Answering Gary Johns and the Merchants of Myths
In 2015 in appears you can still call Aboriginal women animals and barely raise an eyebrow.
“Look, a lot of poor women in this country, a large proportion of whom are Aboriginal, are used as Cash cows, right” Mr Johns said. “They are kept pregnant and producing children for the cash. Now, that has to stop.”
Were these comments backed up with facts? No, Plucked straight from the Encyclopaedia Moronica! That’s one of the great benefits of being a bigoted loud mouth, your only source need be your pea sized brain! But enough with the insults…, well actually, no. Because insults are exactly what the likes of Johns, Bolt and Alan Jones trade in. These are the people who are found by courts to be racists, stand behind “Ditch the Witch” signs and ponder out loud as to whether female Prime Ministers should be forcibly drowned. So it is with no surprise that on Andrew “contravener of the Racial Discrimination Act” Bolt’s TV show that serial spruiker of stupid ideas Gary Johns compared Aboriginal women to cows…, cattle…, animals.
And in all the coverage the media gave these despicable comments nowhere did a single journalist challenge the fact that comparing Aboriginal women to animals was disgusting and bigoted. No, while everyone else’s dear Mum is a protected species; Aboriginal mothers are fair game for a quick back hander on Sunday TV. As if somehow justifying this assault was the stats quoted on the program, the utterly appalling fact, that Aboriginal Housing Victoria statistics “showed Aboriginal women were 34 times more likely to suffer domestic violence than non-indigenous women” a group of women Johns cares about so deeply he only moments earlier had called cows. See you cannot have it both ways; you cannot use your words to wrench away the humanity of an entire populace and then pretend to care about their humanity. It’s this culture that allows Aboriginal women to be called animals that also turns a blind eye to the fact that these same women are 11 times more likely to die at the hands of their partners.
This of course in no way excuses the men who either abuse or murder their partners, these men should be reported to the police, prosecuted and dealt with by the full force of the law. The nod and wink here amongst these conservative commentators is that these men are Aboriginal (Note for the slow, not every Aboriginal man/woman is partnered to another Aboriginal person), so really what Gary is saying is that cast aside your barbarian black men for a less violent fella like his good self for a life of being treated like…, an animal. This circular stupidity ignores the fact that violence against women does not happen in a vacuum, it happens in a society that labels women as being like animals and talks about throwing them overboard in a chaff bag.
But what is also not discussed is that the number one reason Aboriginal women give for not reporting violence against them is fear of having their children taken away. You’d have to have failed year seven history to not know where this fear might stem from, in fact you only have to pick up a newspaper. Removal of Aboriginal children from their families is at an all-time high, but lucky for Mr Johns he was on the show of one Andrew Bolt, who is neither sorry that the Stolen Generation ever took place nor even willing to admit it happened.
And as many First Nations peoples have pointed out today in response to Mr Johns, one of the reasons Aboriginal women don’t call the police is because of the fact Australia has a 200 year history of police imprisoning at ridiculous rates, killing and assaulting Aboriginal Men, Women and Children. The solution to this gigantic mess is offered up by the political wing of this conservative madness; Cut funding to Aboriginal legal and other vital services at the federal level and to cut funds to domestic violence support services at the state level. And you wonder why Aboriginal women have second thoughts about calling the police and question if you really care about them? How fucking dare you!
This from the man that once proposed welfare recipients be given “reversible contraception” but is somehow also a supporter of small government. If anything says big government it’s the systematic sterilisation of an entire group of women…. Sorry, “reversible” of course. But let’s not stray too far into the sick mind of Mr Johns and just stick with the comments in question. In addition to being cash cows, he claims “They are kept pregnant and producing children for the cash.” This is what you might say about a Broodmare when passing the stables, not something you say on national television about human beings. But again, not a single reporter saw fit to denigrate Mr Johns’ comments, let alone challenge them.
And we are supposed to sit back and take it. Just ignore it all… your Mum is a cow, your Dad’s an abuser, at least one of them should be sterilised and that is just all fine and dandy. Well no, it fucking isn’t! But let me guess, you’re questioning right now whether I should have said the F word in making my point instead of focussing your attention on the real words that cause harm, those of Mr Johns and his friends like Bolt.
But that’s the problem in Australia 2015, you can go on television and call Beautiful Black women across this nation anything you like, you can accuse all Aboriginal men of being violent pimps for welfare cheques…, but call a simpleton like Gary Johns a fuckwit and you’re the crazy one and no newspaper will agree to publish your article unless you remove the offensive words. Oh, not the derogatory racist bile, no that’s fine, it’s the four letter words that really worry the editors. And with priorities as messed up as that is it any wonder that Governments can cut vital funding to services that would save the life of the next Aboriginal woman who will die at the hands of her criminal partner in a system that threw them overboard a long time ago… so much so that neither their murder nor their diminishment to mere cattle caught your attention, but my language… yeah that’s the offensive bit in all this.