Fire Peter Gleeson for racially offensive and factually incorrect article

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On June 14, 2020, Peter Gleeson’s article “It’s time to look at the facts” was published in The Daily Telegraph and the Courier Mail. The title of this article is a misnomer: the article is not factual, and further, it is racially offensive.

Please note, this explanation contains multiple racially offensive words - all directly quoted from Gleeson’s article.

In the article, Gleeson argues that racism is not an issue affecting Aboriginal people and African-Australian people, and that the real harm is in fact caused to them by their own communities. Direct quote from the article: “The reality in this country - and in the US - is that the greatest danger to aboriginals (sic) and negroes (sic) is themselves.”

Amongst much smaller factual errors, Gleeson states that Black Lives Matter protests took place “at the height of the pandemic”. This is in fact, completely incorrect, as the Prime Minister has now announced multiple restriction eases, and allowed mass gatherings at sporting events. There cannot be a paradox wherein which the pandemic is both at it’s height, and yet restrictions are easing. Gleeson is attempting to use this argument to position Aboriginal & African-Australian people as dangerous to themselves and others.

Gleeson implicitly claims that bad parenting is the reason for crime and death rates amongst Aboriginal communities. He asks “how did those closest to the young Aborigines (sic) in Townsville allow them to get into a speeding stolen car with the result being the death of four teenagers?” This is a question never asked of the non-Indigenous community in the community after a tragedy such as this.

Later in the article, Gleeson suggests that the death of a 4-month-old Aboriginal child is the responsibility of the mother. The child died after her mother was taken into custody by police, without the police organising adequate care for the children.

Gleeson also positions domestic violence in Aboriginal communities as an Aboriginal-only “plague”, that the Australian Government “just throw[s] money at”. This ignores calls from multiple community leaders to channel funds into community led action for meaningful change. It also ignores that domestic violence is an overwhelming problem for all Australians, not just the Aboriginal community.

The last paragraph of this article claims that there were no protests when Justine Damond was tragically murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in 2017. This is also completely incorrect - there were protests in most capital cities and community centres in Australia, and numerous protests in America. Further, he does (correctly, for potentially the first time in the article) state that the officer is serving 12 years in prison. He does not, however, compare this with police conviction rates for Aboriginal deaths in Australia - a stark 0%.

Peter Gleesons’ piece is written in an attempt to divide and racially offend. The article is full of racial slurs and biased information. In the 21st century, we cannot have our media publishing articles that are not fact checked and read as if from the 1940s.

This petition calls for Peter Gleeson to be released from all journalistic positions at Sky News, The Courier Mail and The Daily Telegraph. Australia deserves a higher journalistic integrity than Peter Gleeson.