What's interesting about the story is the way it was covered in the Melbourne Herald Sun by reporter Paul Kent. The story had the subheading "Hooper fighting for culture, country" and quoted Hooper as saying in defence of his actions,
I'm an Aboriginal representing my culture - not only my country, but all my people as well. I'm very proud.
Paul Kent then observes,
Cathy Freeman had to receive authorisation before doing a lap of honour with the Aboriginal and Australian flags after winning gold in Sydney in 2000.
Much like Freeman, Hooper's action was a celebration, driven by a love.
So when it comes to Aborigines, a sense of ethnic pride and solidarity is a good thing, one that is motivated by love of one's people.
But let's say a white Australian expressed similar sentiments about his own people. Would the story be reported the same way?
It wouldn't. Such a person would be accused of being a supremacist, motivated by fear or hatred, rather than by a love of his own tradition.
Liberal modernity can at the same time view a connection to people and place as a highly significant good for one group of people and condemn the same thing as a moral outrage for another group.