‘No’ supporters not all white supremacists
While in agreement with the substance of Allan Patience’s powerful denunciation of the morality – or lack thereof – in the No case against the Voice, his final argument is unconvincing. Patience makes a forceful statement of the moral imperatives propelling the Yes case – indigenous marginalisation, the frontier wars history, the stolen generations, and the still-unclosed Gap in life outcomes for our First Nations’ peoples. Responsibility for these lies squarely in the hands of our colonial forbears and ourselves. The No argument, led by Peter Dutton, has sought, as Patience explains, to undermine the referendum for the short-term political interests of the Liberal Party, not for concern for the health of our society.
Patience’s claim, however, that ‘most Australian citizens are white supremacists’, does not ring true. Modern Australians come from many backgrounds and cultures. We may have a significant minority with strong racist opinions, but most people are not ‘white supremacists’; they simply get little or no exposure to First Nations’ peoples or culture. They’re not that interested in a group in our society with whom they have little or no involvement, and the lacklustre Yes case is yet to inspire them to support the referendum.