Co-architect of Voice to Parliament Marcia Langton says her No camp ‘racism’ comments were ‘misreported’

Co-architect of Voice to Parliament Marcia Langton says her No camp ‘racism’ comments were ‘misreported’
  • PublishedSeptember 13, 2023

The co-architect of the Voice to Parliament says comments she made have been misreported and didn’t call No voters racist but rather believes tactics by the No camp are “based in racism and stupidity”. 

Professor Marcia Langton said she was responding to a voter’s question at a regional West Australian forum about whether Indigenous Australians would be entitled to compensation if the Voice referendum passes.

Her comments were originally reported in the Bunbury Herald and The Australian, where she said her comments had been “misreported” and had inaccurate headlines.

Ms Langton said the reporting and headlines suggested her comments were about No voters when rather they were with regards to No campaigners.

“The claims made [by] the No campaign are based in racism and stupidity and that’s a completely different kind of statement altogether,” she told Radio National.

“I’m not the only person who has noticed that the No campaign is using fear over fact to frighten Australians into voting No.” 

Yesterday, the ABC obtained a training video of No volunteers who were told to refrain from identifying themselves as being from the No camp when cold calling to avoid “scaring people”.

The script provided by Advance Australia, the organisation representing the No camp, included a line that the designers of the Voice “want to use [it] to push for compensation and reparations through a treaty”.

‘I have not misinterpreted Professor Langton’s remarks’: Ley

On Tuesday during Question Time, Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley asked Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney about Professor Langton’s comments, citing them from both papers. 

“Moments before Question Time, the Australian and the Bunbury Herald reported Professor Marcia Langton has accused No voters of opposing the referendum because of, “Base racism or sheer stupidity.” Will the Minister for Indigenous Australians condemn Professor Langton’s comments?” Ms Ley said.

The original quote from Professor Langton referred to the No case. 

“I don’t think she was talking about the tactics of the No campaign … she said the arguments at the heart of the No campaign,” Ms Ley said today. 

Ms Ley also described Ms Langton’s comments as “un-Australian” and denied she had misquoted her comments. 

“I have not misinterpreted Professor Langton’s remarks,” she said. 

“She is not talking about tactics, she is talking about racism and stupidity being at the heart of the No campaign.

“Her defence seems to be that she’s not saying that people who vote No are racist or stupid … she’s saying the arguments they use are racist and stupid. 

“I would refer everyone to look at those remarks and feel that level of insult for themselves.”

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton took to Instagram to today post a photograph of Marcia Langton with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese using the headline from The Australian that read “No Voters Branded ‘Racist, Stupid’ By Prominent Voice Campaigners Marcia Langton”. 


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