Radio host and textbook definition of “shock jock” Kyle Sandilands has made millions from asking blunt and narrow-minded questions, so as if today was going to be any different. To celebrate NAIDOC Week, the KIIS FM breakfast co-host decided to ask Jesinta Franklin some decidedly ignorant questions about her husband’s Indigenous heritage and got himself schooled as a result.
Jesinta is married to Sydney Swans player Lance “Buddy” Franklin, a proud Noongar-Wajuk man, and was on the radio show for an interview with hosts Sandilands and Jackie O when the talk turned to NAIDOC Week, which Jesinta pointed out was “really important to celebrate.”
Sandilands then asked: “Are you Aboriginal? Your husband’s half or is he full Aboriginal?”
This is when Jesinta took the opportunity to teach Sandilands a few things about the way he frames conversation around Indigenous identity.
Well here’s the thing with being Indigenous, here’s something I learned and it’s really important. It doesn’t matter how much Aboriginal blood you have in you, if you have any Aboriginal blood in you, you are Indigenous or Aboriginal. It’s actually really offensive to say ‘half’ or ‘quarter’.
Sandilands shot back saying: “Who said it’s offensive?” to which Jesinta replied: “Well my husband said it was offensive. When I listen to people that are offended by things you just have to listen to their experience. And when someone else is fine with saying that, that’s great but for my husband he would be offended by saying ‘half’.” Jesinta added that it’s not her place “as a white woman” to tell people what they can and can’t be offended by, pointing out that she’s just passing on her learnings about Indigenous heritage.
Whether or not Sandilands takes on the feedback remains to be seen. I’m guessing he won’t, but we can live in hope can’t we.