Australia’s Race (Baiting) Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane term expired on July 1 this year, and may we say good riddance as he will no longer be receiving a $340,000 salary from us taxpayers to lecture us on how horrible and racist we are.
He was appointed to a five-year term as Race Discrimination in the dying days of the Rudd Government. It is fair to say he was a blatantly partisan appointment to the Human Rights Commission as he had been a member of the Labor Party since the age of 15 and had worked as a speechwriter for Bob Carr and in the office of Kevin Rudd.
Once the Coalition won government in 2013 he joined with the then Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs in attacking the new government’s agenda on border policy and 18C reform. His disdain for middle Australia was constantly on display believing our nation to still be racist backwater despite the rise of people of non-anglo backgrounds in leadership positions in Australia.
Tim Soutphommasane was so focused on seeing bigots everywhere he believed you were racist if you couldn’t pronounce his long name, though interestingly enough he didn’t make us call him by his full first name which is Thinethavone.
Despite Soutphommasane being the embodiment of victim and grievance politics he himself came from a very privileged background. Firstly the average Australian doesn’t earn $340,000 a year. He was born in France to Chinese and Lao parents before moving to Australia under our Family Reunion Program. He attended the elite Sydney University before eventually obtaining a PhD from Oxford University in England.
His contributions as Race Discrimination Commissioner included encouraging 18C complaints against cartoonist Bill Leak for his cartoon highlighting child abuse in remote indigenous communities. The stress of this attempt to drag him before the Commission for racism contributed to Leak’s untimely death at the young age of 61.
Soutphommasane sat back and allowed three Queensland University of Technology students be dragged before the federal court for objecting on Facebook at being kicked out of indigenous only computer lab on campus. The 18C complaint was thankfully dismissed by the court as frivolous but only progressed as far as it did because the Human Rights Commission allowed it to proceed, which it blamed on a too low complaint threshold.
Soutphommasane also oversaw a vile anti-white male anti-racism advertising campaign which depicted white men in everyday life avoiding and excluding people of colour in public. He told the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that growing extreme nationalist organisations and their views on race and immigration were contributing to the rise in racial intolerance and discrimination. He was also one of the deniers of Victoria’s African Youth Gang Crime Wave claiming the statistics did not prove it.
In April this year, he released the Leading for Change report on cultural diversity and leadership which decried that we didn’t have enough non-European and Indigenous leaders in business, government and academia despite making up an estimated 24 per cent of the Australian population. He had also previously complained about the lack of non-white people on Australian television.
In an exit interview with the Sydney Morning Herald Soutphommasane took a swipe at the new Attorney-General Christian Porter who said he would not appoint a replacement as Race Discrimination Commissioner like him, which he interpreted of course as a racist remark “I didn’t expect we would have an Attorney-General suggesting people from a racial minority background didn’t belong to mainstream Australian society”.
He also labelled The Australia newspaper an “alt-right rag” which we doubt he even knows what that term means. He also accused the Institute of Public Affairs of wasting its members’ money on its futile campaign to change 18C claiming they were “voices from a parallel universe”.
Christian Porter so far hasn’t nominated a replacement but told Miranda Devine Live that he would like to see the new Race Discrimination Commissioner to instead be a Racial Harmony Commissioner. Porter still defended the existence of the Australian Human Rights Commission and their recent appointment of Professor Rosalind Croucher as Commission President who has been under fire recently for ordering Suncorp pay compensation for refusing to employ a registered sex offender.
While most conservatives won’t be completely satisfied until the Commission is abolished and 18C repealed the departure of Soutphommasane as Race Discrimination Commissioner is a welcome development for race relations in Australia.