I apologised for causing offence to him, because he stated that I should apologise to him because I had ‘hurt his feelings’ and offended him. I did not apologise for my beliefs or my intention of trying to explain my beliefs. It was not my intention to cause offence to Andrew Bolt. Andrew Bolt as a newspaper column, a television program and a blog site, and ought to be capable of a robust debate, that is a dialogue rather than a monologue. The debate concerns the fate of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and whether this section should be removed. I say it should not be removed and he has demanded of the government that it be wholly removed. If the Parliament removes this section, he, and others who hold his views, will be free to continue to attack Aboriginal people on the grounds of the colour of their skin.
I believe that his obsessive writing about the colour of the skin of particular Aboriginal people is malicious and cowardly. The question should also be asked as to whether, by publishing photographs and personal details about these people, he is drawing attention to them for the benefit of his followers, who regularly demonstrate in the social media their extremist racist views. If you would like to read some of this abuse, much of it explicitly disgusting in its sexual, racial, gender and other references, follow me on twitter (@marcialangton) or search Twitter for my name and you will read the deluge of abuse I have received. Clearly some of his followers are psychotic. Is he putting Aboriginal people’s lives and physical well being in danger from the mentally unwell among his fans? Note that so many of the reports about the Aboriginal people he attacks come from this readership and that Bolt acknowledges them by their first names. This is a very dangerous practice and I reiterate that my concern is for the safety and wellbeing of the Aboriginal people he attacks. Some are my friends and colleagues, and many I have never met. They not deserve the horrendous treatment that he metes out to them in his column and blog. I am astonished that the media and the Australian public allow this to continue.
He believes that he is not racist, and I believe that he is sincere in this belief. Nevertheless, I am particularly concerned about the harm that his attacks do to these young people, the impact on their self esteem, and the harm to other young Aboriginal people. I am concerned because of the very high rates of suicide among our youth and I believe that this kind of abuse contributes indirectly to this outcome.
Here is where Bolt and Langton completely agree:
The issue of identification as Aboriginal must be separated from the question of what welfare and other benefits ought to flow to people who identify as Aboriginal.
This has been Andrew Bolt’s argument all along.