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Indigenous groups say the Voice referendum has opened up a ‘tsunami of racism’

Indigenous groups say the Voice referendum has opened up a ‘tsunami of racism’

They said 'this campaign went beyond just racism'.

Indigenous groups who supported the Voice to Parliament referendum have broken their week-long silence.

After the referendum failed to pass on October 14, these groups said they would spend some time reflecting on the devastating result.

Aussies voted on whether they wanted to enshrine First Nations people in the Constitution as well as whether they would want an advisory body that would consult the government on issues that pertained to them.

The No side was victorious after 60 per cent of the country voted for that option.

Fairfax Media via Getty Images/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images

“In refusing our peoples’ right to be heard on matters that affect us, Australia chose to make itself less liberal and less democratic,” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attached to the Uluru Dialogue group said in a joint statement.

“Our right to be heard continues to exist both as a democratic imperative for this nation and as our inherent right to self-determination.”

They also slammed political parties that campaigned hard for the no vote.

“The proposal was tracking 60 per cent support compared to 40 per cent opposition for several years until the National and Liberal parties preferred wanton political damage over support for some of this country’s most disadvantaged people,” they added.

“There was little the yes campaign could do to countervail this.”

Indigenous groups say the referendum has unleashed a 'tsunami of racism' at them and it was all due to dirty tactics from the other side.

"Lies in political advertising and communication were a primary feature of this campaign," the statement added.

"We know that the No campaign was funded and resourced by conservative and international interests who have no stake or genuine interest in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

"We know this funding supported multiple No campaigns that intentionally argued in varying directions to create doubt and fear in both non-Indigenous and Indigenous communities.

"This included resurrecting scare campaigns seen during the 1990s against land rights, but the scale of deliberate disinformation and misinformation was unprecedented, and it proliferated, unchecked, on social media, repeated in mainstream media and unleashed a tsunami of racism against our people.

They added: "There has always been racism against First Nations people in Australia. It increased with multiple daily instances during the campaign and was a powerful driver for the No campaign.

"But this campaign went beyond just racism. 'If you don't know - Vote No' gave expression to ignorance and licensed the abandonment of civic responsibility on the part of many voters who voted No."

Featured Image Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images. James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Topics: Australia