Aus Newspaper Cartoon Branded Racist
4 August 2016 at 11:46 am
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council will lodge a complaint to the Australian Press Council urging action against what it claims was a racist cartoon in Thursday’s edition of The Australian.
NSW Aboriginal Land Council chair Roy Ah-See said Bill Leak’s cartoon – based on the royal commission into the mistreatment of children in the Northern Territory juvenile justice system – insulted and denigrated Aboriginal people.
The cartoon caused a storm on social media.
— Tom Allen (@UrbanLorax) August 4, 2016
“Sadly, racism and discrimination is a fact of life for Aboriginal people who have lived on and cared for this country for more than 60,000 years,” Ah-See said.
“The hurt and humiliation that victims of racism experience is real and has a terrible toll on the health and well-being of Aboriginal people.
“The Land Rights network in New South Wales works hard to ensure Aboriginal people are proud of their identity and culture.
“Bill Leak’s cartoon is ugly, insulting and it is embarrassing for Australia’s national newspaper to publish it.
“It is time the decision-makers at The Australian accept personal responsibility for the hurt they have caused Aboriginal people today.”
ABC News has reported that the Australian’s editor-in-chief Paul Whittaker has defended the paper’s decision to publish the cartoon.
He cited comments made by Indigenous leaders this week, including Noel Pearson on Lateline who said: “Blackfellas have got to take charge and take responsibility for their own children. That part of the message really struggles to get traction.”
“The Australian is proud of its long-standing and detailed contribution to our national debate over the crucial issues in Indigenous affairs,” Whittaker said in a statement.