The case for recognising indigenous Australians in our constitution

The case for recognising indigenous Australians in our constitution

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As Prime Minister Tony Abbott
is moving to hold a referendum to recognise Aboriginal peoples
in the Australian Constitution, here’s three things you may not know
about the Australian Constitution. These are things that make
this debate pressing and important.   Number one.  
The Australian Constitution makes no mention whatsoever
of Aboriginal peoples.   If you read the document,
you’d probably get the impression that the history of
this continent began in 1788.   Number two.
The Australian Constitution still contains a power
that lets the Federal Parliament pass laws based upon a person’s race.  
That power can be used to stop people living in
certain areas reserved for whites, or stop people having jobs,
again, reserved for whites. According to Australia’s
first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton,
this power was put into the Constitution to enable
the Federal Parliament to “regulate the coloured and
inferior races” within the Commonwealth. Three.  The Constitution
in Section 25 also recognises that the states can stop
people voting because of their race.   I’m not aware of any other constitution
in the world today that still contains a clause of this kind.  
These clauses about race were based upon discredited
19th century thinking about how race can determine everything
from a person’s suitability for certain roles or even
their intelligence.  These are the sorts of policies and ideas
that underpin the White Australia Policy. Unfortunately, this thinking about race
still remains embedded in Australia’s Constitutional DNA.
Tony Abbott has a rare opportunity to fix this.  He can hold
a referendum to recognise Aboriginal peoples in the Constitution,
and in doing so, can create a Constitution that will
treat all Australians equally. 

6 thoughts on “The case for recognising indigenous Australians in our constitution

  • FarFromEquilibrium Post author

    Sure would be nice if Germany, England, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and a host of European countries would mention and protect their indigenous people in their constitutions!

  • Kev K Post author

    This is a joke. You didn't even proof your video before you published it and spelt constitution incorrectly at 0:15. 1. Constitutions are the basis for countries not continents 2. Remove that clause and protect EVERYBODY'S rights 3. Providing specific recognition for a minority in no way moves to create equal representation for all. I"m glad UNSW got none of my HECS payments.

  • Raymot1 Post author

    There seems to be a non sequitur. Surely if there's any white privilege in the constitution, the remedy is to REMOVE any mention of race or racial discrimination, not ADD it.

  • Viknesh Pillay Post author

    Totally agree with you. Australia has taken way too long to make essential amendments to the constitution. The comments on here proves me and everyone around me right.

  • Chris Gold Post author

    we are white not black our queen our english culture our hiritage stop left wing rubbish be proud to be white

  • Scott Young Post author

    Don’t do it fellow white Australians. The indigenous Australians have for years been working with the United Nations to try and take back “their” land in Australia. They can’t do it yet, but if this constitutional recognition gets in, it’ll be a step closer for the indigenous to start taking land from the whites in Australia. Look at South Africa today. Whites, who built that country, are now getting taken from their farms and land, and being murdered while the government there turns a blind eye. This could also happen in Australia one day if the indigenous and United Nations has their way. To think of all the hard work you and your european ancestors did in Australia for your children. To think that after you die, your children lose their house and land due to the indigenous people and United Nations. Don’t let it happen. Stand up now for your children’s sake. No more special privileges for aborigines. The Europeans built Australia for your and your children’s safety. Don’t let another race of people steal what is yours and what you worked hard for.

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