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I had an interesting discussion today. I was talking to a person who loves and respects me, and the subject of the Federal Government wanting to make changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act came up.|
And this person was of the view that it totally needed changing, and among the examples of ridiculous things they brought up was an incident where many people were offended by a political cartoon that depicted indigenous Australian fathers as absent/uncaring/terrible.
A discussion ensued. I argued that that was offensive; I reviewed the notion of punching down and its applicability to satire, and pointed out that while there are real problems with child neglect in some parts of the indigenous community, a) they know that and don't need some white guy to tell them, b) reinforcing negative stereotypes to the broader white community isn't helping, and c) most importantly, it's inappropriate for a white Australian cartoonist to treat that subject cavalierly, considering the incredible damage done to indigenous families by having two to three generations of stolen children rupturing the bonds of family and community, even apart from the effects of all the other racist structural damage of the last two hundred years.
The conversation concluded with: "... Okay. Yes. Good point."
I was... surprised.
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