Counting Cats in Zanzibar Rotating Header Image

The law applies to thee

But not to me…

This is the one in which I break the law. See if you can spot where.

Section 18c of the Race Discrimination Act is meant to shut down people I don’t like, like right wing journalists. It was never ever meant to apply to right on lefty academics like me..…

FORMER University of Canberra vice-chancellor and former chairman of the National Capital Authority Don Aitkin is being sued for $6 million for alleged racial discrimination. 

Ngambri Aboriginal elder Shane Mortimer alleges the adjunct professor’s blog contravenes Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and has lodged an application for damages in the Federal Magistrates Court. 

But Professor Aitkin said the application was preposterous. 

‘’I offered to talk to him and discuss with him, but he simply rejected it,’’ he said. ‘’I am a supporter of the Aboriginal people in their struggle for respect … I’ve been a proponent for restoration for Aboriginal people since I can remember. I was a member of the ACT conciliation council while it existed for 10 years.’’

Mr Mortimer said he was offended by an article from August 27 that says: ‘’He looks about as Aboriginal as I do, and his constant references to his ‘ancestors’ makes me scratch my head.’’ 

Mr Mortimer said he was horrified that such an educated and prominent Canberran had equated indigenous ancestry to skin colour…

Professor Aitkin apologised for the comment but refused to retract it. ‘’There is nothing offensive in saying that Shane Mortimer doesn’t look Aboriginal because looking Aboriginal isn’t one of the criteria. The criteria are do you claim to be and are you accepted by others as one.’’ 

Mr Mortimer said the case was very similar to that of Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt. Bolt was accused of breaching the Racial Discrimination Act and was found to have contravened Section 18C of the act. 

But Professor Aitkin said there was no comparison. ‘’That’s stupid, I’m an academic, I’m an emeritus professor of the University of Canberra….”

Yeah, right. Well, I’m not happy about Prof Aitken being sued for a perfectly rational thought, but I gotta admit to feeling just the teensiest bit of schadenfreude.

Sorry chum, but one law for all and all that, or is that a stupid idea as well?

One of the blokes in this picture is a whitefella, and the other is a blackfella. See if you can guess which is which.

Shane Mortimer

Ngambri Aboriginal Elder, Shane Mortimer, opened the National Road Safety Forum 2012 by doing a ‘Welcome to Country’.

Google ‘Welcome to Country Ceremony’ if you want a bit of a giggle.

H/T Andrew Bolt


  1. RAB says:

    ‘’That’s stupid, I’m an academic, I’m an emeritus professor of the University of Canberra….”

    The old “Don’t you know who I am?” syndrome again.

  2. CountingCats says:

    Actually, back when I was at ANU (Australian National University) in Canberra, Canberra University was just Canberra Tech.

    He doesn’t have THAT much to be snobby about regardless.

  3. Stonyground says:

    Rab’s “Don’t you know who I am” reference reminded me of a scene from the TV series Sharpe* where an upper class idiot on a horse wants Sharpe’s crew of misfits to move out of his way so that he doesn’t have to endure the inconvenience of riding around them. He uses the DYKWIA? line and Sharpe’s response is “I know what you are”.

    *For those who are unaware, Sharpe is a TV series based on a series of novels by Bernard Cornwell, Set in the Napolionic wars, about a soldier who rises from the ranks to become an officer. Not a fan of TV dramas myself but Mrs. Stonyground loves that kind of stuff.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: