Every crim has their reasons, but please spare us the sob story

If you are too scared to ask hard questions, then you should question your education, or your maturity.

Warren Mundine says this – and much more – in his own elegant, nuanced way in today’s Herald Sun: “If people don’t uphold and enforce the nation’s laws because of a fear of being called names they’re in the wrong job…”

He was referring to the recent tragic case of a two-year old Aboriginal girl who was allegedly raped by an Aboriginal man in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, and the child protection system that failed her.

Despite having the ear of the Prime Minister, I suspect Mundine is made of tough stuff. He needs to be; especially in light of the comprehensive pitch-forking he faced on social media today. As lamentable as that was to witness, I suspect Mundine has experienced so much unjust, vitriolic misrepresentation of his views that he’s now impervious to its personally offensive aspects. One of the most reductive forums on which to discuss cases such as this is talkback radio, which thrives on courting extreme views and confrontation. But when I hear the rejection of reason implicit in attacks on people like Mundine, who has always struck me as a reasonable voice on aboriginal affairs, it makes me afraid and angry.

We all know every crim has a sob story.  But any attempt to suggest one scumbag raping a child is somehow any different to another scumbag raping a child should be met with utter derision.

Finding causes and excuses has its purpose. But if we could see the neurons firing away in the brain of any abuser, rapist, or murderer’s head, we’d doubtless be able to find some cause or excuse. Everyone does what they do for some reason or other, because of some history or brain chemistry or circumstance.

Non-indigenous men who abuse children have all sorts of justifications as to why they do so, and this is correctly dismissed as excuse-making. It is time to start treating perpetrators of child rape whether indigenous or non-indigenous as the violent criminals they are. These crimes are not a logical response to poverty, dysfunction or social disadvantage: it is an inexcusable, heinous crime.

Let’s not excuse the perpetrators of such monstrous acts further by painting them as the victims.