An overview of why I think Adam Goodes holds a mirror up to us.

I rarely feel compelled to respond to low-brow, destructive trolling and ill-considered outrage. I don’t like to add fuel to fires that I don’t think light up the world.

But on this occasion I feel some education is required following some very ignorant, small-minded, unproductive and hypocritical feedback to my recent comments on social media regarding Adam Goodes and how the stance he’s taking holds a mirror up to racism.

Adam Goodes in full flight


For anyone arguing he deserves the booing (ergo, it’s not racist) because of the 13-year-old girl incident, please read this.

For anyone arguing he deserves the booing (ergo, it’s not racist) because of his “aggressive” “war dance”, please read this.

For anyone arguing he deserves the booing (ergo, it’s not racist) because of his Australian of the Year speech, please read this.

For anyone arguing the booing has nothing to do with race but is instead because he’s become “too political” or “too outspoken” (a la Mark Latham, Jeff Kennett and various shock jocks today), I say: that makes ZERO SENSE!! Adam Goodes speaks out on race (appropriately and rightly so). We’ve lauded him as Australian of the Year for this. To say he shouldn’t, or that we don’t like that he does, is race-based at a bare minimum.

For anyone who’s taken the opportunity to issue racial, bigoted or sexist slurs off all this, you are illustrating my very point for me. You are the very reflection in Goodes’ mirror that I refer to. I should probably thank you. The delightful image below was pulled from Facebook.

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For anyone who thinks I don’t have the right or ability to speak out on this because a) I’m a woman and/or b) I should only be commenting on issues related to sugar, watch me do it anyway. Feel free, also, to check out my CV. I was a social commentator on social and political issues for 11 years. I’d also point out that you probably shouldn’t be following dumb, myopically-informed women.

For anyone who is truly outraged about the idea of Australia being labelled racist, I invite you to ask whether you’re equally outraged by the appalling gap in life expectancy for indigenous people? Or by the massive over-representation of indigenous people in jail? Or the continuing scourge of deaths in custody? I also invite you to ask, is the real issue here that Goodes has made us all feel uncomfortable?

As ABC journalist Francis Leach so succinctly put it in his column:

“Goodes wants to look you in the eye and talk about who we really are and where we’re really at…. he won’t simply be the Aboriginal man you want him to be.”

For anyone arguing Adam Goodes should get over himself, I ask whether you are Aboriginal, or whether you’ve spoken to an Aboriginal footfaller deeply about this? No? Please read this stunning column by journalist Stan Grant. Ponder this:

“To Adam’s ears, the ears of so many Indigenous people, these boos are a howl of humiliation. A howl that echoes across two centuries of invasion, dispossession and suffering. Others can parse their words and look for other explanations, but we see race and only race. How can we see anything else when race is what we have clung to even as it has been used as a reason to reject us.”

Finally, if you have done your reading on the issue, and got your facts straight, but have a considered, evidence-based article explaining the issue from the “he deserves to be boo’d” or “the booing isn’t racist” camp, please do alert me to it. I’m happy to be informed.

From me.

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