Q&A host Patricia Karvelas and Yes campaigner Noel Pearson say being Indigenous is NOT a race and a voice would still be needed even if there were no longer Indigenous disadvantage.
Noel Pearson, one of the leading advocates for the yes vote in the Indigenous Voice in Parliament referendum, has said being Indigenous is not a race.
Mr Pearson had a difficult exchange of views on the ABC’s Q&A program with conservative and No vote advocate Wesley Aird on Monday evening.
The two prominent Aboriginal men also clashed over whether or not a Voice would be necessary even if there were no longer Aboriginal disadvantage.
“What The Voice is going to do is (d)lock disadvantage into the constitution in perpetuity. And I really struggle with that, as an Aboriginal person,” Mr Aird said.
“I think it would make more sense to fund need rather than race and I think there are other ways to value (people).”
Noel Pearson got into a testy exchange of views on the ABC’s Q&A show on Monday night. Program host Patricia Karvelas is pictured
Q&A host Patricia Karvelas jumped on this comment and submitted it to Mr Aird, who is director of indigenous training and previously advised former Liberal prime minister John Howard on indigenous issues, namely “Natives are not a race. »
A confused Mr Aird asked “How is that not okay?”, before Mr Pearson replied that “These are people who existed before colonisation”.
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“There are blond, blue-eyed people in the Arctic Circle.”
“We are not in the Arctic Circle,” Mr Aird said.
But Mr Pearson replied: “It doesn’t matter. The question is whether there were peoples who existed before British colonization.
“They were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and (The Voice) is a recognition of that historical truth,” he said.
Mr Aird replied: “OK, so the races we’re talking about are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.”
Mr. Pearson then elaborated on his point by saying: “Recognition is not just about disadvantage, it is about our languages, our culture, our history, the recognition of our art, of all the good things that we can contribute in the country.
“It’s not just about disadvantage. I hope that the day will come very soon when we will have overcome our disadvantage.
Mr. Aird then asked: “So we won’t need a vote?”
An annoyed Mr Pearson said: “Why wouldn’t we? We have a lot to contribute to the country in a positive way.
Mr Pearson said: “The question is whether there were peoples who existed before colonization by the British.”
But Mr. Aird countered that Indigenous people already do so, saying: “We are very much part of our national fabric.”
The main Yes activist retorted that the victory of The Voice in the October 14 referendum would be “a huge opportunity for the country”.
“I hope the day will come when we are no longer disadvantaged and our culture makes a real contribution to the rest of the nation.
“But we will always be indigenous people,” Mr Pearson said.