Thursday, April 12, 2012

Professor Bunyip, Saffron Howden and accusations of racism

Professor Bunyip has posted an open letter to journo Saffron Howden regarding her piece in The Age. Have to agree with him. I haven't read all of the Amazon reviews of Am I Black Enough for You? But the ones I did read, while sometimes snarky, certainly didn't qualify as racist (that is, implying or overtly stating that the book's writer Anita Heiss was inferior or even merely different because of her Aboriginality).

Fluffy wuffies have an amazingly flexible definition of racism. They use it to describe pretty much anything they don't like (which is a helluva lot). They've now made the word next to meaningless to any rational person.

And they almost never seem to want to explain why something is racist. They just label it so. Look at Howden's article. "Racism" is used frequently but there's never a clarification of why or how the examples she mentions qualify as such. About the only thing that comes close to clarifying what she might mean is this paragraph:

Heiss was one of nine Aboriginal people who took Bolt and his publisher to court over articles that implied light-skinned indigenous people chose to be black for personal gain.

Now, that may be bad, wrong, nasty or whatever. But how is even that racist? If he did do what's claimed, Bolt was being maliciously personal and accusing them of a form of corruption. What, so Aborigines are incapable of corruption, and it's their Aboriginality that makes them so? That's just too silly for words. 

Maybe it's because Howden herself is terrified of venturing a definition that she obediently repeats the politically correct line. After all, she includes this creepy little quote from Jody Broun: ''Let's be clear, Aboriginal identity is defined by us, no one else."

Broun seems to be saying that you simply aren't allowed to have an opinion on the matter unless you yourself define yourself as Aboriginal (and in the way that she and her political allies demand). If that's not totalitarian, I don't know what is.

Imagine if I, or another white person (and when I say "white" the definition does not include fair-skinned Aborigines -- er, is that qualification "racist" too?) were to say: "We define who is to be called white, and no one else." The accusation of racism -- which would no doubt be hurled, along with a host of others -- would actually be true. 

Clearly, these PC zealots believe that if they keep repeating the accusation ad bloody nauseam that it'll become true. Except it won't. All that will do is make it increasingly obvious how meaningless, hollow and fear-based their ideology actually is.

The worrying thing is, though, that their false accusations can have legal force. The Bolt verdict proved that.

So, they are a pretty scary bunch! But you've gotta feel sorry for the poor little petals, too. They've cornered themselves big time.

Trapped in a paranoid, pompous pose of lefteous indignation, they are now incapable of constructing an actual argument in response to criticism. Such a state would be sad for anyone. But if you're a writer or a journo, well, it's tragic as.

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