Friday, 18 June 2010

Racial slur

Everyone gets that no one "means" racial comments, and that they "should be put into context".
This week we have seen an iceberg-tip (I would suspect) of comments from three football figures
(see some of the ongoing debate here...Timana Tahu & Andrew Johns & Mal Brown here & here)
When we discount these sort of comments and say (as Brown said) that he apologised 'reservedly', and when other commentators note that such a person has "been a wonderful advocate" as St Kevin Sheedy did, sort of implying that he should therefore be allowed to be as red necked as he liked...we rather miss the point.
It is this discounting that is the problem.
When we say it is OK for some people to behave poorly because at times that they have behaved well we are also saying that the subject of their bad behaviour does not have sufficient importance.
For example:
"No one should make racist marks"...but if you've taught or trained aboriginal people then that's ok.
It is not only this area. We realise too if we were to say
"No one should sexually molest a person under 16"...but if that person is gay, or dresses provocatively, or has 'asked for it' then that's ok
In the end. The "advocates", the "Trainers and the teachers", the "parents", the "tole models"...and so we might go on...are the ones who particularly need to set the example.

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