I now stand to boo Australia’s public and the realm in which I pride myself on being part of; the Australian rules football community.
A nation known for colloquialism, freedom and a rich underdog spirit, we proudly say? Is this just a farce? Or perhaps a mask? I’m currently torn.
After sitting and watching, quite emotionally, The Last Quarter, a divisive and stirring documentary on the Adam Goodes booing saga, my mind filled with questions. None more provocative than this:
What do we stand for a nation? Mind-numbing and so raw but I have to say, I question our identity as a nation. The majority is a simple conformist’s paradise and we, as most do in a paradise, put our feet up and bathe in the satisfaction of not having to deal with victimisation, vilification and the general discomfort of everyday life.
The pack is, be it inherent, rather intimidating and, although I cannot speak on behalf of particular minorities, I can empathise in the vision of bullied circles and scathing treatment of our very own youth in the playgrounds of our schools. Here, I witness, cringing at times, the mistreatment of difference and the scarcity of support. And this is from kids! It is here we as a nation can put stop to beating down on minority groups and the unheard, in the classrooms, playgrounds and junior sporting fields.
I do not stand to preach to a choir or intend on driving forceful change for the masses but I do wish to take a clear stance on this issue, racism, it is not good enough to put down a friend, sibling and colleague, it certainly isn’t good enough to offend, belittle or monster our culture and those whom our lands truly belong to.
A close friend of mine once said to me, and this will always stick with me, “you know, this country isn’t a couple hundred years old, it is forty-odd- thousand years old”. WE need to celebrate and pedestal what makes this country great, first and foremost, our history… the true one.
So this booing saga, how does it make any sense? Was it a racially fuelled occurrence? I believe the mob took control and that race was a huge part of why it spread like wildfire. Did it and does it represent the greater nation’s community? The answer is yes, wholeheartedly. Adam Goodes himself said, “Are we, as a country, educating our youth to stand in anger whenever something we don’t understand confronts us?” This too, happened.
Whether we knew it or not, the way we treated Adam Goodes, a prophet of the game, was pathetic and we should hang our heads in shame. Nonetheless, the lesson we learn from this reincarnation (four years on) is going to be the real making of our greater identity.