Rather than apologise for the racist cartoon in yesterday’s Australian newspaper, Bill Leak and Australia’s most unprofitable newspaper have this morning decided to ‘double down’, publishing an angry rant from Leak on page 5.
Leak refers to people on social media outraged by his bald-faced racism as ‘Tweety Birds’, and likens anyone who objected to the drawing as “little children” who “can’t understand things”, so they “lash out and throw tantrums”.
He’s also penned a new cartoon… and absolutely ‘nailed it’ by recognising himself as the real victim in all this, by depicting himself as being presented by a black policeman to a lynch mob, who want to hang him and beat him with clubs… because of course free speech only protects racist cartoons, not the social media response to them.
Fortunately, Leak did explain his original cartoon: The drawing is apparently a tribute to the “indigenous (with a lower case ‘I’) men and people who, without regard for their personal safety, feel compelled to tell the truth whether it incites Chronic Truth Aversion Disorder sufferers to attack them en masse or not”.
To some extent, Leak is right – venting your rage on Twitter and Facebook only does so much (although notably… it clearly upset Bill… no it’s not entirely pointless!)
But there is a better way… let the companies who financially support Bill’s racism know what you think of them associating their brand with breathtaking bigotry.
Directly under Leak’s overly defensive rant is a dirty big ad for the Adelaide Festival. You might like to click here and send an email to let festival organisers know what you think of them supporting this sort of staggering racism.
On the following page is a big colourful half page ad from Travelrite International. You might like to click here and send an email to them to let them know what you think of them advertising in a newspaper that has been peddling Bill Leak’s racism for 22 years.
Apart from large house ads promoting Newscorp initiatives, that’s it for advertising in the general news section of The Oz (explains why they lose tens of millions of dollars a year).
In the business section, the National Australia Bank had advertised their interest rates for cash products (notably NOT their interest rates of loans). You can send NAB an email here and let them know what you think.
Suncorp Bank has an ad on page 26 – here’s a link to their customer relations form, where you can leave ‘feedback’.
In the Inquirer section, the Australian Submarine Corporation has an ad promoting its war mongering. You can click here and let them know what you think of their support for Aussie racism.
Lockheed Martin have a big ad on the following page… same drill, click here.
US Sports tickets have an ad on the final Inquirer page – here’s the link to their contact page.
Barron’s Asia have an ad on page 36 – here’s their details.
And to make it easier, if you’re not sure what to say here’s some suggested test for you:
You advertised in The Australian today. Perhaps you missed Bill Leak’s breathtakingly racist cartoon attacking First Nations people in yesterday’s edition. Australia should have moved on from this sort of bigotry. Unfortunately, some of us haven’t, hence why I’m surprised and disappointed you’re open to associating your brand with such overt ignorance.
And of course, please share this story on social media. Hell will freeze over before The Australian and Bill Leak back down over their racism, let alone apologise. The only thing they understand is cash… so get to it.
And kudos to reader Nic who provided the inspiration for this idea.