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He’s the Goodes all right

No doubt some of you will have heard about two documentaries, soon to be released, about the events leading up to the retirement of former champion Australian rules, Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes.

And I don’t use the word “champion” lightly. Firstly, he was a champion man who was chosen as Australian of the Year in 2014 for his activism and good works. Secondly, he was a champion of his selected sport having won two Brownlow Medals. The highest accolade any player can receive.

The better of the two documentaries is said to be The Final Quarter which is set against the story of his final three years of his career.

The other, named The Australian Dream looks at Goodes’ story from the point of view of the historical context of racism and the under view of our ongoing discrimination against our indigenous folk.

Apparently key personnel from all the clubs, players managers, and other vested interests have seen the two movies and as a result have issued Goodes with an unconditional, if not a belated apology to the champion sportsman for not doing more to stem the chain of events that abruptly ended his career.

There are elements within our society who condone racist behaviour simply because of a lack of understanding; some journalists do it to satisfy their masters.

Sensationalism sells. Others do so because it is handed down from the father. With others, it is nothing more than ignorance.

We should look upon them not with anger but with pity. They see what they are thinking and feeling; seldom what they are looking at.

Those who follow my words for The AIMN or on Facebook will know that racism deplores me and I write about it a lot. In the back of my mind, I knew that I had written much about that time and in particular I was disgusted with a piece written by Andrew Bolt.

Not just for his obvious racism but his untidiness in fact and his scant knowledge of our great local game.

Many words have been used to describe what Andrew Bolt does. Some describe him as a journalist – others a commentator. I believe Tony Abbott once declared him Australia’s premier intellect. For me, he is a specialist “scandalist”.

Scandal means a publicised incident that brings about disgrace or offends the moral sensibilities of society: Damage to reputation or character caused by public disclosure of immoral or grossly improper behaviour; Talk that is damaging to one’s character; malicious gossip.

Bolt is a person who specialises in all of the above. Scandals are developed for whatever reason or you can make them up.

So why am I repeating my piece on Bolt (below) I wrote in 2013? Well, in this review from ABC News Breakfast the author points out that an integral part of the documentary in question is the Bolt account of what took place.

“Another part of Goodes’s exit story explored by the documentary is a 2013 incident in which a 13-year-old girl called him an “ape” during a game against Collingwood at the MCG.

Goodes pointed to the girl after she made the comment and she was escorted from the grounds.

“In his press conference the next morning, about 17 times, he said ‘It’s not her fault, please don’t go after her,” Darling said.

“Goodes was supported by Collingwood president Eddie McGuire in the wake of the taunt, but only days later McGuire apologised after suggesting the dual-Brownlow medallist promote the musical King Kong.

Darling said the “narrative” which claimed the treatment of the 13-year-old girl was the reason for the booing of Goodes only emerged in 2015, two years after the event.

The booing of Goodes intensified throughout the 2015 season, during which he performed an Indigenous war cry after kicking a goal in a game against Carlton.

His former teammate, Lewis Jetta, later said the booing was part of what had motivated the display of the dance, which was created during a development program with young Aboriginal footballers.”

You can read the full review and watch video reviews and footage of the time here.

Deconstructing Andrew Bolt

I hesitated to write this probably because enough has been said about the nefarious personality of the journalist (or whatever) Andrew Bolt.

However, I have been affronted on a number of levels. His blatant racism, his elitism, his disrespect for the greatest game on earth (my bias) and his sensationalism but unquestionably his lack of journalist integrity.

This is his piece published 30 May 2013. I invite you to read it in full before I return to the issue.

“ EDDIE McGuire is of course a bigger racist than the 13-year-old girl he helped to smear last week. But I blame the AFL’s Indigenous Round.

First, let’s compare. On Friday, a 13-year-old Collingwood fan at the football with her Nan shouts “ape” at bearded Sydney player Adam Goodes.

She said later she did not mean the word in a racist way and tried to apologise when she was told he was upset. Yet Goodes pointed out this girl, as old as my year 7 son’s to security staff, who marched her out of the stadium.

Police grilled her for two hours, initially without her grandmother present, and threatened with charges. Her face was shown on national TV and she was publicly branded a racist.

On Saturday Goodes absurdly declared, “racism had a face – and it was a 13-year-old girl”.

The US has its Ku Klux Klansmen, Serbia its Ratko Mladic, Australia a teary 13-year-old. Spare me.

Eddie McGuire is not some 13-year-old girl from a single-parent family. He is 48 and a canny media professional. He knows perfectly well “ape” can be a racially derogatory term, since he’d berated the girl for using it.

Yet on radio yesterday he suggested the producers of the new King Kong musical “get Adam Goodes down” to promote it. I was astonished.

Sure, McGuire also says he didn’t mean the comments in a racist way, but if the 13-year-old girl’s excuses weren’t believed, why should McGuire’s, especially when Goode’s was said by his club to be “in more of an emotional state as a consequence of this than of the incident on Friday”?

I blame New Racism for some of this. The Indigenous Round is a fashionably racist event that encourages people to divide the world into a white “us” and an Aboriginal “them”. It assumes a grievance and a difference. It encouraged commentators to see in the 13-year-old the archetypal white racist rather than a scared and sorry girl who’d been naughty but now needed her mum.

It similarly encouraged them to see in Goodes the black victim, rather than a 34-year-old sports star taking outsized offence at the rudeness of a girl.

Enough. We are all humans and all apes. We should start seeing each other as individuals, rather than representatives of some “race”.

The girl is just a girl and not a “white”. Eddie is just Eddie and not that bright.”

Can we all get on with the footy?

My thoughts

Firstly, it must be said that Andrew is a convicted racist and has been found to on many occasions lie in his writing, particularly on the environment. In addition, he has been convicted of defaming a female magistrate. He wants the law changed so that in the future under the guise of free speech he will be able to vilify at his heart’s content. In addition, the federal opposition has openly said the law will be changed so that he will be able to do so.

I have no doubt that he is paid extraordinary amounts of money to proliferate the pages of the Herald Sun with this sort of gutter journalism. Let us not forget what Justice Bromberg, said about Bolt’s use of language. He said, “His style and structure is highly suggestive and designed to excite. His style was ”not careful, precise or exact” and the language not moderate or temperate but often strong and emphatic”. There is a liberal use of sarcasm and mockery,” he wrote. Language of that kind has a heightened capacity to convey implications beyond the literal meaning of the words utilised. It is language, which invites the reader to not only read the lines, but to also read between the lines.”

We should also remember whilst we are on the subject of Apes that during the London riots, of the not to distant past Bolt in one of his pieces used the word ‘aped’ to describe the copycat behaviour of some people. The use of the word was legitimate in that sense until you appreciate that he was talking about black West Indians, and then the word became racist.

Now it should be remembered that Mr. Bolt is of Dutch origin and there is nothing wrong with that of course except that he tends to proclaim it as some sort of European superiority. So much so, that he has this need to travel to Europe to attend the opera because he doesn’t think ours is up to scratch. I ask myself what might he know about Aussie Rules football. Well, I would venture to suggest he wouldn’t know a behind post from a goal post, but then Andrew seems to have a view on everything. After all, he is paid too, and the more outrageous the better.

Now let us examine what Mr. Bolt has written

She said later she did not mean the word in a racist way and tried to apologise when she was told he was upset.

Two points here. Firstly Mr. Goodes had no way of knowing how old the lass was. Teenage girls can look decidedly older. Secondly, she wanted to apologise when she was told he was upset.

Is Bolt saying that his actions didn’t already indicate it? And why does he mention that the girl is the same age as his son? Where is the relevance?

Who marched her out of the stadium.

Really I saw no one being “marched” out of the MCG.

Police grilled her for two hours, initially without her grandmother present, and threatened with charges. Her face was shown on national TV and she was publicly branded a racist.

The use of the word “grilled” is sensationalist unnecessary and inflammatory. How does he know she was questioned for two hours and it is illegal to my knowledge to question a minor without the presence of a parent?

Her face was shown in the “live” footage how could it not be” and later pixilated for the news programs.

Because of what she said, the media reported it as racist. She was not “branded” Again he uses inflammatory language.

The US has its Ku Klux Klansmen, Serbia its Ratko Mladic, Australia a teary 13-year-old. Spare me.

Good gracious, please spare me the quite nonsensical comparison. Why not include Hitler?

Eddie McGuire is not some 13-year-old girl from a single-parent family. He is 48 and a canny media professional. He knows perfectly well “ape” can be a racially derogatory term, since he’d berated the girl for using it.

No, McGuire is politically of a leftist persuasion and has never forgotten his roots. His parents by choice still live in one of the less affluent suburbs of Melbourne.

I draw the readers attention to Andrew Bolt’s use of the ape word as previously indicated. He knows all about the ape word. Again he uses a provocative word “berated” but I don’t think McGuire ever did that.

Sure, McGuire also says he didn’t mean the comments in a racist way, but if the 13-year-old girl’s excuses weren’t believed, why should McGuire’s?

There is no disputing this point except to say that in McGuire’s defence he is the only personality I have heard not mount a personal vindication of their actions.

I blame New Racism for some of this. The Indigenous Round is a fashionably racist event that encourages people to divide the world into a white “us” and an Aboriginal “them”.

In my lifetime, I do not think I have ever read a sentence more calculated to offend. Bolt seems to not only offend the great game itself but those who play it and the multitudes who follow it.

New racism. What is that? Racism is racism. There is nothing at all new about it.

The Indigenous round is a series of matches that celebrates the unique contribution that some of the most amazing players make or have made to our game.

I hardly think Bolt would appreciate that. When you see the way in which white teammates applaud their black counterparts. I do not see, any white us or black them. I think Andrews mind has gone “walk a bout” And I meant that to be insulting.

It similarly encouraged them to see in Goodes the black victim, rather than a 34-year-old sports star taking outsized offence at the rudeness of a girl.

I am a 79-year-old white former player. I think I grasp the emotion of our game and how he feels. I do not expect a person of the stature of Bolt ever could.

Enough. We are all humans and all apes. We should start seeing each other as individuals, rather than representatives of some “race”.

The girl is just a girl and not a “white”. Eddie is just Eddie and not that bright.

Can we all get on with the footy?

Science might tell me that I descended from apes. Darwin might also suggest that by virtue of mutation I am not one now. Just as Michael Long is of the Aboriginal race, I am of European descent.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and white, but as with Eddie is not that bright.

These last couple of paragraphs I think reinforces the opinion of David Marr that Bolt is a journalist of little repute. To quote Marr on Bolt read this:

But Bolt’s ugly columns have not cost the Herald Sun much more than a fair dose of embarrassment.

There is in the office of the Editor of the Herald Sun (and dare I say those of other Murdoch newspapers) a four-drawer filing cabinet with a suspension file with a tab and the word “truth” on it. It has not been looked at in many years because it is the newspaper where the truth goes to die.

The statement from the AFL read as follows:

“The treatment of Adam challenges us, and our right to be considered Australia’s Indigenous football code,” says the joint statement. “Adam, who represents so much that is good and unique about our game, was subject to treatment that drove him from football. The game did not do enough to stand with him, and call it out.”

“We apologise unreservedly for our failures during this period. Failure to call out racism and not standing up for one of our own, let down all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past and present.”

My thought for the day

Champions get up when they can’t.

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5 comments

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  1. Keitha Granville

    I suspect JL that someone might be writing this same article in another 50 or even 100 years. There will always be racists, they can’t help it, they are just ignorant pathetic fools. With the likes of PHON at the forefront of politics, helped along by those in the media who choose to give them airtime, there is no chance of it being ignored.
    The intelligent branch of Australians must just continue to call it out, fight against it and stick up for every Australian no matter their differences.
    We whites can never ever understand how it feels. If we did it wouldn’t happen.

  2. New England Cocky

    The hard facts that John Howard and his fellow racists, including various high media profile individuals, refuse to believe is that White Australia has a Black History.

    Andrew Blot is just another loud mouth racist on a minor media outlet reported as having a 3% reach that is owned by News Ltd (aka Rupert Murdoch), so the main watchers appear to be MSM “journalists” looking for an easy story rather than real people.

    In the “ape” incident the Victorian Police demonstrated the complete disregard for necessary legal process for which the organisation has rightly become notorious.

    The great advantage of Sky News is that you can ignore it and still get the best news coverage from ABC News 24 ….. until we stop fighting the Scummo Lazy Nasty misgovernment to keep “OUR ABC”.

  3. Awashwithcolour

    I agree with what you’ve written in this article.
    Racism is something that can cause immense harm and when media personalities like Bolt express this kind of racism it brings the racist short fingered vulgarian fools out of the woodwork.
    I have Aboriginal ancestry in my mother and father’s families and even though I didn’t know about this and had never been told because I believed that l was a white kid l did get some racist abuse a couple of times because of going so brown in the summer l got called a boong, when l was about 11. I had no idea what that word meant and my mother was very upset and told me that was a very bad word. I have also experienced what is called casual racism and this is equally appalling.
    Adam Goodes was treated appallingly by AFL footy supporters and the media. MSM like to inflame these kinds of situations and l think that Adam Goodes deserved the apologies for what happened to him. My hope is that one day we can see each other as human beings. We’re all the same. We just come in different colours.
    Andrew Bolt is a nasty piece of work and bows to his master’s and enjoys stirring up hate.

  4. wam

    The golf club discussion on the booing was due to goodes’ ‘war dance’ described as ‘ridiculous’ display. The fact that not one of those related their use of ‘ridiculous’ or any of the booing as racially motivated echoes the depth of racism against Australian Aborigines and identifies our racism as being different from African racism.

    Deep seated red-neck feelings of Aborigines as being sub-human and will die out are embedded in society.
    Despite our knowing that Aborigines are multi-lingual there are hundreds of different languages, hundreds of different cultures, hundreds of different shapes and shades Australians lump them together as one.
    History shows us that police and pastoralists could control Aborigines by taking them out of their country into a different language, culture and song, thereby making them dependent on the white bosses.

    Indeed, lord, men and women of our age are unlikely to have the experience of mixing with Aborigines or even noticing them in public.
    Some of us were lucky and went to schools, like Ethelton, with Aboriginal people.

    I was luckier in having 16 years at Kormilda and briefly as a darwin buffalo b-grader.

    It is so frustrating to see the avoidance of ‘racism’ – I received this last night.

    ‘Billy Moir you do realise that Smith and Warner, who both happen to be white are being booed more than Goodes ever was don’t you? Maybe they should use the race card because people are booing them’

    At the time I used ross lyon’s attempt to stop the booing. His request was ignored and went onto the (like a troll, crow??) docker’s facebook and asked a few questions and copped a huge backlash from people furiously denying their racism.

    Lord, have you seen top end wedding??? Nearly 50 years ago the grand father, my dad and me were having a beer after the footie and dad suddenly blurted out “don’t worry bernard you were once white like us.”
    He, like you, had never met a shiny black articulate, socially expert Aborigine and his southern redneck Australian prejudice was challenged.

    Australian special edition Aboriginal racism is reinforced every day by the media, interaction with government, commerce and socially, especially at golf clubs. Any attempt to mitigate is quickly attacked and racism denied. But any casual look at government policies, any observations at shop counters, service desks, front offices or hearing adam briggs on his parent’s problems with buying a house will show that until we whites admit racism and work to redress it. The silent and audible booing will dominate.

  5. Pilot

    I’m sort of lucky to be black & white blind. Can pick all the colours, but danged if I can see colour in skin. My Mother (rip) & Father (rip) never discussed race or skin colour and didn’t associate with bigots or racists and didn’t condone “cracked remarks” in our house.

    School was pretty white and in high school we had a couple of 1st nation students come in when I was in mid year. He was a football miracle and she was an absolute stunner. They both copped a bit initially but that settled after about week after their “newness” wore off. Every new student went through the trial by “newness” back then (60s).

    I haven’t got a uni degree so I cannot put the words together that are printable to describe my absolute disdain of Andrew Bolt. My humble opinion is that he is simply trash, dog’s vomit and extremely toxic. In short, he’s nothing, and has nothing to advance Australia as tolerant country.

    My dear printer friend Gavin, some of you may remember a (pub) story I told about him some time ago, passed a couple of months back and the incident I related was actually mentioned at his funeral by his nephew and drew laughter from the gathering. Rest in peace my friend.

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