WAN BLACKTIVIST and Mordy-Litijus elder Anita Heiss asked ABC visitors if they thought her black enough and received a series of rather astringent responses. Free speech being a relative thing at the national broadcaster, the comments thread was soon suspended, with talking head Carol Duncan explaining via Twitter:
The comments that made it onto the site before the gag was imposed were pointed, critical and, in one or two cases, mocking -- all of which meant no more could be permitted at the Appropriate Broadcasting Commission.
Now isn't that peculiar. ABC comments are moderated, which means any racist ones -- if there were any racist ones, that is -- could have been picked out and the rest displayed on the public forum which those now-silenced visitors help to fund and support. But that didn't happen and, for the second time in a year, professional victim Heiss has found herself a beneficiary of officialdom's eager willingness to spare her feelings.
There is another outlet however, at least for the moment, at the site of Heiss' publisher, Random House, where the string of unmoderated comments grows by the hour. We can take them to be representative of the criticisms the ABC refuses to air, and they say as much of the ABC as they do of Heiss.
You can pop on over and add your thoughts to the chain. Just tell them the ABC sent you.
And if anyone has the energy, why not copy and save the comments for the web's future reference? Chances are they will not survive too much longer on the Random House page, which is a commercial entity and could not appreciate so many adverse remarks about the author of a book it is trying to flog.
There is no need to register at Random Online, as the site suggests. Just pick a name nobody else has used, provide an email address and speak your mind.
(H/T: Andrew Bolt)
UPDATE: In 2010, Heiss was gifted by the Australia Council with a $90,000 fellowship to produce "two non fiction literary works: a collection of essays and personal memoirs."
One of those, presumably, is her current effort with Random House. So, a question: Will Random House or Heiss pledge royalties and profits from Am I Black Enough to repaying taxpayers' generosity? Or is it that, while unsupported Australian authors fend for themselves, a select few who know how to play the system have their careers and lifestyles supported without condition or qualification?
Sometimes it really does pay to be oppressed.
UPDATE II: Something very peculiar is going on the ABC in regard to its Heiss interview. Yesterday a click on the audio panel allowed the interview to be played or downloaded. Today that function no longer works. Has it been disabled, possibly because Heiss' self-promotion has become an embarrassment? Keep an eye on the page. If the audio link is not restored, or if the page vanishes altogether, you will know the Appropriate Broadcasting Commission is at it yet again.
Those who wish to hear Heiss skite and preen are not without succour, however:
Heiss details her reasons for gagging debate in general and Andrew Bolt in particular at the 2:45 minute mark. Andrew insulted her whole family, apparently, not just one-sixteenth of it.