Thursday, 4 June 2015

Racism: Australia Is Full of It

Adam Goodes

This week, Aussie footballer Adam Goodes was told off by TV commentator Eddie McGuire for performing an aboriginal battle dance to celebrate a goal during an official Australian battle dance of a type commonly referred to as football.
Sometime last year, police came by our house looking for a couple of guys who stole from a nearby supermarket and, according to the police, attacked a worker there. Only that throughout this affair and even after the criminals were caught – eventually, one of those guys turned out to be hiding behind our own garbage bins – these were no “guys”. They were no “men”. They were no “people”. They were “abos” [aboriginals].
Earlier this week I have seen three old women, heavily clad in winter coats and umbrellas, cross a road in one of those safe crossing places. You know, the special pedestrian crossings where a car isn’t allowed to go as long as there’s someone on the crossing. Not once but twice did cars cross the crossing, at relatively high speeds, and awfully near the women. I have never seen such a display at a special road crossing before. Did I mention the women were all Chinese looking?
Yesterday, as I was getting into my car together with my son, I noticed something strange on the car next to me. The mother, grandmother and baby have left their lunch, an unopened Coke can (not Diet!), iPhone and wallet on the roof of their station wagon and were now ready to drive away. Instinctively, I ran towards them. The mother saw me coming; the look on her face, as she was staring at me, was the utterly terrified type. As far as her facial expression was concerned, I was coming to burn her alive and do the same to her baby. The grandmother eventually figured my intentions out, and I even got a feeble “thanks”.

Racism is rife in Australia.
On its own, that shouldn't be a surprise. If you think about it, it's not that long ago that White Australia was the name of the game. Nor was it that long ago that aboriginals were herded through laws not that different to that of the famous South African apartheid. Just like the legalisation of gay marriage will not cure Australia from anti LGBT discrimination, the fact those racial policies got deactivated does not make the racism behind them disappear.
The problem is in the way we let racism invade our day to day lives today. We elect Prime Ministers on the basis of their racist promises. TV presenters can acquire celebrity status and rise up their industry’s food chain despite, or perhaps, because, of their racist views. Popular football club presidents can achieve and maintain their status despite their racism.
We got to put a stop to it. We got to stand up to it. We can all make a difference on this matter, be it when we stand up to the racism we encounter in our daily lives or when we vote.


Image by Michael Coghlan, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) licence

1 comment:

wile.e.coyote said...

Is the racism also felt by people that are coming from the UK, or only by middle east dudes?
Usually you don't feel different in an immigrant country as Canada or Australia.
In Australia 28% of the total population were born outside Australia, so it is getting tiring to hate so many people.