Thursday, April 30, 2015

What else have the deciders decidered for us?

People seem to think all this drama over Sam Armytage is exclusively to do with Sam Armytage, and I guess for some people it probably is, but something far more annoying is what is pissing me off, and that is all the other things that the deciders have decidered for us by telling us to 'move along, no racism to see here, people'.

We could talk all day about what Sam said, or what the twins thought of it, or why it is or isn't 'racist'... Or for several weeks, as the case may be.

At least then we wouldn't have to talk about Sunrise, and most other similar programs, employing pretty much all white presenters and I daresay having mostly all white execs behind the scenes as well.

We don't need to think about Australian media's long standing and overwhelming whiteness or its connection to their gross incompetence when it comes to discussing matters of race and racism.

We don't need to ask all the struggling Indigenous, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern actors and presenters who struggle to get onto Australian screens exactly why they think that might be.

We don't need to ask wtf is the deal with the white peeps who when that previous question is raised feel compelled to scream "My white skin shouldn't preclude me from getting a job" as though that is even remotely a real thing in this country.

It also saves us from having to ask what is the white world's fascination with mixed race siblings who don't have the same skin colour? I know several. No need to go all the way to the UK to find them.

No amateur eugenicists to see here, people, move along...

We also don't need to explore or understand why people so used to seeing so called 'casual', overt and/or malicious racism from our media defended by other journalists as either 'No racism to see here, people. Move along', 'You're just being silly/oversensitive' or 'But free speech' might be a little suspect on the amount of effort put into this debacle to show just how not racist Sam is.

No need to consider what Sam and Co actually think racism is when she makes comments like "It's just not in my nature". Where does our 'nature' come from? Is it in our genes, or is it also to do with the social privileges/inequalities we grow up with and take for granted as 'normal'? Does saying something others could rightly perceive racist automatically equate to being a cartoon villain? It doesn't matter, there is nothing to see here. Move along.

We don't need to examine the distinctions between intent and interpretation, or examine individual  instances outside of the imaginary vacuum.

We don't need to ask what is the difference between 'You are racist" "You are a racist' and 'What you just said/did was racist"?'. Or what is the difference between "I'm sorry I offended you", I'm sorry if I offended you" and "I'm sorry if you were offended".   

We certainly don't need to ask why so many journalists like to treat Indigenous people and causes like accessories they get to wear when they want to demonstrate how awesome they are or whenever they are in need of racism insurance, but still happily tell us to get back in our places and STFU when they feel we have stepped out of line or gotten too big for our boots.

We don't need to ask why so many white peeps are so quick to aggressively dismiss and ridicule not just the larger issues of racism, but also those who experience it daily.

We don't need to ask ourselves anything at all. Sam said she wasn't racist. A shit tonne of other white journalists think it is just fair dinkum silly that anyone would even suggest otherwise and happily adopt the right wing cat call of 'Outrage merchants" for anyone who dares to disagree. 

The message from all of this is painfully clear.

We just need to STFU and be grateful that so many lovely left leaning journos use our tweets and blogs to write their stories without any reference whatsoever to where 'their' ideas actually came from. Or when they do ask us to write for their rags or speak at their events they usually expect us to do it at our own expense. Only white people, aka professionals, deserve to get paid for that kind of work. We should be honoured that they are helping us to make their wages for them and justifying our ongoing exclusion from paid jobs in media circles.

Welcome to White Australian media... there's no racism to see here, people. The deciders have already decidered, and look out if you wanna suggest otherwise.

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