Undoubtedly you are reading this article because of the header.
I guess it was a trick I learnt early in my life as the daughter of the famed tabloid journalist Brian Hogben, whose daily mantra when he edited the Daily Mirror newspaper was “Well we beat the Sun (the Mirror’s opposition newspaper) by 150,000 today”. My dad had a propensity for splattering large black type all over a front page with a headline that screamed at you.
A bit like this one really.
But why would I write a headline like this one? One that will surely cause me incredible problems with all of my friends being insulted and everyone inevitably telling me what they think of me personally as a result?
Its because it is quite true.
I actually started writing this article before I had heard that Eddie McGuire, who has had a long career as a television presenter and a long association with Australian Rules Football and is a very public Australian figure, had taken up where the thirteen year old girl of my previous post had left off.
McGuire, simply put, made more disparaging references to Adam Goodes the Aboriginal player who was subjected to a racial taunt by a thirteen year old girl football fan. McGuire runs the Collingwood (Magpies) football club of which the girl is a supporter.
Now I am not a fan of Eddie McGuire but as the president of the ‘Pies he was the first person to formally apologise to Goodes after the incident involving the racial slur. To me and most of the general public that gesture appeared to mean McGuire was truly sympathetic to the “No Room For Racism” campaign that has been recently initiated by sports bodies across Australia.
In fact, to many, McGuire might appear innocuous and indeed has fallen over himself to declare he meant no harm to Goodes when he continued the racial slur. In a scene that sounded reminiscent of the famed Fawlty Towers episode “The Germans” where the character played by John Cleese was adjured to “not mention the war” McGuire dug himself deeper into the hole of insulting behaviour.
This blog was to be about core racism. Thats the notion that if you vilify someone in someway and then scuttle away to apologise for it…how many times have you heard the phrase, ‘Oh I can say that (the insult) because my best friend is a ____’ You can fill in the blanks here with Aborigine, Muslim, Indian, Jewish, Chinese or Gay….that its still racism.
Fortunately for me today McGuire has illustrated the point perfectly. As has Delta Goodrem (The Voice) and Darryl Summers (Hey Hey Its Saturday) in the past. Both of these latter examples seemed to think that someone dressing up in ‘blackface’ was completely acceptable harmless fun in Australia even though the antecedents of this practice have a particularly nasty and sometimes violent association in America. Does that mean if you are black in Australia then you are not meant to be offended?
According to Mia Freedman however its all “batshit crazy” to think anyone would be offended by such harmless fun. Bit like McGuire implying that he thought it hilarious that Adam Goodes should do publicity for King Kong three days after one of McGuire’s Collingwood fans called Goodes an “ape”.
Oh such jolly japes to be had if you are white in Australia.
Until people stop and actually think about what it is they mean when they make any kind of disparaging comment about another human being then we will be living with racism forever. Until public figures actually COMPREHEND what it is they are presenting to people as acceptable then we will be doomed to repeat the atrocities of the past.
And until we can rid ourselves of the temptation to say something that we must predicate with ‘Oh some of my best friends are…” then we can’t possibly be rid of racism.
Todays photo is a cat photo. Its the first one ever. They are black and white though and it doesn’t seem to make a difference to them….