It’s my belief that the ABC has been commandeered by those representing conservative values, and knowingly altered to become an entity that caters only for mainstream, white Australia.
There is ample evidence that this is the case; in fact most people I’ve spoken to are not surprised at the idea, and already assume that Australian publicly-funded broadcasting is intentionally, and understandably, split along racial lines.
My concern, however, is that this segregation of publicly-owned media is inherently detrimental to all concerned; all but those with no wish to enjoy the benefits of a multi-cultural society. Those in the mainstream are deprived of broader, multicultural content; those in the larger ethnic communities are deprived of the inherent value in media production which the mainstream enjoys; and those on the fringes, in this case Indigenous Australians, are left to suffer not only the deprivation of a hugely valuable public resource, that being the ABC and all it offers, but are also subjected to the indignity of being hidden from view for all but the most concerned of the mainstream or secondary populations.
Further to this, I believe it can be argued that any such decision to act in a way which would segregate publicly funded media along racial, cultural or ethnic lines is illegal. According to its own charter, the ABC must produce content which reflects the diversity of Australia; there is no stipulation which allows the organisation to focus its efforts on any basis, let alone race.
Furthermore, it is illegal (according to the 1975 racial discrimination act) to commit any act which leads to the exclusion of any person based on, amongst many other criteria, their race, ethnicity, culture or beliefs. You would be hard pressed not to recognise the exclusion of an entire swathe of the population as an act of exclusion; by tailoring its content for the white audience, the ABC is almost certainly turning away those who would naturally seek material more relevant to their own culture or ethnicity. As such, the ABC is breaking not only its own charter, but Australian Federal law, and the stipulations of an international treaty (anti-discrimination treaty, 1973) upon which these laws are based.
While there are arguments which would counter the claim that the ABC’s all-encompassing focus on white concerns is detrimental to non-white Australians (such as the assertion that SBS and NITV were created for this very reason), the fact remains that such segregation is detrimental, simply because segregation is proven, for many reasons, to work against the benefit of those not in the primary group upon which the segregation applies. Further, regardless of whether one believes segregation in this regard to be detrimental or not, the very act of initiating (or committing) such behaviour, or directing it to be carried out by others, is illegal.
So for many reasons, what the ABC is doing is wrong. It is wrong on ethical grounds; to exclude whole portions of the population based on their cultural identity and beliefs. It is wrong according to its charter. And it is wrong according to the law, from both local and international viewpoint.
What exacerbates the situation, in my eyes, is that he ABC’s stance in this regard comes at a time when the very service the ABC is expected by most to provide, and the benefits of such, are suddenly withdrawn from the table. No longer is the ABC a unifying, democratic institution, but one which deepens social divides. It is no longer a beacon of fairness and inclusion, but one which arguably, and demonstrably, works to literally undermine social cohesion at a time when the opposite is needed most.
Most concerning of all is the question – Why? Why is the ABC adopting this stance? For how long, and from how high, has the decision to be a white institution been part of the ABC’s fundamental M.O? Who made this decision, and how? For what reason, and for whom?
That the Whitewash of the ABC falls perfectly into the conservative tact of the current Australian political landscape is probably a large part of the answer; and no doubt a large part of explaining not only the origins but effect of such a change of course. Ie – the politics and conservative tone of contemporary Australia are not only the cause but also the result of what I have described.
The question, then, is one of demonstrating my assertions, in a way which proves irrefutably what I’ve put forward. To do so, I plan to connect the top to the bottom. Who decided to Whitewash the ABC, what’s the result, and does it fit in with what is arguably the conservative agenda of the day.
I don’t look forward to the outcome, but I’m confident my beliefs are correct. We live in a time in which our very media is corrupted; not just on the fringes, but to the core. And most concerning, most bringing of shame – our publicly funded media is apparently being used as a tool to divide along lines of race, culture and belief.
At the risk of sounding cheesy – watch this space.