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Cheers - AE

Sunday, 4 September 2011

I still call Australia ho... a bit touchy

Qantas (the post title is from their advertising jingle, "I still call Australia home") has set the offence seekers a tweeting and a twatting recently. They're racists, you know, oh yes, really. Oh, they've apologised of course, but the secret's out now. Racists to the very core, every single one of them.

Qantas celebrating indigenous Australian culture with VH-EBU
"Nalanji Dreaming" - the intolerant racist pricks
And what have they done, you may ask? Well, they only went and ran a competition on Twatter for a couple of tickets to the annual Bledisloe Cup rugby match between Australia's Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks, and get this, they asked entrants how they'd support the Aussie team. Can you believe that? Raaaaaci... wait, what? Sorry about this. I must have missed something obviously racist somewhere. Let me just re-check.
To win, competitors had to tell Qantas via Twitter how they intended to show their support for the Wallabies at the match.
Ah, there, see? Raaaci... no, actually that isn't really, is it? Ah, it's the winners because they chose to dress as their favourite player.
Charles Butler, from his twitter account pek_anan, promised to ''dress as Radike Samo. Complete with Afro Wig, Aus rugby kit and facepaint''. For this, he won the free tickets.
Yes, it's the winners, the racist bastards, and so Qantas are racist bastards for picking them. Radike Samo must have been terribly wounded to find out that he's the favourite player of such appalling rednecks, and no doubt he'd have blanked the pair of them if he'd run into them. Except that actually he posed for a photo with them and was completely cool with the whole thing.

"I don't know what all the fuss is about. These guys were actually paying me a tribute. It was a bit of fun and I think it was great they regard me as their favourite Wallaby. I didn't have an issue with it at all. I was glad to be in a photo with them, so I don't know why anyone is getting worked up - that sort of reaction is just silly." - Radike Samo
And to be fair, if your favourite sporting hero is black with a big afro (actually he's from Fiji but I don't know if there's such a thing as a Fijfro) and you're white with just regular white guy hair it's pretty difficult to dress up as your idol without the face paint and the wig. I mean, rugby players don't really have permanent shirt numbers so if you don't make some kind of effort with the star's distinguishing marks nobody's going to know. "Who are you supposed to be, then, eh?"

Uh, don't laugh... Radike Samo? Hey, my eyes are up here.
Except you look like every other supporter wearing merchandising so probably nobody will even ask.

And anyway, how the hell's it racist to dress up and even get made up like someone you admire? Was Lenny Henry racist for whiting up and putting on a grey wig to impersonate Steve Martin (about 3:15 in) because he thought Steve Martin is a comedy legend? And if it's not about whether or not it's someone admirable then was it racist of Dave Chappelle to do the sketch about the white supremacist who didn't know he was black (content warning: do not drink coffee near keyboards approaching 1:15)? Or is this another one of those things where it's only racist if white people do it?

And above all what's it got to do with Qantas? All they did was run the comp and since Radike Samo himself was clearly not offended in any way, if anything a bit flattered by the sound of it, why shouldn't they choose these guys as the winners?
"Shame on @QantasAirways for backing such ignorance."
Oh, do shut your fucking face hole, whoever you are. Get it into your head: expression of admiration for a great player, okay? Said great player thinks it was awesome, okay? Said player plus the Australian Rugby Union support the two fans, right? Two-fifths of fuck all to do with everyone else, d'you see? Unless... unless these people crying racist think that Radike Samo is incapable of deciding for himself when he's being insulted. Yes, that must be it. It was an insult after all and Radike Samo needs it explained to him by these well meaning white people who... hey, wait. Isn't that a little paternalist, thinking Samo can't decide for himself if he should be offended by something? In fact isn't it really quite patronising? So if these people do think that the fans were insulting him and Samo just wasn't getting it, doesn't that make them...


Probably not, of course, and if they really did it'd be up to Radike Samo to decide if it was offensive to him and/or racist, albeit well meaning racism. No, what we have here is classic offence seeking, people desperate to be seen as right-on and PC and taking offence on behalf of other people. They must surely know it wasn't meant as anything other than a tribute to a player by a couple of admiring fans, and they certainly know that Samo took it in the spirit it was meant because he's told everybody. And since the two fans and Qantas know that they know it's a mite disappointing that they caved in, took down the photos and issued apologies. Good on the ARU and Radike Samo for being the ones to tell it like it is.
"... that sort of reaction is just silly."
This isn't about racism or prejudice. It's about self righteous pricks getting a hard on playing Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, except the tweets are probably coming from places like Kirribilli and South Yarra. Someone must be running a course.

Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller
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