I have been working on a companion post to two blog stories. One was Ken Parish's Sorcery and the black Hatfields and McCoys on Club Troppo, the second Legal Eagle's Bolta, racism and free speech on Skepticslawyers.
Ken's post deals with the relationship between Aboriginal culture and modern Australian life, Legal Eagle's a case brought against Melbourne journalist Andrew Bolt under Victoria's anti-discrimination laws. Bolt said in part in one piece:
You see, Mellor and McMillan are representatives of a booming new class of victim you'd never have imagined we'd have to support with special prizes and jobs.
They are "white Aborigines" - people who, out of their multi-stranded but largely European genealogy, decide to identify with the thinnest of all those strands, and the one that's contributed least to their looks. Yes, the Aboriginal one now so fashionable among artists and academics.
This plus other comments lead to nine plaintiffs taking action against him
I read the posts plus comments and then looked at some of the other commentary. This lead me to feel that there was a degree of confusion, of the mixing together of different things. There was also a lack of knowledge of history. Neither is unusual in discussions on Aboriginal issues.
In saying this, I am not being critical of either Ken or LE or, indeed, most of the commenters. Ken, for example, has had long experience in dealing with the issues he discusses. I am just expressing a personal perception based on the totality of the discussion.
The post that I started writing is an attempt to disentangle issues and to provide information. I found the post remarkably difficult to write, in part because I do have opinions, in part because the issues are complicated.
I will bring the post up on Sunday as part of my Sunday Essay series. I am giving advance notice because this is a post on which I would be very interested to receive comments.