Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reaction to Carl O'Callaghan's comments nothing short of staggering

In the context of what's just happened to Andrew Bolt, it's not unreasonable to suspect that it won't be long before a prominent public official is charged under the Racial Discrimination Act. I'm no legal boffin, so maybe they're immune to this. Still, you've got to wonder about the possibility ...

I mean, have a look at the outraged reaction to recent, very reasonable comments by WA Police Commissioner Carl O'Callaghan. Because he characterized the level of offending by juvenile Aborigines (61% of the state's total for the age group) as "nothing short of staggering" the WA Aboriginal Legal Service chief Dennis Eggington was outraged:

 "All it will do is feed the fears of the general community about young indigenous men in the state.

"I'm flabbergasted the commissioner would come out and feed those fears and maybe even incite some racial hatred. It's unbelievable."

Considering what a small percentage of the state's population Aborigines constitute, that's an accurate way to describe the scale of the social problem. And how will you ever be able to fix it if you can't actually describe it?

I think it's disgraceful that Eggington is focusing on the perceived offensiveness of the comments, rather than trying to address the depressing reality they convey. Sadly, many Aboriginal activists immediately react in this way. This entrenched fear of straight talk is a disaster for their people, and the evidence abounds.

At least O'Callaghan is still free to make these comments. But considering the growing power of the thought police, you have to wonder how long it will be before such comments are legally silenced.

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