by Emma Reynolds
SUNRISE is facing a backlash after a discussion on taking Aboriginal children out of abusive family environments sparked accusations of "blatant racism" and "bottom feeding".
The controversial chat on the Channel 7 breakfast show came after children's minister David Gillespie's proposal white families should be able to adopt indigenous children to save them from rape, assault and neglect.
Currently, they can only be placed with relatives or other Aboriginal families.
Sunrise host Samantha Armytage said: "Post-Stolen Generation, there's been a huge move to leave Aboriginal children where they are, even if they're being neglected in their own families."
A Minister has suggested that white families be allowed to adopt abused aboriginal children to save them from rape, assault and neglect.— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) March 12, 2018
Does he make a good point? pic.twitter.com/zkUNfDUi4s
Panellist Prue MacSween said removing the kids was a "no-brainer" and that there was a "conspiracy of silence and fabricated PC outlook that it's better to leave them in this dangerous environment."
MacSween, who was previously criticised for saying Yassmin Abdel-Magied should be run over, added: "Don't worry about the people who decry and handwring and say, this will be another Stolen Generation.
"Just like the first Stolen Generation, where a lot of children were taken because it was for their wellbeing, we need to do it again, perhaps."
Brisbane radio host Ben Davis said Mr Gillespie's proposal was simply spelling out "what a lot of politicians are afraid to say."
Davis said doubts over taking this step were "politically correct nonsense" and claimed Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine had called it "madness".
"We need to be protecting kids, we need to be protecting Aboriginal kids and putting them back into that culture, what culture are they growing up seeing?" asked Davis. "Well, they're getting abused, they're getting hurt and they're getting damaged."
Armytage wrapped up the segment by saying, "let's hope some sense prevails there."
@sunriseon7 is someone going to be held responsible for the appalling comments made during this incredibly offensive and nationally shameful piece of breakfast television?— Emma Pegrum (@emma_pegrum) March 13, 2018
But social media users were disturbed by the discussion, with the chat attracting a stream of comments calling it "paternalistic racist BS", "vile" and "a new low".
Some viewers claimedthe panellists were advocating "forced assimilation" without looking at other solutions such as better foster care or support from family case workers.
Angelo Angeli tweeted: "Sorry to inform you that the 1st of April is over two weeks away."
Many viewers asked why there were no indigenous voices on the panel.
James Dean, an Aboriginal ABC Alice Springs reporter, wrote: "I see the horrible conditions some of these kids live in. But the suggestion that ONLY white families should take them, is a terrible inference that suddenly EVERY Aboriginal family is bad.
"Also the reference at the end it the video that Warren Mundine supports the idea, incorrect as well, Mundine does not support white families taking in abused Aboriginal children, he agrees with the consensus that these children need to be removed from these abusive environments."
A spokesperson for Seven told Fairfax Media: "Editorial opinions, either written or articulated are a vital part of journalism.
"At all times on Sunrise, respect for others and their values and opinions is a foundation principle in debates.
"The issue raised by the page one article in today's newspapers around the country warranted a discussion in a fair and reasonable forum, as undertaken by social commentators Prue MacSween and Ben Davis."
No? This is one of the justifications behind the stolen generation!!! This is blatantly racist, why even ask if he makes a good point. You should know better Sunrise.— Alex Massey (@angry_pidgey) March 12, 2018