Jacinta Price, an indigenous senator, claims that journalist and novelist Peter FitzSimons was “rude and confrontational” toward her during an interview.
Ms. Price to FitzSimons expressed her adamant opposition to the planned Indigenous Voice to Parliament, which he firmly supports, in an article that was published on Sunday.
The senator from the Country Liberal Party said on social media on Sunday, “I don’t know if I’d do another interview with the bloke again.”
He claimed that I gave bigots a platform, although that claim was not published.
FitzSimons disputes her account of the interview’s events and calls her assertions “complete and total rubbish.”
Ms. Price stated in the since-deleted Facebook post that the interview with FitzSimons last Thursday began well, but that he later became “aggressive, condescending, and disrespectful” toward her.
She said that she felt “insulted” and that it “was like talking to a brick wall.”
I’m not a wilting violet, but he’s a really assertive guy, and he doesn’t need to dive into an interview, she said.
He absolutely misses the point when he claims that since the topics I discuss are difficult, I somehow empower bigots.
Get out of your damned ivory tower and visit one of my neighbourhoods, I told him.
FitzSimons vehemently disputed Ms. Price’s assertions. He described the interview as a “professional dialogue.”
According to FitzSimons, “every single word was taped, as I instructed her.”
He said that Ms Price gave her approval to the final report and that the interview was done in a quiet manner.
This is in no way open to interpretation. At the end of the cordial interview, there was a good text conversation, he stated.
Senator Price said that FitzSimons’ position on Indigenous issues astounded her.
“I was genuinely surprised, and the amount of effort it required to protect myself left me drained.
I was made to feel that what I was attempting to accomplish was wrong and that my voice didn’t have the same validity as others who claimed to be victims of 250 years of colonisation, the woman said.
Ms. Price and FitzSimons were approached by Daily Mail Australia for comments.
Ms. Price accused supporters of An Indigenous Voice to Parliament of adhering to “racist prejudices” in the interview that appeared in Nine newspapers.
She had also criticised the idea of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and a planned referendum to establish it in the constitution in her first statement to the legislature on July 27.
Ms. Price told FitzSimons that too many Australians “drank the Kool-Aid” and ignored the silent majority of Aboriginals, which is why the Voice has such wide bipartisan support.
She argued it would be simply another layer of bureaucracy that would alienate her people from white Australia and presume they would always be ‘victims,’ rather than serving as a unified voice to advocate Indigenous problems.
Pauline Hanson, the head of One Nation, was another vociferous opponent of the Voice, but Senator Price praised her as someone who “cares profoundly about Indigenous Australians.”
This happened when Senator Hanson stormed out of the upper chamber rather than participate in the national anthem.
When she was 13 years old, Ms. Price travelled the globe with her teaching parents, an Indigenous mother and a White father, and claimed the experience “opened her eyes to how we’re all people.”
Since she had her first child at age 17 and two more by the time she was 21, she said that she was too busy to participate in politics when she was younger.
But she subsequently became involved in politics after seeing “narratives about Indigenous Australians” that she disagreed with.
She was aware of the challenges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experienced, but she didn’t think an Indigenous Voice in Parliament was necessary.
Some of the important concerns were greatly influenced by colonisation and the legislation that followed. I don’t dispute that, she said to FitzSimons.
But I am well aware that our culture’s acceptance of violence is a contributing factor.
The Voice to Parliament, like this one, doesn’t truly explain how it’s intended to assist in this patriarchal system.
It “feels like simply another bureaucracy,” according to the former deputy mayor of Alice Springs, who questioned the need of enshrining it in the Australian Constitution.
She reiterated her opposition to an Indigenous Voice in Parliament in her first address to Parliament on July 27.
Maybe some advise, because that’s what you want: listen to everyone, not just those who agree with your virtue-signaling agenda, but also those you disagree with, she said.
“I myself have had more than enough of being recognised symbolically,” said the speaker.
She favoured preserving Australia Day on January 26, the anniversary of white settlement, according to FitzSimons, who expressed his surprise.
“It’s not about the effect of colonisation on us black dudes,” Senator Price said. It is about how, through time, individuals from all diverse origins have joined together.
She said that you could choose any day of the year and discover that something terrible occurred in Australian history on that day.
FitzSimons also told Ms. Price that she has been “a very loud voice shouting us down” and that many people believe it is “time to recognise the awful past… and do everything necessary to heal the future.”
Senator Price said the viewpoint was really a story made up to imply that the majority of Aboriginal people had that opinion.
On Australia Day, many indigenous people, according to her, didn’t regard themselves as historical victims but rather as “proud Australians.”
FitzSimons questioned Ms. Price about whether she ever found it bothersome that some of her supporters had “little to no respect for the Aboriginal people,” like Pauline Hanson.
She retorted that she did not believe Ms. Hanson to be racist and that she actually “cares deeply for indigenous Australians.” She also expressed concern about “taking more practical approaches toward solving some of our problems.”
Senator Price went on to say that it was unfortunate that more Australians of indigenous descent who were concerned about domestic violence, child sex abuse, and alcoholism didn’t speak out.
They don’t speak out because, in her words, “they’re more worried about how the general public perceives them than they are about really resolving some of these problems.”
One of 11 Indigenous senators and representatives, Ms. Price, said that First Nations people “had failed so much” because they were historically treated as a distinct group.
We are all simply Australian citizens, and we should be treated as such, she added, adding that she “can’t endorse this concept.”
Senator Price said that if A Voice to Parliament were included in the constitution, indigenous people would no longer be seen as victims but as persons who must stand on “their own two bloody feet.”
She said that she has no wish for the constitution to treat her differently and that putting a “bureaucracy based on race” into the constitution will cause a gulf between black and white Australia.