NSW Police have deleted a post on their official Facebook page after some members of the public apparently became increasingly racist when it was suggested by others that the post was glorifying a ‘genocidal maniac’ responsible for the murders of countless Indigenous peoples in Australia.
The post was put up on Facebook in the afternoon of Monday, February 13 in a bid to seek public help in apprehending the person, or, people responsible for defacing a memorial and statue of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in Windsor, in Sydney’s west.
Spray paint had been used to write the words ‘murderer’ and ‘anti-col’ among others while a number of Aboriginal flags were also painted upon the statue located inside McQuade Park. Red paint was also poured over parts of the monument.
It is believed the ‘redecorating’ occurred sometime between 5pm on Sunday, February 12 and 11am the following day.
NSW Police then took to social media in an attempt to shame the culprits.
“Governor Macquarie was the fifth Governor of New South Wales and has a historical significance to the region,” Chief Inspector Garry Sims, from the Hawkesbury Local Area Command, said in the Facebook post.
“This memorial is a tribute to his leading role and influence between 1810 and 1821.
“Police will investigate until those responsible are caught.”
But if police were expecting the public to help them, they were sorely mistaken with much of the response consisting of social media users providing a history lesson in the violence and dispossession suffered by Indigenous people at the hands of Governor Macquarie and other colonialist leaders.
“Macquarie was a genocidal maniac, should have been hanged for war crimes,” one Facebook user wrote to 50 ‘likes’.
“How about they just remove the statue of the genocidal maniac?” another suggested.
Others, meanwhile, claimed that the police force still shared similar racist sentiments that Governor Macquarie once espoused: “NSW Police; still defending the colonial, genocidal, racists – 200 years on. How utterly and depressingly predictable.”
There were also compliments about the handiwork of those behind the alleged vandalism:
“Looks better than the original to me. Much more accurate, with all that blood on his hands and the label of murderer for anyone who was confused about whether or not he deserves to be admired,” a Facebook user wrote.
Bizarrely, a few hours later, the entire post and all the related comments had been removed and deleted from the NSW Police Facebook page.
True Crime News Weekly sent NSW Police a number of questions on why the post had seemingly been deleted within a day.
A police spokesperson said the post was actually removed not because of the comments criticising Governor Macquarie’s historical legacy but because of a growing number of racist statements made on the post.
“Specifically, the comments were increasingly racist, bullying and villifying certain groups of the community and these were completely unacceptable. This is a part of the NSWPF social media policy that such comments are removed,” a police spokesperson told True Crime News Weekly.
“The appeal was also posted to the NSW Police Twitter account and … website and both remain live on these sites.”
Most historians and academics are now in agreement that a genocidal war against the Indigenous population was covertly launched by Governor Macquarie and his supporters sometime between 1814-1816.
“On any occasion of seeing or falling in with the Natives, either in bodies or singly, they are to be called on, by your friendly Native Guides, to surrender themselves to you as Prisoners of War,” Governor Macquarie wrote in his instructions to a Captain Shaw of the 46th Regiment in what would later become known as the Hawkesbury-Nepean War.
“If they refuse to do so, make the least show of resistance, or attempt to run away from you, you will fire upon and compell them to surrender, breaking and destroying the spears, clubs, and waddies of all those you take Prisoners. Such Natives as happen to be killed on such occasions, if grown up men, are to be hanged up on trees in conspicuous situations, to strike the Survivors with the greater terror. On all occasions of your being obliged to have recourse to offensive and coercive measures, you will use every possible precaution to save the lives of the Native Women and Children, but taking as many of them as you can Prisoners.”
It is thought that about 50,000 or more Indigenous people were killed in the ‘Frontier Wars’ between 1788, when the English first claimed Australia under the false pretence of terra nullius (nobody’s land), and 1934.
NSW Police have confirmed that the vandals still remain at large.