I preface this blog by stating this:
My name is Beth, I am 30 years old and am blessed with the choice to be either ignorant or aware of racism in today’s world. My skin is pale enough to escape the critical eye of racist remarks. My skin is also brown enough to leave people wondering about my heritage. I write this article fully aware of the issues faced by vast members of Australian Society, and I do not believe racism should be accepted, or ignored. I write this post from a perspective of a person who believes in unity, tolerance, and complete acceptance of all races within our great country, and across the world. This blog is not about racism. This blog is not condoning racism. This blog is not ignoring racism. Racism is real, wrong, and far too prevalent in today’s world. This blog is about rising above it.
Over the past few weeks, Australian news media has become some kind of pathetic mud-slinging match over gender wars and racism. A silly, ignorant 13-year-old girl makes a potentially racist remark to an indigenous Australian at a football match and is ejected from the stadium after the footballer in question took deep offence to her taunt.
This week, the Prime Minister of our nation was ambushed on National radio over her longtime partner’s sexual preference, and the radio jockey was stepped down from his position.
This week, a private in-joke about the very same leader was broadcast all over the media, describing her physique in sexist terms, which many Australians found deeply offensive.
And this week, an American rapper was allowed to enter Australia under the guise of entertainment and perpetuate his message of extreme violence against women, including rape and assault, with one woman sexually assaulted at his concert by a male fan.
The country was in uproar. People began calling for more penalties, for stricter rules. Others rolled their eyes and tried to pretend it didn’t affect them, that it wasn’t such a big deal.
Meanwhile, overseas, this happened:
That insanely talented kid is 10 year old Sebastian De La Cruz singing the American national anthem at a San Antonio Spurs Basketball game.
And this is how a small contingent of America responded:
That’s pretty shocking stuff, no? I mean for goodness sake, how many of the professional athletes in the Spurs are foreigners of some kind? This kid is 10, has been given a great opportunity to perform in front of his idols in his home country, and this is the response he gets.
CLEARLY from Mexico.
Let’s rewind to the Adam Goodes drama, shall we?
A 13-year-old girl taunted a fully-grown man. The 13 year old is ejected from stadium and questioned by police. Fully grown man retreats to the locker rooms, ‘visibily upset’ by the comment, in which the 13-year-old girl called him an ape.
Fast forward to Sebastian De La Cruz, a 10-year-old boy, taunted by fully grown adults, on social media, where nothing ever truly disappears.
Both individuals are native to their countries. Both individuals are targeted for racist remarks.
Here is the difference in their responses:
Adam Goodes held a press conference. The Australian news media goes wild with speculation and commentary about what should be done with the teenager responsible. The teenager receives threats to her safety. The teenager apologises, her mum implying she’s a bit simple and doesn’t get out much.
Sebastian De La Cruz has this to say:
In summary, he says this:
“I knew that one day, when I sing, that people were going to judge me. Over the time that I’ve grown, I’ve learned that you don’t really care about what people say about you, it’s what you think about yourself.”
“I don’t really care what y’all say, and I’m doing this right now… It’s off my shoulders.”
Wouldn’t it be just wonderful if we could learn a bit from this kid? If instead of getting deeply offended and giving the racism credence, we could all just do that instead?
I’m not saying there shouldn’t be consequences for racial attacks. I’m not saying racism isn’t a real problem that shouldn’t be paid attention. I’m simply saying that perhaps, the less attention it receives, the less momentum it will gain.
I’m simply saying perhaps.