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05 October 2018

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'It depicted a stereotype of Aboriginal men as all drunken, witless and indiscriminate breeders of dysfunctional children.'

The cartoon was in response to events in Don Dale. Leak assumed that the indigenous kids involved all had indigenous fathers, and by implication that all indigenous kids across Australia have indigenous fathers.

The truth is that many have absent white dads, some acknowledged many not, with the same alcohol issues as indigenous dads. Everyone in the north knows this.

That was the cartoonist's greatest failure, misunderstanding his subject. His editor should have shown a better duty of care to their cartoonist and rejected it.

An editor once told me that a book of rejected letters to the editor would be just as illuminating as those he published, likewise a collection of rejected cartoons. Journalists and cartoonists have bad days and editors are there to protect them from themselves.

The political correctness argument is a crock encouraged by The Australian to divert attention away from their own embarrassing editorial failure.

Phil, I agree with your comments about ‘political correctness’. Personally I enjoyed Jolliffe cartoons and also Bob Browne’s Grassroots cartoons. In English newspapers there was a cartoon figure Andy Capp that I enjoyed reading. Andy Capp cartoons were accused of perpetuating stereotypes of “unemployed working class English”. And of course the Irish have been at times the butt of “Irish Jokes”.
Perhaps such cartoons are more acceptable when they make fun of not only one particular section of humanity but all sections. If I remember correctly Grassroots at times made fun of different sections of PNG society.
In more recent times in PNG the comedian Kanage (Alphonse Dirau from Bogia) has proved very popular portraying a bumbling rustic PNG man, but has also come in for criticism for perpetuating stereotypes.

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