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Australia’s global innocence lost

The “Jackson Five” performance was part of a TV program called “Hey Hey it’s Saturday” which included visiting American singer Harry Connick jr as one of the judges. The group consisted of 5 medical doctors dressed up with their faces painted black, apart from one – Michael, all singing and dancing (badly) to “Can you feel it?”.

Following this unsuccessful comedy skit aired on national TV earlier this month, the world media seemed to delight itself in branding Australia as a “racist” country.

However, the overwhelming evidence including the fact that the targeted comedians (in dispute) were all of foreign descent, one of whom Greek- Australian points to the contrary. Australian culture is more laid-back and although more coarse and maybe somewhat primeval, to label such gags as “racist” is a tad too far fetched.

Although the predominantly white Australians have always condsidered themselves “superior” to the Aboriginal Australians, nevertheless nowadays the whole Australian community consists of possible the most multicultural grouping worldwide. And unlike the US, Australia is in the furthest corner away from the rest of the western world, a fact that renders it somewhat “defenseless” against large numbers of legal refugees, immigrants, students or even boat ‘jumpers’.

Secluded however means exactly that. What has been put up with by resident non-white communities from the rest of the Australian population is undeniably and unquestionably alot. From my personal experience, even Irish or Northern English have been snickered at because of their non-authentic Aussie accent- let alone other Europeans.

As an (Australian) youtube viewer put it : “What people seem to miss is that humor is different in Australia…Nothing & noone is off limits- we take the piss out of everybody (including ourselves). Black, white or purple with green spots, it doesn’t matter. If we can turn something into a joke, we will.”

Maybe it is a positive reminder to Australia that offense is taken – and maybe it is high time Aussies learnt to leave behind their raw, unpolished mannerisms in favour of some sober friendliness.

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