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TOM URBANIAK: Jaime Battiste needs to reassure us

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16.10.2019

On Oct. 4, we learned about some of Sydney-Victoria Liberal candidate Jaime Battiste’s social media postings from 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016, when he was already an established professional in his thirties.

Among other things, Battiste joked about being tempted to commit sexual assault and about drunk driving. He insulted Indigenous women and Chinese people, used unrepeatable expletives to refer to women’s bodies, and showed himself happily sporting a large hammer and sickle, symbols of an evil regime that killed or uprooted tens of millions of people (including members of my extended family).

This vulgarity was not contained to one posting, but dispersed over multiple messages.

I was sad about the revelations. I do not know Jaime Battiste personally, but I know of him and some of his work. And I have understood him to be a person of intellect and achievement. I was very happy to see his candidacy.

I don’t believe in “gotcha” politics or in defining people by their mistakes. People change. People can recover after meltdowns (if that’s what happened here). Voters can and do accept sincere apologies.

Forgiveness is part of my personal ethic, and I perceive the same........

© The Journal Pioneer