By Darryl Mason
Are we a racist nation?
That depends. Are you a wog?
Do you eat weird foreign food that dickhead bogans haven't yet realised tastes pretty fucking good?
Do you tend to work harder and longer than most white people of your age group in jobs most of them think are beneath them?
Do you have family traditions of language, song, art and story that go back dozens or even hundreds of generations?
Do you think Australia is the best country on Earth but populated by white people who have no idea just how incredibly lucky they are to live in such a land of opportunity?
Do you see cartoons in newspapers, or catch moments on The Footy Show, or read comments on blogs, or hear bitter old people bitching on talkback radio about what's wrong with "people like them", that debase your ancient racial heritage and think, 'What the fuck? These people have shit for brains. Fuck this for a joke.'
Then yes, Australia probably is a racist nation.
It was a weird juxtaposition to hear Sol Formerly Of Telstra talk about how racist and backward we are as a nation, to be met with widespread shouts of indignant outrage about how very unracist we are, just before 'Chk Chk Clare' got instantly famous for her "There Were These Two Wogs Fighting" tale which, of course was, yeah, maybe racist but that's okay because it was funny, so....
David Penberthy at The Punch thinks Australia is most definitely a racist nation.
The Professional Idiot, naturally, reacts with all the hilarious petulance we've come to expect of those of Dutch descent, and shouts, "No We're Not!"
But the old Australian attitudes towards people who don't look like they'd give up their life to fight in a war because The Queen demanded they do so are changing. You remove most of the bullying from society and most of the racism goes along with it.
As Scott at Grods points out in an excellent essay, 'On Racism', anti-bullying education in Australian schools is making a fundamental difference to how young Australians now view casual racism.
I've noticed Scott doesn't look he's copped much racial abuse in his life, but he does wear glasses, so I wrote this comment :
Racism, like bullying, like picking on people who look different to most other people around them, is something most people grow out of, particularly when they're not witnessing it or hearing it from their parents, and the most prominent people in their culture.
As a member of the bespectacled, Scott, how would you feel today in the following circumstances :
- A taxi driver asks you to show him on the map where you want to go, but it’s a bit dark, hard to see, you hear the taxi driver mumble under his breath, “Fucking Four Eyes are blind as bats.”
- You exit a building, slip on the stairs, two women nearby laugh to each other, “Those Four Eyes are always so clumsy.”
- You walk into a library, a passer-by shouts derisively, “Hey Four Eyes! You want a wheelbarrow for all your books?”
- You run through the rain, get in a lift, someone cackles, “You really need little wipers on those Coke bottle bottoms, don’t you?”
- You go a fancy dinner for work, the obnoxious office joker keeps coming up to you all night long, holding up three fingers, then two, then four, always asking the same question, “How many fingers am I holding up?” then laughing like a fuckwit while the people you were talking to slink away.
- You go to a restaurant, the waiter sets up the specials board six feet back from your table, he looks at you squinting through your glasses, the waiter says, “Oh, you’re one of them….I’ll bring it closer to you.”
I do find it fascinating, though, that those who are the fastest to shout "We Are Not Racist!" are usually those who also thought, still think, going to war and laying waste to races of people is a good, practical idea.
Racism, like bullying, like a belief in war, is immaturity at its most basic.
When the vast majority of Australians give up all three of those beliefs and attitudes, we become a mature nation.