I have written previously about the tragedy surrounding footballer Adam Goodes. Usually I would reserve the word ‘tragedy’ for a death or serious injury. Clearly, or as far as I know anyway, Adam is fit as a fiddle, and no doubt carrying some injuries from his more than 300 games of AFL, but hopefully nothing serious. I use the word tragedy about us, about the Australian public, or at least large segments of it. For, most surely it is a death, or at the very least a serious injury to the often touted “Australian way”.
To our great and everlasting shame we held a disgraceful policy in the 1960‘s called the “White Australia Policy”. For those too young to know, it enabled this country to stop anybody that wasn’t the right colour from entering and allowed us to turn them away. At the same time we didn’t allow our own indigenous people to leave the country because we wouldn’t give them passports. Charming eh?
The subject has been debated at length across the country for months, but there are some idiots still not getting it. The debate seems to have had some effect on those capable of reasonable thought, but on those ruled by their emotions, it has been “water off a ducks back”. As I witnessed at the final last week. Unbelievably, some fool dressed in blue and white stripes sitting in the middle of a few hundred swans fans decided it was OK to boo Adam Goodes when he had possession of the ball.
What the hell was he thinking?
I understand that the Americans who dress in white pointy hoods don’t think they are being racist either. In fact as far as I know, I am the only person I have ever met that admits to being racist. I’m not proud of it, I am really working hard at removing it from my makeup, but I admit that from time to time when I’m riding my scooter and I get cutoff by a driver with jet black hair I resort to a racist retort.
The news that Adam Goodes will not be part of the traditional lap of honour at the MCG Grand Final because he thinks the boo-ing will occur again is a tragedy (this is also the belief of many commentators). I have heard the pathetic arguments from boo-ers along the lines of “I don’t like him” but of course none of them have met him, so that may not be completely thought through. Or in fact any of the ridiculous claims about diving, staging or picking on nine-year olds, we should collectively and nationally be completely embarrassed by all of these arguments.
We used to be known as a country with a “fair go” attitude, though I think that may have been a sneaky political slogan slipped in from some previous incarnation of the Democrats, but regardless of its origin, we have clearly moved into an era of disrespect, of thoughtlessness bordering on 1770 arrogance. We, as a nation bear the blame for this stupidity. It terrifies me to think these same people vote.
Surely, as a nation, we can stand up and be better than this.