Did anybody watch Q&A last October when it was filmed at the Darwin Entertainment Centre. That mad bag of hot air Rosalie Kunoth-Monks sure likes the sound of her own voice, and yet she doesn’t actually say anything except for crazy platitudes. What was predictable, is the twitter audience where lapping it up. What was more sickening was Tony Jones giving her to the space to indulge herself. Can’t believe I am saying this, but on balance it was Dave Tollner and the NT Cattleman’s Association rep who seemed to make the most sense.
To give you an example of some of the nonsense, a school teacher from the audience (who just happened to be black) pointed out that Aboriginal kids as young as 4 roam the streets at night and how this shouldn’t be allowed to happen, as if somehow the parents and the Aboriginal community have nothing to do with this. So while everybody in the audience claps in appreciative agreement, she then comments how it is ridiculous that there are 30 youth agencies in Alice Springs and why can’t there just be one so everybody works together. Oh yeah nice stuff indeed.
There are 30 organisations trying to do something about the fact that a whole lot of parents don’t take responsibility for their kids. This is of course has been proceeded and followed by all that twaddle and anti intervention stuff about the problem being cause by Aboriginal people not being consulted enough, not empowered enough, not having enough rights, without anyone considering that giving extra ‘rights’ to people who don’t look after their kids in the first place, is not going to suddenly result in kids not wandering the streets! It was Dave Tollner who kept on about there needing to be hope in the form of jobs and outcomes and through that sense of purpose, then enthusiasm for education etc might follow.
By the way Fiona O’Loughlin was on the panel and she hardly got a word in, but she did say that the use of derogatory language, like the term Abo, should have no place in the street level debate. She was the only one who pointed out the obvious, that whilst Aboriginal people might have bucket loads of rights, there are still those who hate them and see them as wholly different. Ironically the twaddle that was peddled last night will do absolutely nothing to lessen that gap.
Yeah, what most got me about that chipMonk, was how the audience, both live and twitter, and Tony Jones, so uncritically lapped it up. This was despite the fact that much of what she said inherently contradicted itself. Not once did she give a coherent, let alone concise, answer. I felt sorry for the other panellist having to patiently humour her. Goes to show how racism is well and truly alive when it comes to the ABC and its’ audience, because if she was white, then there is no way in the world she would have been able to get away with such self interested twaddle.
It also goes to show how political correctness shuts down meaningful debate.
Somebody just needed to say, for God sake Rosalie, have some manners and let others contribute to this discussion, let alone rightly criticising her for rhetorical yet meaningless contribution.
How could she possibly get away with stating that nothing has changed in 50 years. Surely somebody should have pulled her up and mentioned things like the 1967 referendum, land rights, territory government, the outstations movement, mabo, native title, the apology, or simply blackfellas playing AFL and the AFL having strict codes to deal with racism. This is not to mention, Imparja, CAAMA, Congress, Alukura, Centre for Remote Health, Anangu Pitjantjara Council, Tangentyere Council, Yipirinya School, Yipirinya shopping centre, Stehlow Centre etc, etc. Isn’t the point, that the chipMonk conveniently forgets, is that much has changed, but that change has not resulted in expected outcomes of life expectancy, standards and living, education and employment.
But if we pretend, as so many do, that the problem is all one to do with colonialist imposition and lack of rights, then of course things like the intervention, or potential solutions will be viewed through that prism.
It is a shame that when Bess Price was an earlier Q&A she was so nervous. But that is part of the problem, the debate tends to be dominated by the articulate and confident, and that is rarely the same people who are the victims of our inability to deal with the serious issues raised on this program.
Unfortunately, this edition of Q&A made me wonder if that uncomfortable reality is too much for the ABC audience.