Anti-Racism Narrative Becoming ‘Cult-Like’: Australian Judge

An Australian judge has warned of a “new ‘anti-racism’ religion” and says overuse of the term “racist” is unhelpful and dishonest. 

Speaking at the 2022 Women Lawyers’ Drinks on Aug. 26, Northern Territory Supreme Court Justice Judith Kelly said while past Australian governments had racist policies, “the fact that some contemporary problems have been caused or contributed to by racism in the past does not mean that they are the result of racism today.” 

She noted that the ideology of supposed anti-racism is “beginning to assume the dimensions of a religion or a cult.”

Under its influence, she noted, people and institutions “are casually and inaccurately labelled as ‘racist’ without any evidentiary basis for the charge.” 

“Among those in thrall to this ideology, labelling someone or something ‘racist’ seems in many cases to be an end in itself—action, but a substitute for it,” she said. 

“Talking honestly about the problems that exist and encouraging honest and open public debate would have to be a good start. And by ‘speaking honestly’ about the problem, I mean not ‘self-censoring’ for fear of being branded a racist by the ideologues of the new ‘anti-racism’ religion.

“Modern Australian society is not racist.” 

‘Epidemic’ of Crime

She noted that while “everyone is willing to talk about the over-representation of Aboriginal men in prison,” the stream of Aboriginal men going to prison is “matched by a steady stream—a river—of Aboriginal women going to the hospital and going to the morgue.” 

“Between 2000 and 2022, two Aboriginal men were shot by police both times, followed by massive press coverage, calls for enquiries etc. In that same period, 65 Aboriginal women were killed by their partners … and in each case, you would have been flat out seeing a small report on page 5 or 7 of a local newspaper – nothing nationally.”

The justice also responded to claims made by Australian of the Year for the Northern Territory, Leanne Liddle, that “structural racism” has trapped Aboriginal people in remote areas in jails and poverty. 

She quoted Liddle saying during her speech at the Garma festival this year: “I feel strongly that such language reflects an undercurrent of racism–an “othering” of Aboriginal people that exists within our society.”

Liddle criticised “the judiciary system and judges” for being “handcuffed to a broken idea of justice,” an accusation Kelly described as “not meaningful,” “not true”, and “not helpful.”

“I want to emphasise that this is not a personal criticism, and I do not for one moment suggest that Leanne is one of the ideologues, but it is important to call out false claims of individual racism and false claims of systemic racism – as it is to call out racism where it occurs,” Kelly said. 

“It is not helpful to see victimisation where it doesn’t exist. Apart from anything else, it detracts from the search for solutions.”

The Northern Territory justice further added that the “epidemic of violent abuse” is caused by complex factors such as a culture of prioritising perpetrators over victims, deep societal disadvantages and cultural components.

In order to tackle the issues, Kelly suggested people should call triple zero, improve funding for women’s shelters and elevate the Aboriginal community’s livelihoods.

“There was not a lot lawyers and courts could do about domestic violence that was not already being done.”  

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Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected]

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Anti-Racism Narrative Becoming ‘Cult-Like’: Australian Judge

An Australian judge has warned of a “new ‘anti-racism’ religion” and says overuse of the term “racist” is unhelpful and dishonest. 

Speaking at the 2022 Women Lawyers’ Drinks on Aug. 26, Northern Territory Supreme Court Justice Judith Kelly said while past Australian governments had racist policies, “the fact that some contemporary problems have been caused or contributed to by racism in the past does not mean that they are the result of racism today.” 

She noted that the ideology of supposed anti-racism is “beginning to assume the dimensions of a religion or a cult.”

Under its influence, she noted, people and institutions “are casually and inaccurately labelled as ‘racist’ without any evidentiary basis for the charge.” 

“Among those in thrall to this ideology, labelling someone or something ‘racist’ seems in many cases to be an end in itself—action, but a substitute for it,” she said. 

“Talking honestly about the problems that exist and encouraging honest and open public debate would have to be a good start. And by ‘speaking honestly’ about the problem, I mean not ‘self-censoring’ for fear of being branded a racist by the ideologues of the new ‘anti-racism’ religion.

“Modern Australian society is not racist.” 

‘Epidemic’ of Crime

She noted that while “everyone is willing to talk about the over-representation of Aboriginal men in prison,” the stream of Aboriginal men going to prison is “matched by a steady stream—a river—of Aboriginal women going to the hospital and going to the morgue.” 

“Between 2000 and 2022, two Aboriginal men were shot by police both times, followed by massive press coverage, calls for enquiries etc. In that same period, 65 Aboriginal women were killed by their partners … and in each case, you would have been flat out seeing a small report on page 5 or 7 of a local newspaper – nothing nationally.”

The justice also responded to claims made by Australian of the Year for the Northern Territory, Leanne Liddle, that “structural racism” has trapped Aboriginal people in remote areas in jails and poverty. 

She quoted Liddle saying during her speech at the Garma festival this year: “I feel strongly that such language reflects an undercurrent of racism–an “othering” of Aboriginal people that exists within our society.”

Liddle criticised “the judiciary system and judges” for being “handcuffed to a broken idea of justice,” an accusation Kelly described as “not meaningful,” “not true”, and “not helpful.”

“I want to emphasise that this is not a personal criticism, and I do not for one moment suggest that Leanne is one of the ideologues, but it is important to call out false claims of individual racism and false claims of systemic racism – as it is to call out racism where it occurs,” Kelly said. 

“It is not helpful to see victimisation where it doesn’t exist. Apart from anything else, it detracts from the search for solutions.”

The Northern Territory justice further added that the “epidemic of violent abuse” is caused by complex factors such as a culture of prioritising perpetrators over victims, deep societal disadvantages and cultural components.

In order to tackle the issues, Kelly suggested people should call triple zero, improve funding for women’s shelters and elevate the Aboriginal community’s livelihoods.

“There was not a lot lawyers and courts could do about domestic violence that was not already being done.”  

Follow

Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected]

Source

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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