Malcolm Turnbull’s Son Got Dragged For Starting Beef With Briggs Over Reconciliation Week

Turnbull's entire argument seemed to come from thinking Briggs was an actual, elected politician.

Briggs Reconciliation

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Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s son, Alex is in the spotlight this week after piping up with a Reconciliation Week take that nobody asked for. On Monday, Turnbull replied to Yorta Yorta rapper and writer Briggs via Twitter, ahead of the annual series of events which runs from May 27 through to June 3.

National Reconciliation Week is described by peak body Reconciliation Australia as a “time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Briggs had originally tweeted “Reconciliation is for white people. You’re the ones who need to reconcile”.

The replies came for Turnbull after he challenged and invalidated an Indigenous person’s lived experience, and derailed a nuanced reflection of reconciliation as appeasement.

“[T]his framing is not helpful,” Turnbull replied to Briggs. “Many layers to power structures – a neo (did it ever end?) squattocracy, the the white-boys-who-have-kompromat-on-each-other club in Canberra that mutually enforces silence on sex abuse, addiction, the list goes on.”

Turnbull also appeared to think that the artist, whose username is ‘Senator Briggs’, is a real, elected politician.

“I’d like to congratulate [Prime Minister Scott Morrison] on his forthcoming victory in the October election,” Turnbull tweeted back to Briggs.

“I’ll get terrible mentions for this but if you don’t win elections nothing changes. Maybe the point of tweets like this is to establish a boundary within the left to leverage power despite never winning office?”

Briggs’ point is not new, but part of a growing conversation that reconciliation isn’t enough if the same unaddressed injustices are taking place to this day.

“In South Africa, they had truth and reconciliation, yet in Australia we only have reconciliation, no truth,” actor Ernie Dingo said in 2010.

“I don’t oppose it, I just don’t support it,” writer Luke Pearson wrote about Reconciliation Week in 2019 for IndigenousX. “More specifically, I don’t care about it. I don’t care about the idea of white Australia and Indigenous Australia being friends, or walking across bridges together.”

“Maybe instead of working out how we can all get along by pretending that we already do all get along, we can focus on systemic changes that might facilitate such relationships in future being built on equal power dynamics.”

At a Sydney Sorry Day protest yesterday, Gomeroi woman Gwenda Stanley told the crowd that reconciliation celebrations take away from tangible action to stop blak deaths in custody and forcible child removals.

“How long does it take for us to be reconciling in this country? Stolen land, stolen lives, stolen wealth,” she said.

Briggs ended the debate with a throwback to Malcolm Turnbull’s own weasley takes with Briggs. Like father, like son!