Senate debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2020


Black Lives Matter Movement

7:58 pm

Photo of Alex AnticAlex Antic (SA, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise tonight to speak regarding the need for Australian corporations, organisations and institutions to proceed with caution when endorsing political movements such as Black Lives Matter or BLM. The radical left knows a thing or two about effective communication and language. This is how they have sold the Australian people pup after pup. The Trojan Horse of language has been used to great effect, and arguably no greater example of this exists than the use of the name Black Lives Matter. Who could argue with it? Racism is deplorable, as every reasonable Australian agrees. But the name, however, tells only a fraction of the story. BLM is a much more sinister movement, one which no reasonable Australian could support were they armed with the truth. Why, then, are we finding example after example of organisations endorsing BLM when they really don't understand what BLM truly stands for?

Several weeks ago, I spoke publicly about my disappointment regarding the news that the Australian one-day international cricket team were planning to conduct an on-field barefoot ceremony in support of BLM before the 27 November 2020 one-day international match with India. Australian coach Justin Langer told the media:

Racism is wrong, that's a universal law, simple.

Well, thanks, Justin; I'm with you on that. And Australian vice-captain Pat Cummins told the same newspaper that his team was absolutely against racism and, in speaking about BLM, that:

… as soon as you try and learn a little bit about it, it becomes an easy decision.

In my respectful submission, it would have paid for everybody involved in this decision to have learned a little bit more about the movement, because I'm fairly confident that if they knew the truth about this organisation they would run a mile.

So what do we actually know about BLM? One of its founders describes herself and her fellow organisers as 'trained Marxists'. That is, they are adherents to the radical left-wing political ideology which opposes the free market and freedom of speech. This is just one example of an organisation rushing blindly into the endorsement of BLM without properly understanding what it means.

Earlier in the month I was contacted by a constituent who forwarded an email addressed to all students from the acting vice-chancellor of the University of Adelaide entitled, 'University of Adelaide, Black Lives Matter.' That email stated that 'the University of Adelaide endorses the broad principle of the Black Lives Matter movement' and that 'the university's endorsement of Black Lives Matter is one such step and we shall stand against all manifestations of racism'. I wrote to the chancellor to seek clarification and I was advised that the university indeed supported the broad principles of BLM and as a result of its ongoing commitment to tackling the grand challenge of Indigenous health and wellbeing the university was committed to closing the gap of disadvantage faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people both in the university and in the broader community.

But which of the broad principles outlined in BLM's now removed 'What we believe' manifesto does the university endorse? Is it the radical Marxism? Is the anti-police rhetoric? Is the opposition to freedom of speech? Is it the opposition to the free market? Is it the anti-West ideology? Is it the anti-nuclear-family structure? These don't seem like broad principles which a public university would want to associate themselves with, do they?

If this were another example of gesture politics, I would be far less concerned. But what we have here is different because what this is actually doing is dragging the important institutions of sport and learning into a tacit endorsement of a political wolf in sheep's clothing. With great privilege comes great responsibility, and it's time that bodies like the Australian cricket team and the University of Adelaide start doing their homework rather than blindly ticking off on these projects.