‘The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.’ MALCOLM X
Now more than a decade into the 21st century I am still amazed, yet at the same time not really surprised at all, at the rot that flows from the mouths of privileged white people holding positions of influence in this country. I recently attended a Stan Grant Q&A at The Civic Theatre here in Newcastle during this year’s Writers Festival. When asked what he would say to someone like Kyle Sandilands should he be faced with him here today, Grant joked that the likes of Mr Sandilands wouldn’t have the intelligence to be attending a writing festival. The crowd was in hysterics, but it pointed to the sad truth that perhaps the people that needed to be hearing the wisdom and insight Stan Grant has to share were absent. Whilst holding such a powerful position to be able to positively influence the greater population, media main stayers like Kyle Sandilands continually lower the bar for the stupid things stupid white people say. Here’s a small collection that immediately come to mind.
‘All the flogs at uni reckon we invaded the joint… I’m not interested in who was here first and who did what, get over it, it’s 200 years ago.’- Kyle Sandilands (KIIS FM) 2016
In response to the UNSW’s Diversity Toolkit surrounding appropriate and inappropriate language to be used when discussing Australia’s history. He also went on to ask his audience to show him someone that was actually there when it happened. Only then would he acknowledge that a person could be directly affected by such an event.
‘We need stolen generations.’ – Alan Jones (2GB Radio) 2016
In agreeance with a caller unhappy with the pre-game celebrations at the 2016 National Rugby League Indigenous All Stars game and more specifically the minutes silence taken for stolen generations. The caller exclaimed on air that Aboriginal children were taken for their own welfare labelling it ‘A load of twaddle.’
‘Had we known before the game that Adam or the indigenous players were planning to do some sort of ‘war cry’, we could have been able to educate and understand the situation.” – Eddie McGuire (Channel 9) 2016
Left uncomfortable and rather unhappy, Eddie gives possibly one of the best examples of a white Australian male defining when and where it is appropriate for an Aboriginal Australian to be Aboriginal following an Adam Goodes post goal celebration. This was of course well publicised at the time dividing the Aussie Rules community. It should also be noted that this was in fact the nominated Indigenous Round of the 2015 AFL season, giving further levels of depth to Mr McGuire’s stupidity. Search Charlie Pickering’s ‘The Weekly’ sketch on You Tube – he tears him apart like a hot chook.
‘If you’re now calling Adam Goodes a spear chucker you’d be called a racist, when he has actually done the spear throwing as part of his act.’ – Derryn Hinch (Sky News) 2015
What? This one is so astounding I can barely manage a response. Again in the wake of the Adam Goodes post goal celebration saga Hinch announces himself equally stupid as he is racist.
‘Go back to the bush and eat witchity grubs and yams. Stop painting your face with white shit in parliament. Other than being a runner you are nothing.’ – Chris Nelson (Central Coast Chiropractor) 2016
Dissatisfied with Sen Nova Peris, Nelson took to Facebook to let her know just how he felt. An absolutely sobering reminder that we have so far to go in fixing racism in Australia. He goes on to say…
‘Oh I’m so sorry sorry not… (sic) I am not sorry for what has happened in the past if it wasn’t for the non existent stolen generation, you would have probably been raped by your father or another male relative or worse still, been killed. So as I’ve said before f**k off you black c**t we don’t need or want you.’
Reading this I actually feel sick to my gut. In this instance we are not just seeing an idiot flirting with socially accepted casual racism, we are witnessing an aggressive attack. If Mr Nelson was unhappy with Sen Nova Peris’ post, he has provided no evidence other than Indigenous stereotypes to support his argument, outing himself as a full blown racist. His Facebook profile picture may as well depict him wearing a white hood. An apparent respected member of the Central Coast community perpetuating demeaning, archaic stereotypes, doused in vicious language. It should also be noted that in her retort, Peris acted with intelligence, grace and class, using the negativity against her perpetrator who has since been charged by police and is awaiting trial.
‘I don’t believe in halal certification.’ – Pauline Hanson (One Nation Politician) 2016
Scary times in 2016. The same persistent embarrassment that was laughed out of politics some 20 years ago, returns dumberer than ever, finally receiving her seat in the senate. When NSW polly Sam Dastayari offers to take Pauline out for a meal when visiting Sydney, suggesting she try a halal snack pack, she responds waving her finger like she was a guest on Jerry Springer or The Ricki Lake Show. ‘Not happening, not interested in halal, thank you. Not interested in it.’ Well Pauline, I don’t believe in overtly, outspoken racist politicians either, but here they are larger than life – somebody save us.
It really blows my mind the energy it must take to hate a person so much purely based on the fact they are different to ones self, but it absolutely infuriates me that people of influence and power are so freely able to express those hateful opinions to influence others that may not have had the privileged upbringing to recognise the rot when faced with it and worse yet buy in. Whether its casual, or overt, racism is racism is racism. I applaud the courage of minds like Nakkiah Lui who are confronting ignorance in mainstream media and calling bigotry for what it is. I pray I’ll be given no reason to write part 2 or part 3 etc etc but unfortunately white people continue to say stupid things.