An Indigenous man has slammed the upcoming Voice referendum, claiming it is causing rifts in his community.
In an episode of Sam Newman and Don Scott’s podcast You Cannot Be Serious, No voter Stan Yarramunua Dryden said he felt the Voice had been used by “social elites” as a vessel for racism.
“It’s flaring a lot of stuff up this Voice, it’s bringing a lot of issues,” he told listeners, before sharing a recent racist encounter he experienced at his gallery in Queensland’s Burleigh Heads.
“I had a guy who’s 45 years old and he stood in front of my door with his dog and put his head in the door and said, ‘are you an Abo?’ … and I go, ‘oh mate I don’t think you should be saying that’ and he goes, ‘oh you know what I mean, they’re all a bunch of losers and bums’,” Mr Dryden shared.
“And this is what’s flaring up. It’s causing racism,” he argued, adding that his mum was Indigenous and his dad was caucasian.
Regardless of skin colour, he said all people should simply consider themselves Australian and “get over it”.
“I’m Australian. All the stuff we’re all talking about as Australians, there’s something bigger than all of us anyway. We should all start getting over it, because I think everyone is equal,” he said.
“I’m not better than anybody and no one’s better than me either. But I come from the oldest living culture in the world,” he said, telling Newman he did as well “because you’re born here, so you’re a part of it as well”.
“This stuff is not worth it, there’s something bigger than all of us anyway and we’re all going to meet our maker.”
He implored Newman and Scott to “come together” as men and support the broader goal of “helping each other” in lieu of supporting the Voice, which he said was constructed by “social elites”.
“All these people that are probably pushing the Voice and all the rest of it to keep themselves in jobs and their own immediate families,” he argued.
“They’re not thinking about the people living in tin shacks in Alice Springs and Darwin and Broome.”
Newman complained that Welcome to Country acknowledgments were making people feel guilty everywhere they went and, along with the Voice, were “creating division”.
“You go into a library, you go into anywhere at all, they make you feel guilty for being there, that’s my point,” he said.
“People have jumped onto it, the people with agendas, it’s a cottage industry of division and people get delighted if they can create division because it gives them a sense of power and it gives them a source of income. That’s my only point with all this.”
Mr Dryden agreed, further suggesting people who hadn’t “walked the walk” were wrongly trying to throw their weight around.
“These people, the social elite, that want to push it, they should go out to these places and talk to the people out there and see what they want. Don’t make decisions for people that aren’t doing well when you haven’t walked the walk to understand the way they’re feeling out there, and the resentment and trauma that they’re going through,” he said.
“If you’re going to sit in your office and read about it and not go out and do anything in the community, don’t represent us.”
Newman was last week slammed for his comments about the Welcome to Country in which he encouraged punters heading to the AFL and NRL finals to boo when it started.
A change.org petition signed by thousands of people called for him to be removed from the AFL Hall of Fame.
“That he feels the indigenous Welcome Ceremonies are overdone, or political, or unnecessary, is a matter of his opinion and he’s entitled to express that opinion, but for him to encourage people to boo the ceremony or slow clap during the ceremony is his attempt to disrupt the ceremony, and to disrespect the ceremony (like it or not) – it’s nothing more than another divisive act from him – it’s in no way acceptable, and contravenes AFL policy,” the petition read.