Trust two left-wing feminists to make a federal case out of the use of what today is a four-letter word of little consequence in Australia’s Federal Constitution.
Last Saturday’s edition of the Australian newspaper carried an item by Marcia Langton and Megan Davis endorsing certain changes to clauses in the Australian Constitution which use the word “race” in the context of the day. As commentator Keith Windschuttle correctly points out, that context was actually the protection of the Aboriginal Australian.
In a remarkable reversal of the true intent of the Constitution’s founders, Langton and Davis and their fellow committee of “experts” members claim that the relevant sections of the Constitution are actually geared against the full recognition of Australia’s Aboriginal constituents.
What is it about committees of experts that tends to promote such weird outcomes?
Being an Australian myself, with a copy of my nation’s Constitution sitting on my bookshelf, I simply can’t read that document and interpret it the way these two ladies do. Then again, I’m white. They would probably charge that makes me automatically biased against my Aboriginal brothers.
I worked for six years with a very successful Aboriginal enterprise in Australia, and gained a deep understanding of the various cultural influences that make today’s Aboriginal what he and she is.
The facts are that neither the white man nor the black man in Australia can claim perfection in their general public attitude to each throughout Australia’s history. But one thing is for sure. The genuine history of relations between these two communities has suffered greatly from bias on both sides. One has to wade through a good deal of obfuscation to dig for the threads of truth when studying many of the written historical accounts of race relations in Australia.
Yet, having lived a good deal of my life in Australia, being well traveled throughout that island continent and, I would tender, being also well versed in its rather youthful history as a nation, I find it very hard to discount that the Australian Aboriginal people have been victims of self-interested politicians, lawyers, do-gooders and, perhaps most of all, committees of experts on both sides.
The Australian Constitution is not a perfect document. Yet both black and white, not to mention the multifarious ethnic mix that has descended on Australia seeking true freedom, since World War ii in particular, can be thankful for at least one aspect of that Constitution. They ought to be thankful for the power of its Section 51(vi). For it is under the defense powers of that section that Australia was able to gather its forces for freedom and fight against the threat of imperialist tyranny.
Had it not been for Australia’s great blood sacrifice, supported by its willing Anglo-Saxon allies, “race” could no doubt have had a far different connotation today from that which any committee of experts seeks to now give it.
There’s only one constitution that is perfect. You will find the basic law upon which it is founded codified in the 20th chapter of the book of Exodus. Any constitution founded upon less is inferior.
In the spirit of that grand old statesman Winston Churchill, who declared that “no one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise,” we should not pretend that the Australian Constitution, founded upon the very principles of democracy, is “perfect or all wise.” Yet, history will show that it is significantly better than anything that any of today’s politically correct committees of experts—or their liberal lawyer cohorts—could ever hope to conjure up. ▪