Eddie McGuire in Goodes King Kong gaffe
Triple M radio host and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire wondered if it would be a good idea to use Adam Goodes to promote a King Kong musical.
I'll take a guess at why your casual-Eddie-McGuire-type-racism persists in this country - because you don't get killed for it and you certainly don't get punished if you're rich and white.
You give a press conference. You get suspended pending an internal enquiry. You move on in a week or two and things go on as they always have.
This is not to say the standard result for using racial slurs in a country like the US is death - but baby, you pull an "ape" or "nigger" line out on the subway of your average US city, you're odds-on to get a beating. You say it to the wrong person and you're gonna get shot or stabbed or stomped into a cranial pizza.
Like most things in this country, we don't get it served real. We get the imported Aussie "lite" version.
Street violence? Yeah, take a cruise around San Pedro Sula, Honduras at night.
Drug dealing? Drop into Juarez, Mexico and witness the cogs of the coke industry chewing through the bodies to bring you your $400 baggies on Friday night.
Religious differences? Try Syria or Iraq, where to be Shiite or Sunni is not like wearing your favourite footy team's jumper up the shops; it's a belief, a choice that defines where and how you live and might see you lose both legs and four family members via a car bomb while buying cucumbers at the market.
Racism? We don't get it, because there are no consequences for being an ignorant, smug arsehole in this country.
Had Eddie McGuire made his King Kong remark on US radio, he would not work in the American mainstream media again. Game over, Ed. Buy a yacht.
If NSW State of Origin NRL assistant coach Andrew Johns had called an opponent on another team "a black c---" in American sport, he'd first have been knocked out by the closest black player and may now, possibly, be coaching some high school team in Alabama while nursing a prescription drug addiction.
If a 13-year-old white girl called LeBron James an "ape" at an NBA game, not only she, but her entire entourage, would have had to have been escorted from the arena FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY. I guarantee there would have been a 13-year-old black girl so in her face, whitey could sketch her from memory.
Even the dumbest, most rusted-on American racist knows if you call a black person a nigger, you better bring it, because you're gonna get a savage reaction, born of the hurt Adam Goodes articulated so well in his press conference this week.
That hurt is proportionate to the suffering, malevolence, violence, cruelty and indignity that men and women experienced during slavery in the US.
This is an experience to which we have never given full acknowledgement in this country. We do not understand the anger, the shame, the frustration, the bitterness and sorrow of what was taken from indigenous Australians.
We can't even be honest enough to call it "slavery": like black folks just loved the idea of working on cattle stations seven days a week so they could get some beans and flour and see their daughters raped on weekends.
We said "sorry", but for what? Crippling your culture? Raping your women? Murdering your children? Ingraining shame into your upbringing? Alienating you from contemporary culture to the point there is not one indigenous TV personality regularly seen on our TV screens?
Indigenous Australians have no-one to articulate their suffering, save the odd sports hero or barely acknowledged activist (who's apparently too white to be credible, so just shut up, mate).
You turn on American TV, there's black folks everywhere. Last year, they had an NFL panel show on a major network with a black host and FOUR black panellists. No token white guy.
You make a King Kong statement like Eddie McGuire did in that studio, you've got 25 people in the newsroom who are gonna press you against the lift doors and tell you why you're a maggot and you need to LEARN. FAST.
I'm not suggesting violence is the best response to racism - whether that racism is casual, unintentional or sharpened to puncture hearts like so much of the muck we read from white apologist news commentators.
I'm saying we need to get real about punishing it.
We went close to destroying an ancient, unique people. I have no problem with destroying a few media careers when they fail to recognise that horrific legacy.