dark one.

    It was sad to see this very intelligent man in this position. His family have risen far in the union movement.

    As far as I know, he has never married.

  18. CU, that is something that I certainly remember too…how people of Aboriginal descent used to describe themselves as ‘Spanish’ or ‘Greek’..anything but Aboriginal.

  19. Example of the big lie that Mr. Bolt is promoting. His big lie is that it is easy to promte oneself as Indigneous.

    “IT IS a common perception that it is enough to identify as Aboriginal to count as one, for example when it comes to benefits, grants or special employment positions.

    But this is incorrect. An Aboriginal person also has to be accepted as so by the Aboriginal community, and be able to prove their descent. While a legal researcher has found 67 different definitions, this one, from the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act, has been widely accepted nationwide after several court cases.

    Some organisations used to require proof or certificates of Aboriginality, but Phil Mundine from the NSW Aboriginal Land Council said these have largely disappeared.

    Advertisement: Story continues below To become a member of the land council, they have to meet three criteria – descent, self-identification and community recognition – and the council advises people to do genealogical research to trace their descent.

    But Mr Mundine said the council still confirmed Aboriginality regularly in official letters to the Aboriginal Housing Corporation.

    The Aboriginal Legal Service will also ask a client to have their Aboriginality certified if the person is unknown to them or other indigenous services…..”

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/three-key-criteria-for-determining-aboriginal-identity-20110928-1kxgs.html#ixzz1ZIl9ZaOj

  20. Thank you Coconutlover, you’ve made my day.

    I am quoting here from someone I miss a lot, good old Aquanut. A couple of years ago the subject of Freedom of Speech came up and Aqua’ in his inimitable style said:

    Freedom of speech. You mean the freedom to be an a*sehole.

  21. ‘Coconut’ is a very offensive term to an Aborigine. Calling an Aboriginal person a coconut is about the biggest insult you can label them with.

  22. And it’s worth repeating, Bolt lost his case because he got his facts wrong and because he distorted the truth and tried to inflame and provoke.

    Isn’t that the role these days, Min, as well as that of the shock jocks? Sad stuff.

  23. Migs, it’s soo cute isn’t it..that we leftwing f*witts should thickened our lightened skins. Let me count the ways that this person is so wrong. Hopefully he/she will have the gumption to front up for another try.

    However, I suspect not.

  24. Migs, it’s good stuff. Bolt lost!!! Interesting times ahead. Without going into too much boring legal stuff, this case sets a precedence and so ALL shock jocks take note..you cannot just do and say what you want without there being consequences.

    I personally am still celebrating.

  25. It is simple, one can say what they like, as long as they have the facts to back it up.

    One does not have the right to spread lies and misinformation.

    What is so hard about that.

    I would not be surprised that Mr. Bolt was among those who said that the PM should accept without question the High Court judgement against the Malaysian Solution.

    I am sure that many of Mr. Bolt’s supporters, are those who say one has no right to criticise a judge.

    I am sure that Mr. Bolt has no intention to accept the decision. I am sure he intends to ignore the judges direction.

    All he is really being asked to do, is to apologize for getting his story wrong.

  26. Mr Bolt has no alternative but to accept the decision or else he will be in contempt of court.

    Bolt mooted in April that if the verdict went against him (and his lawyers would have known this all along) that there would be a High Court Challenge mounted.

    On the topic back then I wrote:

    Recent news indicates that Andrew Bolt’s legal team are prepared to launch a constitutional challenge in the High Court to challenge the validity of judicial interpretation of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) Part IIA—Prohibition of offensive behaviour based on racial hatred.

    This legal team is to base their case on what they believe is wrongful interpretation of this section of the Act; that Part IIA should refer only to “acts of extreme racist behaviour”.

    Will Bolt go ahead with this? I suspect not.

  27. Mr. Bolt might want to. Not too sure that the paper will want to waste more money, as there is no freedom of speech being threatened in the judgement.

    I am of the belief that the action could have been as easily taken under Libel or Defamation Laws.

    I am not of the belief that Mr. Bolt is a man who is willing to lose his own money.

    The complainants have been clever in only seeking an apology, not money.

  28. Finally, in the words of Dr Rosie Scott, award-winning author, former Chair of the ASA and former Vice-President of PEN Sydney – an organisation who fights for the rights of imprisoned writers who don’t have the ‘free speech’ we so readily enjoy:

    ‘Free speech is the cornerstone of genuine democracy, but when writers publish disinformation dressed up as fact, lies as truth, slander as objective evaluation and call it free speech, they are devaluing its very essence and betraying all those who’ve fought for it.’

  29. now how did I guess that it would be Iron Maiden.

    Like there’s any other 😉

    (well, there is the Moody Blues, but that ones a bit lame imo)

  30. It isn’t just that he got his facts wrong, which is bad enough, because as an apology for a journalist, he should know that he has to verify facts he intends to include in anything he writes. The disgusting truth is he knowingly fills his hate pieces with lies. It’s a pity a gaol sentence wasn’t imposed.

    For Dolt to claim that his lies and distortions of the truth constitute freedom of speech is a complete nonsense. Has this clown heard of perjury? I wonder how he’d react if someone printed a pack of lies about him and it was then claimed it was their right under the umbrella of freedom of speech?

    And the ABC needs its @rse kicked comprehensively.

    I wonder if Anal could be sued for all his lies about the PM? Pity we haven’t got the wherewithal to test it.

    where’s my red carpet!!

    It’s being steam cleaned, Tom. Can’t have you stalking around on a dirty carpet.

    And where’s Tom’s drink?

    Oh, was that Tom’s drink, Migs? Sorry, but it was delicious.

  31. By the way, Mr Abbott will change the racism laws. He and his party never supported them anyway.

    I hope we are not back to the past once again to Mr. Howard’s fight against political correctness.

    You know against laws that say it is not OK to insult your fellow man without just cause.

    If Mr. Bolt told the truth, instead of creating lies to back his arguments and beliefs, he would not now be in trouble.

    The plaintiffs themselves say there is nothing wrong in discussing what makes an Aboriginal. They do it all the time in their own community.

  32. “The Federal Opposition says it may consider changes to racial discrimination laws following the Federal Court’s ruling against political commentator Andrew Bolt.”

    Do we really need this type of talk coming from the Coalition, it was bad enough with hatred on display over a carbon tax. If they continue with this type of campaign it will mean the Apology was for nothing.

  33. And if any visitors to the Cafe try and weasel Abbott out of this stance than have a look at the transcript of Abbott’s comments yesterday. And if that is a bit difficult have a listen to Andrew Leigh on Capital Hill, 29/9/11.

  34. do you listen to the Pure Poison podcasts?

    I haven’t been lately, as work has become all consuming recently, but I might go have a listen now you mention it. They have been quite entertaining over there in the result of this court decision, as you would expect they would.

    I also note that in the current meltdown ltdnews is having over this ‘challenge to free speech’, they appear to have missed this elaboration fron the Judge

    461 It is important that nothing in the orders I make should suggest that it is unlawful for a publication to deal with racial identification including challenging the genuineness of the identification of a group of people. I have not found Mr Bolt and HWT to have contravened s 18C simply because the Newspaper Articles dealt with subject matter of that kind. I have found a contravention because of the manner in which that subject matter was dealt with.


    In other words, talk about it all you want, but do not personally attack individuals with lies in the course of that discussion.

    Or, as Pure Poison put it

    News Limited cries “Free Speech”, ignores errors


    To them, ‘free speech’ is the ability to say what you want, and ignore what you want, and then present that as if it is ‘news’

    I think the Sex Pistols had a word for that

  35. From your link patriciawa

    but the way in which facts that did not serve his purpose were ignored.

    it’s the ltdnews way 😉

  36. Tom R, thew media would have trouble reporting as they do now, if they were force to tell the whole story.

    One that comes to mind is the great big lie.

    The PM said she would not introduce a carbon tax, bit what was not reported, is that she would be addressing climate with a market based carbon price mechanism.

    The media is well aware that at the time, there was debate on two different options.

    The first was a straight carbon tax. The second was a market based pricing mechanism.

    There was also debate as to how the second was to be introduced. Some seen the way as going directly to the market based mechanism. Others seen the best way to go is by beginning with a fix price, moving to one controlled by the market.

    No matter what the media and Mr. Abbott say, we are not getting a carbon tax.

  37. Cu, Liberal spruikers at ltd news, Paul Kelly and Denis Shananigans wrote this on 20/8/2010 !!

    Julia Gillard’s carbon price promise
    by: Paul Kelly and Dennis Shanahan From: The Australian August 20, 2010 12:00AM


    JULIA Gillard says she is prepared to legislate a carbon price in the next term. It will be part of a bold series of reforms that include school funding, education and health.

    In an election-eve interview with The Australian, the Prime Minister revealed she would view victory tomorrow as a mandate for a carbon price, provided the community was ready for this step.

    “I don’t rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism,” she said of the next parliament. “I rule out a carbon tax.”

    Kelly and Shanahan must be suffering memory problems, or else they are making their own ‘facts’.

  38. Just a note on Abbott changing The Racial Vilification Act. Yes he could do that but then you also have States legislation and the Acts of every state in Australia basically mirror Federal legislation.

    So therefore you would have Federal legislation out of kilter with all of the States and if anyone felt the need to sue for example, Andrew Bolt then they could do so via the States anyway.

    From NSW Anti-Discrimination:

    Racial vilification is also against the anti-discrimination law. Vilification is defined as any public act that could encourage hatred, serious contempt, or severe ridicule towards people of a particular race.

    Public acts could include remarks in a newspaper or journal, in other publications, on radio or television or on the internet, including social networking sites. They could also include graffiti, posters, verbal abuse, speeches or statements, gestures and badges or clothing with slogans on them, as long as these are displayed, made or worn in public. The vilification law does not cover acts that are not public, for example abuse over a back fence that no-one else can hear.

  39. Migs, here is one reference to it. In fact the entire article by Mike Carlton has some rippers by the way of quotable quotes.

    Sinclair Davidson, a Melbourne economics professor and, predictably, a “Senior Fellow” at that sink of right wing propaganda, the Institute of Public Affairs, wants to scrap the law altogether and let “market forces” punish discrimination. This is not satire. He meant it.


  40. Of interest in the Mike Carlton article is the fact that Larissa Behrendt’s father was not German as the Blot claimed. I for one certainly believed this statement of Bolt’s, but it was clearly just plain shoddy journalism based on Larissa Behrendt’s surname.

    “…sprayed special venom upon the academic Larissa Behrendt who, he claimed, had a German father. “Which people are ‘yours’, exactly, mein liebchen?” he sneered. Bolt clearly prefers his darkies dark.

    In fact, Behrendt’s father was a black Australian. She – and the other eight plaintiffs in the case – were raised from infancy in Aboriginal culture and society. Given that crashing blunder, the rest of his stuff falls in a heap, exposed for the racist garbage it was.

  41. Re Abbott’s ‘sacred principle’..here I refer back to the font of all knowledge..none other than Blogocrats’ contributor Aquanut..

    Freedom of speech. You mean the freedom to be an a*hole.

  42. Journalism Professor Jay Rosen says we can have our own opinions but not our own facts !
    Something Abbott and Bolt should consider !

  43. Pip, it actually floored me to read that Larissa Behrendt’s father was not German but a dark colored Aboriginal person. If anyone had read Bolt’s column, everyone..self included would have formed the opposite opinion.

    All a bit creepy how journos can lie through their teeth, the same as Bolt and manipulate public opinion.

  44. **obviously Behrendt couldn’t say anything while the case was in court to try to correct Bolt’s statement as it would have been prejudicial.

  45. It’s amazing, isn’t it, that these types can scream JuLIAR yet themselves are caught lying through their teeth week after week. Anal Jones is a classic example. Then so is Abbott. And Bolt. And Hockey. And . . .

  46. Min, Bolt has such a narrow, ignorant view, but surnames in our multicultural society tell us little about how we all came to our names….
    I don’t think he approves of the melting pot.
    Perhaps instead of saying multicultural and causing apoplexy among the rightards, we could say ‘diverse’ society.

  47. Oooo, Google search is sooo handy 😀

    The Victorian Bar Oral History

    One more case I might talk about, Jelena Popovic, the deputy chief magistrate here in Victoria, there was a case where the Herald Sun columnist, Andrew Bolt, wrote a column that was considered defamatory of Jelena Popovic.

    There was no doubt it was defamatory.

    Don’t know. I don’t read the Sun. My wife loves him, I might add. She thinks he’s terrific. Look, the reason he went down, the reason they lost the case, is because when you make a comment or express an opinion on a matter of public interest, you have got to base it upon truly stated facts. You can’t invent facts and then make a comment: that’s what he’d done. He had the transcript of the hearing that he used as the basis for his argument and notwithstanding that it was there in front of him in black and white, he misquoted it and he left bits out and journalists are a bit notorious for doing that. Anyway, he got caught. That’s why they lost.

  48. Pip, I think that Mike Carlton called it..from Bolt it was nothing but racist garbage. Sad that these good people had to have their names dragged through the mud by Bolt, but at least justice was served.

    Bolt’s lawyers suggested that they would take it the High Court if the case was lost, but somehow I don’t think that this is going to happen.

  49. I have Koori football team staying with me this weekend and they are a fine bunch of Australians.

    I’m curious about some ginger headed characters.

  50. It must be hard to be perfect all the time but then if one has friends in high places….

    Controversy and criticism

    Leak of intelligence document
    In June 2003 Bolt published an article criticising Andrew Wilkie in which he quoted from a classified intelligence document written by Wilkie as an intelligence analyst for the Office of National Assessments. It was claimed, but never proven, that someone in Foreign Minister Alexander Downer’s office had leaked the document to Bolt.[2] A spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police said that they do not have any evidence to identify the culprit.

    Stolen Generations
    Bolt has frequently clashed with Robert Manne, Professor of Politics at La Trobe University about the Stolen Generation. Bolt claims that there were no large-scale removals of children “for purely racist reasons”. After Bolt challenged Manne to “name just 10” children stolen for racial reasons,[5] Manne gave him a four-page list of names[6] which, Bolt states, includes children rescued from sexual abuse and removed for other humanitarian reasons.[7] Manne argued that Bolt’s failure to address the wealth of documentary and anecdotal evidence demonstrating the existence of the Stolen Generation amounts to a clear case of historical denialism.[8] Bolt noted multiple instances of contemporary Aboriginal children being left “in grave danger that we would not tolerate for children of any other race because we are so terrified of the ‘stolen generations’ myth.”[9]


  51. El gordo..perhaps like this young fella..

    My granddaughters are a 1/4 full blood, the other granny being a full blood.

    Just go for it if you want to talk about what color my granddaughters ought to be.

  52. True story: a Dutch ship went down in the Great Australian Bite a few hundred years ago and it was assumed there were no survivors. When the first white people explored the area they were surprised to see some fair-haired Aborigines.

    Now we know that there were survivors of the Dutch ship wreck.

  53. And then there are the Black Irish, descendents of probably Saracen origins, invaders mostly the north coast but I will stand corrected on that one.

    Anyone who wants to claim purity of blood should try doing a little research.

  54. What about the rights to be free from those who set out to bully us.

    What about the right to live in a fair and safe society.

    These are also important freedoms.

  55. CU, I’m just about where I started..how can someone make decisions about who you are based just on what you look like. You don’t look Aboriginal therefore you’re not, You don’t look to have a disabilty therefore you’re not.

  56. Min, my grandsons are the same, but much lighter than yours.

    I do know that their grandmother was very dark. The four siblings have different coloured skins.

    Now my darkest skin grandchild’s father is from Uruguay. Her sister is fair.

    It is very dangerous and unfair to judge someone by the colour of their skin.

  57. PS, I love my multicultural family. Funny, when we are together, there is no difference that I can see among us. It is just not important.

  58. CU, because Mr. Bolt claimed that people were claiming Aboriginality for unfair advantage..government grants and the like. Mr. Bolt said that these people had no claim to Aboriginality because they were of a white appearance.

    Daughter in law’s Granny, a full blood managed to marry 5 times during her life and so the family is all shades from blonde to the darknest brown..but they’re all of the same family aren’t they.

    Yes Nanny Lyn was, and still is quite a girl….

  59. I wonder if I were to start writing about people of Dutch extraction I’ve come across and their obsession with xenophobia and racial purity – in Boers in South Africa and the Afrikaners who trekked up from there to East Africa and then back again when Uhuru or Independence came to Kenya. Boorish bigots describes a lot of them and Bolt is no exception. Now we have Cory Bernadi encouraging Geert Wilders to come here from Holland on a speaking tour to stir up racism and Islamophobia.

    I could make a case for Australia refusing entry visas to the Dutch and demonstrate what a trouble making and retrogressive bunch some of them can be. I’d have libertarians down on me in no time, and rightly so. But sometimes I get tempted………

  60. Patrica..The Power of One.

    Absolutely…I am certain that those of Irish or Italian extraction should immediately be deported but then one would have to have the stats and indeed the Dutch or the Lithuanians might have a higher crime rate % of the population.

  61. Bolt’s headlining on this now (I won’t link in case it may offend) but you may wish to have a look at what he says in his own defence.

  62. Now Min you have me worried. I have distant Irish in my heritage, that were soldiers/freedom fighters or by today’s standards, terrorist.

    Am I wrong to worry about my freedom.

    Maybe my grandson’s indigenous heritage may save the day by introducing the only soldiers I know of into the family tree.

    Not just soldiers, but soldiers that were decorated.

    Do they still count, since once they came back from war, they were once again treated as second class citizens.

    The truth is that it is not any of Mr. Bolt’s business.

    The Indigenous community themselves are very good at rejecting those they do not consider one of their race.

    This is another reason his story should be rejected, it is a beat up.

    I would love to know what happened to Mr. Bolt during his school days in the outback, where his father was teacher and I believe school principal.

    It would be lovely to hear from some who attended school with him.

    Maybe our wonderful media could get off their backsides and do some worthwhile investigating.

  63. el gordo, why would one be offended by what that bombastic fool has to say?

    That is all the man is.

    I will point out, as you have not obviously noticed, most on this site are treating the man with contempt and enjoying themselves by poking fun at him.

  64. El gordo, we wouldn’t be in the slighted bit offended…just tell us which article and we will do our best to tear it to ribbons.

  65. The Bolter has knocked off for the day, footy fever presumably, the article is called ‘My Big Mistake’.

    Tear him to ribbons if you find flaws in his argument.

    Just voted at the drum poll on this issue and its running neck and neck.

  66. Source that el gordo is unwilling to give.


    “Their father, Henry Behrendt, hit the roof: “As far as I’m concerned your mother was white!” Henry Behrendt would not discuss it further but his outburst confirmed the boy’s thoughts.”

    What does that outburst mean. Does it mean what Mr. Bolt takes it ti mean, ore is the father saying the mother is as good as any white woman.

    I suggest that Mr. Bolt still needs to be careful. Why is Mr. Bolt persistent with an argument that the court found to be false. Is not that bordering on contempt of court.

    “The ABC’s Drum runs a poll on my court case (50/50 result at the moment), but the question begging a vote against me is bizarre. Note that my articles, however offensive some choose to judge them, were an explicit plea to look beyond divisions of “race”, and to look to what unites us as human beings. Yet here’s how the ABC chooses to define the “yes” case on declaring them unlawful: …..:

    ……………..A victory for racial justice and equality

    The “no” case is that it’s a blow to free speech. That the choice is posited this way is not only deeply offensive, but inaccurate…”

    No el gordo, I am not offended, I would add that the man is also an idiot that does not know when to shut up.

    “……Young Paul was put in an orphanage and told he was white….”

    Mr. Bolt, you would be surprised that most of the girls put into Cootamundra Girls Home were told the same thing. They were discouraged from even think about being Aboriginal. I would say the same goes for the boys.

    Imagine their confusion when they left the home as young teenagers, to find out they had been lied to. Even the churches refused to treat them as white.

    Now these children, light skinned Aborigines were taken for their own safety. Mr. Bolt please tell me why their darker skinned siblings were left behind. Were they not also in danger.

    Mr. Bolt be wary of histories written by these people when they were younger. Telling the truth was not prudent by many.

    Many themselves were ignorant of their own backgrounds and the missing pieces were only filled in years later.

    Many were told they were orphans. All were told they were abused by their parents. Siblings were separated, to ensure the lies persisted.

  67. And Bolt setting his slavering hordes in the direction of that poll isn’t going to skew it at all, is it el gordo? 🙄

  68. El gordo, here is something my lecturer used so say..if you wonder whether or not it’s discrimination or vilification substitute the word for another.

    So let’s try it shall we…

    Here are some extracts from one of Bolt’s articles:

    It’s so hip to be black disabled

    But she, too, has chosen to call herself Aboriginal Disabled, which happily means she could be shortlisted for this year’s Victorian Indigenous Disabled Art Award.

    Instead, she’s an official Aboriginal Disabled Person, and hired as such in a nation which now institutionalises even racial disability differences you cannot detect with a naked eye.

    **Once 99.9% of people think about it they would agree that it’s vilification.

  69. Dolt knowingly lied about a group of people in that piece of sloppy, shoddy racist propaganda. He was aware that the whole thing was a pack of lies, distortions and innuendo and the judge said as much.

    This is not an example of free speech being muzzled, rather it is an example of a racist liar being caught out, named, shamed and admonished!

    el gordo, since when has that sort of nazi style rancid propaganda been a proud example of free speech? It’s indefensible and will never be anything else. Dolt and his partners in sleaze are a disgrace to this country.

    Self righteous liars and scumbags who have the unmitigated gall to accuse others of being untruthful. What’s that saying? Physician heal thyself.

  70. Some people, in jumping to Bolt’s defense, argue that he was not being racist. I argue that he would have known all along that his comments were going to offend a minority group along with most decent Australians.

  71. Migs, I think that even those with no connection with Aboriginal Australia know can see how wrong it is to be judged solely by appearances. But to say that Aboriginals with lighter skin obtain ‘advantage’ is a kick in the teeth for the Stolen Generations.

    The Stolen Generations were taken because they were whiter than their siblings but we have Bolt twisting it around saying that these people can’t even be Aboriginal.

  72. Andrew Bolt feels out of place in Australia, because he stills thinks like a South African.

    On this particular issue I appear to be suffering from cognitive dissonance.

  73. El gordo..you could indeed by right there.

    Migs, silly me…and anyway the non-Stolen Generation were white-ish and so weren’t even Aboriginals.

  74. The football team departed my place without paying their whole bill, rugby league players can’t be trusted.

  75. Marcia Langton is correct. It is not about wanting to be Aboriginal.

    It is about honouring the Aboriginal blood that runs in their veins, no matter how little.

    It is not a choice, it is a fact. None should be made to choose. Non should feel they have to make a choice.

    It is telling in itself that the matter is being discussed. What makes us whites so superior that we feel we have the right to condemn people for being proud of this heritage.

    Why is Mr. Bolt seen as Dutch, in spite of the fact he was born and raised in this country.

    “…..What are our children and grandchildren to say to these fools? Deny their mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, and other family members because one of Bolt’s ilk is offended by their Aboriginal identity?

    This must be what Bolt wants. Just like the old Protection Board of the 19th century, he must believe that he can intimidate and terrify Aboriginal people into sneaking away and pretending to be ”white”, to deny their Aboriginal parentage and upbringing and the values and world view learnt in an Aboriginal family…..”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/the-gripes-of-wrath-20111001-1l2z5.html#ixzz1ZaK6kDhY

  76. This is an explanation for many declaring their backgrounds after years of denying they had Aboriginal blood.


    There were many Aboriginal people who were so intimidated and did sneak away and pretend to be ”white”. It was called ”passing”, a play on words, connoting both ”passing away”, as in dying, and ”passing himself off as white”.

    Not quite despised but regarded as gutless, they were the ones who sneaked back to take advantage of the miserable ”benefits” that came with policy reform in the 1970s. Then, we called them ”very late identifiers”.

    Of course, they only identified on paper when they filled in a form. They did not identify as Aboriginal in the community. And the reason why is obvious except to Bolt and his kind. What Bolt refuses to acknowledge, or is deliberately misleading about, is the fact that identifying as Aboriginal is almost certainly likely to lead to being run out of school by racists, unemployment and jail. Look at the statistics. That’s what the Close the Gap campaign is aimed at: reducing the Third World rates across almost every socio-economic indicator.

    What is particularly insulting about Bolt’s diatribes against the particular individuals who litigated in this case is that each one of them has identified as Aboriginal, aimed high, and beaten the odds. They have achieved great things in their fields; each one has worked inordinately hard and striven for excellence. And each one has been recognised in his or her field for that excellence….”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/the-gripes-of-wrath-20111001-1l2z5.html#ixzz1ZaMf0tbd

  77. CU, I remember similar very clearly..how Aboriginal people would say that they were Spanish, Italian..anything but Aboriginal, as in Australia anything/anyone was held in higher regard. Better to be considered ‘a wog’ than an Abo.

  78. From: http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2011/s3330453.htm

    BRENDAN O’CONNOR: Well, you know, George Brandis has made a number of comments. Now, of course the – these provisions have been in place for 16 years – 11 and a half years under the Howard Government. At no point did I see the Howard Government, or George Brandis in particular, consider this as a concern. In fact, even when the – that Government had the majority in both houses of Parliament did they seek to amend the legislation. So it is interesting. I question the motives of the Shadow Attorney-General raising it;..

    The motive is of course just politics rather than good government.

  79. Yes Min, we did have a lot of young women who descended from Indian Princes.

    There were many strong reasons for taking this stance.

    Being ashamed of their Aboriginality was low on the list.

    Being afraid of not getting a job or accommodation rated much higher.

    Not wanting your children to under the protection of the Aboriginal Protection Board was to be avoided at all costs.

    Being forced onto a reserve was a fate to some worse than death.

    Seeing your child in the bottom class did not appeal to many.

    Yes, there were many reasons that they did not want those who consider themselves superior to know their true heritage.

    What a society we are, that believes one should be ashamed of where they came from.

    The greatest insult, is we blame these people for the position they are in.

    We blame them for not dumping their culture and become worthy white clones overnight.

    Yes, we are superior!!!

  80. CU, and a lot to do with what Migs has previously written about..how Aboriginal culture was perceived as being no culture at all.

    Migs might correct me on this one but even those Aboriginals who were successful for example, artists were only considered successful because they could do it ‘just like a white fella’. Recognition of contemporary Aboriginal artists who painted in the traditional style came somewhat later..and only AFTER their artwork was being sold for tens of thousands of dollars overseas. And of course the exploitation of these artists is another story…

  81. I’ve popped an update at the bottom of the Topic. It’s a newspaper clipping from 1970 which I thought might be of interest.

  82. ‘And Bolt setting his slavering hordes in the direction of that poll isn’t going to skew it at all, is it el gordo?’

    You may be right baccy, looks like there has been a Bolter plunge since yesterday.

  83. I was speaking to a Dutch tourist in Las Vegas and I brought up the subject of the Batavia, having just read the book. He didn’t want to talk about the Batavia. It was taboo as the Dutch are ashamed of this chapter of their history. The exploits of the Dutch people overseas just didn’t reflect the true picture of Dutch people, he explained.

    I guess it’s the same with the English during their colonial expansion or the American people while their troops are creating havoc around the world.

  84. Miglo, I can’t understand why any of the colonialist countries would want to mention their activities…

  85. Min @3.09pm, we’ve been taught that Aboriginal culture was very primitive and unworthy. But I remember listening to an anthropologist on ABC radio one Saturday afternoon many years ago, who had a very different take on Aboriginal cultures.

    He said they are in fact very rich, varied and sophisticated cultures, evidenced by the amount of time devoted to their maintenance.

  86. Thank you el gordo, that was a worthwhile read. I agree Rose Pullen’s opinion is straightforward and logical from an non-Aboriginal’s point of view.

    I noticed that Menzies House has a petition up and running titled: Sign Our Petition To Support Freedom of Speech & Andrew Bolt! Plus an online poll.

    Apparently it’s running 70% Do Not Support Bolt. I was therefore somewhat amused to read a comment: Whoops there must be a glitch in the system. 🙂

  87. Min, it is lovely hearing Mr. Bolt complain about what others are doing to him. Things which he does every day of his working life.

    Mr. Bolt does not like being called racist and other names.

    Mr. Bolt claims that many are making allegations about him, that he says are not true. He claims to be picked on.

    Does not Mr. Bolt realise if someone puts things in writing, it must be truth.

    If it not true, why would they write things about him.

    Now Mr. Bolt can do, what he claims others have the right to do, prove the articles are false or lies.

    According to Mr. Bolt’s reasoning, it is not up to the writer to prove fact. It is up to those who are being accused to prove their innocence.

  88. Mr. Bolt is also upset about the bias in a book that has been released looking at Mr. Abbott’s past utterings.

    I suggest to Mr. Bolt, he takes some time off maligning others, to write a book disputing what is in the book that arouses his anger.

    That will then balance the bias and unbalanced reporting.

    The reader can then make up their own minds as to where the truth lies.

    After all Mr. Bolt and his supporters say we live in a country where anything goes.

  89. CU, oh poor little lamb..poor Blot. For years Andrew Bolt did the typical ego thing, calculating that he could say what he liked and there would be no consequences.

    And then one day along came some feisty Aboriginal people, ladies including Pat Eatock and Larissa Behrendt.

    Having previously attempted a case via HREOC and Anti-Discrimination NSW I have the upmost admiration for these people to have persevered. The Anti-Discrimination case where I was advocate was disability discrimination pertaining to kids with Asperger’s syndrome.

  90. John Birmingham has quite a way with words!

    In a very real sense, Justice Bromberg was simply redressing a deeply imperfect power balance between Bolt and his victims. For victims they were. He gathered them within the confines of his column, and there set about them with vile falsehoods. One wrong claim after another. Error piled upon error, the whole teetering rhetorical edifice held in place only by the spitefulness of his prose.

    This is the grotesque and sick-making irony of his latest fiasco: that he now portrays himself as the aggrieved party, having been hauled into a star chamber and stripped of his precious, precious freedoms. His freedom to insult. His freedom to slander. His freedom to wound and belittle. His freedom to do all this in the face of facts and truths he cannot be bothered getting off his soft, white, privileged arse to verify in the first place.

  91. Pingback: Andrew Bolt: more offensive than sex with a horse? | A Slice of Life

  92. Worth a read. he is a lovely fellow. What dsrives Bolt, belief, money or ego?

    “,………The Bolt Factor: Andrew Bolt and the Making of an Opportunist.”

    …….Host Barrie Cassidy introduced the first segment, ‘The Sunday Papers’, in which guests comment on a story from that day’s newspaper given to them by the producers. Bolt ignored his item and instead started talking about a report on the BBC that, Bolt claimed, demonstrated the Earth was not warming. Marr remonstrated with him, both for deviating from the script and for the absurdity of his claims. When Bolt persisted, Marr picked up a newspaper and in a show of mock exasperation turned his back on Bolt.

    A couple of hours later, Bolt posted on his blog an image of Marr with pursed lips, seemingly in mid-sentence, with the invitation to his many followers to click on it and watch the segment. Over the next few hours 133 comments were posted, some remarking on Marr’s apparent rudeness, others commenting on the picture itself.

    “I saw an expression like that on an egg-bound chook once,” said ‘Jackie of Gaia!’.

    “Poor fellow is chronically constipated,” responded Fay of Charlestown.

    “I doubt that, Fay,” chimed in Alan Jansen. “Given what Marr proudly admits to, constipation is unlikely to be a problem.”

    Marr was outraged when he was alerted to these remarks two days later. “We’d been talking about opera and then you go on and get this blinding thing,” he told me. He immediately rang Bolt, who had the offending comment ‘snipped’, formally apologised to Marr and posted the following statement on the blog: “David has alerted me to a comment which snuck through our moderation and which abuses him in homophobic terms. I am mortified it got through, and have instantly removed it. I apologise to David and have banned the person who put it up.”

    Marr accepted Bolt’s apology and his assurance he had not seen the posts. What Bolt did not disclose was that the person who was moderating the blog and past whom these comments had “snuck” was his wife, Sally Morrell. “It was an official arrangement, for his wife to moderate his blog,” Phil Gardner, editor-in-chief of the Herald and Weekly Times, told me. That arrangement ended about a year ago, he said, and Bolt’s blog is now moderated in house at the Herald Sun…”


  93. Pingback: Aboriginal identity: it’s more than colour, it’s more than culture « Café Whispers

  94. Pingback: Bolt the revisionist caught in distortions of historical facts for personal gain! « No Place For Sheep

  95. Thank you No Place For Sheep..from the link to your site and article on Bolt:

    ..show him up for the dorky manipulative tosser he really is..

    I’ll pay that one..

  96. Migs, this article supports what you have written.

    It is sad that many of the comments are so short sighted.

    The writer is correct, it is all about “me me” for some. I have watched my 3yr old grand daughter, at sisters 5th saying all day, me, me, we share. With her it is understandable, but she is also learning that it is not all me.

    With adults, no.

    “…..It’s entirely up to the individual, although in the case of Aboriginality, there are some caveats.

    The most oft-accepted legal definition for claiming Australian Aboriginality is that you must (a) have Aboriginal heritage; (b) identify as Aboriginal; and (c) be accepted as Aboriginal by the Aboriginal community.

    The debate about the ‘Aboriginality test’ in Aboriginal communities is as old as the test itself. There are Aboriginal people who discriminate against others based on the paleness of their skin.

    They are, however, no more enlightened than Bolt. And their views are no more relevant.

    However, my experience with Aboriginal people is that the overwhelming majority welcome other Aboriginal people, regardless of their skin colour. They do so because they understand several things that Bolt does not.

    First, they understand loss. A loss of land. A loss of culture. A loss of identity. A loss of wages, of children, of remains. With that loss comes a very deep acknowledgement of the importance of reconnecting.

    Second, Aboriginal people understand that while you can become an Australian, you can never become an Aboriginal. You either are, or you aren’t.

    By contrast, the thing that binds all Australians – regardless of where they come from – is that we have collectively benefitted from the dispossession of someone else. That ‘someone else’ is Aboriginal people.

    Which brings me to the roots of Bolt’s frustration, and that of his supporters.

    Aboriginality has a special status in Australia, because Aboriginal people are the original custodians of this land.

    This notion deeply offends people like Bolt because they believe someone is getting something to which they themselves are not entitled.

    It’s straight out of the ‘what about me’ playbook.

    That Andrew Bolt, a man of such advantage, should spend so much time worrying about what other people get just adds to the irony and, I think, speaks some volumes about his moral fibre.

    So my advice to Bolt and others is simple: Get over it.

    You will never enjoy the special status that First Nations people do. Suck it up, Princess. Move on. Maybe even learn to embrace and respect it? Or not. It doesn’t matter a zip to Aboriginal people either way. But if you do, it will make you a lot happier in life.

    And some more advice: dump the ‘egalitarian Utopia’ nonsense. It’s old and silly……

    ……….And one last piece of advice, Andrew: For generations people like you have been trying to define Aboriginality. And for just as long, Aboriginal people have continued on, unchanged, unaffected.

    It must drive you nuts, which certainly helps to explain the vitriol in your columns. But it doesn’t explain the errors. Lazy fact checking does.

    Andrew Bolt can wax lyrical all he wants about people’s identity. He can bang on about ‘the Stolen Generation myth’. He can foam about ‘professional Aborigines’.

    He cannot, however, print lies. And that’s precisely what he did……………”


  97. Cu, your wise words to Bolt are worth repeating 🙂

    Suck it up Princess. Move on.

    He won’t of course, but he’ll need to be much more careful in the way he goes about it.

  98. Min wrote
    Thank you No Place For Sheep..from the link to your site and article on Bolt:

    ..show him up for the dorky manipulative tosser he really is..

    I’ll pay that one..

    I’ll second that.

  99. Pip Mr. Bolt is really having problems. Not remembering that you proposed to a woman you live with for six years. Sadly for him, she kept the letters and other communications.

    I wonder how faulty his memory is of the Aboriginal boys he went to school with, the ones he inferred agreed with him.

  100. Cu, Bolt’s a cad and a bounder 😀

    Will he respond to Ms Walshe’s statement or pretend it didn’t happen like he does over the Stolen Generations ?

    It would be enlightening to hear what his Aboriginal school mates have to say about him !

  101. Pip, according to something I read somewhere, they tell Mr. Bolt they agree with him.

    I has the impression that Mr. Bolt believes he is acting on their behalf.

  102. The sad part is that what is being overlooked with all the gleeful cheering of Bolts demise is that identity does not equal disadvantage. A point I personally thought he was trying to make. And on that point, I agree with him.

    As a black skinned undeniably Aboriginal man (I can’t even pretend not to be Aboriginal, I don’t get any choice in the matter), I welcome any pale skinned Aboriginal person to walk beside me as we enter a variety of social situations (shopping, or even just walking down the street) and tell me again how the gulf between black and white isn’t an issue here. I don’t identify, I am identified. Whether its those people who cross the road to avoid walking near me, the regular ‘license checks’ the local police seem to impose on me, to being served last (and sometimes not at all) or followed by store security for no other reason than WHAT I am. Unfortunately, people hardly ever seem to be able to look past the broad nose, the black skin and see that I am a good man. A family man who has the right as any other to be treated as an individual, but rarely gets that basic right simply because of the colour of my skin. Before I even open my mouth, I am assumed to be lazy, stupid, possibly a drunk and a whole raft of other stereotypes that aren’t worth repeating. I’m not a person, I’m ‘one of them’. A coon, a boong, an abo, but never me. Never an individual with passions separate from the next, never a guy with my own aspirations and dreams, my own quirks and affectations. If I had a dollar for every person who told me ‘I don’t normally like blackfellas, but you’re alright’, or every job I turned up to after a phone interview that had suddenly been filled once they realised that my polished phone voice wasn’t that of a white man, I’d be driving a newer car at the very least.

    I don’t mind if you identify with whatever you want to identify with. Your ancestry is your ancestry. But don’t be dishonest about the priviledge of whiteness. This is where you lose your black brothers and your argument becomes self-serving rhetoric. It belittles the reality I live every day, and I say that as someone who considers themselves a lucky black man. I don’t live in extreme poverty, my experience in foster care was extremely positive and welcomed by my community as a way for at least some of the mission kids to get a proper education. I feel confident to read and write in front of others, to speak up when I see a wrong being said or done, but I am an anomaly. The face of Indigenous suffering and disadvantage is far more likely to be a black one than a white one. We are all searching for identity in life, we all need to feel that we belong, but in the process of finding your personal belonging, or discovering where you came from, you cannot change the fundamental truths that exist. A white, well-educated man from the city with one great grandparent who was part aboriginal, is a far cry from me, and an even further cry from the vast majority of my black skinned brothers.

    And to whomever wrote the comparison removing Aboriginal and replacing it with disabled, you do realise that disabled is a wide, sweeping term, right? I say that as the father of a disabled Aboriginal child. Disabled people are also not a homogenous group. Some disabilities end lives prematurely, but not before some pretty horrific suffering. I would not dare tell a parent of a child with Battens Disease for example, that our suffering is the same. It is clearly not. My child has his own battles to face, thankfully, none of those battles will see him meet an early demise or constant loss of ability or pain that is difficult to manage. I don’t whinge that some disabled people get parking spots that we don’t or more respite than we are entitled to, I rejoice in the fact that we have that ability to manage our day to day lives in a way that doesn’t require such a permit or the need to rely on others so heavily. You know what else? I feel glad that those who need it receive it, and we differentiate between disabilities so that those most in need, get the most help and assistance. You would understand this if you’d ever had to fill out the never-ending forms to receive Carers Payment for a disabled child. Not all disabilities are the same, just like not all people who identify as Aboriginal are in need of affirmative action, or special grants and assistance.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

  103. Excellent reply BlackSteamTrain.

    The problem in not just the identity of race, disability or indeed just about anything today. Everything isn’t just black or white, yet that is what much is being boiled down to, and especially by the media, and even more especially by the shock jocks and extreme right wing. The greys and individualities are being washed out and lumped into one of the same two pots of black or white/us or them. That was Bolt’s failing and why he deserved to get what he got.

    Bolt was not attempting to point out identity equals disadvantage, and he didn’t attempt to frame his defence on that. He was attempting to generalise and belittle by, in deliberate error, using the identity of a few individuals, who as you point out are disparate examples of the group, to belittle not just those individuals but the group by racial association.

    It is a standard trick of Bolts, to point out the supposed failings, or even make up those failings based on innuendo or his own distortions, so as to marginalise the whole by inference. He sows the seed of spotlighting individuals and then lets his zombies do the generalisation to the entire group.

    The media on the other hand, and especially the tabloid and 24 hour TV news cycle, want as much as possible condensed into a headline with as little in-depth explanation as possible following it. Explanations require research, time and effort and don’t allow distortions of facts or the denigration based on ideological, religious or socio-economic grounds.

    So the media as much as possible boils everything down to black and white, makes up conflicts, picks a side and runs fear and smear in the belief it sells copy or air time. They have gotten to the point where for an article or piece they often don’t bother interviewing those who are the subject or involved, instead they interview each other, reporters interviewing reporters, and interview ‘experts’ who are often aligned to institutions with the same outlook and stance as the media producing the article.

    Again the many shades of grey are washed out and the problem you raise is perpetuated. Bolt more than anything was found guilty of washing out the greys and in this case only reporting black as black. As has been highlighted in many places around the internet, and in legal forums, Bolt had an easy out to this from the very start, and that was to admit things are not just black and white in this case, but he refused to do that using the deliberately misleading line of “freedom of speech”, which it was never about, as the judge went to great lengths to point out.

  104. Bolts demise is that identity does not equal disadvantage. If Bolt was trying to make this point, then he was doing so clumsily. While identity as you say, does not necessarily equal disadvantage Bolt’s point, and the very reason that he was found guilty is that he accused the plaintiffs of using racial identity to claim ‘unfair advantage’. That is, soley because of the color of their skin that they could not be indigenous

    I don’t identify, I am identified But do pale skinned indigenous have a choice in this either and from the time that they were children. Your mother’s an Abo is the school yard taunt.

    Before I even open my mouth, I am assumed to be lazy, stupid, possibly a drunk and a whole raft of other stereotypes that aren’t worth repeating. And I am hearing impaired. Every day I walk down the street and before I even open my mouth I am assumed to be stupid, possibly drunk and a whole raft of other stereotypes. And I have to cope with this every day of my life.

  105. Mobius Ecko – “Bolt was not attempting to point out identity equals disadvantage, and he didn’t attempt to frame his defence on that. He was attempting to generalise and belittle by, in deliberate error, using the identity of a few individuals, who as you point out are disparate examples of the group, to belittle not just those individuals but the group by racial association.”

    I actually contacted Mr Bolt by email after some of his comments on the artist Bindi Cole, and although he could have been telling porkies, he did assure me that was the crux of his initial complaint with several of those he took swing at. Unlike the individuals who took him to court, no lawyer has offered to go in pro bono for me and redress the discrimination and offense I feel after several of Bindis comments regarding the Victorian Kooris. If you read her ‘Not Really Aboriginal’ artist summary, you will find that she categorically states that all the full-blooded Victorian Aboriginals have died out “we’re all mixed race anyway!”. This is not at all the case, however, in her effort to be proud of her own heritage, she has deeply offended me, and many of my family. It does not matter that I can prove her wrong with documentation, people do not seem to care what I have to say, nor willing to upset the status quo, which is in serious need of changing. From where I stand, and with my experiences, we have created two classes within the Koori community, the haves and the have-nots. While we are busy celebrating the successes of the haves, we’re ignoring the massive chasm that is forming for the have-nots because of this.

    How many of the recent Indigenous University graduates have had black skin? We are told to look up to these people as role-models, as people we can emulate and if we put in enough hard work and study, even be just like. But their reality is not mine. There is nothing wrong with a black man needing or wanting a black role model. When I see a whole bunch of black University graduates, then I’ll believe we’re making progress. That funding is going to where it is most needed, and those who need the most help are getting it.

    The dirty secret is, while we celebrate all of these achievements of these part-Aboriginal people, we’re ignoring the fact that in Victoria, and in Gippsland at least (and this is the main place I can speak with any experience or authority) the black community is seeing levels of literacy much lower than that of our grandparents. For the first time ever, we’re walking backwards. But there is no extra funding for the local schools, no reading recovery programs, and no learning disability support. You see, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is evil. We have a whole generation of kids who, because of three little words, are now struggling at the very basics they need to conquer to have a chance at more in this life.

    My reality, today and now, is that I have a whole bunch of kids back on the mission (95% of them are very dark skinned) who are not always attending school, not being given adequate nutrition or medical care, half of their parents have drug or alcohol problems, violence is a regular occurence and many of the fixable problems are just going ignored. Nobody jumped up and down when the school was taken away. Nobody took note that out of the funding from the government, extra now had to be spent on getting these kids to school in an area that has no public transport. The mission is stuck out in the middle of nowhere, and its is a good 15 kilometre walk to the nearest V/Line bus stop.

    Min – “I don’t identify, I am identified But do pale skinned indigenous have a choice in this either and from the time that they were children. Your mother’s an Abo is the school yard taunt.”

    If ‘Abo’ is the insult here, imagine actually being one! I can tell you the kids were plenty cruel to me, the Abo, growing up. Have you ever been called an ‘ABC’? I have. If you known what that stands for, it is not able to be repeated without redaction in full, as it would not pass any censor I know.

    I grew up, unbeknownst to me, around two part-aboriginal boys. I was told much later that they were my distant cousins, however, this was not knowledge they shared freely with others or advertised to all and sundry. My older brother (who died aged just 38 and is now buried in the cemetery at the mission) was a very talented sportsman, but because our foster parents could not afford the fees, he missed out on being in the Koori side for Basketball and Cricket. An opportunity that both of these part-aboriginal children were able to seize, enjoy and excel at. Until their participation in these Koori teams, I was completely unaware they even identified as Aboriginal. It does leave a bitter taste in my mouth that while my brother lies in a coffin, just another dead black statistic, yet one of these distant cousins of mine is enjoying a well-paid position for Aboriginal people, is enjoying his family and his children, and my brother is gone.

    I grew up for such a long time wishing to be white. I don’t think there are adequate words to describe the mental anguish of realising you can’t scrub the black off in the shower as a young child. We knew that people didn’t like us. I had friends whose parents did not even allow us to set foot in their homes, but what I did have was foster parents who instilled in me the tools to cope, and a determination to keep going despite any who knocked me, just for being Aboriginal. Most of my black brothers and sisters didn’t have that though, and I appreciate how lucky I was to have what they didn’t. It has created a divide between even us. I can write letters to Ministers, email people and participate in discussions, they do not have those skills. This is why education is so important, and so vital to making forward progress. People need to be equipped with the tools to participate in the very society that decides their rights and access to basic human needs.

    You know, when my youngest children were born, it was an incredible moment, and it signalled a different understanding for me of the differences between black and white. You see, I love a white woman. With all my heart and soul, and I am so thankful that our son has her white skin. His disabilities may not shield him from all the worlds cruelty, but, his white skin I see as a blessing. It will help him get past other things that his twin sister, who has black skin, will have to battle against. And the poor kid has enough on his plate.

    Am I allowed to feel happy he is white? I believe so. Am I allowed to worry about my daughter being black? I don’t think anyone would question that a parent in my position is right to be concerned about racism and the effect it will have on their child. Does it hurt that the world sees them as a freak of nature, worthy of a quick mention on the 5 o’clock news and then fodder for the unwashed masses to debate forever after…yes, it hurts a lot.

    Deafness is also very common in my family Min. One of my Aunts on my fathers side recently put out a book about her life called ‘The Black Swan’, that deals quite a bit with how her deafness impacted her life. I grew up in foster care with my cousin, like a brother, we were very close and I learnt how to sign because of him (if you take a look at the Victorian School for the Deaf school choir photos, from about 20 years ago, he’s very easy to spot in the photos – the only black kid). He even went on the Don Lane show in his deaf choir, I can vividly remember going to the old Melbourne Airport to see him off when he went over to Tassie to perform for him. I have deaf Aunts, cousins and nephews. But I’d never imagine to tell you that I know what its like to be deaf. I am not deaf so whilst I saw what my foster brother went through, tried to help him when he felt down, and spent countless hours being part of his life, it was not something I experienced in the same way as he did. I can empathise with your struggles and his struggles, but not sympathise. That is all I ask people afford me. And I don’t think that is asking too much.

  106. You remind me of an Aboriginal friend from Adelaide. A stunningly handsome man with an equally stunning white wife.

    They rolled up at a motel, he went into the reception only to be told there were no rooms available, which he relayed to his wife. His wife then went into reception and bingo, she got a room.

    This man us also a university graduate. He was also from the Stolen Generation. His story is similar to yours.

  107. You make some very pertinent and lucid points BlackSteamTrain, many I cannot identify with being of white European background, yet still having neighbours dumping rubbish over our fence and calling my mum and dad f’ing Dutchies and to go back to where they belonged, but that was about the extent of it.

    As to Bolt. He was given ample opportunity to correct the errors in his article, and he would still have been able to openly state the crux of what he contended to you was his intent, and no court case would have ensued. That he refused to correct those easily fixable factual errors and used freedom of speech as an excuse to not fix them I think speaks volumes of what Bolt’s real intent was. Because the removal of the factual errors, and Bindi Cole should correct hers, would have killed his dog whistle and taken the punch out of the retorts he knew his zombie army would unleash on this.

    Bindi Cole probably doesn’t correct her factual error for much the same reason, but she doesn’t have a mostly mindless zombie army behind her to rise to the bait on a statement being made.

    By the way, as with just about all of Bolt’s blatant, and I believe deliberate factual errors, the ones he published in this incident are still being tabled as fact, and this is exactly what Bolt wants and why the judge ruled against him.

    Bolt, along with his media masters, work on the premise on repeating errors and distortions often enough until they become fact, and I now I see these supposed facts still being trotted out years after they have been debunked. What sickens me the most is that Bolt is proud of the fact this happens and a misinformation he repeatedly stated many years ago still is being quoted today.

  108. Roswell (have to say, I am also an X-Files fan from way back!), that has also been my experience many times. I have to say, when I am not feeling up to it, I forgo the ‘sorry, we can’t help you’ and just send in the beautiful white woman first up 😉

  109. That’s what my friend now does; stays in the car and sends in his wife.

    The Roswell gravatar, not only reflects my love of the X Files, but I’ve often been told I talk in the same manner as Fox Mulder. A little bit of logic, a little bit of deep thinking.

  110. Mobius, we must have been replying at the same time.

    I don’t want to speak for Bindi Cole, however, I have made several attempts to contact her to give her the opportunity to recant her statements, and, she is unwilling to do so. In fact, she will not even enter into discussion (prefering to just ignore me or remove questions I put to her politely) or take a look at my evidence that proves her as inaccurate in her statements. This speaks poorly of her, not all part-Aboriginal people, and poorly of the whole system that exists of inaccurate statements being bandied about as fact and accurate historically when there is evidence that is clearly to the contrary.

    Ms Cole received her day in court, her day to express her dismay at lies that were printed about her as if fact, but, where is my recourse? Justice for some, and, not for others.

    Yet, she is held up as a fine upstanding and culturally aware Aboriginal person. I do not see her as this. I see her as someone who is threatened by the heritage of others, who is unhappy to be proven wrong, but wants all the opportunity to fight against such oppression of herself. She is happy to dress her family in blackface, and even though this art is seen as incredibly offensive (to me personally, and to every member of my family who has seen it), because it is labelled as art, apparently we are not allowed to feel any offense. It is ‘good’ that her art invokes passion and debate apparently, so therefore the hurt and wrong that it represents is allowed to be dismissed. Does it make a difference that my direct descendant was a member of a group referred to as the ‘Nigger Minstrels’ just short of a century ago? Apparently not. Does it make a difference that the headbands the family wear in those photos are appearing to mock the ceremonial adornments worn by the Elders in ceremonies and corroborees practiced on my traditional lands? Apparently not. Free expression is apparently more important than the hurt you will cause others.

    Lies are being printed everywhere, and, for once, Ms Cole had the shoe on the other foot. The thing I disagree with you on is that when she spoke, she did have a mindless army behind her too (Geoff Clarke is a one man media party in a can, and if you think he doesn’t have a generous handful of fools willing to do his bidding, have a good research of ATSIC, and the old guard from there. The ones who haven’t passed away are still happy to jump on any bandwagon that furthers their own agenda, and more specifically, Mr Clarkes. Just ask the poor buggers from Framlingham, the real traditional owners, how helpful his involvement has been for them). Bolt might have made factual errors in his opinion pieces, but for once, the whole world is talking about something that I am very passionate about, and for that I cannot bear him any ill-will. He managed to do something I have yet been unable to do, open a dialogue that has people asking questions, seeking clarity and looking at the statistics we are fed on Indigenous disadvantage and asking whether or not there is more that can and should be done.

  111. Roswell, I think I’m a little more like the black secret love child of Byers and Frohike. Open to all things, a little nutty, and a different kind of ‘special’ 😉

  112. No, Victorian born and bred. My fathers family are from Lake Tyers mission, my mothers family a little further up the coast from Wallaga Lake.

  113. On a serious note, your presence here has prompted me to look at the Indigenous articles that have been put up on this site.

  114. Dreadful isn’t it! Though born and bred isn’t actually factually correct. Do I redeem myself slightly if I admit to my place of birth being N.S.W? I didn’t live in the state for more than a month apparently (my birth took place with my mothers people, as was the custom), all my memories of life in the early years were as a foster kid in the suburbs of Victoria.

  115. BlackSteamTrain, just thought to let you know what while I’m not indigenous my two granddaughters are, the other granny being full blood TSI. I use the term indigenous as the crew are a mix of Aboriginal, TSI and other islander and so, indigenous is safest.

    Good coming from evil. Yes Bolt’s case did give those of us, and there are a number of us here with Aboriginal connections and Aboriginal heritage, the opportunity to write about such issues. I think that we are one of the few major blogs which owns a topic called Indigenous Australia. The link is on the RHS and if you click onto this it will bring up all previous articles written, not just by myself but by blogmaster Miglo. I hope that these might be of interest to yourself.

    Would you believe that there is only one Indigenous hairdresser in Cairns, it seems that nobody is prepared to take on colored girls as apprentices.

    I’ve told this story before but a cousin who was then in Year 12 had to do the obligatory interview with the careers counsellor who told him that as he is talented at art that he should consider painting as a career, so that he could sell it to tourists. His reply was, Nah I’m going to uni to become a pharmacist.

    I bear Bolt ill will because he is telling my granddaughters that they don’t have the right to call themselves Indigenous. They’re 1/4 full blood, but as they inherited genes from my side of the family they’re too white to be black. They are being brought up in the culture and the other grandfather (who is white) is teaching all the children the language..something which was lost to the kids now in their 20’s and older.

  116. BST, Lake Tyers..know it well. It was a missionary reserve and then later they took the people there to get them off the land so that former ‘Aboriginal reserves’ could be taken up for soldier settlement after World War 1.

    Lake Tyers was about as far as out of sight and out of mind as you could get in Victoria.

  117. Roswell – I know I feel better. And a little less dirty 😉 . I actually would love to be a Queenslander. I loved living there. Go the BRONCOS!! (I was often looked upon as an oddity, I never followed AFL but love league).

    Min – Your grand daughters have the right to call themselves Indigenous. They have the right to identify with whatever parts of their culture they are drawn to, without having to explain themselves. Whilst they might not be able to call themselves black, they have every right to identify as Indigenous, and I think this is where a lot of people kind of wander off the garden path. Being Indigenous or being of Indigenous Heritage is not the same as being black and one does not exclude you from being another. Sometimes you are both, sometimes you are only one of those things. Neither is better or worse, and neither has the right to tell the other what affinity they feel more strongly or should associate or define themselves by. That is an individual choice that nobody can take from you or from them, or from me.

    I have to say it offends me deeply seeing white men of Indigenous heritage who claim to be ‘proud black men’. What is so wrong about being instead a ‘proud Indigenous man’. Black is black, white is white, and if I went around telling people I was a ‘proud white man’, it would seem silly. I am black. I can be a proud black man, a sad or happy or disenfranchised (or pick your descriptor or adjective and insert) black man, but never a white man. My skin colour precludes me from saying as much without being untruthful. I can say I have loads of white friends, with whom I have shared wonderful memories, have felt close to them, but I was never white. I was always black, the whole time, and barring some strange skin condition, always will be. I may have had a lot in common with the white people in my life, but it didn’t lighten my skin one bit. Same as my wife isn’t getting any darker just by being with me, or bearing a black child. The twins both identify as Aboriginal, but only one of them is black. It isn’t an issue, just the way it is. My son has white skin, but on my side, all his blood relatives are black skinned. They don’t see him as less Aboriginal than his sister, he is actually seen as very special – not because of his white skin, but because there is no such thing with my people as ‘disabled’. He is a special child, one with a special connection to the animals of our land. A few months ago, I witnessed as his presence on the banks of a lake my people have visited for centuries, created a ‘one-time only’ kind of show. Fish jumped from the waters, fully extended and not just poking out, a red-belly black snake came from the bushes near where he was standing (I had a hard time explaining that one to the wife) and swam across the stream. My Uncle was with us at this time, a very spiritual man, who had never in his 50 some years seen anything like it. The spot where we were was a significant place of great importance, and as several Elders have expressed to me, they rejoice in his presence, the animals and the old spirits.

    I would certainly believe you that people aren’t willing to hire apprentices of colour. This echoes my experience during my time in the building industry. I spent well over a decade working for some, shall we say ‘interesting’ bosses (my least favourite was a guy who referred to me as ‘hey black c**t’), and the one thing that is most holding back forward progress for my own people (especially the teens, and adults of all ages) is the reluctance of so many to hire people who are dark skinned. That and, as you so rightly pointed out, the enabling of those who are supposed to help us seek more. Being told our destiny lies in the arts and crafts, selling ourselves and our culture to tourists or museums, does not help us break down those barriers that just should not exist today. In a society as supposedly advanced as ours, it is criminal.

    I will definitely take a look at those articles. I am always intrigued to see how others view the issues important to me, and I try to always approach with a fairly open mind those things that are likely to be the biggest sticking points.

  118. Min – Lake Tyers is my homeland. My brother is buried there, my grandfather, grandmother, great grandparents and so many other relatives. My grandfather was handled the title deeds back in ’71’ so its a place I am incredibly passionate about. He was the Trusts first chairman, but unfortunately, today the former reserve is under the administration of the Koori Justice Department. This is something I am striving to change, to help my people back to the right path and change the mission from a place that today holds little prospects for the majority of the residents, to somewhere that is a true community of a people joined by culture. A place where any person, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, black or white, can be welcomed to share the culture and history that exist.

    It might be a big dream, but, I’ll die before letting it slip through my fingers. I want my nieces and nephews, Aunts and Uncles, the Elders who are still alive today, and their descendants to be able to talk about Lake Tyers without sadness and a feeling of shame. They are an easy target, as they have lost so much hope that they don’t seem to have the strength to fight back anymore. Instead, they seem numb from years of the fight, too tired or disillusioned to see that there is still a light of hope. Resigned to their fate, and that is one that I refuse to accept for them. It can and it will be better.

  119. BST, the immediate thing which came to mind when you said the word Lake Tyers is the word ‘shame’. I think that you are right. When people are proud of their country, their place of birth, their heritage then it lifts up the entire people.

    How can a person be a proud Aboriginal, yet ashamed of their place of birth.

    The people need some success, even just a small one so that it can be built upon. The people around here are Bundjalung. The Aunties started off about 15 years ago doing nothing more than volunteering to come to schools to give ‘school talks’. They would take the kids from the local primary schools and would involve the kids by drawing traditional drawing and telling traditional stories. Small and insignificant? Maybe, but these Aunties were able to change attitudes for many. The description Bundjalung and Arakwal are now names of pride.

  120. I have three beautiful grandsons whose heritage makes them Australian Indigenous. I say that because I also have four beautiful great grand children whose heritage makes them Samoan Indigenous. Along with them, I have two other \grand daughters whose other grand parents are Uruguayan, making them South American Indigenous.children.

    To me they are my grand and great grand children and along with me, Australians.

    They are all lucky to have such rich heritage to be proud of.

    I have seen no evidence that any of them feel out of place.

    I have encourage my children to ensure their children learn to respect the cultures of their partners and that their children learn and love both.

  121. Min – “When people are proud of their country, their place of birth, their heritage then it lifts up the entire people.”

    This. One thousand times this.

    Recently, my wife and I undertook some cooking activities for whomever wanted to participate on the mish. The kids quickly became incredibly enthused, and within the first hour or so, we had parents and kids together having fun and learning new skills.

    What happened next was a travesty. The Koori Justice Department representatives (who oversee everything, control access to the buildings that are supposed to be for the betterment of the people like the training centre and kitchens) seemed annoyed at the success, and, shut us down. I am talking locked us out of the facilities. In the middle of cooking with one small group, we were told that we had to vacate within one hour, with no reason given. We had purchased all the items to hold these activities from our own pockets, but needed the industrial kitchen to simply cook and prepare in due to hygiene regulations, and this is how they contained us. Prior to even holding the activities, my wife and I had to write proposals, to be approved to even do something as simple as cook a few sweet treats with my relatives, because the only people with the keys AND alarm codes to the buildings are the Koori Justice workers. If you don’t play by their rules and jump through their hoops, forget it. Its wrong.

    Funny thing is, until the Koori Justice people realised my wife was, in fact, my wife and related by marriage to these people, she was warned continually to not leave valuables around as the kids (and a with a knowing look was also told ‘and a lot of the parents’) are thieves. She was cautioned that her activity was likely to fail, not through any fault or failing of her own, but, because the people there are simply ‘not like us whites’.

    It is 2011 (soon to be 2012) isn’t it?


  123. Ah, Bolty…..you da man…… nail meet hammer and all that. You sure have it worked out,.. 🙂 , especially your comments about Tony and Andrew. No arguing with you there, I mean, what would be the point in that ❓ You have really made me think about our future and the view points “out there”…… thanx for that……….no really. 🙂

    HELP 😯

  124. Bolty C,
    ANDREW BOLT, ALLAN JONES, TONY ABBOTT, MURRAY KEIR, GEORGE PELL “are” what is wrong with this country. How you or anybody can have any respect for such vile men is astounding. What the fuck is wrong with you Bolty C. 😯

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