Why does this The Age article about a brawl in St Kilda have to keep mentioning that the brawlers were of “African appearance”? Is it supposed to help us by highlighting that people of “African appearance” are more likely to brawl so we can avoid them? Or is it supposed to help us identify the brawlers to police, because their “African appearance” is a unique identifying feature?
I note that the Age published an article about a different brawl in Melbourne Central a few weeks ago which doesn’t mention anybody’s appearance at all. The people in that brawl did not look like they were “African appearance”; surely that is just as newsworthy as the “appearance” of the St Kilda brawlers.
And just what the heck is “African appearance” anyway? When I did an image search for “Moroccan people” they looked very different to when I did an image search for “Malian people“, and that’s only two countries over! What about a person from, say, Andaman islands? What “appearance” would they be?
Good news everybody! As reported by The Age, Greg Cummins, a white man, has survived Typhoon Haiyan.
The Age has followed this case quite closely, because the safety of a white man is obviously much more significant than the welfare of “non-white” people.
One Nation, the back-country bogan’s favourite political party, is back!
Unfortunately, they may not quite be ready. Stephanie Banister has put her foot in her mouth a little at this interview.
She says that Channel 7 used fancy editing to make her look like an idiot. And I have no doubts that a commercial news network would twist a quote or two around to spice up a story. But you can’t exactly Photoshop a Mona Lisa from a stick figure – you need something to work with.
The worst part about her racism is how uneducated it is. If you are going to:
a) be passionate about something (such as racism, GLBTQI rights, religion, the role of the nobility in agrarian cultural revolution); and
b) proselytise your views
then you have a responsibility to at least do some basic research first! It’s one thing to be a racist because you aren’t sure why but your dad always hated those bloody foreign bastards and everyone knows the abos are just a bunch of drunks who don’t want to work and those curry munchers are taking all the good jobs away from Aussies. Ignorance like that is sad, but at least you are keeping it mostly to yourself.
But to stand up in front of a nation and try and convince people to hold a view that you clearly don’t understand? Priceless! Do you know how many times I have been on TV trying to convince people that Australia should introduce a Keynesian economic system? None. And not because no TV show will have me (though they won’t), but because I have no idea what a Keynesian economic system is. In fact, we might already have one. Maybe we are getting one in 2016?
In a way idiocy like Ms Banister’s could be seen as a positive thing, because it highlights how ridiculous racism actually is. Let’s hope a few racists hear how stupid they sound and start to rethink their own views. At the very least, she has given us all the opportunity for a good laugh (albeit with mildly uncomfortable undertones).
It’s nice to see that racism is not completely dead in Australia.
Here is a photo I took today of a shop called Presents at Southland Shopping Centre in Cheltenham, Victoria:
And now for a dramatic close-up:
Some may argue that what is considered racist in other parts of the world may not necessarily be treated the same in Australia (remember this?). But even still, there are very few good arguments for using this as your mascot compared to the negatives.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for 30 years, you will be aware that society has long had issues with racism. It’s nice to imagine that we smart enough to know better, but that’s just a layer on top; subconsciously we are all racist.
Still, even though we know how much worse racism was in the past, it is still jarring to stumble across something so overtly and matter-of-factly racist as this, which I found in a National Geographic magazine from December 1916 (click to view full-size):
The relevant quote reads: “The aborigines of Australia are the lowest in intelligence of all human beings”.
If it’s any consolation, the author is long since dead (he died in 1952), his children (if he had any) are probably long dead, and their children (if they had any) are also probably dead.