A political cartoon portraying an Aboriginal man with a beer can and not remembering his son’s name is an “attack” on Indigenous Australians, a community leader says.
The cartoon by Bill Leak was published by The Australian newspaper on Thursday, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.
Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency chief executive Muriel Bamblett said it depicted Aboriginal people as “not knowing about their children and not having any role in raising their children”.
“You feel quite oppressed when these things happen, I think that we everyday have to battle with direct racism and indirect racism,” she told 774 ABC Melbourne.
“In the media, I think they have a public responsibility. That’s obviously one of the opportunities to get good messaging about Aboriginal people.
“But if you’re constantly stereotyping us as second class then it’s about profiling us as second-class citizens in our own country.”
Ms Bamblett said she would speak with outgoing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda about the cartoon.
“I’m going to ring Mick Gooda later today … and talk to him about how we can actually take some action to stop this kind of constant attack on Aboriginal people because most Australians would not condone that,” she said.
“Most people would stand behind Aboriginal people and support Aboriginal people.”
In 2006, one of Leak’s cartoons sparked controversy between the Australian and Indonesian governments over West Papua.
The Australian Press Council confirmed it had received a complaint about the cartoon.
The Australian has been contacted for comment.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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