Me and My Aboriginal Cousins, Sharing Race and Ancestry

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.

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October 7, 2023 6:28 pm

Black Ball?

October 7, 2023 6:33 pm

Oops – Peter Smith.

The simple fact is the collectivists in power in this country (and seemingly everywhere) are determined to pit us against each other.

As they always have.

Divide and conquer.

I will not tolerate being lumped into one of many squabbling tribes. Many, many others in this country share my views.

There will be a reckoning, you staggeringly stupid ahistorical dunderheads.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
October 7, 2023 6:46 pm

I was sad that when Apartheid was voluntarily and graciously dissolved that the immediate result was New Apartheid. South Africa now gets electricity for 12 hours a day if they’re lucky and the violence is ghastly. I do not wish this on our nation.

October 7, 2023 7:07 pm

Great news Chris Kenny! If there are no races, there can be no ‘racism’, surely. So all is well after all, and it the whole debate is just differences of opinion amongst reasonable folk. Thanks for explaining – but why do you keep going on about it?

Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
October 7, 2023 8:12 pm

South Africa now gets electricity for 12 hours a day if they’re lucky and the violence is ghastly.

One farmer a week is murdered, and politicians cavort, singing “Kill the Boer, Kill the farmer.”

October 7, 2023 8:15 pm

Kimberley is always good value.

WSJ opinion.

Gaetz & Co: A Tale as Old as Time
Kevin McCarthy falls as speaker thanks to an act of two-bit political hackery.
Kimberley A. Strassel

By Kimberley A. Strassel

Pundits are laboring mightily to imbue Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster with historic or cultural significance, with references to “populism” and 1910 and the tea-party movement. If only it were so interesting, rather than one more Washington example of two-bit political hackery—a tale as old as time.

Give Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and his crew of slang-whangers their due: They can spin with the best of them. There they nobly stood Tuesday on the House floor—side by side with Democrats—to explain that they alone were real conservatives; they alone cared about regular order and spending and the border; they alone had the courage to hold Mr. McCarthy to his promises. So slick was this performance that they alone were then able to march out of the chamber and raise millions of dollars off it.

That those claims are hokum is obvious to anyone who tuned in the past 11 months, rather than only for the final speechifying. It’s worse than hokum, given that many of the offenses the rebels cited as grounds for deposing Mr. McCarthy were of their own making. How dare Mr. McCarthy fail to pass all 12 House spending bills by Sept. 30? How dare he then go to Democrats to get the votes to keep the government open?

The insurgents engineered that outcome. Last November a newly elected GOP majority was raring to go to work on reform and oversight. It instead remained in paralysis—unable to elect committee chairmen, hire staff or make plans—all through November and December. Many of this week’s rebels—self-labeled even back then as the “Never Kevin” movement—refused to provide Mr. McCarthy the final speaker votes, instead throwing in behind a vanity run by Rep. Andy Biggs. They dragged out the process even after Congress convened in January, piling up demands and ultimately requiring 15 ballots to elect a speaker.

The same group then helped drag out internal negotiations over the GOP position on the debt limit, delaying Mr. McCarthy’s deal with the White House that ultimately led to top-line numbers for those 12 bills.

As work belatedly commenced on appropriations, the same group strung the bills out in committee and blocked them from the floor. In the weeks leading to the shutdown date, a handful of rebels—including Reps. Biggs, Ken Buck, Eli Crane and Matt Rosendale—tanked the Pentagon spending bill more than once. This week they complained that Mr. McCarthy hadn’t quickly passed the bills they held hostage.

The purpose of all this? Some Republicans noted that Mr. Gaetz’s antics were driven by his need for attention. Cameras. Reporters flocking. Invitations from TV bookers. All true, but even this observation doesn’t fully capture his self-interest.
Read More Potomac Watch

It’s impossible to separate Mr. Gaetz’s public grandstanding this week from his personal problem in the House Ethics Committee—especially given that he has admitted the tie. He has spent two years furious that Mr. McCarthy wouldn’t break the rules and somehow intervene to stop that probe into allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of funds. More recently he has even claimed (without evidence) that Mr. McCarthy somehow inspired the probe. “I believe that Speaker McCarthy is trying to signal to the Ethics Committee to pursue me,” he said on Monday, even as he asked a credulous America to believe this open bitterness had nothing to do with his ensuing McCarthy takedown.

Mr. Gaetz and some of his fellow rebels were also using the moment for their ambitions to move up from the House. Mr. Gaetz is expected to run for Florida governor, and thanks to this week’s drama the donations are flowing. Mr. Rosendale is gunning for another run at a Montana Senate seat. His 2018 attempt was an acute embarrassment—he got thumped in a conservative state by Democrat Jon Tester—and is naturally facing headwinds against a second go. What better way to rouse the primary base, and hoover up money, than to pose as the conservative who slayed the “establishment”?

Rep. Nancy Mace’s South Carolina district is the subject of a Supreme Court gerrymandering case that could make her re-election even tougher. As the Journal recently reported: “She has indicated she’d be interested in statewide office in South Carolina and has been advised she has some work to do to win over the state’s conservative base.”

Spare a thought for all the poor souls who actually bought the noble line. It’s a testament to how frustrated Americans are by Washington’s dysfunction—how anxious they are to think someone in D.C. actually has their backs—that they were open to this playacting.

The sad truth is that Washington has always been a town divided between those who put in the work and those who preen. The pity is that more of those conservatives who really are toiling day in and out to notch real policy victories—senators, House Freedom Caucus members, activists—aren’t more willing to highlight the distinction. They are only undermining their own cause.

Write to [email protected].

October 7, 2023 8:16 pm

Wrong thread.

October 7, 2023 8:25 pm

Chris Kenny is the Clayton Bigsby of conservatism.

He has no idea he’s a leftist and nobody will tell him.

Simple Simon
Simple Simon
October 8, 2023 1:34 am

Anything less than one-quarter or even one-eighth would likely exclude most of the prominent activists.


Perhaps you mean ‘Anything more than one-quarter or one-eighth would likely exclude most of the prominent activists’.

Remember, as the denominator increases the value of the fraction decreases. One sixteenth is less than one eighth is less than one quarter is less than one half.

October 8, 2023 4:18 am

My theory is that Chris Kenny is trying to publicly signal to his children that he’s a leftist just like them.

It’s the only way I can make sense of his bizarre obsession.

I have never watched his Sky News show (and don’t intend to) so I have no way of knowing.

PS: Since he began campaigning for the Voice, Kenny’s Sky News hour, which used to rate well, has fallen out of the top 20 Australian pay TV shows in the ratings, which means that fewer than 30,000 people are watching on weeknights.

Dino Saur
Dino Saur
October 8, 2023 7:22 am

From Australian Electoral Commission site itself, below is what is going into the Constitution if the Yes vote wins  (as passed by Parliament in May).
where does it say the Voice will only have Aboriginal or Torres Strait representatives? Why leave it so open?  Because, without stipulating that it’s only for A&TSI, then under 129(iii), Governments can put non A&TSI people on the Voice.

129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:

i    there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and                 Torres Strait Islander Voice;

ii   the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make        representations to the Parliament and the Executive                 Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to        Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;

iii   the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have              power to make laws with respect to matters relating to            the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including          its composition, functions, powers and procedu

Dino Saur
Dino Saur
October 8, 2023 7:33 am

Chris Kenny and Jeff Kennet cp-authored the Langton Calma Report to Parliament . It outlines how they think the Voice should operate.
Enjoy some light Sunday morning reading –

October 8, 2023 7:57 am

Increasingly sophisticated genetic analysis has, and no doubt will continue to reveal differences between individuals, groups, races, etc. Do they mean anything? This has been controversial since the publication of Charles Murray’s Bell Curve. We blindly accept that they can predict a predisposition to cancer, or athletic performance, but steadfastly reject any suggestion that they may correlate with any personal or personality characteristics. Possibly justifiably in view of the social disruptions that such correlations will inevitably cause. Society is not yet sufficiently adult to cope.

Perfidious Albino
Perfidious Albino
October 8, 2023 8:48 am

Kenny genuinely believes he is the midwife of the voice because he wrote some editorials about his conversion to this cause years ago, before it got legs.

Vainglory and validation is what he is looking for, elevation to being some kind of all knowing bi-partisan ‘public intellectual’.

Boambee John
Boambee John
October 8, 2023 1:15 pm

Oct 7, 2023 7:07 PM
Great news Chris Kenny! If there are no races, there can be no ‘racism’, surely. So all is well after all, and it the whole debate is just differences of opinion amongst reasonable folk. Thanks for explaining – but why do you keep going on about it?

And if indigeneity is the key, not race, then anyone born here, or with at least one parent born here is also indigenous. When do I, my wife, kids and grandkids get to be part of the indigenous InVoice?

October 8, 2023 4:41 pm

Kenny has met his match in Amanda Stoker who cuts through his fallacious arguments like a knife through butter. It’s a joy to behold.
The corridors of Sky News must be rather frosty but I notice the snarky remarks from Kenny towards Credlin and Bolt have ceased. He seems to be preparing himself for the worst and to salvage something by portraying himself as one of the even handed “Yes” proponents.

Bar Beach Swimmer
October 8, 2023 6:13 pm

When I was a kid, my older sister had an LP with a complication of that year’s most popular songs. The song that came to mind when I read this post was Blue Mink’s Melting Pot.

The chorus is:

What we need is a great big melting pot
Big enough enough enough to take
The world and all its got
And keep it stirring for a hundred years or more
And turn out coffee coloured people by the score

Then, the west was moving toward the idea that we are all the same, regardless of colour and we could ultimately all get along. – MLK Jnr’s Dream.

Now, we are told, there must be difference – and a “proud” difference at that. But only if you’re not white, because whites have “privilege”.

On indigeneity; my forebears – all of them – have been in this country from well before Federation, with some being sent here against their will, as has the other half’s. Like most Aussies we’re both made up of bits from a number of different places. But as Andrew Bolt has pointed out on numerous occasions, since the bones of our ancestors are buried in this land we are indigenous.

On Kenny. His problem, like the rest of those who’ve been taken for a ride – see, Leeser, Craven, Frank Brennan et al., – is that they can’t acknowledge that they’ve been dudded. What they thought they were working toward – recognition only – morphed into something entirely other under their noses. If they don’t stay on side with it, will be to acknowledge all those years of meetings wasted.

Simon Morgan
Simon Morgan
October 8, 2023 11:07 pm

I’ve been a Kenny fan for a long time now – not any longer, alas. He is seriously tunnel-visioned on this Voice.

It’s most odd – he even compares the underhand methods employed by the government funded Yes campaign to underhand efforts by the No campaign (Ray Martins outburst for one).

I think he’s now so far down that path there is no way back for him. Shame really.

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