Local indigenous people mobilised last year for a street march to protest against the lack of justice for the killer of Aboriginal youth Elijah Doughty.
Local indigenous people mobilised last year for a street march to protest against the lack of justice for the killer of Aboriginal youth Elijah Doughty. Tim Howard

OUR SAY: Time to rid the memory of a racist killer

WHATEVER the process is for changing the name of Coutts Crossing to end the celebration of a mass murderer, it should start now.

As DEX columnist Janelle Brown so eloquently explained on Wednesday, Thomas Coutts should be remembered not as a founder, but as a killer, who might have escaped the justice of his own race on a technicality, but was hounded out of the region by the survivors of his massacre.

In tomorrow's Daily Examiner we hear the views of a group of local indigenous people of all ages on this dreadful part of our history.

Tragically it was a common practice. At school I learned how poisoned flour and blankets used by smallpox patients were given to Aboriginal people in the Wollombi area of the Hunter Valley to exterminate them.

Why should we change a name after all these years?

Surely it's indefensible not to - as the moral arc of history swings away from an era where such murderous racism could escape punishment.

In the 170 years since Coutts's slaughter of 23 people there is still racism in our community - but no-one would tolerate a vicious killer going free.

Let's listen to the descendants of the people who had the good sense to rid the area of an enemy of the people. Their ideas might set us free from knowing we once had a killer in our midst and did nothing to get justice for his victims.


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