Yes vote supporter and social commentator Jane Caro has defended a controversial tweet after she received backlash for claiming ‘white people have never been the victims of racism’.
The TV personality made the comment in response to an op-ed criticising Noel Pearson and a speech he delivered in support of the Voice last Wednesday.
Sky News host Rowan Dean accused Mr Pearson of ‘race-baiting’ and suggesting ‘white Northern European Anglos are different’, labelling the speech ‘offensive’.
He then called on the Race Discrimination Commissioner to call out the Yes campaigner, sharing his op-ed in a scathing post on social media platform X.
Ms Caro, who is a Walkley award winner and Member of the Order of Australia (AM), lashed out at the Sky News host with her own post on Monday.
‘White people have never been the victims of racism in Australia,’ Ms Caro wrote.
‘Nor are they likely to be in the future, Voice or no Voice. This kind of cynical sophistry is cruel & utterly disingenuous.’
TV personality and Yes vote supporter Jane Caro (pictured) claimed white people have never been or will never be the victims of racism
Ms Caro was responding to comments by Sky News host Rowan Dean critical of a speech by Yes campaigner Noel Pearson (pictured)
Despite receiving a barrage of negative comments from social media users, Ms Caro told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday she stands by her comment.
‘The stats are unequivocal. No group in Australia has suffered the systemic racism that Indigenous Australians have and, despite occasional exceptions, that remains true,’ Ms Caro said.
‘Also, the group doing the discriminating – whether against Jews (my family heritage is Jewish), Italians, Greeks or Lebanese are always white people.’
Ms Caro added discrimination in Australia has ‘always’ been at the hands of ‘white people’ with Indigenous Australians suffering ‘almost exclusively’.
‘Systemic discrimination in Australia always been from white people to people of colour,’ Ms Caro said.
‘There may have been instances of discrimination against new arrivals when we had a white Australia policy (remember that) when we had to find paler outsiders to scapegoat.
‘But since that disappeared, its been POC (person of colour) almost exclusively and Indigenous Australians most of all.’
Social media users labelled Ms Caro’s comment as ‘untrue’, with many Aussies claiming they have suffered racism despite being considered ‘white’.
‘Sorry Jane but I am an Italian immigrant and I have been the victim of racism. I am white. My grandparents arrived in the late 60s. They have a few stories to tell about being racially vilified. They are also white,’ one wrote.
‘My dad a Greek immigrant was called a Wog every single day while working at the Railways throughout the 60s and 70s… last time I checked, Greeks are regarded as white,’ another commented.
‘My white mate grew up in Redfern and walked to school everyday and everyday he was called a ‘captain cook c***’… he was seven,’ a third added.
A fourth chimed: ‘My parents were/are called wogs in Australia. I am born here and I too am/have been called a wog.’
‘My children born in Aus from parents born in Aus have also been called wogs. Are you telling me wogs is a term of endearment or I’m not white.’
Another person added: ‘Hey Jane. Are Irish white? I don’t believe it was all roses when many immigrants turned up here over the years.’
In response to the backlash, Ms Caro (pictured) defended her comments to Daily Mail Australia claiming discrimination has ‘always’ been at the hands of ‘white people’ with Indigenous Australians suffering ‘almost exclusively’
Ms Caro has voiced her support for the referendum in the past after sharing an automated text message she received from Senator Jacinta Price in September.
The message urged recipients to vote No in the upcoming referendum before Ms Caro replied: ‘I will be voting Yes and you should be too.’
Mr Pearson had delivered his speech at the National Press Club last week.
He was questioned by a reporter how the Yes campaign’s message was being delivered in multicultural communities across the country.
‘I say to multicultural communities in the campaign that I am involved in around the country, I say to them, listen, where do you fit into Australia?’ Mr Pearson said.
‘Are you with the mob from the UK? Are you kind of honorary settlers? Because some of you are the wrong colour.
‘Or you don’t come from Northern Europe. You come from Africa, you come from Asia, you come from South America – you come from all over the joint. You come from China. I say to them, where do you fit in Australia?’
Mr Dean labelled Mr Pearson’s speech ‘offensive’ and ‘divisive’ after the Yes campaigner asked Aussies ‘where do you fit in Australia?’
In his op-ed written for the Spectator Australia, Dean claimed the speech ‘disturbed’ him and was deliberately ‘race-baiting’.
‘There was this little bit in particular which is race-baiting, is dividing the nation deliberately, is offensive in the extreme,’ Dean wrote.
‘Every one of us in Australia strives to make this the most successful, multiracial nation on Earth. How dare you – that was the most disgusting thing I have ever heard.’
The Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum will be held on October 14, with Aussies voting on whether on constitutional recognition of First Nations people and whether to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory body.
The Voice has caused heated debate between the Yes supporters and their No counterparts, with both campaigning for votes in the lead up to the referendum.
The Yes23 campaign has been accused of exploiting dirty tricks outside early voting centres by using almost identically-coloured signs to the Australian Electoral Commission.
Early voting for the Voice referendum kicked off in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria and West Australia on Monday ahead of the October 14 poll.
A picture taken outside a polling booth in Mildura Senior Citizens Club in Victoria, showed an official purple ‘voting centre’ sign sandwiched between two ‘Vote Yes’ signs using the same purple colouring and the same white lettering.
Pro-Voice supporters were also heard hurling vile abuse at No voters after a clash broke out at an anti-Voice rally on September 27.
Hundreds of angry Yes voters descended on the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane for an event featuring outspoken Indigenous No campaigners Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Warren Mundine.
The Voice has caused heated debate between the Yes supporters and their No counterparts, with both campaigning for votes in the lead up to the referendum (Yes23 supporters at a campaign in Brisbane on August 30)
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured far left with Noel Pearson (centre)) urged Yes and No supporters to remain respectful during debate over the Voice referendum
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urged Aussies on both sides of the Voice debate to remain respectful.
When asked whether he would still make the same commitment to hold the referendum if he had his time again, knowing now how ‘nasty and divisive’ the debate would become – Mr Albanese was emphatic.
‘Yes. Because when are we going to get this done (otherwise). It’s been 122 years,’ Mr Albanese told 2SM radio on September 20.
‘There’s provisions in the Constitution to allow New Zealand to be the seventh state of Australia, but there’s no acknowledgment of the first peoples of Australia.
‘This should not be controversial.’
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has pleaded with the Prime Minister to delay the ‘divisive’ referendum or to change the question put to voters.
Mr Dutton suggested the question should ask Australians to vote on Indigenous recognition without a constitutionally enshrined Voice.