Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Obama Boots Indigenous Elder for Being ‘Difficult’ at Australia Event

'I am 78 years of age. I have never been treated or spoken to in this way in the past... '

(Abdul–Rahman Oladimeji Bello, Headline USA) The Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Traditional owners have expressed displeasure with Barack Obama as his event organizers kicked out an Elder who was to perform a traditional welcome protocol from his event. 

The Daily Wire reported that this Wurundjeri elder, Aunty Joy Murphy, expressed shock and distress about how the event organizers treated her at the former president’s program in Melbourne on Wednesday. 

“I am 78 years of age. I have never been treated or spoken to in this way in the past,” said Murphy. “Again, I do not want this to be a reflection on President Obama. I am a leader of the Wurundjeri Nation. I asked to be treated as an equal.”

The report noted that the Elder and Traditional Owner had depressed excitement to be able to perform the traditional “Welcome to Wurundjeri Land” at this event, just as she had been doing for visiting leaders. 

The report added that the Traditional Owner had performed this greeting for visiting leaders. This included the late Queen Elizabeth II, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, as she has been welcoming people to the country for over four decades. 

In a report from the National Indigenous Times, she asked the organizers for accommodation for a support person and to give Obama a gift according to traditions. However, Growth Faculty organizers removed her from the event.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the organizers escorted Murphy out of this event on claims that she was being “too difficult.”

A spokesperson for the organizers released a statement to The Guardian where they claimed to have apologized to the elder for kicking her out of the event.

“Growth Faculty had been working with Aunty Joy and the Wurundjeri community for many weeks ahead of last night’s event,” the statement reads.

“Due to security requirements, the organization was unable to accommodate last minute changes to the agreed upon ceremony,” the spokesperson added. “Growth Faculty has apologized to Aunty Joy that last night’s ceremony could not be changed.”

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