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The Murugappan family and the cynicism of refugee politics



On 15 June, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke released a statement on his decision regarding the fate of the Murugappan family, one half of whom were in Perth, the other on Christmas Island. The family, he concluded, would be able to ‘reside in the Perth community.’ Hawke’s decision took into account ‘the government’s ongoing commitment to strong border protection policies with appropriate compassion in circumstances in children in held detention.’

Main image: Protestors holding two placards with the shortened names of Kokilapathmapriya Nadesalingam (Priya) and Nadesalingam Murugappan (Nades) (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

During the course of their community detention placement, the family would have access to schools and support services, with the youngest daughter Tharnicaa able to receive medical treatment from the Perth Children’s Hospital. As this happened, they would continue to exhaust their legal options to remain in the country. ‘Importantly,’ warned Hawke, ‘today’s decision does not create a pathway to a visa.’

In that most qualified way, the Minister announced on 23 June that he had issued bridging visas to enable the ‘three members of the family to reside in the Perth community… while the youngest child’s medical care, family’s legal matter, are ongoing.’ Hawke had refused to use his available powers under section 195A of the Migration Act to change the status of Tharnicaa. ‘The fourth family member’s visa status is unchanged.’ Predictably, that tireless advocate for the family Angela Fredericks wondered ‘what precisely’ the minister’s objective was ‘in denying little Tharni’. 

The decision was made as an exception to the rule. It is one that has marked the refugee politics of the LNP and Labor Parties since the dying days of the Rudd government: those arriving by boat without valid documentation will not be permitted to settle in Australia, being designated illegal maritime arrivals.

The Murugappan family have found themselves in the middle of this nasty tangle, their fates politicised and manipulated. Nadesalingam Murugappan and Kokilapathmapriya Nadesalingam both arrived by boat in 2012 and 2013 respectively. They married in Australia and had children, Tharnicaa and Kopika. As they were awaiting the assessment of their claims, they made a home in Biloela. The central Queensland town took to them.

In 2018, the family was removed from Biloela and detained in Melbourne. The Department of Home Affairs saw no merit in their asylum claims, despite the genuine dangers that would face a returning Tamil family with suspected links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). While deportation to Sri Lanka was foiled by a Federal Court injunction, the family was then moved to Christmas Island in August 2019.

The legal issues have prolonged the suffering of the family. The Federal Court finding that Tharnicaa was not granted ‘procedural fairness’ in her protection visa application was upheld in February by the Full Court. Just to complicate matters, the judges noted that the Immigration Minister had no obligation to allow Tharnicaa to make that application for protection in the first place.


'The most telling, even grotesque, aspect of how the Murugappan family has been treated lies in its cynicism.'


The poor conditions on Christmas Island had their consequences. Both children became vitamin D deficient. Infections were contracted. Tharnicaa, the youngest, had surgery to remove her decayed teeth. At the start of this month, she contracted pneumonia and a blood infection. Medical staff on Christmas Island were initially unmoved: she looked ‘active and fine’. Eventually, Tharnicaa was evacuated with her mother to Perth Children’s Hospital, Western Australia.

The family have since become an example of instrumental and political convenience. The most obvious policy response would have been to return them to Biloela. But to do so, according to Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, would be to succumb to ‘public opinion and the mob’.

In an effort not to succumb, Foreign Minister Marise Payne floated the option that the family might be resettled in New Zealand or the United States. This was rapidly scotched by Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews. The arrangements with both countries involved refugees. ‘This family does not have refugee status.’

But the mob’s voice, as Littleproud had unceremoniously termed it, had worried government backbenchers. In the political stock exchange, the value of keeping the Murugappan family in hostile conditions away from Biloela was diminishing. Conversely, the value of showing compassion and returning them to the mainland was growing.

Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman revealed to the ABC breakfast news audience that Hawke would be ‘considering an application to use his powers to give an exemption to the normal requirements.’ Ken O’Dowd, whose federal seat takes in Biloela, continued to be unrelenting in lobbying the immigration minister ‘to move on’ as ‘everyone’s just about had enough’. He had realised ‘from the word go that it was always going to be an issue.’

As ever, Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce’s radar for votes remained operational. ‘Tharnicaa and Kopika were born in Australia,’ he observed. If they had been of different hue and background, it might not have come to this. ‘Maybe if their names were Jane and Sally we’d think twice about sending them back to another country which they’re not from.’

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was visibly alarmed by this sudden lionising of the family. He warned of a ‘return’ of ‘the boats’ that such sudden reserves of compassion could cause. Zimmerman was not ‘in parliament when some of those ships were lost at sea, some of those leaky boats were dashed up against rocks and all lives lost. I was. I remember the heartache, I remember the loss.’

The most telling, even grotesque, aspect of how the Murugappan family has been treated lies in its cynicism. It is cynicism about a policy that supposedly saves lives that would be lost at sea while discriminating against those exercising their right to asylum. It is cynicism about prolonging suffering and harm in the name of a hollow humanitarianism.

Finally, it is cynicism about massaging the wishes of an electorate long hardened against refugees and people seeking asylum. Of this, former Liberal MP Julia Banks was in little doubt. [T]hese MPs (including a paediatrician) have been watching the cruelty, harm and torture and suddenly said “ok, enough now…stop it, we’ve got an election to win.” Disgusting.’



Binoy KampmarkDr Binoy Kampmark is a former Commonwealth Scholar who lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.

Main image: Protestors holding two placards with the shortened names of Kokilapathmapriya Nadesalingam (Priya) and Nadesalingam Murugappan (Nades) (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Topic tags: Binoy Kampmark, refugee, Biloela, Murugappan family, immigration detention, Alex Hawke



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Existing comments

"The Department of Home Affairs saw no merit in their asylum claims, despite the genuine dangers that would face a returning Tamil family with suspected links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)." This is misleading. It wasn't just the Department that found the family's asylum claims to be without merit. Several courts have reached the same conclusion over the years. It also appears to be the case that Mr Muragappan travelled to and from Sri Lanka between 2004 and 2010 without incident, despite claiming that he was at risk of persecution as a result of purported links to the LTTE.

Scott | 24 June 2021  

It is interesting that we, the people, some of whom voted for the present government are in fact' the mob' and the voice of 'public opinion'. My understanding of a democratic government is that it represents and acts for us people. We pay them through our taxes to act for us. They are our servants, not our masters. Please note, David Littleproud. Go figure. And thanks Binoy for your thoughtful article

Henri | 25 June 2021  

Binoy, If David Littleproud said that then he has about as much sense as a donkey. "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. "~Erasmus Both children were born here and they face the spectre of death or an orphanage if they are returned to Sri Lanka. Home Affairs needs to stop playing party politics and start doing its job which at some point in time should include a huge injection of common sense.

Francis Armstrong | 25 June 2021  

Mean and miserable

John Brannan | 25 June 2021  

Scott is correct. Two issues here. The cruelty of the government. And the issue of this families entitlement to asylum. Issues become entwined. People end up confused. I am frustrated by the attitude of the government. But equally frustrated by the fascile discussion and comment of what constitutes a refugee and the process of review of claims generated by the issue. In May this year, the United Kingdom’s Upper Tribunal, which handles immigration appeals, issued a report that is the most deep diving critique of the situation in Sri Lanka. Advocates in Australia argue that if a country has torture then its grounds for asylum. Or if a claimant has links to the Tamil separatist movement. As this writer does. The UK report dismisses these claims. I suggest anyone who wishes to write on Sri Lanka - and Eureka Street has had a long procession of such writers - should read this most in depth analysis. There is a very specific cohort of Tamils at risk if returned to Sri Lanka. And the Murugappan family do not fit the criteria in any way. https://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/KK%20%26%20RS%20%28Sri%20Lanka%29.pdf

John | 25 June 2021  

I re-read this a few times to try to understand the premise of cynicism in refugee politics and determine who Dr. Kampmark believes are the cynics. The term "cynic" has become to infer a bit of a smudge on the character but let's keep it unemotional for the sake of context; cynicism is the attitude of distrust of another's (or institutional) motives. I'd politely suggest that the Murugappan family motives to stay in Australia aren't distrusted by anyone from either their supporters or those opposed. It's not surprising that supporters of the family would be cynical of the policy makers motives; the good doctor describes a policy to saves lives at sea but asserts discrimination against those exercising the right to asylum... but it'd be helpful if the claim of discrimination was proved. Where I become lost is in his closing doc Binoy expresses the treatment of the family "grotesque" based in its cynicism then disgust (based on his distrust of others ulterior motives, i.e.: his cynicism); perhaps another word might fit the bill. Contempt?

ray | 25 June 2021  

Littleproud seems to have lost sight of upon what his power of office is based. It is public opinion - or 'the mob' as he understands us - who vote him to put him into office in the first place. I'm sure he will, however, regain his sight at least coming up to and for the duration of the next election. Demonstrates the utter contempt he and the government of which he is part have for the Australian public and its democracy.

Marie Sheedy | 26 June 2021  

Strange to see that Ray exercises his fence-sitting role yet again in these columns. While thrilled by the knowledge depth and breadth of his vocabulary, one is forced to ask: is this the right forum for his Neroesque fiddle-playing virtuosity?

Michael Furtado | 29 June 2021  

Aww Michael, rather than it being strange I thought it was predictable behavior if I do it regularly, as you've observed. Most ES articles implore societal or institutional change in a writer's particular or peculiar bent, often the topics are hotly debated and frequently already scrutinized by wise and learned legal or philosophical minds yet remain unresolved to the satisfaction of one or both camps. A key consideration in change management is the good old "do nothing", maintaining the status quo. While we're on the topic of Nero, fence-sitting and Latin, my take on change is "Quo vadis?" Where are you going? I'm aware of the numerous failed legal appeals in the parents case for refugee status which are dismaying in themselves and can empathize with their supporters but take issue when a writer's emotions either deliberately or inadvertently obscure the case; I don't see that I need to take a stance on the issue or be presumed to undermine a writer's contention just because I take exception to the method of writing. Most will read Dr Binoy's article and take it as wrote, unchallenged; influenced because he's a doctor, an expert and (usually) he's pushing my preferred wheelbarrow. Not me.

ray | 30 June 2021  

Thanks for responding, Ray. I think your fence-sitting, fiddle-playing, hair-splitting stance, while both amusing and correctly reflecting the response of the masses, misses Binoy's point by a country mile and which is that the lives of the most vulnerable, regardless - nay, especially because - of the rules they breach, take precedence in our response to the preferential option principle. While it is clever to employ the smokescreen of fastidiousness, my gentle urge is for you is to abandon your pusillanimity and jump which, far from endangering you, might even advantage with an enlightening and additive knock on the head. As well, Binoy may not be to blame if ES chooses to describe him through reference to his illustrious research specialisation. What would you prefer as a more appropriate moniker: something akin to 'Binoy is the hybrid product of an Indian mother and a German father'? Might that not open him up to further criticism from you that his highly educated views are influenced by the subjectivism of his identity? Jump, dear Ray; jump! According to Albert Nolan OP, the former Master General of his Order, in considerations of justice it is always the better thing to do. Cheers! https://www.scarboromissions.ca/Scarboro_missions_magazine/Issues/1990/February/taking_sides.php

Michael Furtado | 01 July 2021  

Michael, in keeping with the rules of rhetoric (Socrates et al.), attacking the person is akin to "throwing a dead cat on the dinner table"; it may distract from the argument but doesn't resolve the real issue. I'd be pleased if you can explain to me "the cynicism of refugee politics" of which the article and writer deplores in 200 words (or less). Critics of Nero fiddling while Rome burns are somewhat like today's antagonists hyper-critical of PM Morrison's "I don't hold a hose" comment; mostly those who feign outrage didn't put out the fires themselves either but were content in their anonymity. I drove a bulldozer during the bushfires I but didn't hold a hose, nor did I expect an administrator should, either. So now you're armed with the definition of cynicism and the text on this same page please go right ahead and elucidate...

ray | 01 July 2021  

I read the Nolan article but think there's more fence-sitting related philosophy found in the antique graffiti meme "Foo was here". The necessary objective of making a case is prove the premise; it doesn't fall within the domain of the court stenographer or magistrates to interpret some big-picture notional vibe... the transcript and decision, however meandering, must ultimately record and be determined on what is said and proved, not assume merit of what was thought to be meant in some incoherent, imprecise, eclectic rambling. Before I enlist (jump) on either side of the fence there needs be reason; there's a need to know where the association is going (quo vadis) if I'm being taken along for the ride. Bearing the value of ethos in rhetoric in mind, it's not encouraging when I can't make sense of the case postulated by someone with established, expert credibility. I'm less than enthused when someone else demands my immediate participation when they're willing to assume "Binoy's point" from some barrow full of wider ideals. This family's future depends both on cool minds able to put aside the emotions to make the compelling legal case and emotional appeals timed for political coercion; at least grant them the prudence of a proof-read.

ray | 02 July 2021  

This family did what many technically illegal migrants do. In the past there were blanket amnesties for people like them who contributed to and were part of the community. The children should automatically have had Australian citizenship. Granting the family permanent residency would be a sign of real strength and compassion. As someone who came here as a child, legally and on my mother's British passport and who later voluntarily became an Australian citizen, this deplorable, needlessly prolonged political bastardry makes me bow my head in shame.

Edward Fido | 03 July 2021  

Ray, I proof-read my post and the Nolan text and, apart from my redundant use of 'is', found no flaw in either document, both philosophically and philologically. Perchance you write like a court reporter - no disrespect intended! And while the family in question faces a Court of Law, my daughter Camille - a human rights refugee lawyer - advises that the law, which Kampmark implicitly contests, has been so arranged as to deny this family Australian settlement, other than on exceptional - and humanitarian - grounds. That this lies within the legal prerogative of the Federal Minister there can be no doubt. Whether the minister chooses to exercise this prerogative is another matter, which brings into question several other policy and ethical considerations, including the influence of Nolan's Gospel-based theological position and, of course, the wider court of Australian public opinion in this instance. Granted that the exceptionalism created by this issue would constitute the kind of precedent that others in similar circumstances might exploit to press their situation, there is surely no risk of this happening, as there are no boats and certainly no queue. While I commend your fire-fighting skills, there are also rescues to be organised.

Michael Furtado | 03 July 2021  

A good way to further a premise is explore and advocate the desirability of the antithesis; in the case of cynicism this would be approximated by championing "acting in good faith"; it's pretty rare that the public or judiciary are critical of appropriate naivety so where the politics departs from trusting motives this can demonstrate a level of cynicism. The next bit is to examine who distrusts what how much... f'rinstance, the politicians who distrust the motives of the vox populii that calls for the family to be granted citizenship but fear their real motive is weaken border protections generally. The trick is to demonstrate that by acting with an unhealthy amount of cynicism (as opposed to good faith) that this discriminates or impinges the rights in some manner. The nub of the matter is the government don't trust the judgment of the public advocates; if you can demonstrate that public servants and ministers are obliged (not have an obligation) to act in good faith but can prove unnecessary cynicism impeded performance of their duties they're almost home and hosed in Bilo. Good luck with that one. The counsel for the fence rests.

ray | 03 July 2021  

Oh dear Michael, an appeal? "I proof-read it myself" isn't an admission I thought I'd see in print; no doubt that it must be right then, huh? The imprudence of not getting some other eyes over a document before publication is tantamount to self-representing in court, you lose the avenue of appeal that your representative stuffed up. The proof-read I alluded to was for Dr Binoy's article which I humbly still contend missed its headline premise. I can wholly recommend you become more acquainted with the darker art of the dialectic; the Art of Being Right (1831) Schopenhauer sarcastically examines a total of thirty-eight methods to defeat an opponent in debate, each tactic being chicanery, unfair or obfuscation. I politely suggest your various rhetorical posts in this thread employ some of these (deliberately or otherwise). Perhaps Nolan's taking sides before you're convinced puts a human mind that needs to feel right in an invidious dilemma: losing the just cause. The fence on which I sit is not the demarcation line keeping the Murugappan family out; we can agree that there are rescues to be organized but I recommend the rescuers check their preparedness and adequacy of their response. Adjourned.

ray | 04 July 2021  

M'lud calls an adjournment? Granted! Meantime, think ye of the following aspect of the story, not quite the perspective of My Learned Silk, but worthy of the Cambridge scholar that Kampmark is. In the court of public opinion, as well as international law, the Murugappan family has done no wrong. The Murugappans are Sri Lankan Tamils, who since being transported as an entire community to undertake indentured and therefore menial labour in Sri Lanka have been systematically maltreated by the majority community there, consisting in the main of Sinhalese Buddhists. The Sinhalese consider themselves to be Aryans (if not Arians) and stress their ethnic association with the lighter-complexioned people of Northern India, treating the Tamils, who are Dravidian, as dark-skinned interlopers. Several Sri Lankan minority groups have felt the force of this racial profiling and have emigrated, including almost all Sri Lankan burghers (or Eurasians), who have more agency and are higher up the racial pecking-order by virtue of their colour. You, O Ray of most perspicacious sunshine, are - possibly hidden to yourself - a White Man, who attaches little importance to Australia's racist past. A little compassion and your support in facilitating a return to Biloela would assist.

Michael Furtado | 06 July 2021  

Michael, I dread doing this but here goes. I know Biloela well; more than just some cursory FIFO political hustings tour. I worked Banana Shire at TDM Moura, later BHP ownership, now Dawson. Investigated and pulled wreckage after the #4 UG mine fire. Callide A,B&C power stations, both Callide mines; back-roads through to Goovigen, Baralaba. Yes, I know Biloela; big country and big hearts - and it's them I fear for most in this travesty. Michael, I don't give a damn for your racist slurs to me that somehow because I'm white that this affects my emotions or engagement in this matter; you don't know me or what is in my head and yes, I take affront to that. Park it up, here and now. The issue here is much wider than one family; it goes to the investment of caring by others in that family, hundreds if not thousands of Australians suffering prolonged disappointments for years. What is unfolding in Banana Shire and wider across the country is a sickness far more damaging than evident. Whole families exposed to chronic anxiety and depression because of their willingness to buy into "the just cause". And it is just; that's the increased risk here, the PTSD that comes from fighting the good fight but losing, knowing that after all the international and legal morass aside the crux is the community cares and their future mental and physical well-being is at stake unless this results in a return to Biloela for the iconic 4. I don't have the personal strength to invest further in the matter; we talk big about dehumanizing as a tool of the predator but it's sometimes the only protection from the risk of being involved and the emptiness of loss. The community and wider have ventured their stake in the outcome; its their nature to hold on, persevere; they must voice their opposition to this obscene treatment but its their personal chronic anxiety if this fails that frightens me away. Right now they're holding on to slim hope which sustains them, if they lose that they're crushed; to who's satisfaction?

ray | 07 July 2021  

Bravo, Michael. I think you've nailed it. Many ex-British colonies, on achieving Independence after WW 2 shifted towards the situation where the ethnic majority e.g. Sinhalese and Burmese became the new lords and ladies and masters and mistresses and the minorities who had been protected under the British, became the underpersons to be gradually squeezed out of any major office they once held. There are actually two sorts of Tamils in Sri Lanka. In the north you had ancient Tamil kingdoms. The descendants of the higher caste Tamils from here have held high office, such as Inspector-General of Police and Minister of Defence not so long ago. I doubt this would happen now. In more recent times, under the dreadful indenture system, many lower caste Tamils were brought to work on the tea plantations. Their situation was and is parlous. I don't think the Muruguppans are from the Tamil elite. They need our understanding and assistance.

Edward Fido | 07 July 2021  

I urge Ray to read up a bit on the topic of White Privilege before he jumps to the wrong kind of conclusions about my calling him a racist. Perhaps he should start by reading this article before assuming that his vast and eloquent life experience sums up the totality of the Murugappan case. (https://www.infoagepub.com/assets/files/samples/Teaching_to_a_Statue_Final_IAP.pdf). I further contest Ray's glib assumption that Biloela's support for the Murugappan family relates to the economic havoc wreaked on it by the precariousness of its mineral-extraction economy and its FIFO status. Ray would need to supply some empirical evidence for this. The evidence I offer instead is that it is a conservative community, National Party voting, with an affinity, judging by the large amount of support Pauline Hanson gets at every election, for One Nation. If anything, any social commentator would describe such a cohort as somewhat xenophobic if not anti-immigrant, which suggests that in this instance it is the influence of getting to know the Murugappans as persons that has won over the support of the locals regardless of politics: an act of Grace, which invites Ray to similar agreement.

Michael Furtado | 08 July 2021  

Michael, I suspect Ray thinks 'the good old days' of White Australia were wondeful. I suspect he is well into the 70+ demographic. So am I and I know this attitude is relatively common. Australia has however moved beyond this. Bob Birrell, the researcher, says that 40% of current marriages in Australia are interracial. The tide has turned. We are now a multiracial nation.

Edward Fido | 09 July 2021  

Michael, I read and now I understand better the problem which the race debate faces. Mea culpa. The Talking to a Statue dissertation tells me enough; what it says in graphic details is a well researched, credentialed team aren't satisfied with the recorded evidence and interjects their own hypothetical assumptions to fit a narrative. Re-read it. Michael, I'd assumed with your pompous verbosity there was some educated capacity to discern wheat from chaff, my fault. No, you're readily influenced by who [PhD] wrote or said something you want to hear, not what is said; hubris is fine when the foundation confidence is well placed. You, sir, are faced with comments here from Scott and John who have both provided compelling legal pronunciations directly pertinent to the case but you, sir, are unwilling to see how the asylum claim is fraught with uncertainty. I am sitting on my fence watching a train wreck unfold and can see why; a misplaced faith in people like you, confident, apparently clever but not aware beyond your prejudices. Kindly note neither Scott or John said throw them out... but your inability to capitalize on pearls cast before you is because you won't see them in your impudence-inspired ignorance. R-E-S-T-E-C-P (sic)

ray | 09 July 2021  

Michael, I don't get angry, I get evidence. The Teaching to a Statue & bibliography refers to and is critical of two Georgia school texts by Evans written in 1884 (when he was 21) and 1913. Evans, L. B. (1884). The student’s history of Georgia. University Publishing Company. (https://dlg.usg.edu/record/dlg_zlgb_gb0409/fulltext.text). These are the type of texts the authors want to withdraw; by alleging and graphically misrepresenting racial bias in Emancipation. It's easy for me to see why they want to hide them...I'd been led to think that African Americans had difficulty registering to vote in Confederate states but guess I was influenced by TV. Verbatim (1867);"There were nearly as many negroes put on the register as white men, the total number registered being 192,235, of which 95,973 were colored persons. General Pope then ordered an election for delegates to a constitutional convention. Many whites refused to vote in this election, and the negroes voted for the first time. 33 elected delegates were negro." So yes, let's follow a false but ever so well credentialed analysis and be too lazy to look at what knowledge we're destroying for future generations. Fahrenheit 451; read it before it's gone. Grace under fire, sir. I thank you and Evans for opening my eyes to the stark reality.

ray | 10 July 2021  

Ray, I enjoy the arm-wrestle, which I learnt to engage in at Jesuit school. You are amusing too, if not also very clever and I bow to you as a presumed legal eagle but not so much when you write as a human being. I don't deny you your fence-impaled position, which must poke awkwardly at times, but seek instead to assist in alleviating your discomfort. One way of doing this is to help explain why the decision of White voters not to participate at the ballot-box you cite should so tell against the case made by the authors in question. While I have no doubt - more as a Christian than a democrat - that there were many Confederate leaders who were gallant and, while conservative, also compassionate men, isn't it true that the gerrymander found its original home in precisely those constituencies where Africa-American numbers were so substantial as to pose a threat to White supremacy Dammit, Ray, what's arty-farty about standing up for civil rights, man. (Now, alliteration aside, THERE'S a descent to the proletarian parsing I hope you prefer). More importantly, I'd like to think you and I, regardless of cultural distance, stand together on this.

Michael Furtado | 10 July 2021  

Michael. In a thread about cynicism you've got it in spades; the prowess to take an objective 1884 report and rather than celebrate the recorded emancipation which your precious "Statue" analysis identifies as the definitive positive event, you pounce on imaginary motives you've determined by your prejudice. Evans doesn't say a peep about why the white voters abstained, only that they did, perfect objectivity, not the editorial that you imply. Try this on for size for discomfort: the very "Statue" document that you proffered substantiates why I am a racist benchmarks the unveiling of the horse statue in 1912 emblematic of Confederate pride compared to emancipation events. It uses the highly scientific method to count the number of words devoted each subject; it samples, examines and evaluates a text written in 1884 for lacking the future 1912 event. Poor choices; this demonstrates the depth of your desperation to seize something, anything, that proves your imprudent "jump" was a good decision; the proverbial drowning man clutching at straws, but not considering why you're in the water. I'm not joining you on common ground down on the sea floor; you have Binoy, Nolan, Cecile and some research fellows for company already; maybe the Murugappans can swim just fine; don't take them down, too.

ray | 11 July 2021  

You see Michael, the proletariat are mostly lazy and easily influenced, just like you. They don't think for themselves and are susceptible to believing "experts" are right, just like you. When someone wants to push any agenda all that's necessary is to publish a manifest with a few more pages and supporting bibliography that the author knows they're not going to read in full; most wont even get past the abstract page, just like you. In the case of "Teaching to a Statue" you've placed implicit faith that it is emblematic of BLM and proves White Privilege; a floating straw you insisted I read but weren't even conversant with yourself. What it tries to do is link White Supremacy with White Privilege and unfortunately confuses weak minds (you) to the conclusion that just being White = Racist. Even a witch hunt resulted in a trial. The Spanish Inquisition at least investigated allegations; irrespective of methods used, even Torquemada required a finding or an admission of guilt before justice was carried. What "Statue" has done is encourage you to make a finding of racist based on prima facie; it removes the need for evidence or justice to make a finding; old son, you're not fit for jury duty. Know yourself.

ray | 12 July 2021  

Ray, one can't conceivably be a cynic and a fool at the same time. But what conjoins those two terminologies is evidently the huff and puff of those who would 'blow a house down' and cannot. My last post, such as it is, still stands! In a journal that encourages 'conversation', I might leave the matter there.

Michael Furtado | 13 July 2021  

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