Bolt v Emerson

This morning there was an exchange on Bolt on the issue of race in the context of Qantas’ Recognise plane.

This is how I understood the exchange: Andrew Bolt made the point that being divisive on the basis of race makes someone a racist. Craig Emerson responded, under that definition, then he – Andrew Bolt – was a racist because of the articles that led to the 18c conviction.

I don’t believe for one second that Andrew is a racist and I think 18c should be repealed – in fact, the entire RDA should be repealed. But back to this morning …

The Recognise campaign, and Tony Abbott’s proposed constitutional amendment, is not racist because it’s divisive (Tony – you need to get with Team Australia), it is racist because it proposes to grant special privileges to a group of individuals on the basis of race.

In South Africa that policy was labelled “Apartheid” and after giving it a red hot go, it turns out to not have been such a good idea.

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81 Responses to Bolt v Emerson

  1. Andrew

    Why single out RSA? Most people can’t even remember apartheid, and replacing it with what is basically Hamas didn’t help anyone.

    We have the poster child of apartheid under our noses today, in Malaysia.

  2. mundi

    Remember the qantas add with the “still call australia” song sung in aboriginal language? Well they had to make up words for the song and changed words that didn’t sound nice. Not that anyone would know since under 1500 people are thought to even speak it.

  3. stackja

    Most are racists on the first Tuesday in November at Flemington Racecourse.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    “Everyone in this country should be equal in law.” Mantra. Impossible to refute.

    We can respect Aboriginal people, but not debase the law to make one person better than another. That way is Animal Farm.

    Same goes for R18C. Abolishing it makes all people equal before the law. Current law makes people who can get government funded legal support better than mere mortals who can’t, like Bolt.

  5. Alfonso

    The Aboriginal Privilege Constitutional Preamble referendum will lock in the ability of activist High Court Judges to interpret the “intent” and “context” of every other piece of the Constitution in the light of Aboriginals as special and “correctly” privileged people, it will be forever…..or until a generation 100 years hence grows up.

  6. Anne

    Leftists must have victims.

    He’s been watching professional racial agitators, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson stirring up and exploiting resentment in the USA.

    I’d say Craig Emerson is the Jessie Jackson of Australia but he doesn’t have the intellect or the class.

    Every television appearance he makes should be prefaced with his rendition of ‘Horror Movie’ to remind people what a dill he is.

  7. Angus Black

    I should have thought that Emerson was sailing very close indeed to the slander courts, today

  8. Spin Cycle

    I’m pleased someone has put themselves through the pain of watching Emerson … and Marles … and Hawker etc on Bolt so that it can be reported to me second-hand if they say anything particularly stupid. Personally, I wouldn’t waste my time with live viewing; I’ve already wasted too much time with these clowns when they were in Government and could actually do something.

  9. Could the power disparity against a minority be a relevant factor for the justified grant of ‘special privileges’?

    Does a symbolic recognition amount to ‘special privileges’ at all?

  10. Eddystone

    Emerson is a disgrace.

    He was “gracious” enough to allow that both Hockey and Baird are decent men, a description that I wouldn’t apply to him.

    His attack on Bolt was classic leftist, make an outrageous statement, repeat it loudly when challenged, and finish with a display of moral vanity.

    Why Bolt has him on, I don’t know.

    I agree with Anne, he should be forced to sing a few bars of “Whyalla Wipeout” before saying anything, so we can put his remarks into context, (that is,that the person making the remark is an idiot).

  11. Ant

    Having read Andrew Bolt for many years it’s safe to say that anyone calling him a “racist” is either ignorant or liar.

    Criticising the privileges handed out to people on the basis of their race is not racist.

    In South Africa it was called Apartheid, of course.

  12. manalive

    I watched the programme — I may have misinterpreted what Emerson said — it sounded like (paraphrasing) ‘recognising [in the Constitution] that Aborigines were here before we were’.
    Who the hell is he referring to as ‘we’ and as opposed whom?

  13. manalive

    Who the hell is he referring to as ‘we’ ….

    Apart from us of course.

  14. wreckage

    Well OK let”s be fair about it and have a rolling system of scaled race-privilege based on how long your putative ancestral type has been here. Aboriginals will get 2 votes in any election, of course. Then whites will get a big cut, to reflect their recent arrival, but still 1.5 votes. The Chinese should be next, their history here goes back a long way, 1.4 votes.

    Oh this is fun, and couldn’t possibly end in disaster!

  15. outsider

    Easy to see why the leftists are fellow travellers with the more vocal Muslims – their idea of debate is to state your claim vehemently and loudly, then refuse to give the other person any airtime whatsoever – no right of reply. After all, the views of others are worthless and your job is to prevent them even being heard, lest the viewer actually be informed. It’s a clear indication your argument is weaker than your opponent’s.

    But the front of the bloke to do this to the host of the program. He was pretty crafty too, in aping a quasi rationale person before flipping the switch to raving nutcase in an instant – Bolt was clearly surprised at this ambush tactic. In Emmo however, those beady darting eyes give the game away. He looked quite close to losing control in a Latham moment for a time there. Temper temper.

  16. srr

    Andrew, Andrew, Andrew, Mr. Bolt, didn’t you listen to Andrew, Klavan?

    Didn’t you hear Mr. Klavan explain, “The Debate”, IS OVER?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dqh2OfsIHQ

  17. HarryF

    He didn’t see that one coming. Bolt looked like he was about to explode. Serves himself right.

  18. blogstrop

    Remember the Seinfeld episode where he said some people just wanted to be Jewish for the jokes?
    What Bolt pointed out was similar, but more serious. Some people self-identify as aboriginal despite appearing European. Whether they do it for the benefits is the only moot point. Regardless of why they do it, it’s ridiculous and should be held up to ridicule.

    Emerson is just another Labor personality for whom you can have no more respect than for most of them. Practically nil.

  19. Sinclair Davidson

    Could the power disparity against a minority be a relevant factor for the justified grant of ‘special privileges’?

    No.

  20. Alfonso

    ‘a symbolic recognition”
    No such thing, matey. If it’s part of the Constitution it will be used.

  21. Infidel Tiger

    Could the power disparity against a minority be a relevant factor for the justified grant of ‘special privileges’?

    No.

    I see this whack job is back.

    Why can’t these weirdos just obsess about model trains like normal fruitcakes?

  22. 2dogs

    the 18c conviction

    He was NOT convicted.

    That would have required an indictment. If he was indicted, he would have been entitled to a jury trial under section 80 of the constitution.

    But Lavarch & the ALP were never going to trust such things to a jury. So they weaselled their way around the constitution, making 18C a crime in everything but name.

  23. Sinc replies “No” to

    Could the power disparity against a minority be a relevant factor for the justified grant of ‘special privileges’?

    In all circumstances? No special ramps for disabled people? No separate womens’ tennis and mens’ tennis — let’s just have tennis? (albeit perverted Darwinian survival of the fittest) I am 5’4″ and Andrew Bolt is 6’4″ => if we have an arm-wrestle or volleyball match is there to be no apart-height?? (kidding, sort of) If a Muslim and/or Somalia woman who has suffered deprivation of learning resources and becomes an Australian citizen, is she not to be helped to fulfil her potential through special means-based support to attend university (when does endowment factors give a false value for ‘merit’ and when are positive externalities of encouraging others as a role model ignored)?

  24. Sinclair Davidson

    David – this may come as a surprise to you but disabled people are not a race, neither are women. But tell us more about your support for Apartheid.

  25. …But tell us more about your support for Apartheid.

    I’m against Apartheid. And not so sure about apart-height. Goog or bad things can come in big or small packages.

  26. Sinclair Davidson

    I’m against Apartheid.

    Really – just before you were asking “Could the power disparity against a minority be a relevant factor for the justified grant of ‘special privileges’?” Now you’re claiming a little bit of Apartheid might be a goog (sic) thing?

  27. Roger

    About time public discourse followed the science and abandoned the concept of race altogether if you ask me. Otherwise we’ll just perpetuate the cultural clashes of the past and hamper the development of better possibilities for our life together based on the notion of unity rather than division. Surely we’ll all get along better without the encumbrance of obsolete notions of discrete gene pools.

  28. So it’s only on ‘race’ of an individual as part of a group that ‘special privileges’ should not be granted? Putting that to one side, that’s potentially a very progressive stance, Sinc! Gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, height… you embrace ‘special privileges’ for all these categories? Tell me more.

  29. Sinclair Davidson

    No special privileges ever for anyone. That’s why we say “equality under the rule of law”.

  30. Tintarella di Luna

    Goog or bad things can come in big or small packages.

    David C Barrow you aren’t casting nasturtiums at our good egg here are you?

  31. Tintarella di Luna

    So it’s only on ‘race’ of an individual as part of a group that ‘special privileges’ should not be granted?

    Erm to do so would in fact be racist. What part of racism do you not understand? It is racist and against the law to treat one race differently from another race simply based on their … um .. race. There is no room for agnosticism on this.

  32. Umm, what do you mean by Apartheid?

    I’m thinking it’s where a powerful group uses a general slice of human characteristics such as race, or eye colour, to discriminate against another group that does now have the power to readily assert their rights.

    Maybe it’s a word thing.

    And thankyou for indicating my mis-spelling of ‘good’ — it would also perhaps be clearer if you could kindly correct my original post. I’m kinda sick of ‘(sic)’.

  33. wreckage

    No special ramps for disabled people? No separate womens’ tennis and mens’ tennis — let’s just have tennis?

    1. How is a ramp a privilege? And how does the physical impossibility of climbing stairs relate to having had an (eg.) Aboriginal ancestor at some point? Are you really going to assert that Aboriginality is an incapacitating disability?

    2. What makes you think a Libertarian is going to interfere in the organisation of sports clubs? But if you’re trying to infer a broader principle, maybe we should have Women’s Parliament? Is it still one person, one vote, or do you get to vote in every Parliament you qualify for?

  34. Sinclair Davidson

    David – you need to earn my goodwill. Until then, “sic” it is.

  35. Fisky

    So it’s only on ‘race’ of an individual as part of a group that ‘special privileges’ should not be granted?

    Race is not the same thing as disadvantage. If you are concerned about disadvantage, then assess people against an objective standard of disadvantage and address that problem directly. But don’t try on a bait-and-switch by slipping a subjective evaluation in the back door. Because the word for that is “apartheid” (or “bumiputera”).

  36. No special privileges ever for anyone. That’s why we say “equality under the rule of law”.

    Thankyou for the ironclad clarification. I’ll duly note you as an ‘Unprogressive’.

  37. Ant

    If you want “special privileges” get off your arse and earn them.

  38. wreckage

    I’m thinking it’s where a powerful group uses a general slice of human characteristics such as race, or eye colour, to discriminate against another group that does now have the power to readily assert their rights.

    The justification for apartheid was that blacks and whites social, economic and political positions were so disparate that entirely separate systems were needed to encompass the two. The word means “separate development”, and its foundation is the idea that in a correctly ordered society, different people should have different rights.

  39. Sinclair Davidson

    I’ll duly note you as an ‘Unprogressive’.

    Really? Noooooooooooooo. I’m broken.

    :)
    I’d really prefer “anti-progressive”.

  40. Folks — this has been a remarkably polite discourse. Thanks for your views. I gotta zip now.

  41. gabrianga

    Don’t need to go to Malaysia to find apartheid.

    When Australians must provide a permit to venture into Australian land or face a fine/jail for not having one, then I suggest the Fraser Govt. created what a London “Telegraph” journo told me was a “reverse apartheid”

    When there is a system where one group receive royalties for development on their land and no similar provision for the rest, I again suggest the odour of apartheid.

    Time to muck out our own byre before levelling criticism at other countries.

  42. David

    I gotta zip now

    Bugger. We had Kevin O Lemon here and didn’t realise.

  43. Infidel Tiger

    Folks — this has been a remarkably polite discourse. Thanks for your views. I gotta zip now.

    No worries, cobber. Hope you get the medical help you so desperately need.

  44. 1234

    Davidson – “in fact, the entire RDA should be repealed”. Oh really? So no recourse whatsoever for someone dismissed from work, refused service etc etc just because they are from a certain racial background?

  45. Infidel Tiger

    Davidson – “in fact, the entire RDA should be repealed”. Oh really? So no recourse whatsoever for someone dismissed from work, refused service etc etc just because they are from a certain racial background?

    That’s exactly right. Private businesses should be free to discriminate.

    “Free to choose”. I think you’ll find we live in enlightened enough times that any business that discriminated on the grounds of race was severely punished by the market.

  46. Dr. Sir Fred Lenin

    The racist s emmerson and abbott pushing for a constitutional change to make real aboriginals and red haired blue eyed indigents superior to everyone else smash this folly in a referendum ,never to raise its ugly head again,and Punish the perperators of this obscene destruction of freedom. Watched emmo on Bolt for a while laughing at Ole contact eater four eyes,trying to bullshit his way thru a losing argument ,I kept thinking ,you lost that redheaded moll to the first Bogan,Ha ha how good are you ole fella.and this clown has a phd,for Gods sake! Must be a phd in alp branchstacking.

  47. Albatross

    A disinterested (look up the proper meaning of that word – too many get is **** about) observer might have forgiven Emereson for his rude outburst as he repeatedly talked over Bolt if what he was saying made sense. But what he was saying was totally illogical and made no sense at all.

    Another “why yella?” wipe out, Craig.

    The fact that this man holds a PhD is mute testimony to the dumbing down of our educational institutions since Whitlam opened them to all.

  48. JohnA

    Don’t get too het up about the Qantas Recognise – they’ve put it on a piddling little Dash8 with fewer than 100 seats, flying QantasLink regional routes.

    I may be cynical (perish the thought, Jeeves) but that looks to me like “damned with faint praise”.

  49. Squirrel

    Emerson is somewhat more tolerable now that he’s not singing and otherwise defending a dismal, divided Government – the tiff disturbed what was otherwise a fairly amicable and reasonable discussion.

  50. goatjam

    “Why Bolt has him on, I don’t know.”

    Because the Labor Party stay away from his show in droves, and he is sensitive to being accused of having a “conservative stack” on his show like Qanda has for leftards. You just know if there was even a hint of that the likely suspects would be lining up to howl him down as a hypocrite. Such is the idiotic world we live in.

  51. Boss Hog

    It seems to me that Bolt played with fire and got his fingers burned. I’m told that Emerson is famously unpredictable – even unstable. Andrew Bolt as a political journalist and professional Canberra watcher would (should) have been well aware of this and been on guard against the type of irrational outburst for which, apparently, Emerson is notorious.
    On the positive side, the restraint exercised by Bolt in the face of Emerson’s aggressive bluster was quite admirable and, I think, would have earned him more than a little respect from non-aligned viewers. Conversely, Emerson seems to have merely reinforced his apparent reputation for bombast and bullying.

  52. Tekweni

    You migrate from RSA and suddenly find apartheid exists in both Australia and NZ. In NZ Maori get special privileges based on their race and ditto Aborigines in Australia. It’s somewhat confusing after being on the brunt of so much anti separate development and privilege based on race pressure to find that the countries at the forefront of all this have questionable policies too. I left RSA because I believed in the equality of all. I have lived in both NZ and Australia where people who claim certain antecedents are more privileged than I am. Sounds very much like the apartheid that I lived under where we whites were privileged purely because we were white.

    As far as I am concerned, and to quote an argument I used with the White Teachers registration board, that in the eyes of God all are equal. Didn’t win that argument but it lasted about a year and ultimately if I wanted a job I had to register. But I still hold to that, despite being agnostic, that no race should have privileges over another or more than another. No problem in supporting those in need but not based on race.

  53. Does a symbolic recognition amount to ‘special privileges’ at all?

    Yes, because there is a strong possibility that the courts (and particularly the high court) will take the amendment into account when interpreting future cases.

    Since the courts have decided to take a holistic, ‘vibe’ approach to documents such as the constitution, then anything that changes the vibe is likeley to change the interpretation of the whole thing.

    Don’t blame us. The courts opened this bottle by throwing away the passe practice of interpreting law using the words on the page. If that’s how the game is played then we will be very careful about changing anything that might affect tone or implicature.

  54. Paul

    “In NZ Maori get special privileges based on their race and ditto Aborigines in Australia.”

    Even so, they’re still useless, and we carry them along while they drink, medicate and party between fights and burglaries. I’m in the North, that’s not racism that’s reality. of course we all KAGO (Know A Good One) so that makes it all…nothing to see here.

  55. I’m thinking it’s where a powerful group uses a general slice of human characteristics such as race, or eye colour, to discriminate against another group that does now have the power to readily assert their rights.

    The law was used to shut down debate on government policy on race. Was that a good outcome, do you think?
    What is your opinion of the Bolt articles?
    Oh sorry, my bad…. it’s illegal to read them.

  56. Toiling Mass

    Well, Emmo did tell us last time that he could shout louder than others in ‘discussions’.

    A tactic brought to bear again today.

    Helps to explain the quality of debate that would underpin the decisions of the Labor caucus carcass.

  57. struth

    Granting special privileges to a group of people based on race IS divisive.

  58. kae

    “support of aboriginal culture”

    I don’t mean to be rude or racist, but what culture is that? Noone has explained what real aboriginal culture is. It’s only existed since about the 70s or so, hasn’t it? Most of the rest of it wouldn’t be acceptable today – for example, leaving babies to die, murdering children who weren’t aboriginal enough, spearing, beating women?

  59. candy

    My understanding of Recognise is that it proposes to take out the section saying the indigenous don’t have right to vote (something like that), and put it that the indigenous were original inhabitants and to recognise their language.

    I don’t think it’s about granting special privileges, although the wording is not finalised? perhaps we should not jump to conclusions.

  60. MT Isa Miner

    Sinclair Davidson

    #1420339, posted on August 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    No special privileges ever for anyone. That’s why we say “equality under the rule of law”.

    +23,565,200

  61. kae

    Candy

    It is my understanding that the constitution does not have anything in it about aborigines not being allowed to vote.

    The section misquoted/misrepresented as this is to ensure that the states counted aborigines and gave them the same rights as others.

    I’m sure someone can find the part of the constitution which mentions this.

    It is racist to recognise any race separately in the constitution and it paves the way for the special treatment of those mentioned, or others not mentioned.

  62. stackja

    Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act
    (The Constitution)
    51 Legislative powers of the Parliament
    (xxvi) the people of any race, other than the aboriginal race in any State, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws;

    127 Aborigines not to be counted in reckoning population
    In reckoning the numbers of people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted.

  63. jupes

    I don’t think it’s about granting special privileges, although the wording is not finalised? perhaps we should not jump to conclusions.

    You idiot.

  64. kae

    The rules applying to aboriginals were when there was a protector of aboriginals.

    The bit about the state’s counting aboriginals was to do with them not being able to vote. If they couldn’t vote they couldn’t be counted in the population of the state.

    I think that’s what I recall.

  65. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    No special privileges ever for anyone. That’s why we say “equality under the rule of law”.

    Barrow: Thankyou for the ironclad clarification. I’ll duly note you as an ‘Unprogressive’.

    SO, barrow does not like the idea of equality before the law and believes that progressives should be able to implement apartheit.

    So he’s a fascist totalitarian fanboi AND a racist.

    Just another boring, normal lefty, then…. but one not even evil enough to be a greenfilth.

  66. hammy

    Oh sorry, my bad…. it’s illegal to read them.

    Not so…

  67. candy

    Kae

    On the government site it says : Remove Section 25 – which says the States can ban people from voting based on their race;

  68. jupes

    On the government site it says : Remove Section 25 – which says the States can ban people from voting based on their race;

    When was the last time that happened FFS?

    If banning people based on their race is bad, why is ‘recognising’ people based on their race good?

  69. kae

    Candy

    That was the reason why the other bits were put into the constitution.

    Sure the states can ban races from voting.

    But they can’t count those races in the state as population, which reduces any benefit to the state on the grounds of population.

    I’d imagine that they wouldn’t be able to get any Federal money for those racially excluded from voting if they weren’t part of the population.

  70. Johno

    Emerson is the most disgusting left whinges that Bolt has on his show. He really is painful. Completely full of himself.

    I know Bolt wants to get people with different views, but can he find someone from the Left who is actually worth listening to.

    Kimberly whatshername use to be quite painful, but she has settled down. Don’t agree with most of what she says, but she has become tolerable, unlike Gillard’s former squeeze.

  71. David

    to recognise their language

    Which particular language? As I understand it an aborigine from Arnhem Land would be unintelligible to one from Victoria. Prepared to be proved wrong.

    And what is so special about a culture which did s.f.a as far as advancement for its people in 40,000 years?

  72. kae

    Recognise/teach aboriginal language.

    Good. Next question is which one?

    There were hundreds of tribal groups (over 500 I think), all over Australia. Tribes a few over from others wouldn’t understand their language. There is no single aboriginal language.

    Except victim language and whitey’s to blame, of course.

  73. kae

    How many aboriginal languages are there? (googled)

    From Wiki:

    In the late 18th century, there were between 350 and 750 distinct Aboriginal social groupings, and a similar number of languages or dialects. At the start of the 21st century, fewer than 150 Indigenous languages remain in daily use, and all except roughly 20 are highly endangered.

    Well, that’s a start!

    And that’s just what people with difficulty getting jobs, education, etc need. To be taught languages, dead languages, which will be no use to them except perhaps within their own group. At the expense of learning English, the language of Australia.

  74. struth

    Over 200 different languages and thousands of dialects.
    That’s the stupid part. Aboriginals do not see themselves as part of the one people.

  75. Boambee John

    “Could the power disparity against a minority be a relevant factor for the justified grant of ‘special privileges’?”

    The Afrikaaners certainly thought so, others not so much!

  76. Tintarella di Luna

    … Emerson seems to have merely reinforced his apparent reputation for bombast and bullying.

    not to mention, his enhanced hindsight.

  77. Tintarella di Luna

    Over 200 different languages and thousands of dialects.
    That’s the stupid part. Aboriginals do not see themselves as part of the one people.

    The Italians didn’t either and look how far they’ve … oh never mind.

  78. “Everyone in this country should be equal in law.” Mantra. Impossible to refute.

    Mantra, generally accepted motherhood statement, not really thought about much, actually introduces a whole set of problems that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

  79. Mantra, generally accepted motherhood statement, not really thought about much, actually introduces a whole set of problems that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

    Sure, there are “problems” involved in having the Rule of Law.
    We like it anyway.

  80. JohnA

    The Italians didn’t either and look how far they’ve … oh never mind.

    Yes, Tinta, as eldest son of a pre-ww2 migrant, I also note that Italy has a lot of trouble governing itself… ;-)

  81. Denise

    Tekweni
    #1420473, posted on August 17, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    You migrate from RSA and suddenly find apartheid exists in both Australia and NZ. In NZ Maori get special privileges based on their race and ditto Aborigines in Australia. It’s somewhat confusing after being on the brunt of so much anti separate development and privilege based on race pressure to find that the countries at the forefront of all this have questionable policies too. I left RSA because I believed in the equality of all. I have lived in both NZ and Australia where people who claim certain antecedents are more privileged than I am. Sounds very much like the apartheid that I lived under where we whites were privileged purely because we were white.

    As far as I am concerned, and to quote an argument I used with the White Teachers registration board, that in the eyes of God all are equal. Didn’t win that argument but it lasted about a year and ultimately if I wanted a job I had to register. But I still hold to that, despite being agnostic, that no race should have privileges over another or more than another. No problem in supporting those in need but not based on race.

    +1 Tekweni.

    We were always bailing our gardeners etc out of jail for not having the abominable ‘passes’. One time we had to take our childrens’ nanny and gardener back to Lesotho because he’d unknown to us forged his documents and the Department was merciless and uninterested in our character witness. The best hardworking, utterly trustworthy, good and kind people; we were all in tears on that long road. The worst part for us was getting to Lesotho and watching them go into the country on a donkey cart into their new, destitute future. We wouldn’t hire the locals because we lived in an area where Zulu and Xhosa were involved in internecine warfare and slitting each other’s noses etc.

    Bernard Levin who was kicked out of South Africa for speaking out against apartheid was utterly impartial and remarked that the English media who were savaging the South African government were at the same time spruiking the Soviet Union. And then Fraser supporting Mugabe….not a word.

    Hypocrites all.

    I too was surprised by the way race is used as a way to divide and conquer in Australia.

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