Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Time to Finally Get Rid of Racism from Constitution

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Time to Finally Get Rid of Racism from Constitution

Article excerpt

IF A referendum was a race horse you couldn't back it a 44 starts for only eight wins.

In a sense they bring out the worst in our Australian politicians a great critics, but poor sales people.

We're great at finding flaws in things a but not as quick to be inspired.

One of the few times that we were inspired was not the local referendum on recycled water a but the 1967 Referendum on Aborigines.

There are two persistent myths around this referendum. One that it gave Aboriginal people the right to vote. It didn't a they already had it. And myth number two a here in Toowoomba people voted No.

Once again wrong: the then Darling Downs electorate recorded a 90% YES vote.

At the minute all sides of politics a Labor, Liberal/Nationals/Greens and independents are supporting a move to bring about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Constitutional Recognition.

Stop it! I can hear you yawning already. I was, too, until I picked up a little pocket version of the Australian Constitution. Now your eyes have rolled back into your head. Keep breathing a please!

What I found was that parts of our nation's birth certificate are racist and belong in the dustbin of history.

I wasn't breathing when people voted YES in 1967, but I thought it had got rid of some form of discrimination.

Wrong! There, plain as day in Section 25 a if your state says you can't vote because of your racial background a then you won't be counted in the Census either.

Then you flick over to Section 51 sub-section 26 where you will find that the government can make special laws for people of any race that it deems necessary.

In 1967 apparently we said the Federal Government could make laws to benefit Aboriginal people.

The reality is that since then, more often than not, this law has only been used to the detriment of Aboriginal people. …

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