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Wed, 30 Jan, 2019Courtney Allan

The unheard side of the controversial Studio 10 debate

The unheard side of the controversial Studio 10 debate

The Australia Day debate surrounding Studio 10, Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Yumi Stynes is one that has had people firmly in two camps.

The heated debate was one of many surrounding Australia Day and whether the date should be changed.

Kennerley in the debate asked whether any of the protesters had “been out to the Outback, where children, babies, five-year-olds are being raped? Their mothers are being raped, their sisters are being raped. What have you done?”

Panellist Stynes said that Kennerley’s statements were “not even faintly true” and that they sounded “quite racist”.

Studio 10 host Joe Hildebrand at the time watched the debate in silence.

However, he has now made his opinion known.

“History, in short, is not a very nice place,” he stated. 

Hildebrand elaborated on his thoughts in an essay on news.com.au. He called for recognition on both sides about Australia’s history, as well as being empathetic about what Indigenous Australians have gone through.

“It is vital that non-indigenous Australians are made acutely aware of the sorrows and stains on our history; the suffering that Aboriginal people have gone through and the atrocities that have been perpetrated by many of our ancestors.

“However, it is equally vital that indigenous Australians understand that for all the tragedy and horror that has befallen them, there was never an intent to ‘invade’ them, nor a deliberate campaign of genocide.”

Hildebrand then continued to describe his proudest moment in journalism, which was wage theft from Indigenous workers.

“My proudest moment in journalism was partnering with the National Indigenous Times to expose tens of millions of dollars in wages stolen from indigenous workers, the bulk of which has now been returned to their families thanks to the NIT’s work.

“For the record, I know there is plenty of racism out there — I have spent a good part of my career exposing it — and I know indigenous people have been screwed over left, right and centre.”

Hildebrand then finished his thoughts with the final phrase:

“The real act of racism isn’t shining the light on the danger and hardship that still besets so many of our first people. The real act of racism is not doing anything about it.”

What do you think? Does Hildebrand have a point? Let us know in the comments.

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