February 1 and we’re all back into the swing of things. The pollies are flying into Canberra, the Hottest 100 has been counted, and racists around the country are emerging from the Australia Day haze to defend blackface on the internet.
It might have been almost seven years since five Australians drew international condemnation after donning blackface on ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’ but in 2016 white Australians are still learning they shouldn’t perform this racially demeaning act the hard way.
Over the weekend Facebook user ‘Sis Austin’ shared this image of two former high school mates at an “Australian icon” themed party.
She criticised the image after seeing it on social media.
It doesn’t seem to matter how many times we play this game, it always goes the same way. Once actually called out or educated about why the centuries-old racist tradition of blackface is inappropriate, perpetrators react with arrogance, defensiveness, and, eventually, open racism.
“After stating that this was pure racism the individual and a group of this person’s friends all stood up and argued that this is not racism and that “Aboriginal people have it easier than everyone else in this country”,” Austin wrote.
When Yorta Yorta rapper Briggs shared the post he was met with much the same.
What exactly these people are doing hanging round on the Facebook page of an Aboriginal artist whose work deals closely with themes of anti-racism is anyone’s guess.
For a long time I’ve been trying to corner the Angry Redneck demographic and in the last week it’s really come together.
— BRIGGS AKA BIG SIGH (@BriggsGE) January 31, 2016
Meanwhile, Sky News reports a host of the party decrying the backlash as “political correctness gone wrong”. Zero points for originality there.
This in the same week a Serena Williams ‘fan’ was snapped in blackface at the Australian Open.
Welcome to 2016, like 2015 but hopefully that little bit closer to a time when the earth is swallowed by the sun.