Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Census irony

Tonight is Census night in Australia. Ironically, the public face of the census, entertainer Ernie Dingo, wasn't legally allowed to be included in the Census until 1971 because he is native Australian Aboriginal. Not surprisingly, the government isn't making a big deal of this little bit of recent Australian history.

As the Australian newspaper writes:

The 50-year-old entertainer is unwilling to make a song and dance about the stunning irony of an Aborigine promoting the nation's statistical snapshot that excluded him from the 1961 and 1966 censuses. "I don't know why people don't mention things that may be an embarrassment to them," he told The Australian with a grin yesterday.

Personally, I think that this is a fact which should be trumpeted far and wide, not swept under the carpet. We've come so far. True, we're no angels, and we've got a lot further to go before we as a culture stop judging people on the colour of their skin rather than their actions, but we've made a lot of progress.

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