Constitution can be “discriminatory, racist” if indigenous voices take hold: Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine

Changing the Constitution to include “Indigenous Voices” is “dangerous” because it may turn the Constitution into a tool of discrimination, said Nungai Warren Mundine, an indigenous leader in Australia. rice field.

The promotion of constitutional amendments to recognize indigenous peoples came after the newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese promised to “completely” commit to the heartfelt Uluru statement in his victory speech on Saturday.

The statementProposed as a petition by the Indigenous Constitutional Council in 2017, it calls on the government to establish a permanent organization to represent the indigenous community. This requires a constitutional amendment to establish the voice of indigenous peoples, which can only be done by referendum.

The statement also urges the government to establish a “Truth” commission to present “historical and ongoing injustice” to the Aboriginal people of Australia.

However, Mundin, a former Australian Labor Party representative, argued that the proposal advocated “prioritizing one race over another.”

“It is dangerous to speak out into our Constitution because we want all citizens to be treated equally. When you put it in the body of the Constitution, it is discriminatory and racist. It could be something like that, “he told the era.

“Once you put something in the Constitution, it’s very difficult to get it out. And if it doesn’t work, we’re stuck with it.”

The former chairman of the Coalition Government’s Indigenous Advisory Board also said that there have been five similar attempts in Australia since 1970, all of which “failed”, but such attempts around the world also “failed, revolutionized and argued.” It ended in. “

Epoch Times Photo
The Aboriginal flag can be seen flying during the NAIDOC March in Melbourne, Australia in July 2005. (Photo courtesy of Darrian Traynor / Getty Images)

“Blame game”

Uluru statement says Aboriginal Australians “Systematically discriminated againstAs a result of British colonization.

The Greens first upheld the Uluru statement, followed by Labor calling the statement “a generous offer of true partnership and a real opportunity to create a reconciled Australia.”

The Labor Party’s next Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Linda Burney, also supported establishing a statement to the government, stating that “we can give advice on issues” that affect indigenous peoples.

However, Mundin described the issue as a “game of blame.” He said the proposal “does not really meet the needs” of the indigenous community. Indigenous communities have high rates of crime and violence in remote areas, low levels of health and housing, and access to education and employment opportunities.

“This idea of ​​having to set up a huge bureaucracy that costs millions of dollars to run will solve all these problems,” he said. “We have to deal with reality.”

“We’ve probably spent nearly $ 1 trillion over the last 50 years and are investigating the problems we still have.”

Contrary to the belief that Congress has no indigenous voices, Mundine shows that the 2022 federal elections, in which nine, and in some cases ten, indigenous people voted for power, already have indigenous representatives. I believe.

“My claim is what are the people sitting in power doing? [They said the truth commission] Consider laws that affect Aboriginal people. Now, give me a law that doesn’t affect the Aboriginal people. It’s all law, taxation, traffic, road rules, education. It’s healthy and it’s a budget. “

“Frankly, it’s nonsense. We’ve achieved a lot now and are moving forward.”

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The dancers will be performing at the annual Yabun Festival, which celebrates the culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders at Camperdown, Sydney, Australia, on January 26, 2020. (JennyEvans / Getty Images)

Instead, Mundin believes that the “missing link” in indigenous spaces is economic development, as it leads to more jobs, better health, higher education, improved housing, and infrastructure. ..

“What’s happening in some parts of Australia is getting the welfare of 234 generations who aren’t working … where drug, alcohol and mental health problems are in those areas. I see, “he said.

“Now we have to get people back to work, and that has helped them improve their lives.”

Famous indigenous people also emphasized Aboriginal Australian incentives, which hindered their efforts to move forward, he said.

“If you’re looking at someone else to fix your life, you’re in trouble because no one but you can fix your life,” he insisted. “If you’re in a difficult situation, we’ll help you, but the idea is that you work best and you don’t live in welfare for the rest of your life.”

“Australia is one of the freest democratic societies in the world. Why do people try to get here by boat when we always say it’s such a bad place? I don’t see anyone trying to get out on the boat. “

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based reporter. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected]

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