With academe, the meeja and big business so chockas with sanctimonious politically correct poseurs determined to puff themselves up and ponce around pointing their fingers at alleged bigots I tend to treat each new claim of discovered racism with more than a little skepticism. And if I look a little further I tend to find that my, er, prejudices have been confirmed. The outrages they're squawking about may be offensive and wrong, but are a long way from being certifiably eeevil. And their hysterical reactions often reveal more about their own conflicted psyches than those of the people they're condemning.
Take the latest incident involving Adam Goodes. Moment I read the headline to this story I thought this was gonna be an over-reaction. And it was:
The incident became public when an Essendon supporter submitted an anonymous post on the club’s fan site, Bomberblitz, two hours after the Bombers’ loss to the Swans.
“I could not believe what I heard from an Essendon member,” the supporter wrote.
“Late in the first quarter, Adam Goodes got his first touch when he received an easy mark just inside 50.
“At that stage, we (were) more than six goals down and no one was too happy that Goodes held the ball within kicking distance. There was … the banter you would expect to hear from a footy crowd.”
Then the supporter claimed he heard someone say: “F*** off, Magilla the gorilla.”
“I turned around and asked loudly, “Who said that?” An adult male replied in a cocky manner, “I did.”
“I shook my head in disbelief. After all our club has done to combat racism on and off the field, this individual thought it was OK to refer to an indigenous player in such a manner. He changed his tune when I pointed him out to security.
“He (the abuser) ruined my family’s night at the footy.”
Notice the egocentric sanctimony of the accuser. He was most miffed because he felt his night was ruined. Always the way with these PC types. They think it's all about them and their noble feelings.
That last bolded section is what I find really interesting. The racial specificity is so revealing ...
I'm not saying that the abusive fan was not motivated by racism. But it's quite possible he wasn't. If he also called beefy white players rock apes and Neanderthals, then you'd have to conclude that he wasn't being racist wouldn't you? Or, if he was, then it would be too difficult to know for sure ...
And publicly calling someone a racist, and punishing him as such, is a pretty serious action. (This Essendon fan has had his membership to the club revoked, by the way.) Imagine if criminal trials were conducted in such a punitive, self-righteous fashion. (Being racist can qualify as a crime, remember.)
It's common knowledge that sporting heavyweights of all races are often described in pretty unflattering terms. I can remember a perfect example from my youth as a keen surfer. There was a powerful, stocky Queenslander called Gary Elkerton. His nickname was "Kong". I'm sure that no one then, or since, thought the moniker was racist.
Why? Because they don't immediately associate simean characteristics with white people. Yet they do when it comes to Aborigines. Why is that?
I mean, there was no explicit reference to Goodes's colour or race in the insult -- at least not in what was reported. If there were, well that would have been racist for sure. But there wasn't ... So why do those taking offence think it was racist, when calling a white person a gorilla wouldn't be seen as such? Do those puffing themselves up with indignation think that Aborigines are more like gorillas than white people? Looks that way to me ...
What do you reckon?