Patricia Laurie, Councillor for the North Coast Region of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, has very neatly put a gigantic racist ignoramus on his backside.
Last week James Mackenzie told Byron Shire Council that the Aboriginal nations Arakwal and Bundjalung are a fiction. McKenzie claimed there was no Bundjalung nation, tribe, people, language, culture, clan, nor horde. "No Bundjalung anything." (The Northern Star, 14 May)
Here's Ms Laurie's piece Bundjalung nation 'very much alive'. It's in today's Northern Star.
Some days you wake up better than others. But last Friday, I awoke to discover that I wasn't real.
In the May 14 edition of The Northern Star, a story appeared entitled 'Arakwal, Bundjalung don't exist'.
You can imagine my surprise, given that I am both a Yaegl woman and a member of the Bundjalung nation.
I pinched myself, just in case, and can confirm for Northern Star readers that I am, in fact, real.
I can also confirm that the Bundjalung nation is very much alive, and is one of the best known in the country.
Tens of thousands of Aboriginal people alive today - myself included - identify with the Bundjalung nation, either as their country, or the country of their ancestors.
The bizarre and ridiculous claims have come from 'James McKenzie, a great grandson of pioneer James MacKenzie, who was called Wollumbin Gum Jimmy'.
Mr McKenzie somehow managed to grab a microphone at a meeting of the Byron Shire Council.
By the end of his rant, Mr McKenzie had abolished two nations and called for 'a parliamentary inquiry into the scandals and the politicians involved'. What, all of them?
I'd respectfully suggest to The Northern Star that while coverage of council is important - and in The Star's case generally comprehensive - you don't have to report absolutely everything that is said.
If a man stands and makes a fool of himself, it might make for a colourful headline, but given the ridiculous and divisive nature of what's been said, reporting it doesn't make for harmonious relationships in the community. That, I would suggest, is in everyone's interests.
To my black brothers and sisters I'd make two points: Firstly, you reap what you sow; if you want to help other people question Aboriginal identity because it suits your political agenda, then expect to have your own identity questioned. Secondly, since the British arrived in 1788, Aboriginal people have been kept busy fighting among themselves. It's one of the great 'tools of the oppressor'.
Finally, to Mr McKenzie: I note that you claim to be a 'descendant of the famous MacKenzies', who helped build this region since colonisation.
The fact is, Mr McKenzie, I don't get to define your identity, any more than you don't get to define Aboriginal identity.
You can advance all the bizarre conspiracy theories you like, but it doesn't change who we are. All that's changed is what we think of you.
Sources: The Northern Star and The Daily Examiner (pic)