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Eddie McGuire, Adam Goodes and ‘apes’: a landmark moment in Australian race relations

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire’s week has seen him go from - to use the American sporting vernacular - hero to zero. Having been lauded for his response to a young female Collingwood supporter calling…

Eddie McGuire has found himself trying to explain away his ‘brain-fade’ where he vilified Sydney player Adam Goodes. AAP Image/David Crosling

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire’s week has seen him go from - to use the American sporting vernacular - hero to zero.

Having been lauded for his response to a young female Collingwood supporter calling Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes an “ape” over the fence, McGuire then suggested on his breakfast radio show that Goodes could be involved in the promotion of the musical King Kong, sparking outrage from Goodes and many others in the media and sporting worlds.

The debate over whether McGuire is racist or not can never be satisfactorily answered, as there is evidence to support both sides. But his King Kong comments do throw into clear relief the existence of a culture within the particular subset of society that is the football media where casual racism is acceptable, even funny.

In turn, given Australian Rules football is the most popular sport in the land, and McGuire one of the best known personalities, what does this tell us about wider Australian society’s approach to “jokes” involving race?

In February 2005, Cameroonian soccer player Samuel Eto’o was playing for Barcelona against Real Zaragoza in Spain. When he went near the ball the Zaragoza crowd called him a monkey. Eto’o protested and refused to play. After some persuading from his teammates he continued. But his stance affirmed that monkey taunts and racism had no place in sport.

Eto’o was not the first sportsman to put up with racial abuse. Many black African footballers based in Europe have suffered similar abuse on the pitch and from the terraces. Eto’o now plays in Russia and is one of the world’s highest paid footballers. Yet he is still subjected to monkey chants and banana throwing from Russian crowds.

Australia has not been immune from this. In 2007, Indian cricket crowds called the West Indian born Australian cricketer, Andrew Symonds, “a monkey”. During the 2007-8 Indian tour of Australia, the Indian player, Harbhajan Singh, allegedly repeated the abuse. Amidst protests from the Australian players and threats that the Indians would abandon the tour, the matter was resolved. Harbhajan, we were told, had called Symonds a “motherfucker” – albeit in Punjabi – and not a monkey. Sexist abuse of the vilest kind, but not racism, was permissible.The tour went ahead.

Given this recent history, any sporting administrator, player or media commentator who doesn’t know that the words “monkey” or “ape” are offensive to black sportspeople is either ignorant or a fool. That such people still exist is unfortunate. That they run major football clubs and influence public opinion is staggering.

On appearances, McGuire, is no fool. He’s the smart kid from struggle-street Broadmeadows who became one of Melbourne’s most identifiable celebrities. He has supported admirable causes and championed Indigenous rights. But McGuire is a contradictory character. In many ways he is a throwback to the old racist, sexist culture that has blighted Australian sport.

Adam Goodes has become the victim of racial vilification for the second time this week. AAP Image/Joe Castro

McGuire’s contradictions have surfaced in “Apegate”. Having made the comments McGuire promptly went into damage control. To offset critical tweets from his own Collingwood player, Brazilian-born Harry O’Brien, the pair appeared together on Fox Sports’ AFL360. While O’Brien expressed his disappointment at McGuire’s comment, Eddie declared he had experienced a “brain fade”. Goodes, meanwhile, maintained a dignified silence.

How should we regard this latest gaffe by a prominent footballing identity?

McGuire is no lout or under-educated sporting larrikin. He is a community leader and a major player in the insular Melbourne-centric world of media, business and sport. He shapes opinion not just on football but also on associated social and cultural values. He is that much vaunted of sporting public figures, a role model.

Variously McGuire has described himself as a journalist. But what took McGuire from newsroom junior to media and sporting boardrooms was the high profile The Footy Show, which he fronted from its beginnings in 1994 until 2006.

During this time, it set the benchmark for sexist and racist banter. In 1999 McGuire’s sidekick, John “Sam” Newman, blackened his face to impersonate Indigenous footballer Nicky Winmar. McGuire neither intervened nor suggested this skit was a “brain fade”. On the contrary, it was a ratings winner for the vast Footy Show demographic who laughed along with Newman.

In 2009, Newman sparked further uproar when he called a Malaysian man “a monkey” on the show. By this time McGuire had decamped, but the sexist and racist culture he had been part of, remained.

The Winmar skit occurred four years after the AFL introduced its racial and religious vilification code. Though much has changed outwardly since, racism and sexism still persist. Indigenous players may not be said to go “walkabout” anymore during games, but as research conducted by sports academics David Hickey and Peter Kelly shows, some clubs remain wary of recruiting them. They are perceived to carry too much risk and cultural baggage.

McGuire will no doubt continue to apologise for his apparent lapse but his remark reflects the subliminal racism that resides in sport and the broader community. It is not the old racism of social exclusion, reflected in the treatment of Aboriginal footballer Doug Nicholls when he played for Carlton in 1927. It is not the virulent racial abuse of crowds and opponents that Syd Jackson, the Krakouers and Robbie Muir experienced in the 1970s and 1980s. The new racism is in the furtive look, the throwaway line and oblique management decisions based on cultural and racial stereotyping.

Australian sport has a history of racism. McGuire’s remark simply adds to it. With “monkey” and “ape” globally established as the terraces’ racial slur of choice, his “King Kong” comment cannot be shrugged off as a “brain fade”. Subliminal or not, his comment reflects the inability of this country to shake off its racist past, revealing an inadequate understanding of Indigenous peoples’ rights and their struggles.

On Melbourne talkback radio, a caller declared he did not know much about “Indigenous stuff” but he knew Eddie, and asserted that he’s no racist. Without even knowing, the caller had touched on the heart of the matter.

The majority of the sporting public know very little about Indigenous Australians and even less about what constitutes a racist remark, but they do know a good bloke.

But the time has well and truly passed when a good nature or blokey banter can excuse such prejudice.

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162 Comments sorted by

  1. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    "The new racism is in the furtive look, the throwaway line and oblique management decisions based on cultural and racial stereotyping."
    I am not sure if this statement gets to the heart of the new racism - but I agree there is a new racism. The old racism centered around intent - it needed to be accompanied by an intent to insult on a racially basis or by a belief in racial inferiority/superiority.
    The new racism concentrates on the form - and is perfect for the liberal elite to express their disdain and distance from the lumpen-proletariat who fund their salaries.
    Of course, it is quite possible that 13 year old Collingwood supporters may not be aware of the Great Chain of Being - but that only goes to prove how ill-breed those parents are, since we explained it to Sebastian and Isolde when we were driving them to pony lessons the other day.

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    1. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Actually, apart from the old and new racism, there is the "don't even realise it is racism" racism, which transcends old and new.

      There's the subtle put-down, dressed as a compliment, the taint of ''noble savage'', the ''you're OK 'cos you're an honorary one of us'' racism, which serves to underline the fact that you're not intrinsically ''one of us'', even if we give you honorary membership.

      Maybe it needs to be experienced to be perceived.

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    2. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Sue Ieraci

      Please, Dr Ieraci, I have just learnt I am survivor of pedophiliac sexual assault. I too am a victim, I know what it is to suffer.
      I am not entirely sure what the "taint of the 'noble savage'" actually means (if anything). The Noble Savage concept grew out of Rosseau who felt civilisation was a great corrupter and humans were naturally moral creatures. Nothing you describe seems to fit.

      This racism is seems to be a mental moral mindfield that liberals have to navigate. It is

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    3. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      It is small wonder that few of these liberals actually have any aboriginal friends - they would find it far too exhausting.

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    4. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      ''Sean'' - you have me confused with those two posts, but I expect that people who relate to others with mutual respect don't find it exhausting at all - liberal or not.

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    5. Kate Brighton

      Student

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Sean, you likened your experience to assault and then complained when no-one cared. I showed you some empathy even when your comments towards women and victims were deplorable. I was being polite and nice, because that is what civilised people do and here I see you were insincere all along. Perhaps you were just doing some trolling?

      Everything Sue described fits well with the idea of the noble savage and how it was perpetuated in Australia. A simple web search will certainly bring up Rosseau as the creator of the noble savage concept, however it is far more complex than the simplistic definition you provided.

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    6. Thomas Fields

      "progressive" watcher

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Good post, Sean.
      It would have been a more academic approach to find the intent or motivation of the use of the term "ape" and "King Kong", rather than imposing their own interpretation onto the situation.

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    7. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Thomas Fields

      Gee guys, this comment didnt make you pause?

      "we explained it to Sebastian and Isolde when we were driving them to pony lessons the other day"

      Hahahaha

      That's really quite brilliant Lamb, you got them!

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    8. Alan John Hunter

      Retired

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Sean you have me confused, are you bagging liberals or defending racism?, or just using this forum as a vechile to vent your right wing spleen?.

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    9. Alan John Hunter

      Retired

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      I wonder where he lifted that from.

      You gotta love these right wingers they are so good at stereo typing, funny thing is they rarely get it right.
      i.e.Those on the dole are lefties (or leftys as they spell it), from where do they get this little gem?.
      I have found that when it comes to government handouts the right wing are upfront and demanding.
      Did they hand back their Rudd Dollars, yeah right.

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    10. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      "Hahahaha
      That's rally quite brilliant Lamb, you got them!"
      Really?
      Why are you here? Did you read the article by Tom Heenan and David Dunstan above. Do you comprehend anything about the topic?

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    11. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Are you seriously having a go at my typo or more upset that some right-winger successfully trolled you?

      You must admit, it was rather good :)

      Let it go.

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  2. Julie Tullberg

    logged in via LinkedIn

    Racist jokes, intended to be funny and harmless, are no laughing matter when directed at sports stars - or anyone else. While Aussie banter with a hint of racism is often dismissed as benign, the undercurrent is hurtful. Eddie Everywhere's words were hurtful to Adam Goodes. Eddie's obvious fatigue and lack of care with his words were inexcusable. Eddie knows that. But being Eddie Everywhere has a price. Punishing work commitments will leave you vulnerable to mistakes. Being tired can bring out people's true colours and like many cases, Aussie humour rears its ugly head - exposing what is now unacceptable in a public forum.

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  3. John Crest

    logged in via email @live.com.au

    Most intelligent commentary I've read on this matter and one of the better "Conversation" articles too.

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  4. David Wright

    Electrician

    Honestly. Man up Adam Goodes.

    Who gives a rats **** about this?

    We are getting into "1984" territory here. THOUGHTCRIME and/or SPEECHCRIME are how this would have been described in 1984.

    Here we have a huge footballer pointing out a small 13yr old girl in the crowd. Yes, she's such a danger that she has to be removed IMMEDIATELY from the field.

    I mean... come on people.

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    1. Chris Strudwick

      Human

      In reply to David Wright

      I disagree. You are surely not suggesting our reaction to racist remarks should be based on relative sizes? Adam does us all a favour by not ignoring such remarks. Do the rest of us really need brave indigenous sportsman to keep reminding us of their right to be treated respectfully?

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    2. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to David Wright

      How is responding to someone calling an aboriginal sportsperson, from the comfortable safety of the stands, an "ape", somehow a "THOUGHTCRIME" or "SPEECHCRIME"?

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    3. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to David Wright

      Honestly. Woman up, Matthew McLean.

      We have a teenager without the insight or training to avoid yelling out abuse at a sportsperson who has endured more than his share of abuse before - not just because he is Adam, but because he is black.

      A real woman would have taught that teenager respect for other human beings, without having to invoke any ''crime'' - just out of decency.

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    4. David Wright

      Electrician

      In reply to John Perry

      Exactly, I don't think it is - my point was we are seeing "1984" style thought policing by members of the media, I see it used by people who disagree specifically with arguments emphasising the existence or reference to existence of social hierarchies.

      Thought-crime should be thought of as the new, seemingly "illegitimate" forms of debate. Anyone who wants to silence anyone else just labels them a "racist" or a "sexist" or smears them as "far-right". This sort of label is being used inapprorpiately…

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    5. David Wright

      Electrician

      In reply to Chris Strudwick

      He doesn't have to ignore them but he could yell back and call her a bigot, don't you think?

      Not be a huge baby and drag her through the media?

      Chris, no one has a positive right to be treated respectfully at all times. This is just pure nonsense. No one has the right to permanent non-offense at all times.

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    6. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to David Wright

      As if. Goodes is like most football players (though by no means all) - an uneducated semi-literate thug. Hullo? These are football players FFS. What next? The Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to Sam Newman (who at least IS literate!)

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    7. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to David Thompson

      "Goodes is like most football players (though by no means all) - an uneducated semi-literate thug."

      Met him, have you? Spoken with him, have you?

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    8. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to David Wright

      "There are great benefits to liberalised free speech: to air our grievences, petition the government, to speak the truth without fear, to correct what is wrong with our society, This is why it is liberalised."

      True. This is why it is great that Goodes feels that he can speak up about what he feels is the wrong thing.

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    9. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to John Perry

      But clearly lacks the education and world experience to know what was actually said. The guy is just another corporate footballer stuck in the bubble of narcissism and entitlement. The audacity of the man to dismiss that 13 year old girl as "uneducated" and needing "rehabilitation"! As if he is a theoretical physicist fluent in ancient Greek!

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    10. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to David Thompson

      "men of ALL races"

      It's actually incorrect to refer to ethnicities as "races".

      Not "politically" incorrect - "scientifically" incorrect.

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    11. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to David Thompson

      "I've got no doubt in my mind she's got no idea what she was calling me last night."

      "It's not a witch hunt. I don't want people to go after this girl."

      Sounds neither narcissistic nor semi-literate to me.

      In fact, he seems to have more sensibility than some of the "man-up" ranters on this thread: maybe that's why you're having trouble understanding him.

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    12. Lee Emmett

      Guest House Manager

      In reply to David Wright

      In my view, it's NOT okay to hurt others, physically or emotionally. I would have thought that you, as a GP would see quite a lot of people in your practice, who suffer from verbal and/or emotional abuse, perhaps recommending them to see psychologists and/or psychiatrists for further treatment. Most of us hope, if not expect, that people practising medicine are compassionate as well as intelligent.

      Decent relationships are based on mutual respect: name-calling flies in the face of this. It's probable that we may never attain the ideal of 'mutual respect' but there is no crime in aiming high. We, as adults, are role models for our children. Hopefully, we can teach them to be mindful of how others feel. A tolerant society is based on tolerant individuals. I believe it's right to encourage children to think about the effects of their words and actions on others, so respect and tolerance can grow.

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    13. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to David Wright

      Yesterday, I heard a woman say, I am the great grand daughter of .......(prominent settler), and I am a racist. I have worked on it every day since 1987. The interviewer teased out that this woman every time she saw a person of difference, and had a judgemental thought, she told herself that she was being racist.
      I realised that I've been doing the same thing for years, and while I would have said I'm not racist, I am.
      There is no "crime" here Matthew here, we are still regurgitating all this stuff repeatedly with all the same protestations about not being a racist country, well we are, and the ape / king kong slurs are a part of it.
      Adam Goodes did "man up", and this statement precisely reflects the "blokey" excuses for prejudice which need to be called out.

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    14. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to David Thompson

      Poor poor men, but we're not talking about male chauvinist pigs and feminists, we're talking about derogatory racial slurs and their "normal" place in australian society.

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    15. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David Thompson

      What's next David is that we see slimy remaks of disgusting quality from the likes of you and a Mathew claiming to be a GP, a practitioner of trolling no doubt.

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    16. Phil Dolan

      Viticulturist

      In reply to David Thompson

      And men have been so downtrodden from the dawn of history.

      The fact is that white man has ruled the world for the last few hundred years, so anyone can say any insult to me and it won't hurt me. It runs off my back because it has no history. But, in the case of women, second class citizens until recently, (a lot of the world still needs to catch up) and in my lifetime, the first Australians were regarded as fauna.

      A little thought is needed. Solitary confinement apparently creates mental problems. How about you get locked up in solitary for a few years, a generation, then when you get out and can't handle life, we say, get over it, you're out now..........

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    17. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      Lee, I'd consider the GP claim to be about practice as something far less than what it has always been nominally referred to.

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    18. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      You're right Alice in one respect for very often we no doubt have judgemental thoughts but not necessarily in a harmful way and I would consider that as being aware or appreciative of how things might be for people from other countries, be it immigrant or descendant and back in those countries and likewise with our own indigenous people.

      An example of that happened to me just yesterday with a Vietnamese descendant business woman I was talking to and her families industriousness reminded me of…

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    19. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Greg North

      Consciously aware is one thing, in the privacy of my own mind is another. I question all sorts of stuff because I'm an older parent and have to stay one step ahead. It just means I'm probably "maturing". Some of the comments above reveal no graciousness at all, or maturity. This is a good conversation to have.

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    20. Chris Strudwick

      Human

      In reply to David Wright

      I very much doubt he would have reacted the same way to robust comment that didn't have clear racist connotations. Calling the girl a bigot and moving on would be unlikely to make her reflect on her comment and influence her future behaviour. It took courage not to ignore it. As for 'dragging her through the media', that was hardly down to Adam. I think you will find the media is quite capable of pouncing on an incident providing an obvious public interest story without assistance.

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    21. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to David Wright

      Do you mean the American Constitution, The first amendment, freedom of expression, used as a loophole by every bigoted nutter group in america to vilify women who have abortions, or gay dead soldiers.
      Freedom of speech is fine until groups start to whip up hatred against minorities, and things like open racism turn nasty and deaths occur. Things like the cronulla riots, where bashing a muslim is ok. because " its well known what they do to aar women, and their all bomb chuckers " " an we're proud to be strain"
      Vilification based on skin colour is not ok And it's your responsibility to realise why.

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    22. David Wright

      Electrician

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      The American constitution is one of the greatest liberal documents of all time.

      Yes, as unpleasant and as unpopular as some speech might be, it is guaranteed by the American constitution. Sure, we can disagree with such utterances, we can rail against it; however it is not up to any of you to act as thought police and to ban it; lest your own speech, (which you might consider righteous and counter-doctrine, or perhaps politically necessary) is banned one day.

      In the marketplace of ideas, extreme…

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    23. David Wright

      Electrician

      In reply to Greg North

      I think you should apologise. I don't see where my remarks have been slimy or disgusting, and I have said nothing personal against you.

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    24. David Wright

      Electrician

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      I don't think it is OK to hurt others, but I do not agree to widespread, deliberate self-censorship in public for everyone in our society in order to make sure no one is offended unintentionally, on an indefinite basis. I think it is dangerous to freedom and a step on a slippery slope to widespread violations of free speech.

      Let me give an argument by analogy:

      If someone swings her fist to another's face, she does so with the knowledge that it will hurt. She knows swinging fists can do damage…

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    25. David Wright

      Electrician

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      I didn't say there was a crime. What I said that this whole debate is reminiscent of the concept of "thoughtcrime" as found in the novel "1984".

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    26. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to David Wright

      "this speech cannot activate pain receptors"

      Actually, I read recently that the brain responds to verbal and insulting attacks in the same area where it responds to physical pain. Scientists have just worked this out.

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    27. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to David Wright

      "The policing, or otherwise enforcement of speech is chilling to the legitimate nature of free speech in a liberal democratic society."

      How is this latest event "policing" or "enforcement" of speech, let alone "chilling"?

      You find this "chilling"?! To paraphrase recent commentators, "harden up"!

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    28. David Wright

      Electrician

      In reply to John Perry

      Reference? I'd like to see that.

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    29. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to David Wright

      Believe it or not, I read it in the latest issue of my kids' "Scientrific" magazine from the CSIRO. Obviously it was a short article about the study.

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    30. David Wright

      Electrician

      In reply to John Perry

      Guess I'll have to take your word for it. However, you've got me, your children's magazine is probably correct. Hey congratulations on the smart kids. Do they read the CSIRO magazine too?

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  5. James Gilbert

    logged in via Facebook

    I'm sorry, but I think everyone is having a typical kneejerk reaction here which is premature.

    What is REALLY horrific is the young girl actually calling Goodes an ape. That is both heartbreaking and revealing at the same time.

    In the case of McGuire, I admit I'm no AFL fan and so I don't have much (any) context. But having listened to the broadcast I can see at least one other way that McGuire may have intended his follow-up comment. We shouldn't assume he was making a flat-out racist slur…

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    1. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to James Gilbert

      What should the girl have said? "Hands off, you aggressive victim of colonisation and Charles Darwin"!?

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Gilbert

      I am sorry too James for this nought about a 13 yo girl now, a girl who let fly with what she did, I suspect somewhat from the emotion that can build in fans at a football match and particularly when your team is copping a bit of a drubbing.

      Eddie has blown this up himself to have put a huge target squarely on himself.
      " I don't know enough about McGuire to speculate on whether this was what he was thinking, but I would caution against kneejerk outrage in cases like this. Especially if his initial…

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    3. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to David Thompson

      The point is, aboriginals until the 1960's were considered sub- human (closer to monkeys and apes) and were legislated to be a part of "our " flora and fauna. Terms like ape and monkey to describe black people have been thrown as insults at People like Adam Goodes all his life. Why does he have to ignore these words.
      He doesn't have to negotiate his way around their "meaning". The meaning has been there all his life, whether unconsciously or not.

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    4. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to James Gilbert

      I think that's the point of why it's so hurtful James. Goodies doesn't see this as a joke so there is nothing to "rise above" and make it all a joke. That's the whole point - making it into a joke is what guys like Eddie and Sam Newnham have been doing for decades. Why would Goodes buy into that?

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  6. Glenn McLaren

    Philosopher/Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology

    All of this outrage over Eddie McGuire suggesting that Adam Goodes should promote King Kong would be great if that's what Eddie actually said or implied. As a seasoned broadcaster Eddie probably should not have gone there at all, but after hearing his words several times it is reasonably clear that Eddie was ironically criticizing the PR/Marketing industry. His suggestion was that this industry is so unethical, so lacking decency, that they would probably think of using Goodes to promote King Kong on the basis that any publicity is good publicity. In this I wholeheartedly agree with him, but due to the sensitivity of the issue over Goodes, everyone has automatically read something far more sinister into the words. More thought and attention and less knee jerk reaction is required and a little sense of irony wouldn't go astray either.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Glenn McLaren

      Try and twist it how you like Glenn but Eddie just blew the biggest blooper of his career out there.
      The most amazing thing to me was that Luke Darcy, a man many years younger than Eddie straight away basically said No and yet Eddie in his sheer ignorance or audacity just continued on.

      You do need to appreciate that Eddie might be great for marketing Collingwood but that does not mean he markets himself to well and when you see the Collingwood board basically backing him, you could wonder whether it is a case of Birds of a Feather out Victoria Park way with a few.
      Certainly no victory for any Magpies on this one, though Harry O did good in explaining how indigenous or people of other backgrounds such as Harry may feel.

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    2. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Glenn McLaren

      And your comment highlights why Goodes feels so offended. It's not about rising above the comments and making it a joke as a sort of "in your face" kind of thing. It IS the casual jokes that offends.

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    3. Chris Strudwick

      Human

      In reply to Glenn McLaren

      I think Eddie's comments were true to form and extremely stupid but I very much doubt they were deliberately racist. The focus on Eddie is more 'news-worthy' than the real issue, which is the incident with Adam and the continuation of deliberate racist slurs at sporting grounds and elsewhere. This is nothing to do with freedom of speech but goes to the heart of where we want to be as a society.

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    4. Glenn McLaren

      Philosopher/Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology

      In reply to Greg North

      So many megabytes wasted and greenhouse gas generated on this and here I am adding to it for the last time. I'm not too fussed what happens to Eddie McGuire. As a philosopher my interest is in trying to get to the truth. Eddie did not say that Adam Goodes should promote King Kong. His comment implied that others, unlike himself, would probably think of doing so. If that makes you a racist then we are in big intellectual trouble. What's worse is that this is all becoming a distraction from the real problem of institutionalised racism in Australia which sees our government locking up asylum seekers in appalling conditions, Aborigines continuing to suffer under the government's watch, homosexuals being refused the right to marry, auto industry workers being allowed to suffer at the hands of psychopathic transnational corporations and 13yo obese teenagers from Moe being denied a future by the wealthy elites. Focus people, focus.

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    5. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Glenn McLaren

      " Eddie did not say that Adam Goodes should promote King Kong. "

      Say what now? Eddie was discussing the promotional stunt for King Kong between him and Darcy the host:

      McGuire: "Get Adam Goodes down for it do you reckon?"
      Darcy: "No I wouldn't have thought so, absolutely not."
      McGuire: "You can see them doing that can't you?"
      Darcy: "Who?"
      McGuire: "Goodsey."
      Darcy: "What's that?"
      McGuire: "You know with the ape thing, the whole thing, I'm just saying the pumping him up and mucking around and all that sort of stuff."

      Lets not try and rewrite what has happened.

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    6. J O'Rourke

      Community Worker and Student

      In reply to Glenn McLaren

      Sorry for replying to this and wasting more megabytes promulgating the over-analysis of the whole thing, which i agree detracts from the bigger problems. However, i will reply because i'm intrigued by what you said, and also because i'm currently procrastinating.

      It's a relatively simple point you make, and it's amazing no one else made it. However, i think it's at least arguable whether it's true. Wasn't Eddie's second comment already a part of his desperate attempt to backtrack on the joke…

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    7. Glenn McLaren

      Philosopher/Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology

      In reply to J O'Rourke

      Happy to reply to this considered reply and prolong your procrastination. You make a good point and my point is that it IS arguable. I don't know whether my interpretation is right but it seems to me that there is enough ambiguity here to warrant caution.

      I'm no fan of Eddie. He's part of the wealthy elite and I don't remember him promoting the study of philosophy in this country. But as President of the CFC he is responsible for many indigenous players and probably spends more time with indigenous…

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  7. Peter Dawson

    Gap Decade

    The sheer stupidity required of a person, to go to a football game on a regular basis and barrack for one side over the other, makes it inevitable that this sort of thing happen, really. And the girl and her family had only started going to games this year, apparently, so there's the over-excitedness that that can bring to consider.

    And aussie rules is a particularly niggly game. Niggle, niggle, niggle, from start to finish. Nudging, barging, pushing, shoving, elbowing, much of it within the rules…

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Peter Dawson

      Maybe Peter, with the stupidity, niggling, niggling and pricking you are nudge wink and all that just a better fan of wanting to be a millionaire!

      Eddie is not always so honed even if he would want Collingwood to always have a honed edge and yes, it was a blunder and even more so, whatever you want to call the insult he has delivered to indigenous people.

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  8. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    Seems as though some people want to make Adam Goodes the focus of this with some snide comments which amount I suspect to nothing more than trolling and the comments are sickening and I hope dio get removed for they do no service to TC.

    It may have been a 13YO girl on Friday night wbho should still have known better and in having seemly shown some remorse in apologising ought to have learnt from her action or let us hope so.

    And then out comes her Club President and listening to his bullshit…

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Greg North

      " On appearances, McGuire, is no fool. He’s the smart kid from struggle-street Broadmeadows who became one of Melbourne’s most identifiable celebrities. He has supported admirable causes and championed Indigenous rights. But McGuire is a contradictory character. In many ways he is a throwback to the old racist, sexist culture that has blighted Australian sport.

      Adam Goodes has become the victim of racial vilification for the second time this week. AAP Image/Joe Castro
      McGuire’s contradictions…

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    2. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Greg North

      If someone like Eddie can compare Goodes to an ape and say he should promote King Kong - even if meant in terms of "rising above it all", then why should a 13 year old think any different?

      I can't possibly imagine what she cold be thinking right now. She gets crucified for something another person gets excuses for.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      I think we are on the same wave length Roger, part of my own comment amongst others being
      " It may have been a 13YO girl on Friday night wbho should still have known better and in having seemly shown some remorse in apologising ought to have learnt from her action or let us hope so.

      And then out comes her Club President and listening to his bullshit excusing of himself with stuff like " its like when you type something and had meant to type something else " what is that 13YO now to be thinking and I can well imagine what thoughts could be in Adam's head. "

      But this is now more about Eddie, that's for sure and the damage he has done.

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  9. Dalit Prawasi

    Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

    In the couuntry of footy like others king is excempt.
    Adam should have geve

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  10. Dalit Prawasi

    Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

    King is always excempt. Adam should have given the girl a signed boot and asked Eddiie for the contract to promote King Kong.

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  11. Kate Brighton

    Student

    I feel very uncomfortable with a child being singled out like that. Racism is not okay, but neither is doing that to a child and two wrongs have never made a right.

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    1. Phil Dolan

      Viticulturist

      In reply to Kate Brighton

      I hope Kate that you raise your kids well so they don't attract that kind of attention.

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Kate Brighton

      A 13 YO is nearly what we might consider to be a young adult Kate and it was she who made the remark and it is OK that she was dealt with because of it.
      She was not manhandled in any way and on being handed over to police, her gbrandmother was asked to be present because of her age.

      It is certainly an experience that she may never forget and hopefully she will be a better person for it, her making an apology having been a good quick start to a better life.

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    3. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Greg North

      She was removed in front of Australia, booed by the crowd, called a fat slut as she walked the walk of shame up the steps, and then questioned by the police for TWO HOURS without any adult present. Her family were denied seeing her, it was only after they learnt she was 13 that her grandmother was allowed in.

      Yeah I am real sure she will ever forget this!

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    4. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Greg North

      and a 13 year old is not in any way shape or form considered "a young adult". She is a child.

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    5. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      "She was removed in front of Australia, booed by the crowd, called a fat slut as she walked the walk of shame up the steps ..."

      Aboriginal Australians have NEVER had to suffer such humiliation on the sports field ...

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    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      You were there were you Roger? or are you just thinking all that happened? and I hardly think all of Australia was watching and it may have been some supporters closer to the action that booed and nothing wrong with that.

      And as for 13 YO is not in any way considered to be a young adult, perhaps you need to re-read
      " A 13 YO is nearly what we might consider to be a young adult Kate "
      And it does seem very strange that as a student yourself, you have little idea of how mature some youngsters can be, it usually said that girls mature quicker than boys.

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    7. Kate Brighton

      Student

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, a 13 year old is not a young adult. A 13 year old is a young teenager. They are not old enough to be employed, to seek their own medical advice, to live on their own, to have a tax file number or medicare number, and some may not even have entered puberty.

      Don't make the assumption that having student under a name means a person is young. The titles under a name on a website mean very little and are not always an accurate indication of a persons age, abilities or intellect.

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    8. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Greg North

      I am a 48 year old student, so don't make assumptions. I have a 13 year old. She is a child as are all her friends. Just because the kid looks older than 13, doesn't mean she is an "young adult". What happened to her was wrong.

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    9. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      All I'm trying to point out is a little context. The consequences of the girl's actions are a separate issue. Getting morally outraged about the crowd's response distracts from the larger picture.

      And I also have a near-13 year old. I cannot imagine him calling an Aboriginal footballer an "ape", nor even his understanding why he could do that. I don't know why the girl did it, or thought it was an OK thing to say. But she was at an event largely attended by adults, and the rules about behaviour at this event apply to all. The name-calling as she was led off would have been equally objectionable had she been an adult.

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    10. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Greg North

      At least she is still alive.
      Other females are just considered collateral damage of aboriginal culture.

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    11. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to John Perry

      I just hosted a surprise party for a sixteen year old girl whose father had died from brain cancer. There were sixty 16-18 year olds present. Despite reasonable efforts including sending away four who arrived with "soft drinks", the guest of honour and three others got hopelessly drunk. Four vomited. There were no fights. There were two broken vases. There was a sobbing mother who came to pick up her daughter who was quite drunk.
      John Perry, What world do you live in. It isn't the one your students live in.
      Immature. Lacking in judgement. Risk-taking. Taking care of each other. Apologising to old fogies like me. But interesting. Funny.Optimistic. Non-judgemental.
      And on Monday morning they were sentenced to one week of suffering from the John Perry's of the world.

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    1. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Gordon Smith

      Anything written for Quadrant and / or by the Bennelong Society is unlikely to be challenging or thought provoking.

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    2. Gordon Smith

      Private citizen

      In reply to John Perry

      John, I am sorry for you that you have a "us v them" tribal world view. I read all all the spectrum fron Crikey to Quadrant and all the bits in between. I allow myself to be influenced by the strength of the argument regardless of the source. I have never held the view that all wisdom comes from one section of the population.
      That you so easily dismiss an emergant indigeonous voice is your loss. Even if you disagree at least it gives you an insight into what other others (in this case a respected commentator) think therefore you can be better prepared to counter the aargument.
      Cheers
      Gordon

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    3. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Gordon Smith

      Gordon, anyone who puts down in writing something like:

      "... racial slurs (which, interestingly, some Aboriginal people accept as being okay when spoken by another Aboriginal person)"

      clearly cannot see the distinction between mouthing off to their mates at the pub and writing well-thought-out, reasoned argument.

      The reason I choose to dismiss such poorly-written content is because its intent is not to consider the issues and work towards a better understanding of them: it is merely to distract the broader populace from the real things that matter. Yes, there is an agenda at work - I definitely believe that.

      Read the work of Gary Foley and you will see that he and really only a few others cuts right to the core of what is wrong with all matters affecting indigenous Australians. Most of the other stuff really is just distraction.

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    4. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to John Perry

      What the John Perry's of the world teaches and what his students learn are fortunately quite different. I debrief children who have had to suffer from the abuse that he and his ilk hand out to his long suffering students.

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    5. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Philip, I don't know what has gotten into you to suddenly reply to my comments four times in what I regard as a quite bizarre manner, but to suggest that I "hand out" "abuse" to my children is extremely offensive and lacking in judgement.

      Please explain your reasons for making these offensive assumptions about me.

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    6. Michael Leonard Furtado

      Doctor at University of Queensland

      In reply to John Perry

      Brain synapse, I reckon, John. When the Right runs out of rational argument it resorts to mindless abuse, rather like the young Collingwood supporter.

      Thank God for Aussie teachers with consciences who love kids enough to improve their values and behaviour!

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    7. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Michael Leonard Furtado

      Thanks for the support, Michael. I don't want to speculate on why such comments were made, but the first thing I noticed was that they were written very, very late at night.

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    8. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to John Perry

      At another time of the day, I will point out that the abuse I refer to is the endless opinionated, uneducated elocutions that some teachers consider to be education, based on the parrotting of the politically correct.
      Your comments on Quadrant and Bennelong I will put forward of evidence of my view.

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    9. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      The quote I gave earlier is actually from the linked article. I explained why it is evident that articles like these are a distraction from engaging with the real problem. The article itself is a long-winded version of the phrase "Look over there!" and I've learned never to follow that instruction if anyone ever gives it.

      Philip, your comments in themselves are baseless abuse and I would like you to stop. I hope that I can appeal to your better nature in finding a more appropriate manner in which to engage in the discussion.

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    10. Michael Leonard Furtado

      Doctor at University of Queensland

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      Not sure what you mean, Philip, but your discourse is rapidly descending into farce. I checked your reference and it has nowt to do with teaching. I imagine that you have concerns about the alleged Islamicisation of Western Sydney, but what this has to do do with Adam Goodes' legitimate complaint about the way in which he has been treated beats me.

      The logic of your reference points at best to the strength of Goodes' insistence on being treated with respect, considering that he and his people…

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    11. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Michael Leonard Furtado

      The point of the reference I provided was that the people mentioned in this article were educated in Australian schools.
      What else would home grown mean?
      Which schools and which teachers are responsible for such attitudes?
      I note that you aspire to be a mind reader.
      You further assert that "he and his people are the original inhabitants of this country" and are thus distinct from other groups.
      I find it puzzling that Australia seems to be moving to a notion of hereditary rights that strangely parallels the English class system and the Hindu caste system.

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    12. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      ?? Obviously none of them never studied IT then - lol

      A more non-sequitur based form of reasoning I am yet to see on TC.

      Apparently Mr Dowling you think that
      (A) All Australian Children are taught by Australian teachers, like John Perry
      (B) All Australians of Islamic Descent who become radicalised by their experience of discrimination and exposure to extremist views were once Australina Children
      (C) Therefore radicalisation/ the existence of Islamic extremists in our community is the fault…

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  12. Peter Wilkin

    Australian Realist

    Bigots of every kind are sad charmless people who are always desperately looking out for someone, anyone to feel superior to.

    The more energy they expend on this futile stratagem the harder it is for them to actually get off the lowest rungs on the ladder.

    Would it kill them to develop a proper sense of humour instead of churning out those ugly repetitive slurs which pass in their tiny world for jokes?

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  13. Leigh Burrell

    Trophy hunter

    "One of the great strengths of common law has been its general antipathy toward group rights, because the ultimate minority is the individual. The minute you have collective rights, you require dramatically enhanced State power to mediate the hierarchy of different victim groups. It's not only expensive - it's preposterous."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHvlBWbX7zk

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  14. Hinton John Lowe

    educationist

    The best that can be said about the McGuire version of the ape jibe at the evidently
    heroic Goodes - his stature far beyond his attainments on the footy field
    - is that it was ugly bogan machismo from a man who needs to grow up from his
    protracted adolescence. More serious, though, is the casualness with which it
    was said, as has already been remarked. This casual sort of racism, its
    banality, is especially pernicious: because it masks the wilful blindness to the inconvenient
    truths of widespread…

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Hinton John Lowe

      So many words starting with " at the evidently
      heroic Goodes - his stature far beyond his attainments on the footy field "

      Whatever would you mean!

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  15. Janeen Harris

    chef

    If Eddie is really sorry, he should do something concrete to prove it. The indigenous community could use some philanthropic input. Eddie has made a lot of money in his career. He could make some personal investment in Aboriginal health and employment. Still a stupid, thoughtless, ignorant comment, but he could make something good come from it.

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  16. john tons

    retired redundant

    People like McGuire help shape Australia's culture. The world in which McGuire inhabits still seems to one that is homophobic, racist and sexist. For Eddie it is an effort to escape from that world so it is no surprise that when he is relaxed in front of the mike among his 'mates' he will lapse into his cultural comfort zone. His public persona is horrified at the Mr Hyde that lurks beneath but try as he might he cannot always control Mr Hyde. What emerges for me from this episode is that we should consider licensing public broadcasters - not the organizations but the individuals that may appear on them. Given the important role that they can play in shaping our culture should we not at very least insist that these individuals have a full appreciation of the role that they play. It should not be that difficult to develop a Nationally Accredited training programme that covers the moral and legal responsibilities that people such as public broadcasters have.

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  17. Paul Prociv

    ex medical academic; botanical engineer

    This subject essentially revolves around tribalism, a fundamental human trait that is hardwired into each of us. Tribalism at many levels, usually subtle, governs our everyday lives. Sports allegiance represents a major tribal grouping. Racism is but one major manifestation of tribalism, and is manifested by all ethnic groups; it’s definitely not restricted to those of European background, although we seem to be the most anguished by it. I’ve seen distressing and destructive expressions of tribalism…

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    1. john tons

      retired redundant

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      tribalism was an essential survival trait - your own survival was inextricably linked to the survival of your tribe. It persists today in all societies. The problem that we have today is that our survival depends not just on what happens in our immediate community but globally. In that context it is important that we wean ourselves off the politics of difference. As you say racism is common to all societies; not just ours. But precisely because of that it is important that in the public sphere at least the language is one of inclusion not exclusion. Whilst eliminating racism from the Australian psyche does nothing to eliminate from the psyche of other nations, other cultures it is a start at least to creating a world in which we celebrate our common humanity and can laugh at the foibles of others without projecting them as a stereotype to what ever group they happen to belong.

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  18. Lynne Newington
    Lynne Newington is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Researcher

    Before I get caught up with the comments, I'm just expressing my own opinion.
    Having two adopted indigenous siblings within my family, we all blended into one, what was said amongst each other as a joke was always just that, especially where one, who inherited his roots more than the other, would as he got older would go "walkabout".
    Any comments made was of a jovial nature and we would all laugh, including the sibling who would remind us himself it was part of his well DNA they call it these days.
    The football fraternity harkins in one sense as a "family", and if in the boy's room would have never been taken out of context and boy's being boy's, one could give as good as they got, with never a thought of discrimination.
    Although I have no interest in football and Eddie McGuire is not known to me, I do believe this is just one of those incidents and it's a pity it's been the cause of all the fuss.
    In a family, every one is equal.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Lynne Newington

      It is true Lynne that much probably gets said within family and in applying family to a particular group within part of a larger team, the group may even make references amongst themselves.

      Along those lines, I and a mate, both of us of many generations Australian associated casually for a while through sport, playing cards etc. with a couple of blokes more recently of European descent, from different countries and they in turn associated with a third who was a doctor and all three were what you…

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    2. Lynne Newington
      Lynne Newington is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Researcher

      In reply to Greg North

      Over the fence of course you're right, it was bad upbringing, but with McGuire, as he explained, was a slip of the tongue with no intent to vilify unconsciously or below the surface and I'm quite sure Goode and everyone else connected to football knew this.
      As ure as I am, if there hadn't been such a big thing made of it by those with an axe to grind it would have blown over.
      There's such a strong overall fraternal bond within the football players themselves that I've noticed , which leads me to say, if there was a need among one them there would be overwhelming support from all of them.
      Goodes not being able to play due to the hubub, would in my estimation be playing the media field, with a little regret.

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  19. Ron Chinchen

    Retired (ex Probation and Parole Officer)

    I'm fat. I also have a fairly big face and nose. I wish I didnt have these things and have tried dieting so many times but I'm still fat and I still have the big nose.

    Now I could get really sensitive about this and complain whenever someone makes a derogatory comment even in jest. Perhaps they are just trying to get at me and my response fuels their sense of victory. But is my sensitivity empowering those who would use what I am thinking is a weakness, that is really just a condition I have…

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    1. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Ron Chinchen

      A "clever retort" would keep the original outburst as a joke, which it very clearly is not. And how would that have made him look? No doubt he would have come out worse in the public eye than he already has (not by me), and no matter what his retort would have been, the media would have another thing to twist in any way they wished.

      If Goodes was offended by the outburst, it's not up to me or anyone else to tell him he shouldn't be.

      He also no doubt was considering the indigenous Australians on behalf of whom he was also responding - yes, that's right, his response is for them as well. It is a public and widely-watched event, after all.

      His response was entirely appropriate and his subsequent comments (the ones I've read) have been measured and articulate.

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    2. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Ron Chinchen

      Of course, he could have tried lifting up his shirt and pointing to his dark skin but that's already been done ...

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    3. Ron Chinchen

      Retired (ex Probation and Parole Officer)

      In reply to John Perry

      I think you're are missing my point here John. I'm not saying that racism isnt here and displayed openly and I'm not suggesting Goodes erred in what he did. He was making a statement and fortunately a clever photographer grabbed the iconic photo. Otherwise it would be just another call against racism.

      What I'm saying is that there are different ways of handling the issue, and sometimes cutting the statement down with a clever retort can defuse the situation, and make the effectiveness of what…

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    4. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Ron Chinchen

      "What's happening at the moment is really just preaching to the converted and patting ourselves on the back for taking the stance"

      I disagree. While the average bogan may scoff online and at the pub, a very small part of them nonetheless will realise deep inside that their racist inclinations may not be so widely shared after all. Change happens slowly, but it does happen. It won't go underground, either - that's another widely held misconception.

      I always find it amusing when anecdotes about racist comments from minorities themselves are bandied about. Guess what - they ain't got "the power"! Read the work of Jane Elliott for a very clear take on this one.

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    5. Ron Chinchen

      Retired (ex Probation and Parole Officer)

      In reply to John Perry

      Change happens through exposure and education John, not through these types of exercises. Change will occur through the next generation generally because of what we are taught and this issue now, yes, will add to that. But attitudes rarely change quickly and it usually takes something very personally significant for a marked change to occur. These attitudes and beliefs are well entrenched and reinforced in some circles in the community, and this occurrence is unlikely to affect them markedly other…

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    6. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Ron Chinchen

      Goodes may have also been unaware of just how young she was. At first glance she appears much older.

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    7. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ron Chinchen

      " I'm not suggesting Goodes erred in what he did. "
      I reckon Ron you've got confused with the topic for this is not so much about Adam Goodes personally even if he has been the subject of a couple of very public derogatory comments.
      How you would expect him to go back to an opposition supporter over the fence I do not quite know.

      What this topic is about is how McGuire has come out with what he did , just rubbing salt into the wound of not just Adam but for indigenous people generally.

      Sure…

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    8. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      Seeing you claim to have known all that other stuff about what happened Roger, how could you have missed Adam Goodes comments on being interviewed when he stated he thought she was about 14 before he knew she was 13.
      It was the fact that she was so young that saddened him so and I can appreciate that for whilst it is not too surprising that older people might not change attitudes to have one so young using abuse of that nature says something about where we're headed with the whole topic.

      And again Roger, you need to think of where Eddie McGuire has taken this for Adam Goodes should not be your focus.

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    9. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Ron Chinchen

      I would like to think my present employment makes me fairly pragmatic as well.

      I have learnt that optimism is frequently the best attitude to take, even when it appears to be the most ridiculous of possible stances. Kids always surprise you - even those whose families you would have come across in your former employment.

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    10. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to John Perry

      Goodes was guilty of behaviour which was obviously symbolically violent. Violence against females. Almost as common as underage female STIs in aboriginal culture.

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    11. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Roger Davidson

      So this would have also justified him having sex with her? She seemed to be 16?

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  20. John McBain

    logged in via Facebook

    There is absolutely no doubt that the young girl's comments and eddies were racist, offensive and ignorant. The differences are that eddy had no excuse and he is supposed to be a role model. Goodes has been a positive role model in the way he plays footy for all of us. For Aboriginal Australians he is especially so. Racism towards Aboriginal people is especially offensive and hurtful. In our legal and moral codes the way this country was settled by our forebears was plain wrong. Yet we think a PM…

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    1. Raine S Ferdinands

      Education

      In reply to John McBain

      John, I agree with your expressed sentiments. "Deep inside I believe we are all good" and that is a profound truth and I subscribe to that truth as well. The sad bit is the fact that all of us have by osmosis absorbed racism (in varying degrees) by simply being in a culture that overtly promoted racism from its inception as a nation. Let's not forget that our White Australia Policy was only discarded in 1966 and racial consideration only abolished in 1973. It takes much, more than laws to effectively…

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    2. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to John McBain

      I had never hear of Adam Goodes. He is clearly is an over excitable, arrogant, person who has anger management issues and who is prepared to intimidate young girls.

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  21. Roger Peters

    Psychologist

    It might be recalled that some time ago a player was referred to as a black c$&t, it was suggested that the bad bit was the reference to black and that is what indeed got the player into trouble. Apparently the denigrating comment in respect to a woman's genitalia was ok. In fact what I find disturbing is the now often found use of that word by women, a word I find more offensive than obviously many others. Maybe the 13 year old could have called out c&$t instead.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Roger Peters

      You would have still been disturbed no doubt Roger.
      She could have called out you Goody Goodes or Come play for the Pies.

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    2. Roger Davidson

      Student

      In reply to Greg North

      "She could have called out you Goody Goodes or Come play for the Pies."

      HUH? You are making no sense.

      Anyone else know what this guy is on about?

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  22. john tons

    retired redundant

    As read the various posts I am reminded how little we know of the history of Australia as seen through indigenous eyes. In the late eighties I was asked to teach a unit of Aboriginal History to a group of year 10 students. I was provided with all the resources available in the school. It seemed odd to me that none of the accounts were written by Aboriginal people. So I talked to my indigenous acquaintances and eventually found a number of people who were prepared to come to talk to my class…

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  23. foibles58

    logged in via Twitter

    facing the consequences of our actions? Eddie doesn't have to because he is rich and powerful? a "real" man would stand aside for those with better credentials to be a role model rather than make and accept excuses for his behaviour - that's what I find so sad. What has happened to those kind of people who understand right from wrong, with out the grey PC stepping in

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  24. Gerard Conlon

    not relevant

    "inability of this country to shake of its racist past"

    Comments like the one above make me so sad. Something stated as a fact that is not even up for conversation - a known and confirmed piece of history.

    Yet Australia is, and always has been, one of the least racist nations on earth. Definitely not perfect but always better then nearly every other nation.

    I wonder what we would be like if instead of constantly being berated for being racist, insensitive, white supremacists we where praised for our history of tolerance and gentleness.

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    1. Rina Cohen

      retired

      In reply to Gerard Conlon

      What would we be like? We would be completely deluded. To paraphrase: "Australia has always been one of the least racist nations on earth, not like all those foreign nations which are all racist". Hmmm. So are you being ironic or are you just completely ignorant of Australia's history, and much else?

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  25. Mark Goyne

    Lawyer

    What McGuire did is wrong. But there has been more media time space given to this issue, than far more important issues involving human misery/suffering like the Syrian crisis. So get a grip and spend more time on discussing issues like this.

    It also would be more productive to spend the time analysing public policies targeting the disadvantages Aborigines face, and come up with suggested more effective policies.

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  26. Arthur James Egleton Robey

    Industrial Electrician

    Reading through the comments I broke out in hives.
    My aren't we a sanctimonious bunch of priggs?
    Don't we love a delicious guilt fest?
    The catholic church learned a long time ago that a person cannot feel rage and guilt at the same time.
    How better to rob a man blind and get away with it than to first soften him up with a good old dose of the guilts?
    If anyone tries to make you feel guilty react appropriately.
    A snap-kick to the groin is entirely appropriate.

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  27. Peter Hindrup

    consultant

    Somebody calls you a Monkey or an ape, Racist? How?

    Yes, I have read all the convoluted explanations about why it is racist, but unless English is stood on its head, it is not convincing.

    Offensive it may be. However one would have to be really thin skinned to react to a kid calling them either, or in fact any thing a kid may call you. Annoyed? yes, for the moment.

    Certainly it doesn't. cannot hurt you, and unless you are taking yourself very seriously, it could not be a lasting annoyance.

    i suggest that more than half the people in the world today would be overjoyed if their greatest worry was that somebody called them, or their kids a monkey, an ape, gorilla or whatever.

    Seems an awful lot of angst has been generated by an utterly unsubstantial issue.

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      Such a comment could only be made by someone who has not been the lifelong victim of racial taunts and vilification.

      I suggest you read more widely about precisely WHY such comments cause genuine harm and distress. It has nothing to do with being "thin skinned". It has everything to do with expressed racism (whether intended to injure or not).

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    2. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Just how much time have you spent amongst indigenous people, either in Australia or elsewhere?

      Lived among them, gone to school with them, called by them when a major indigenous sporting event was going down, due to really racist assumptions?

      Ever been on the wrong end of their 'racist' comments? Ever heard them in their day to day life, and heard just how vicious their own insults -- offensive, not racist! --- can be?

      Well I have.

      Harm and distress? An adult suffering 'harm and distrss' form a kids comments? If so they already had a problem, dn't blame the kid.

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    3. Phil Dolan

      Viticulturist

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      So you were insulted at one time by 'them' and it hurt you, so you don't care if 'they' get hurt.

      Imagine how hurt you would feel if all your life, and that of your parents, and right back to the big bang was like that.

      You got insulted once. I feel sooooooooooooo sorry for you.

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    4. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Phil Dolan

      Phil: You obviously have not been reading my comments!

      Insulted, vilified, yes, offended? no!

      I grew up in New Zealand, on the East Coast, one third of the population Maori, and if you were thin skinned you would have curled up and died.

      Worked with them in a remote timber mill where workforce was at least 90 percent Maori, Had cock tail bar in Wellington when Wellington had the biggest camp population in the world, Amsterdam was next, an afternoon when packed with Camp, and thin skinned You would just curl up and die!

      From where I sit anybody so 'offended' that derogatory comment 'harms' them, has a serious problem!

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    5. Phil Dolan

      Viticulturist

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      I'll try again.

      You were vilified for a time in your life because of where you were. It sounds like everybody was. But you left and now live happily ever after in good ol' Oz.

      How would it feel if your current neighbours carried on with it. The taxi drivers did't pick you up. Your parents were not even counted as people and kids were brought up to believe that you were subhuman.

      It started before you were born and it carries on now.

      You can remember a 'time' in your life when it was bad and you think you know?

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    6. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      You are goal shifting. The child is not being "blamed" - (perhaps you should read what Adam Goodes said about supporting them?).

      And your comments simply prove my point - and are self contradictory.

      You claim the comments were offensive but not "racist" and that one would have to be thin skinned to be offended. Then you relate your own experience which clearly demonstrates that you were offended by being on the wrong end of racist comments.

      Racism, expressed or behaved, from any group is something that is reprehensible and needs to be called out for what it is and challenged. Perhaps you should reflect on that.

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    7. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Phil Dolan

      No Phil, it is you who fails to understand. Nobody who grew up where I did escaped being ‘tormented’. Nobody, the knowledge died of the torment. Very much of the torment was religion related. Some adults took it seriously. Kids who complained where told to go and play, or I will find something for you to do.

      Complain? Why? Learn to give back as good as you get. Totally gutted, laugh.

      Mark, racist, to believe one race is better than another, to be offended, to be called, or see something…

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    8. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Simile.
      Besides as hairy as ...
      what other synonym is associated with apes.
      As thick as a brick comes to mind in your case.

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    9. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Phil Dolan

      If you racially abused taxi-drivers who picked you up, if you didn't have money for the taxi-fare, if you often did runners from taxi-drivers, and then you complained about racist taxi-drivers then you have a problem.
      As an ex-taxi driver, I would pick anybody up who had money and who knew where they were going. The group most likely to do this were Asians.

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    10. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Dr mark Harrigan,
      What Adam Goodes did guaranteed that Adam Goodes and ape are rapidly approaching George Bush and Chimp on Google images hits.
      The ultimate own goal.
      Only Sudanese mudfish has seen an image move so quickly in hits in one day thanks to the Victorian police commissioner.

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    11. John Perry

      Teacher

      In reply to Mark Harrigan

      Mark he has made a flurry of such "contributions" all over the place very suddenly and they are marked in their abusiveness.

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  28. Judy Cameron

    Administration person

    I think Eddie McGuire's anti-racist training should be filmed and used as a documentary so people get educated in what racism actually is. It is the least he could do to make up for the harm he has done - not just to Adam Goodes and all indigenous people - but his legitimising of racism in Australia.

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  29. Peter Redshaw

    Retired

    I can understand the historical racist context of calling someone an ape or a monkey. And I can also understand its historical link with early evolutionists. But I do find it a strange linkage, considering within the scientific classification of species humans, or Homo sapiens, are all part of the primate family.

    But of course racism has nothing to do with the actual scientific realities. Racism is all about the other, meaning those other than those we normally identify with as our group, our…

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  30. Peter Hindrup

    consultant

    This whole conversation reminds me of the rather silly blue eye, brown eye setup that is supposed to teach people how it is to be ‘offended’.

    Having been a participant, in the put upon group, simply refusing to be in any way ‘put upon’ drew the angry explanation that unless people wanted to put upon, it could not work.

    Obviously. Made my point exactly.

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    1. Mark Harrigan

      PhD Physicist

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      The only point you appear to have made is that you have no understanding of what it means to be the victim of racism or other similar discrimination. Silly indeed.

      Perhaps you are that rare being who, even though you were to become the victim of racist taunts, could dismiss and rise above it? If so, lucky you - but most cannot - and I sincerely doubt you have actually had the experience.

      When an ethnic, religious or gender group is constantly discriminated against in terms of treatment, employment…

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    2. Michael Leonard Furtado

      Doctor at University of Queensland

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      Just thinking about Peter's too-easy dismissal of the 'Blue Eyes-Brown Eyes simulation: are there two 'conversations' going on here? The first about how things should be (which 'bugger the lot of them/devil may care' Aussies aren't very good at reflecting on), and the second about how such matters truly are (which most Aussies would blanch at - no pun intended:) as the general ethos, while deriding of political correctness, doesn't tolerate unfairness.

      (Also I haven't noticed any racial supremacists…

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  31. John Nicol

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    By perpetuating the discussion on the comments about the incredible sensitivity of a "top of the class" footballer, this article shows a strong emphasis towards voyeurism. The public interest in the item was dead a week ago and only sustained because journalists thought it had traction as a story! It was indeed a story, which was that anyone showing interest in it was completely out of touch with reality, axiomatically demonstrates how many among the population of journalists, are out of touch…

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    1. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to John Nicol

      John, I agree.

      I would like to take a group of these so easily offended people and force feed them some of t photos and video that is out there, that they do not see. Situations whee people, families, desperately scrape together the money necessary to send one family member off in to the unknown, hoping that that person may survive, and so keep the family going.

      What has that to do with racism? Everything. Some .of these people are the people attempting to get into Australia.

      'According…

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  32. sarah jade quinn

    logged in via email @gmail.com

    why were u like that to adam goodes i look up to him

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