The marvels of modern technology allow us to restart a TV program which is already well underway. So it was on Wednesday that I rewound Bolt, so to speak. Bolt bled into Kenny. Swap channels? I kept watching for a bit, wondering what specious arguments du soir he’d come up. He didn’t disappoint.
So far as I could unscramble his hyper-ventilating wordiness, he proffered the philosophical position that the Voice couldn’t be racist because race differences didn’t exist in Australia. Anglo-Celts are the same underneath as Aborigines, Chinese, Indians, Iraqis, Persians, Sudanese, Somalians, Peruvians you name them. No, he claimed, the Voice is only about indigeneity. He then browbeat a youngish female journalist into agreeing with him. The man has lost his presence of mind.
But, does Kenny have a point? No, he doesn’t. Yet, let’s be generous. We are all human after all and therefore race is a second-order condition. Still, it’s real. When Senator Elizabeth Warren took her DNA test to “prove” her Cherokeeness, the analysts didn’t search through the logs of her ancestors; they examined her blood for racial pointers. They found that she was between 1/64th and 1/512th Cherokee. Pocahontas indeed. Albeit at some gigantic remove.
The fact is that I don’t look like a Zulu. There is something going on here that the rest of humanity, Kenny excepted, call race. Me and your average Zulu are of different races. Equally me and Aboriginal Australians are of different races. Mind you, to be clear, in this context, by Aboriginal Australians, I don’t mean those identifying as Aboriginal Australians who are the partial progeny of, say, Anglo-Celtic Australians. I do share a racial bond with them. And when they get below one half Aboriginality, me and them are closer, in racial terms, than they are to their Aboriginal ancestors. Welcome brothers and sisters. Is this inconvenient truth negated when one shifts focus from race to indigeneity? No, it isn’t.
The strange thing about this focus on indigeneity, favoured by the Yes crowd, is that the dilution principle applies pari passu. I would guess that I am an assorted product of Angles, Saxons, Celts, Romans, Vikings, high-born Normans (if I’m lucky,) etc., etc. But, as it turns out, so too are most self-identifying Aboriginal Australians. In fact, it’s a case of spot the wholly Aboriginal Australians. Overwhelming, I share the same ancestors as those self-identifying as Aboriginal Australians. Welcome brothers and sisters.
Who would the chosen twenty-four represent, I ask? Not me clearly. But how about the person whose Aboriginal ancestors and race (a distinction in this case without a difference) form only one-quarter of who they are? One-eighth? One sixteenth? Remember the one-sixteenth guy or gal is fifteen-sixteenths like me genetically. Who would sit among the twenty-four? Anything less than one-quarter or even one-eighth would likely exclude most of the prominent activists.
What a complete shemozzle this all is. No satisfactory definition of who will be represented; thus no possibility of establishing an election roll. No satisfactory way of assessing the required indigenous credentials of those eligible to be among the twenty-four. And this, in some cockeyed fashion, is to form part of the Constitution of the Land? No wonder Kenny loses his mind trying to promote and defend it.