28 April 2021
Some call it sensitivity. Some call it cancel culture. Whatever your take, it’s undeniable that we’re way more sensitive to the way race is spoken about in 2021. But believe it or not, things weren’t always like this. In the distant past, society just wasn’t aware of the ins and outs of what could be considered offensive, and things that would never fly today were once considered totally acceptable. Things like;
1. The N word. Potentially the most offensive slur against the black community imaginable, and something that a public figure would NEVER get away with saying today. But believe it or not, that wasn’t always the case!
Such as the time radio broadcaster Alan Jones used the expression “N—– in the woodpile” way back in… August 2018.
Not many people realise this, but way back in the Dark Ages of 2018 this was an extremely common expression used daily by Australians who considered it a totally harmless thing to say, and not at all inflammatory, hateful, and quite simply the words of an absolute fuckwit.
Obviously these days a public figure would be crucified for using the N word in any capacity, but back then we just didn’t realise it was wrong! So it’s no wonder Alan Jones faced absolutely no consequences, continued broadcasting for an annual salary of $4 million and retired on his own terms. It’s understandable. Society just didn’t know any better.
2. It is universally accepted that discriminating against a complete race or religious group is just totally not on. However, if you look back in history it was absolutely commonplace to vilify people different than yourself. People like, say, Muslims.
A well known women once even called for Australia to close its borders to Muslim immigrants. Crazy! But remember, we can’t really judge historical events by modern standards. This women was not fired from her job, and went on to enjoy a lucrative gig hosting one of Australia’s biggest television programs. As she should have! Those comments were totally innocent when viewed in their historical context. An inquiry even found the comments did not amount to racism. Well of not! There was no such thing as racial vilification back in the olden days. This woman’s name was Sonia Kruger. And the comments were made in 2016.
3. Blackface. The historical practice of white folks painting their faces a darker colour to imitate black Americans was, once upon a time, a popular form of entertainment. It took a long, long time for society to understand how highly offensive it was. Of course, entertainers who did perform blackface acts were, back in a less enlightened time, celebrated and enjoyed by a wide audience. Crazy, but true!
And that time was just over ten years ago. An old-timey show called “Hey Hey it’s Saturday” featured a performance in which the participants dressed in blackface and performed a song by a popular black singer of the time. Of course, the show was not pulled off the air as it would be these days. But it was a different time. Good thing we know better now.
4. The Stolen Generation. In retrospect, the Stolen Generation is seen as one of Australia’s great tragedies. An act of cruelty and white supremacy. But without the benefit of hindsight it was actually widely supported in society. People actually believed they were doing the right thing back then. And by people, I mean the hosts of “Sunrise.” But can we really blame them? It’s not as though the devastating effects on the Aboriginal community could possibly have been understood way back in 2018.
If they had, Sunrise would definitely be pulled off the air. Because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that racist behaviour never goes unpunished. It would just not fly in today’s enlightened age. Thank god we’ve solves all issues around the treatment of the Aboriginal community since 2018!
*Please, please understand this is satire
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