You almost can’t fault them for trying. Ever ready, willing, and able to “lampoon” the “bad behaviour” of people of colour -- and especially black people -- cartoonist Mark Knight and the rest of the gang at News Corp must have thought a golden egg had dropped into their lap when the Serena Williams moment exploded last weekend. And why wouldn’t they? It’s always worked out for them before, whether targeting Indigenous youth, Muslim women, or African teenagers. Draw racist cartoon invoking derogatory stereotypes. Feign innocence. Gloat at the “outraged left.” Bank the cheque.
You may have heard people of colour describe living in a white-dominated society as akin to being in an abusive relationship. We don’t say this lightly. And Australia is particularly adept at the abuser’s tactic known as gaslighting, or subverting our reality by insisting it’s not real. Think about the blackface incidents that still occur with monotonous regularity almost a decade after an appalled Harry Connick Jr asked, WTF Australia?