Is Australia a racist country?
by John Pratt
Commissioner Graeme Innes says the UN committee was shocked at the Federal Government's policy in the Northern Territory.
"The actions that needed to be taken in the Northern Territory could have been done on a non-discriminatory basis," he said.
"So what the committee is recommending to Australia is not only we completely remove the suspension - which we haven't yet done - but we entrench in the constitution a provision so that never again can race discrimination law be suspended in Australia."
Mr Innes says Australia is in denial about being a racist country.
Are Australians racist? Some are, as can be seen this week with reaction to the first aboriginal elected to the House of Representatives.
THE first Aborigine likely to be elected to the House of Representatives has received hate mail from people who said they would not have voted for him if they had known he was indigenous.
Mr Wyatt, 58, destined to be the first Aborigine to be elected to the House of Representatives, said his near-certain triumph in WA's ultra-marginal seat of Hasluck had been tarnished by a racist backlash.
The upset Liberal candidate said his office had received at least 50 emails and telephone calls from angry voters who accused him of only being interested in indigenous issues.
Fancy that; our first aborigine elected to the House of Representatives being interested in indigenous issues.
In the 2006 census over 400,000 Australians declared themselves to be aboriginal. Of course these people should have a voice in our parliament.
All countries have an element of racism. The only way to reduce the hatred that racism can produce is to make sure that all voices are heard and all minorities in our communities have representation in our parliaments.
We should be proud of our background and our multicultural society. We need proportional representation so more voices can be heard.
I am proud that at last an aboriginal voice can be heard in the House of Representatives and may many more follow on.