RACE STAND HAS DAMAGED GOODES
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Footy fans gasped as Adam Goodes stopped a major AFL match to point out a 13 year-old girl who had just called him an ape. He then pointed to two security men demanding she be evicted from the ground and she was, humiliated, crying and confused in front of a 60,000 gobsmacked crowd. Now when Adam gets the ball he’s booed, so what has he achieved?
An “Australian of the Year” award has only served to further anger those who lost respect for Goodes that day, while those who praised him gathered at the pub that night for a new round of Abo jokes.
Overt, humiliating racism has no place in any sport but neither should the public humiliation of a little girl who innocently copied the remarks of her parents and those around her.
Under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act Goodes has the right to not be offended but he has the intelligence to choose his moment... he chose a bad one.
Goodes took racial tolerance a step backward that day as clubs now hopelessly try to pinpoint those in their fan base responsible for the alarming increase in racist comments.
But is the right to not be offended the exclusive domain of Aborigines? What about Muslims, Poms, Greeks, Indians, and redheads?
Should talls and smalls (as commentators refer to them) also have a right to not be offended? Should a “small” be referred to as vertically challenged, a “bald” as follicly challenged?
The practice of Goodes and others of lifting their jumpers and pointing to the colour of their skin is surely provocative. Should white players do the same, or would that be racist?
Bloody hell, I played Aussie Rules against Aborigines until I was 47 and copped colourful descriptions from my opposing player of what he did with my white wife the previous night and I happily reciprocated with a lewd commentary on his black mother and sister. But after the game we always shook hands before heading to the pub for a beer.
An Aussie wicketkeeper in jest will racially sledge a West Indian batsman but it only becomes a “racist” remark if a mike picks it up. Only then are the media obliged to feign indignation in a fit of political incorrectness.
Many adjectives can precede the C bomb... black, white, fat, skinny, big, small, ugly. Does the right not to be offended apply only to colour?
Do umpires also have a right to not be offended? After all, they cop the worst of personal abuse and the AFL cannot evict 60,000 fans but it’s quite okay to evict a distraught little girl in front of 59,999 others.
Australians can be offensive but we are not racist. Aborigines have exactly the same, if not more, rights than we have. Section 18C says we are racist, and that’s what is likely to light a fire under real racism.
Adam Goodes has done an unintended disservice to his cause and I have acted illegally by discussing it.