Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Don't you go writing what I said about those Abos."

How is this even possible? Has Mal Brown been living in a big plastic bubble in an attic somewhere? Can he read?

I love Australia to death and I'm all too aware that this kind of attitude exists all over the world and in some places it's much worse. But still, sometimes living in this country simply fills me with shame.

14 comments:

Ampersand Duck said...

*sigh*

Casey said...

Look, what sickens me is this stuff about "uneducated" and "ignorant" and "didn't understand the impact of", "from another era", as if these things immediately neutralise, as if intent is watered down, as if "that's okay then, they don't know what they are doing". Ignorance and lack of education is just not this space of nothingness. Haebich has argued that it takes as much intent not to learn things, as it does to learn things. She questions the discourses which formulate ignorance, or not knowing - discourses as powerful as those which create knowledge.

phillhunt said...

Hi SLWC,
Long time lurker, first time poster.

Two things that I noticed about this from the reports on the early news.

Firstly there where lots of comments along the lines of "twenty years ago this would have been acceptable". Wait. Really? Would it have been? I'm mid forties now and I can't really remember a time when that sort of comment would have or should have been accepted.

Secondly, it struck me in the audio on the news this morning how many people seemed to think Mr Brown's comments were uproariously funny. Are these the same that are now coming out saying that his remarks were way off?

Bernice said...

After having just spent 4 days at Dreaming Festival in Qld, among a non-Indigenous audience you would hope would... well you know, be OK... you know, not like, totally gauche... shame doesn't cover it.

seepi said...

He said the usual 'I apologise to anyone I've offended' as well. Instead of owning the fact that what he was was in fact completely offensive, not just shocking to some delicate pc flowers.

But I'm no shocked - this is sport after all. It is tragic that Indigenous people are so incredibly talented at sport, yet it seems like such a dire world for them to enter into.

In a similar vein, on national tv news this week the sport reporter talked about the Timana Tahu / Joey Johns racism issue (where coach Johns referred to black players as 'black cu@@s'), and said 'normally this sort of thing would be dealt with by the two of them shaking hands, and having a laugh and moving on,' and implied that Tahu was ridiculous for complaining.

Obviously the 'normal' way of dealing with racism in sport has not had much effect as yet.

Barbara Temperton said...

Ditto *sigh*

Lefty E said...

What's puzzling me is why now, and why so many? Its like every ball-kicking halfwit has decided its racism and homophobia week.

Anonymous said...

My friend and I went to a showing of "The First Australians" at the State Library last week. It was excellent and educational. The auditorium holds aout 100 people but we were the only ones there. What apathy!

seepi said...

I think these ball games must melt their brains.

This line struck me as funny. It comesat the end of a story about the Qantas head's resignation over inappropriate conduct to a young female employee.

Qantas made him resign, effective immediately, and he himself acknowledges that his behaviour was totally inappropriate.

Then the last line of the article says:
Meanwhile, Sydney Roosters chairman Nick Politis said yesterday Mr McInnes would stay on the football club board, adding: "Mark's behaviour has always been of an exemplary standard."

They have different standards in football.

Anonymous said...

It's important to correct Seepi's comment above - it was not the CEO of Qantas as he says. Mark McInnes is CEO of David Jones.
Shows how rumours circulate in the ether but more importantly how important it is for the credibility of your blog (which is one of the better ones) to correct misleading information.

Eric Sykes said...

Racism is everywhere of course. But yes, Australia has much more than its fair share. I travel a lot, and I hafta spend a lot of time explaining the good things about this country, since internationally we are seen as one of the worst countries in the world for it. And we continue to pander to it, and excuse it, and laugh about it and generally think "she'll be right once we all get down the pub together". Which of course relies on black people being allowed into the pub in the firast place.

Mitzi G Burger said...

Out here in small town, country Australia, there are, sadly, truckloads of ignorance, the rich manure in which racism grows.

Feral Sparrowhawk said...

That Mal Brown is a thug and a halfwit is not really news. What is disturbing is that so many people laughed, and apparently no one walked out. Add to that Dipper's comments. No one has ever thought he was the brightest of sparks, but I didn't think he was a bigot either.

Nigel said...

Somehow I grew up (mostly under Hawke) believing that Australia was a progressive and open-minded and accepting nation. Now I realise that I was deluded - in some ways we could be considered South Africa's twin sister. Except we're the twin who pretends we're someone we're not.