Thursday, 30 May 2013

"Zero tolerance" McGuire must resign

On the weekend, Eddie McGuire made the very strong point that there is "zero tolerance" for racial intolerance in response to the 13 year old Collingwood fan calling Adam Goodes an ape.  Yesterday, Eddie broke his own rules when he suggested that Goodes could be used to promote the musical King Kong.  Zero tolerance is what it says - Eddie must resign, and his comments overnight indicate that he may do that.

Toorak Eddie or the Broady boy

Eddie McGuire really has been a leader in the public debate against racial intolerance. For decades, he has been a respected businessman and media personality.  Yet, he is still the boy made good from the rough streets of Broadmeadows to the rarefied air of Toorak.

Eddie McGuire - the statesman

Playing to his audience, the lowest common denominator

Here is where the Eddie McGuire story gets murky. He is a positive role model in so many ways, but he also understands his audience because that is where he has come from. He was the successful host on the lowbrow "The Footy Show", playing the straight man to the highly politically incorrect Sam Newman. 

On Triple M, he knows he is talking to largely the same audience as the Footy Show, and his role is to pepper the show with humour, even lowbrow humour. This is the unfortunate background to his comments yesterday - the environment in which he operates is one in which an off-the-cuff racial comment is commonplace.

Eddie on The Footy Show with Sam Newman and Trevor Marmalade

Eddie's slip of the tongue is clearly racist and his audience are too

Eddie understands the depth of his error.  Unfortunately many of his listeners do not.

Reading the comments to his official statement posted on Facebook is simply depressing, and reflects the ingrained racism and lack of understanding of these people...

Liz Gazeas I didn't think the comment was racist at all. Not Eddie's comment nor the young girls'. If the comment was racist to me I believe that would mean I think ALL indigenous people look like apes. I don't think that so to me the comment was not about race.
Sandi Pike This whole Adam Goodes a joke...freedom of speech...have a shave Soft cock Goodes because you look like an APE...
Zac Godfrey Eddie wasn't being racist. He was making a tongue-in-cheek reference that has been received badly. What if an indigenous 13 year old girl had called Goodes an ape? Are people from different races allowed to say different things? That doesn't seem right to me. I lovingly call my nieces little monkeys all the time...

...and on and on they go, demonstrating the incisive truth of what Collingwood player, Harry O'Brien said yesterday that casual racism is ingrained in parts of our society, who simply do not acknowledge their racist content.

Eddie, you are not a racist, but what you said was racist

You have been a great role model, but what you said was unacceptable by your own standards and you must set an example by standing down.  You need to reach out to those commenting on your club's own page to make it clear that they are missing the point. 

Australia is developing an unfortunate reputation as a racist country, and you can continue your good work by reaching deeper into your own audience.

Let me know what you think

Mark S