Oct 27, 2008

The black and white of a Palm Island tragedy

The scale of injustice surrounding the Palm Island case is hard to comprehend, writes Chris Graham.

The question the state of Queensland should be asking itself today is this: is Lex Wotton a danger to society?

The answer is that if Queensland Police stop killing black men in custody, and trying to cover it up, then Lex Wotton is no threat to anyone.

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16 thoughts on “The black and white of a Palm Island tragedy

  1. Jane

    Here here to Billy! Finally someone with a decent argument…

  2. Realist

    Death and prison sentences for Aborigines and bravery medals for brutal policemen at Palm Island. Plainly, Queensland is no country for black men. We should all hang our heads in shame.

  3. Chris Graham

    Actually Simon, if you (and people like you) quit the Queensland Police service, then we might actually have a shot at “true reconciliation” . You’re part of the problem… straight out of the “I’m not a racist but…” school of thought (and employed by “I wasn’t racist until I became a copper Pty Ltd…”

  4. Marilyn

    And to make things even worse the bloody cops are getting bravery medals.

    What sort of suck hole country are we still in light of the horrors we have seen in the SBS film “The First Australians” that has rendered me distraught at some times and enraged at others – we are no better today.

  5. Omar

    Justice – HA!
    The wonder is that the people of Palm Island haven’t razed the pig station to the ground and killed all in it.

    I think we would.

    Clearly their cultural outlook is far more civilised than ours. What halfwit decided we need to send the brownshirts there anyway?

    They’ve been quite capable of minding their own affairs for 40 or 50 thousand years now.

    I think it’d be appropriate to the people of Palm Island mete out justice to Hurley, Robinson and their scaly mates.

  6. Coreen

    Billy your ignorance is outstanding. Before making such brazen and quite frankly ignorant comments, I honestly think that you should have all of the facts before you. To help you out, here is the website for the initial coroner’s inquest: http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/mulrunji270906.pdf
    Also, here is Sir Laurence Street’s report: http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/files/AboutUs/StreetReport_PalmIsland.pdf.

  7. Simon

    So tell me Chris, if a white fella burnt down a police station and a court house, would he be sentenced to just 6 years? I think not. Your report is so biased and so full of shit, I can’t help but wonder if the Townsville state member for parliament helped you write this article.
    Maybe, just maybe, when indigenous people actually start to give a shit about their own lives, and their own well-being, then true reconciliation might just be achievable.

  8. Julie

    Dear Billy and Jane, you’ll find all the facts and a very well researched and readable book on the matter in “Gone for a Song” by ABC journalist Jeff Waters. A little knowledge and understanding can go a long way.
    I can’t imagine a whitefella being arrested for singing a song, and losing his life in the process.
    But then you and I can’t even begin to imagine the level of police interference, harrassment and intimidation that your ordinary blackfella experiences going about their daily business.
    But you might find out if you listened to some.

  9. Billy

    Good on those brave police men and women who looked after each other on that terrible terrible day when they were just doing their job. Shame on the Palm Island community for supporting such disgraceful behaviour. Lex Wotton got what he deserved. You can’t whinge about the police behaving badly and then going on burning down buildings and rioting like that. If they don’t want the police to be violent then don’t be voilent towards the police, everyone else in Australia that has no trouble with police can grasp that concept why can’t Palm Island? I am sure if any other group of people behaved in such a manner anywhere else in Australia they would also be punished like Lex Wotton has been, it has nothing to do with being an Aboriginal Palm Islander and everything to do with breaking the law. Do you really believe that the entire police force in Queensland and the judges and everyone who could be randomly picked for the jury all being in on some consipiracy to treat Palm Islanders badly without reason? Do you really believe that is what is going on here? Do you think that every black person in police custody is being treated extra badly because of some special secret police code to do so? Why was Doomadgee in police custody in the first place if he was such a saint? How many other Palm Islanders have died in police custody since then? I haven’t heard any big stories like this on any others so I assume there hasn’t been any as I am sure there would be another riot if there was. So I guess black deaths in custody have stopped afterall and all those people wasting their time holding up signs asking for this to happen can change them over to “Stop Black Bad Behaviour” because if that were to happen then maybe there would be less black people like Lex Wotton in custody in the first place let alone dying there. I am not racist, I believe in treating everyone in this country equally and not giving specific groups free range to do as they please and get away with it

  10. Harry

    It reads as though this was an excerpt from an incident in Alabama U.S.A. in the early 60’s. If this man is sentenced to goal let us together rise up in anger at the perpetration of such injustice in the whole Palm Island affair. So how do we take action?

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