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The world sees red over Hey Hey‘s blackface

Because Australia doesn’t cop enough flack for being a racist backwater, the good folk propping up the reanimated corpse of Hey Hey it’s Saturday decided last night that no nostalgia trip into the country’s murky cultural past would be complete without reviving some ol’ fashioned 20th century bigotry.

And so it was that, amidst three hours of tired puns, dubious puppetry and that very special Daryl Somers-brand of awkward ad-libbing, was this:

YouTube Preview Image

Yes. They put on a Minstrel Show.

And it seems a few people got a little offended.

And by “a few people”, we do mean “pretty much the entire world”.

Naturally, the fallout started pretty early on the pulse of the people, Twitter. Ironically, Daryl Somers himself had anointed #HeyHey and #Plucka as the “official” hashtags prior to the show, which ended up providing a neat little way of collecting the world’s grievances over the stunt.

The show’s 10:30pm finish time (which was more like 10:50pm, because three hours just wasn’t enough time to contain all that fun) meant it ended just in time for those across the pond to wake up to clips of the “sketch” buzzing around the social media web. It didn’t take long for the outrage to begin — and it came thick, fast and dripping with scorn and sarcasm.

In The Guardian: Harry Connick Jr weirdly unimpressed by Australia’s blackface Jackson 5:

In Australia, of course, it is perfectly acceptable, and we thank the nation for yet another important contribution to the annals of human culture.

For The AV Club: G’Day, Blackface!

In case you were wondering what the country of Australia in 2009 has in common with fictional 1960s advertising exec Roger Sterling, well, apparently, they share an unbridled love of blackface. Really, they just can’t get enough.

Still Fresh And Funny In Australia: Blackface, scoffs The Awl:

You know what never gets old for the folks on Prison Island? Blackface! Oh, how they chuckle!

And you know you’ve really cocked-up when the world’s leading media industry gossip snarkers, Gawker, project some of their particularly acidic bile in your direction:

Wow, an American is being the voice of cultural sensitivity? Australia must be really messed up.

And the fallout continues, from the likes of New York mag, Movieline, dlisted and more.

For the 1980s anachronism Hey Hey, it was a harsh lesson in just how differently the media works in 2009: just because your target demographic is slack-jawed suburbanites and pensioners, the whole world is now watching.

And once again, the whole cringe-worthy affair has hammered home just how out-dated the show really is.

On the upside, the international scorn virtually guarantees this is the last time we’ll ever see Hey Hey rear its tired, shoe-polished face on our screens again.

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  • 1
    Rhino
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I really didn’t equate the portrayal of black people as black as ‘racist.’ I know it’s easy (and common) to use the R-word towards almost anything that identifies anyone by race/nationality/religion, but then it’s also a mis-use which cheapens the examples of genuine serious racism which we may see around the world.

    To me, the skit was no different than Robert Downey Jr doing the Blackface in the film “Tropic Thunder” - for which he received an Oscar nomination! No scream of “racist” there…

    By logical extension, if it was ‘racist’ for some black people to portray black people as black by blackening their faces (the leader, playing Michael jackson, is Indian), it is also racist for actors to adopt foreign accents when playing foreign people. Meryl Streep in “Out of Africa,” for example, had her portraying a South African by assuming the appearance and accent of a South African…

    In summary - overreaction?

  • 2
    frank
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    This whole debacle must raise the question, who were the out of touch morons who filtered the acts to decide who would appear. It seems that there is an opening for cultural and racial sensitivity courses to be run at the channel.

  • 3
    gef05
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    international scorn”

    Gawker.
    The Guardian.

    Got anything else?

  • 4
    Adam Barker
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Seriously, I think the whole thing is being a bit overdone. I could see Harry Connick Jr was getting upset but he’s a yank and they’re all precious. The people doing the routine are not yokels, they are well educated doctors holding respectable positions in the community, and in fact, the group themselves are made up of a number of different ethnic backgrounds.

    The sad part is this PC bullshit will overshadow what was two Wednesday nights of fun and nostalgia. They did the same thing 20 years ago and to be honest I thought it was a good flashback.

    If you want to be mad about something be mad about the war in Afghanistan or the Bankers still collecting big bonuses with taxpayers money - don’t be mad at a little sketch on a one off show in a small, fararway land.

  • 5
    jeebus
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Yeah it was a lame sketch and shouldn’t have been chosen for the show, but for the love of christ, let’s not over-react with a political correctness sh*t-storm. Deal with it the Australian way and take the piss out of it instead!

  • 6
    Stivette J.B. Smythe
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    O H G I V E M E A B R E A K !!! Get a life and liven up you painful catbum faced killjoys!

    LET ME LAY IT OUT FOR YOU SIMPLY. Firstly; The show was fun, I still have a smile on my face - didn’t know how much I missed seeing it until the last two weeks and was never even a die hard fan. Thanks HeyHey and Jackie/Ding Dong/Ozzie it was great you came back last night and joined the crew.

    NOW, the “incident” - I didn’t even think anything of it again until Daryl handled it perfectly by inviting Harry Connnick to explain and “have his say”. Not that most of us needed to have it explained - but given that he is American, a friend of Hey Hey and THIS WAS LIVE TELEVISION it was the right thing to do since he was upset. It’s no big deal - he’s cool, and we’re cool. And Journos can you HOLD THE SUPERLATIVES PLEAESE ! … I would hardly call it factual run a headline within 60 minutes of the show saying “Hey Hey Condemned” - give me a break! Your headline should have read “I Hereby Condemn Hey Hey”.

    Let’s all take a deep breath and remember this was not a Hey Hey skit or send up but an act on the often distasteful but often hilarious Red Faces.

    One loveable Aussie trait is that we don’t take ouselves too seriously and while respecting other people WE STILL LIKE TO POKE FUN AT OURSELVES and others. If you want and need everything dumbed down, controlled and your humour censored by government and/or religious leaders then move to Iran and leave us 2 million or so other viewers to have a laugh. Like yelling out at the football that your team are playing like a “bloody bunch of poofs” (while sitting next to your gay friends) - this innocent skit was just an “Aussie bitta fun”.

    Now for the more important issue - when is channel nine going to listen to us all and bring this fantastic show back. Chook Lotto was such a laugh and Plucka as usual was a hoot - the weird thing is I don’t even know why I love this show but that I guess is part of it’s magic And NO it is NOT a FLEETING infatuation…. Come on Nine and come on ADVERTISING EXECS - give them a run for a couple of years and we’ll show you we mean it!

    Daryl and Team - 2 million aussies know this was just a little hiccup caused by a small oversight re one of your guests - and the fact it is LIVE TV. Like spilling wine on an old friend at a party - the shirt dries, the party goes on - and after a few days we are remembering the party and not the spilt wine. Well done - we LOVED THE SHOW!

  • 7
    Hochfelden
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Retiring as I did to Australia in 2002 (after 31 years living in Switzerland) I noticed so many elements of Australian life that reminded me of Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. The Black and White Minstrel Show which was the most popular TV show and which even the British became offended by so that it was taken off the air in 1967 appears to be alive and kicking in multi-cultural Australia. Talk about the Tyranny of Distance.

  • 8
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Rhino: It’s not a matter of identification and portrayal. That can be done with taste as actual comedy or artful commentary (often at the same time). This skit was neither. It was straight down the line teasing, based directly on race, and without any sensitivity to historical expressions of racism (the minstrel shows).

    No screams of racism or inappropriateness about Robert Downey Jr.’s role in “Tropic Thunder”? Oh how quickly you forget… there was a lot of controversy about it before the film was released, but by the time people had seen it, the “art” of the film’s parody (however funny it may or may not have been) was better understood. It was certainly a risky move, which the creators and Downey Jr. understood and spoke about.

    Turns out “Tropic Thunder” was poking fun at actors and Australians — not African-Americans — so you win two awards for insensitivity and thoughtlessness today!

  • 9
    stephen
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    FCS Stivette & Co. you would be up in arms if your sacred cows where insulted let alone you personally. Well Stiv you seem pretty cranky because Hey Hey is being criticised.
    Adam Barker is the pot calling the kettle black with your prissy response.
    Jeebus what’s your point?, that’s exactly what people are doing, and don’t impose the dreaded “aussie way” on us please. You can’t speak for twenty million, speak for yourself!

  • 10
    Me
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh good gravy!

    I enjoyed Hey Hey in the past and enjoyed the reunion shows - Yes. Even WITH the ‘Jacksons’ skit. Red Faces wouldn’t be Red Faces if there anyone was to appear there with real talent, would it?! Anyone who knows me will tell you that I abhor racism but …. really!?

    The skit was a ‘flash back’ and did not appear (to me, anyway) to be a ‘minstrel show’ but a bunch of guys imitating -badly - the Jacksons. I guess the fact that the participants were not of (recent) African origin (that’s where everyone in the world originated, remember) probably necessitated the blackened faces & hair to depict the Jacksons - and granted it was ridiculously overdone - but ‘racist’?

    If it were a skit about a Dutch group and they dressed in clogs and funny hats and carried tulips, would THAT be offensive? We all know that’s not how the Dutch really appear and this is just a way to depict them in a skit, so I’m assuming not.

    I guess I’m not black skinned so I may not understand the situation fully - and I stand to be corrected by any black skinned person who was insulted or offended by the skit. Until then all I can say is: “Please stop this precious ‘cultural insensitivity’ nonsense!”

  • 11
    lobrow
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I have two words for those in the UK with short memories:

    Papa Lazarou…

  • 12
    monkeyboy
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    So a white guy apologises to another white guy because of a black joke - there’s your punchline to a shitty skit - comedy gold.

  • 13
    Stivette J.B. Smythe
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Stephen my dear - it’s Stivette to you thankyou.

    And whilst chastising Jeebus for speaking on behalf of 20 million, I must ask that you refrain from a less numeric but still notable transgression - that of assuming you can speak for me.

    In fact I don’t get up in arms if my sacred cows are insulted. I simply don’t take them on board if ever I come accross them as insults (rare anyway) and if they are a laugh then all the better.

    And yes I’m cranky that Hey Hey is being criticised, because I will always defend the very defensible especially if said defensible is also entertaining and a lot of fun for 2 million of us.

    Your problem and everyone else having a whinge is easily solveable, just reach for your remote if Hey hey gets back up. Or would you like our programming habits to be dictated to us perhaps by a government department.

    HEY! Has anyone called Kevin about this? Surely he’d love to add his populist “total and complete” condemnation for this “outrageous error of judgement that has no place in today’s Australia” (yaaaaaaawn…). Oh - and annnounce an immediate judicial inquiry into facial boot polishing for light entertainment!

  • 14
    stephen
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Stivette, I’m not your dear and I’m not speaking for you in the least. Maybe you can speak up for youself like a good chap, but racist based humour is hurtful, and toxic to a healthy society. It was wonderful that Harry spoke. He was gracious and couragous speaking up for others, whereas you are gracious and courageous speaking up for yourself. It is no co-incidence that you, who is sensitive about your name being abbreviated would lack empathy

  • 15
    Dom Ramone
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Stivette wrote:

    Let’s all take a deep breath and remember this was not a Hey Hey skit or send up but an act on the often distasteful but often hilarious Red Faces

    That’s ok then, it was the red faces skit that was at fault, not Hey Hey. Of course.

    From this contorted piece of logic, I guess nothing would offensive or indecent so long as the ‘comedy’ is staged within the red faces segment.

    FAIL.

  • 16
    afoxrussell
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Racist? Probably not. But, in extremely poor taste? Absolutely.

  • 17
    Glenn
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Geez whats all the fuss about I didn’t even see a problem at all until I saw the media this morning.

    I mean the Jackson 5 are colored aren’t they ????

    Just get over it.

  • 18
    Aus_Roh
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    The “Jackson Jive”, Red Faces, and the show was not making fun of black people. (Funny, when I was young, using the word ‘black’ was considered offensive.) The group was making a goofy parody to a specific pop group, not a race in general. The attempted (and in my opinion successful attempted) humour was the gaudy *imitations* of specific persons, not a comment on the subjects themselves. That included costumes, moves, and yes of course some sort of personal recognition.

    It’s Red Faces, they were making a joke of themselves trying stupidly to be someone else, not the other way around. Being so pro-actively offended should be considered offensive in itself. Yes, there are significant historic blackfacing issues in the US, but this is our country, it was not in the US. We are the ones being viewed with bigotry now. Can white people be offended by the Michael Jackson figure who was white-faced? Or would that be too much now. (In that instance that could be a joke on a specific person, but it is still not racist.)

  • 19
    Chris Graham
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Great article Ruth. You hit the nail right on the head, as did Hochfelden with the comment: “Talk about the Tyranny of Distance.”

    What I love most about this issue is that so many people are prepared to come and defend it, claiming everyone else is thin-skinned. The rest of the world thinks we have a problem with racism and we think the rest of the world is wrong. Well, South African thought the same thing.

    I particularly love the many “I’m not racist but” style comments above. We truly are a very very ignorant nation.

  • 20
    jacks
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I remember all the politically correct idiots on youtube from america making comments about the Chasers impersonation of the Jackson 5 - “its racist” they all screamed. No, its a parody of the group. It has nothing to do with race, what it has to do with is looking like the original singers. I saw a comment a little while ago that I agreed with - remember the film white chicks? about two black actors who dressed up as white women? any PC idiots start screaming then?
    All you people think you’re helping but all you’re doing is increasing racial tensions by making a big deal out of nothing.

  • 21
    Heathdon McGregor
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Watch Spike Lee’s Bamboozled to see that blackface is racist because the only way for african americans of the time to enter showbusiness was to don blackface and denigrate their race. Channel Nine should have been aware of a backlash as they had gone through the Sam Newman/Nicky Winmar crap a few years back.

    The Doctors who performed the show discussed whether it would offend before the show according to the news.com reports and went ahead.

    I put it that once they themselves were concerned they should of walked away.

    It takes all types of intelligence.

    Another reason to laugh at racist commentators on Crikey who use the word Bogan to elevate themselves.

  • 22
    jeebus
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Stephen, my point is that while this sketch was in poor taste, let’s not go overboard and hold it up as a rallying cry for how backwards or racist Australia is. That will only polarise people, and put wind into the sails of genuine racist movements looking to exploit the inevitable PC backlash.

  • 23
    monkeyboy
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    …And Dave Chappelle taking the piss out of white folk(as well as black folk) was comedy gold. Maybe that’s the difference with Chappelle you piss yourself laughing, with Hey Hey it’s just piss poor?

    So no one jumps up and down about the Wayans bros doing White Chicks or Little Britain or Borat/Bruno taking the piss out blacks. Please someone tell me what the difference is(beside the laugh content)?

  • 24
    Glenn
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I see nothing wrong in being black.
    Those who complain about blackface obviously do, it’s impersonation you idiots not insulting.

  • 25
    stephen
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Jeebus Australia does have a lot of racists, should we be silent so as not to upset extremists?
    The skit itself was at worst ill considered. What is more telling is the number of people jumping to defend the skit and insult as “PC idiots” etc, anyone who objected.
    Jacks, don’t you realise what’s PC is subjective. I reckon you’d have your sacred cows, in fact I think you’ve demonstrated that.

  • 26
    loveyuhsall
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Harry Jnr said that “…….we (americans) have spent so much time trying to not make black people look like bafoons”

    Q1. Who is WE…………
    Q2. Is colour related to being a “bafoon”

    Black President……….White President……….Black bafoon………..White bafoon……When will we stop judgeing a man by the colour of his skin…………

    This whole skit is only about colour to those who are inherently racist. I didn’t hear anything that indicated the black was inferior or superior. Where is the racism (judgement) based on colour?????????

  • 27
    Ade
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Plenty of worse things in the world to worry about ahead of a lame skit on Hey Hey. Plenty. But this will sell papers and get people clicking links, so it gets a run.

  • 28
    malcolm grant
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    A direct quote from one of the articles on The Seattle Stranger website.

    Apparently it’s necessary to point out that the Australians were mocking an American musical cultural icon who recently died, using a form of performance that is universally offensive to Americans, in front of an American musician. So it’s not exactly like Connick was an outsider watching a Australian cultural display on its own terms. Everything about what was happening was predicated on American cultural history and values.

    And it’s not like it would require a deep study of American culture to understand that blackface is offensive to Americans. Anyone familiar enough with American culture to do the Jackson 5 would be able to anticipate how an American would respond to a blackface show.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • 29
    CaffeineAddict
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely sickening!

  • 30
    loveyuhsall
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I lived in America 10 years ago and an American asked me “if we have bank yet in Australia ?” and another asked “how long it would take to drive there?”

    I said I wear “thongs” on my feet and I’m insulted by your “fanny pack”.

    Lighten up. We are not Americans and in general we know more about their cultural sensitivities than they know abot us……… Just try asking for “tomatoe sauce” next time your in the US.

    The skit was Australian and in no way diminished, demonised or derided people based on their colour.

    It would do us all good if people were colour blind.

  • 31
    Pedro
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    The intention of the act was not to be racist, but humorous. To those not in the know, it unfortunately came across racist and that was the problem.

    Harry Connick may have had a point to make on this but made it poorly. Those who found it funny enjoyed the impersonation of the Jackson 5. Those who found it offensive thought it was parodying black people for being black. I don’t believe that was the intention.

    The trouble with the comments by Connick Jnr are they polarised people.

    I can understand why blacks could get their backs up over impersonations by whites - for a long time whites mimicked blacks for their skin colour and implied they were inferior, which is the great shame of the white person.

    Personally, I don’ think this act was racist. I say this keeping in mind that racism effectively insinuates that one race is superior over another. While there are some stuck in the dark ages who still hold this view to be true, I think a vast majority of Australians (and I mean a huge majority of Australians) are now are enlightened enough to know this premise is false.

    As such, if a white person being parodied by a black person, or a black person is being parodied by a white person, so long it is the character of the person and not the skin colour or race which is the punch line, I would not have a problem.

    One good thing to maybe come out of it is it could put the spotlight back onto the plight of our own indigenous Australians. It seems that ever since the apology everyone has moved on from their plight. Maybe this will put the spotlight back on it.

  • 32
    stephen
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Hey are you the same Pedro who called me “pure scum” yesterday in the comments about John Howard and the NRL?
    Well done, young man for making it through a paragraph without being nasty. It’s good to know you’re irrational hatreds aren’t race based. I know it’s risky but I need to disagree with you again.
    Seventy seven percent of Australians supported Howards Pacific solution, which saw children imprisoned indefinitely without charge because they were poor and coloured. Almost as many resisted the apology for years, and scratch the surface of many aussies and they think the aboriginals are the sole architects of ther current situation..
    Australians are no more a happy go lucky nation than the next country, that’s unhelpful jingoistic mythology. We are just as capable of having our buttons pushed as any other country in the world.
    I agree the skit was not as interesting as the debate following it.

  • 33
    kebab shop pizza
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Wow, when did all the Hun mouthbreathers decide to come and troll Crikey? Did I miss something?

  • 34
    jacks
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Maybe people should understand what racism means before they go branding people as racists.
    Racism: a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others. Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
    Does anyone honestly believe that this skit showed intolerance or hatred towards black people? The Indian man who dressed up as a white person is exactly the same thing, but yet again apparently it is only white people who can be racist.

  • 35
    CaffeineAddict
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    The intention of the act was not to be racist, but humorous. To those not in the know, it unfortunately came across racist and that was the problem.

    Harry Connick may have had a point to make on this but made it poorly. Those who found it funny enjoyed the impersonation of the Jackson 5. Those who found it offensive thought it was parodying black people for being black. I don’t believe that was the intention.”

    Well they certainly failed at being humorous in that case.

    I don’t see how it can be defended as a parody of the Jackson 5. It is perfectly possible to parody the Jackson 5 without the use of blackface. It’s not as if dancing style, clothing and choice of music would be insufficient to identify their intended target.

    Of course with this group it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the blackface was the point of their act. Certainly there was nothing else on offer.

  • 36
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    STEPHEN: Yep, that’s the Pedro of the political pages!
    The thing that amazes me is the lack of taste (it’s such a long-gone and I had hoped long forgotten means of entertainment Look at the YouTube ‘history of blackface’ in these pages, the inherent servility, etc, etc.) and putting on a show like that AND inviting an American judge, KNOWING that they have a black president, and KNOWING something of the racial problems they’ve had. Just to really put themselves in the s/hit, the judge sounded to me as if he came from the deep south I mean WTF passed the segment in the first place?

    I’ve always known how bloody inferior commercial television is, but I dare say when pitching their programs at an audience of ten year olds reveals the station’s programmers as having ten year old brain-spans as well.

    As for the quality of the act! Well, happily they all have excellent jobs in medicine.
    Stay there boys. One bonus. By wearing blackface they have disguised themselves pretty well.

  • 37
    stephen
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    KSP Maybe it was a breach of some sort of protocol to recognise Pedro. I was personally abused in several posts by him yesterday on a related matter, it’s still a bit raw.

  • 38
    jacks
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and Stephen stop acting like the wounded party.You hijacked a debate about the NRL and just spewed your biased hatred towards howard. Pedro made a good point - anyone who hijacks child abuse and uses it to try and win a political argument is scum.

  • 39
    SuprF1y
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Yes , we are really quite a racist society in Australia. Thank god somebody has called us on it. And a yank to boot. Hoo bloody ray.

  • 40
    stephen
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Jacks what are you talking about wounded party?, and stop calling me scum pal! The scum are the people who did it and condoned it andignored it, are you one of those?
    If when debating Howards suitability for a job one refers to his inhumane deeds from the recent past, that’s not hijacking. I think Howard might be one of your sacred cows, I knew you’d have loads of them.. typical.

  • 41
    jacks
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Basically you were using such a biased interpretation of child abuse any of our prime ministers could have been called such a thing. The point Pedro was making is that you demean the people who have had those horrible things happen to them by using it to try and score cheap political points.

  • 42
    stephen
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Jacks are you saying Howard didn’t lock kids in detention and campaign in a federal election by repeatedly vilifying terrified refugees, and deviously misrepresenting them in the children overboard scandal? We were talking about Howard, if some one else has done the same thing it doesn’t lessen his guilt.
    And how is speaking about injustice demean those who have been harmed?????????I don’t get your “logic” at all. I suspect you just what to silence dissent.

  • 43
    jacks
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I suspect you just what to silence dissent” really? am i silencing you by saying comparing howard to a child abuser demeans people who really had that happen to them. Please, feel free to remove your imaginary gag. Keating and Rudd both locked up immigrants so first of all you can call them all child abusers too in the interests of being even about it. If I was a small child I would rather have been with my parents even if it was in detention than be all alone in a foreign country.

  • 44
    Euan J Thomas
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Gees the only thing these guys were missing from their white suits were the white caps and a good ole cross burning in the background, just to put a bit more light on the stage now! Thems good ole boys sure like have a good ole time.

  • 45
    Liz45
    Posted Thursday, 8 October 2009 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know anything about this until I heard it spoken about on ABC this afternoon. The usual comments were there; the ‘this is political correctness gone mad’ to ‘we don’t know how to laugh at ourselves, rah rah’?
    This is my idea of political correctness, which in no way resembles racism. To refer to the woman chairing a meeting as ‘Chairperson’ is being politically correct, and not calling her ‘Chairman’ should be obvious. However, sending up black people’s blackness and in a frivolous or demeaning manner, encouraging others to laugh at their blackness and snide beliefs of being less or lower than the rest of us, is racist! That’s it! It’s not rocket science, it’s not too hard for anyone with just the average IQ to understand - it’s racist! It called on the judges via the audience to laugh!

    As a woman who grew up as a blonde, I took exception to all the ‘blonde jokes’? They inferred that I had no intelligence; that worse than that I was stupid and a bimbo, thus entitled to be raped, villified, laughed at and treated as less than human, and certainly not entitled to equal pay for equal work. I found and still find those attempts at sexist humour offensive. Now all the idiots out there, the fellow travellers of racist attitudes and behaviour, if you can’t identify with black peoples’ reality, you probably won’t identify with mine. Perhaps the fact that I’m white just might be the difference! God knows how I’d survive as a black woman!

  • 46
    Foster
    Posted Friday, 9 October 2009 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Well if anyone defending the blackface skit wants some tips… there’s some good arguing tactics here:

    http://www.derailingfordummies.com/

    (no offense intended… it’s just a bit of fun and takin the piss!)

  • 47
    stephen
    Posted Friday, 9 October 2009 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Jacks I can understand now why you are having trouble, you haven’t followed those issues closely enough.
    1. Howard was the subject of the article not Keating or Hawke or Rudd, if they are ever nominated for something then feel free to cite any short comings they have, I don’t mind.
    2.Howard deliberately lied about refugees in order to collect far right votes, it’s strange that you don’t understand that dynamic, it’s pretty conventional knowledge albeit a shameful act.
    3.Children were genuinely abused under that policy whilst Howard was PM. MAny served years without their parents, or watched their parents go insane, suffer depression, self harm treated like scum as you have called me. What’s your definition of abuse mate? Would you like to be treated taht way???
    Talk about convenient logic, you clearly have cherry picked informatioon, you probably voted for the policy, did you?

  • 48
    Glenn
    Posted Friday, 9 October 2009 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Howard didnt lie about anything, dills like you will go on forever about children overboard and other such nonsense.

    Are you associated with the Save Albert Park Group ? Another collection of national oddities.

    If people come to this country illegally theycant just be set free, or perhaps only in the street where you live, is that ok ?

  • 49
    stephen
    Posted Friday, 9 October 2009 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Well Glenn Howard did lie about lots of things and the eveidence is there to prove it. You are either lying or ignorant of the fact that most of those people where not illegal entrants , most where found to be genuine refugees. I understand that fact might be awkward or embarrassing to you. I’m not a dill and you are abusive, which all fits really.
    As for the Albert Park thing, sounds like another little hobby horse of hatred you riding, but I don’t even know about it sorry.

  • 50
    Glenn
    Posted Friday, 9 October 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Well Stephen, Howard was a terrific bloke and a great PM, he didn’t lie, What evidence ?
    If you want an example of a liar and manipulator for his own purposes check out Rudd.

    Most were found to be genuine refugees ? another fact from your personal hoard of imagined realisms ?

    They were illegal immigrants and I applaud the Govt for controlling the situation otherwise the boats would never stop.

    I don’t agree with ill treatment of anybody and if that happened it’s a separate issue and should be dealt with.

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