When I first read Adam Goodes would be David Jones’ new brand ambassador, featuring in their #itsinyou brand campaign, I was filled with pride.
I thought it was a match made in heaven between a strong, proud and principled man, and a brand with an exquisite pedigree, and enviable reputation.
My pride soon gave way for disbelief. In hindsight it was perhaps naïve of me, but I didn’t consider the announcement controversial, not even for a moment. Sadly, Adam Goodes is no stranger to racist abuse, but what followed the David Jones announcement is beyond the pale, and a national disgrace.
It didn’t take long for our nation’s ignorant, racist undercurrent to remind us why we can’t have nice things, and to make me feel ashamed of many of my fellow Australians.
I know, I shouldn’t allow an ignorant minority make me feel this way, but it’s difficult to swallow the bitterness caused by the intolerable behaviour of those who unleashed a torrent of racist abuse on David Jones and Adam Goodes.
Presumably these are the same people who think Australia is changing for the worse. And perhaps they are right. But, if it is, perhaps it is because of people like them?
As a nation we no longer have the luxury of ignoring the racist behaviour of some of our fellow Australians, if we are to become the best we can be. Our ongoing blind refusal to accept Australia’s festering racism is responsible for the renaissance of groups such as Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front, who consider their ‘voice’ not just acceptable, but legitimate.
• Growing tired of our racism
• The Reclaim Australia movement is an embarrassment to the nation
• A right royal freedom of speech confusion
• ‘My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular’
The longer we ignore this cultural and societal cancer, the harder it will be to eradicate it, and the long-term consequences of such views going unchecked are undesirable.
Racism is like a cockroach of civilised society. It is vile, revolting, and it breeds prodigiously. Few things appear capable of eradicating it. It seems always to return, no matter what we do to stamp it out.
We must stamp on the cockroach of racism, by Tim Soutphommasane (The Age, 8 April 2013)
A nation that tolerates fascists and neo-nazis representing themselves as a ‘legitimate voice,’ is entering a dangerous territory.
I believe education is the key to stamping out bigotry and racism in our society, but I also have an unapologetic message to some of our fellow Australians:
Dear fellow Australians who unleashed a torrent of racist abuse on David Jones and Adam Goodes,
Adam Goodes is a man of integrity and strength – qualities, you sadly lack.
You are an embarrassment, and there is no excuse for your behaviour.
The public shock and horror expressed in response to your ignorant racism should be the wake up call to pick yourselves up, educate yourselves, and make yourselves into better men and women.
Power on Adam! There are countless Australians on your side who reject racism, and bigotry.