Chrenkoff or Jerkoff? or the one in which I became a hashtag

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So last night, both on here and on the Spectator blog I took to task an overenthusiastic contributor to Techly, and by extension two panelists on Monday night’s Q&A, who supposedly singlehandedly and in a space of one minute “destroyed every argument against section 18C”. As you can guess, I didn’t share either Techly’s or the panelists’ enthusiasm or conclusions.

Today I have been taken to task by one of the young panelists for “defaming [her] intelligence” in regards a minor point I made about her maths skills:

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My bad; Nakkiah does know her math and I’ll never again rely on Techly as my source. This is how Techly reported it:

First up, playwright Nakkiah Lui made the excellent point that 18C won’t ever directly impact the lives of ordinary Australians.

There were only 2318 complaints made last year related to breaches of The Racial Discrimination Act. So, as Lui explains, ”

What we’re saying is, we’re looking at changing an entire law for less than 0.001% [of the population], so to say that this is an issue that affects the majority of Australians, to say that this is something that’s on the tips of the tongues of every single Australian – is not correct.

Here’s my snarky comment:

(Nikkiah is a playwright not a mathematician, so she’s off by 1000 per cent – 2318 out of a population of 23 million is 0.01 per cent, not 0.001. Also, the number of same-sex couples increases at a slow over the years, while she talks about the number of complaints per year. So over, say, ten years, the number of people dragged in front of the Human Rights Commission will start approaching the number of same sex couples – so she might actually be close to off by 10,000 per cent.)

And here is what Nakkiah actually said:

I do have some numbers. I did a little bit of research. I wrote it down because I’m an actor and a writer. This is not my forte. There were 2,388 complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission last year in regards to complaints made under the Racial Discrimination Act. Now, that’s not limited to Section 18C. That’s just under the Racial Discrimination Act. There’s 23.13 million people in Australia, that’s a 0.01%. 90% of those complaints got solved at the Australian Human Rights Commission level. 10% of those complaints didn’t. That’s not saying that it goes on to the court, to an adversarial process, that’s just saying it didn’t get solved at the Australian Human Rights Commission level. So what we’re saying is we’re looking at changing an entire law for less than 0.001%.

As I said, apologies to Nakkiah for “defaming [her] intelligence” regarding the ability to count.

This is, however, a minor point (hence the parentheses in my original post) – as I wrote yesterday it doesn’t actually matter what the precise number of those affected by the law is – 0.001 per cent, 0.01 per cent, 0.1 per cent, 1 per cent or 10 per cent – the law is either good or bad, and that depends on your normative judgment, not arithmetic. There have been and are bad laws that affect only small numbers of people, but that does not make these laws any less bad. I’m yet to hear any response to that point.

Reading Nakkiah’s tweet I was hopeful that I have finally made it and become a proper hashtag. Alas… She is the only one who has so far used it. I will even forgive her for misspelling my name – I would have preferred #ArthurChrenkoff instead of #ArthurChenkroff – as ethnics with difficult name no doubt we both get misspelled by those racists Anglos as often as each other.

I did, however, enjoy some of Nakkiah’s Twitter followers commenting, such as Robin Elizabeth who has come up with the definitive title for a profile piece that Techly might write about me one day:

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But by far my favourite was this from the anonymous Adrian B:

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It’s funny because it’s true.

So c’mon people, let’s get #ArthurChenkroff trending – it’s as close I will ever get to fame.

P.S. A rare archival photo of me invading Poland:
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