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‘Not black enough’: Ben Wyatt claims racism worse from ‘Black Lives Matter’ supporters

Mr Wyatt said the supporters of the protest thought he “was not black enough”.


He said people from the right based their views on a stereotype of what an Aboriginal person should be, while the left believed they were more Aboriginal than he was.

“Recent activities, whether it be Black Lives Matter or whatever, has escalated the social media trolling and racist abuse, and I think that’s what Ken was reflecting on,” Mr Wyatt said.

“I’ve had a long time in my life, and this is often from the left as well as the right, with people who have a view about what an Aboriginal person should be.”

But Mr Wyatt said he was not discouraged by the abuse.

“What I also get, and this outweighs the trolls, is a lot more support and positive commentary than I get negative,” he said.

Mr Wyatt, who has Yamatji heritage, was elected to WA Parliament in 2006.

Ken Wyatt, the federal Indigenous Australians Minister, said he was called a “token Indigenous member”, a “coconut”, and an “Uncle Tom” earlier this year for urging Black Lives Matter protesters to stay home and not risk the health and safety of the people they were marching to protect.

He said comments included: “You’re not black, Ken. You’re blue,” and: “Resign palm nut.”

“This was the response at the time to a government minister tasked with the advancement of Indigenous Australians and their safety during the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Wyatt told The West Australian’s Leadership Matters Conference.

“It demonstrates nothing other than division, tribalism, disempowerment and the slowing of progress right across the board.

“Be it the left of politics, the right of politics or anywhere in between – if you dare to think differently, do differently or question the norm, you are torn down.

“There is never one right answer; complex situations require the ability to test and question ourselves and the way in which we approach policy making and program delivery.”

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