End Aboriginal cult of victimhood and focus on what matters, by Anthony Dillon. Politically-correct Australians are usually convinced that the the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991 found that aboriginal deaths in custody were much higher than non-aboriginal. In fact the Royal Commission found they were about the same, and that actually the death rate of non-Aboriginals was slightly higher. It is a testament to political correctness and the media that most of our chattering class was convinced of the opposite of the truth. We are now getting a bunch of “25 years later, Aboriginal people still die in custody” speeches around the country.
Drawing attention to an issue like Aboriginal deaths in custody is misplaced, for the simple reason that while Aboriginal people are over-represented in custody, they are not over-represented in deaths in custody. In fact, an Aboriginal person in custody is less likely to die than a non-Aboriginal person in custody.
Stating this another way, there is an over-representation of non-Aboriginal deaths in custody. However, the narrative of elevated black deaths in custody is emotive, and that gets attention.
Consider The health of Australia’s prisoners 2015, a publication by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. It states: “With just over one-quarter (27 per cent) of prisoners in custody being indigenous, and 17 per cent of deaths in custody being indigenous, indigenous prisoners were under-represented.”
The myth continues to be spread by the ABC:
Yet Greens indigenous affairs spokeswoman Rachel Siewert is quoted on an ABC website as saying: “It has been 25 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and Aboriginal people are still disproportionately dying while in incarceration.” At least she got the 25 years right.
It’s a convenient myth for white seeking cheap virtue, but it’s a pernicious myth for their mascots:
My friend Dave Price, husband of Northern Territory Minister Bess Price, says: “It is enormously difficult to convince your Aboriginal loved ones bent on self-destruction that they have the power in themselves to take responsibility for their lives and solve their own problems when the rest of the world tells them that they are victims with a capital ‘V’.” …
Shouts of racism may help politicians and academics with popularity contests, but they come at a high price for too many Aboriginal people.
The author, Anthony Dillon, is a part-Aboriginal Australian.