Please Explain: Pauline Hanson’s Breathtaking Bigotry Helps #DefineAboriginal

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It’s no secret that social media – Twitter in particular – is a toxic sea of feel-pinions, dominated by ranting, foaming angry people.

But every now and then, it throws up something worth feeling inspired by (if not simultaneously also very ashamed).

This week is one such occasion.

On Monday night, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson appeared on The Bolt Report on Sky News. In doing so, she achieved what was previously though impossible… lowering the general banality of the show.

Hanson complained that there is “no definition of Aboriginal”. Which is a remarkable statement, given there has long been a definition of Aboriginal.

For the record it’s this: 1. You must identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; 2. You must have Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage; and 3 (and most importantly) You must be accepted by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Not particularly complicated, but complicated enough, apparently, to send the synapses of thousands of white Australians misfiring.

In response, Ryan Griffen, the creator of the thoroughly excellent ABC TV series Cleverman tweeted this:

The rest, as they say, is history. What followed was a flood of Aboriginal and Torres Islander people ‘defining Aboriginal’, by detailing the racism that they stare down every day. The hashtag is still going off this morning, but here’s just a taste of what ‘fighting ignorance’ looks like… and, sadly, what being black in Australia feels like. 

New Matilda

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.

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