We’ve been sitting here trying to figure out the best way to start this article for a solid little while now, but nothing we’ve thought of sums up the overall emotion and frustration of the issue better than that; a single, guttural, exasperated grunt.
And in this case, it warrants repeating.
By now a bunch of you would’ve seen that hideous photo of two absolute fools from Ballarat who looked at an “Aussie Icon” themed dress-up party and decided to completely fuck it by going head-to-toe blackface.
In social media posts made by party attendees, they were labelled both “legends” who had the “best costume” of the night.
If that isn’t enough to make your skin crawl, the people who did stand up to it online and call it out for what it is – blatant racism of the most extreme order – copped a torrent of abuse from people who were inexplicably backing the costumes.
Prominent indigenous people from across all walks of Australian life have been outwardly condemning the action as nothing more than pure racism – and have been hearing scores of shitty white people trying to tell them that it’s not that in return.
Hip hop artist Briggs has taken the name-and-shame approach, screen-shotting some of the horrendous vitriol flung his way since speaking out and publicly outing the perpetrators on his Facebook page.
But if you thought the utterly abhorrent behaviour would end with mere gross online commentary, you’re absolutely dead wrong.
Ballarat-area paper The Courier has a poll up that seriously poses the public question of whether “you” think dressing in blackface is a racist act.
At time of writing, the poll was looking like this.
And it gets worse.
Friends of the two young men whose terrible choices sparked this whole controversy have decided to back their mates in, by also getting dressed up in blackface and insisting it’s a joke that shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Just for the record, phrases hastily hashtagged into the bottom of the post include “back yous in,” “harmless,” “we will black with you,” “lightin [sic] up,” “bit of humour hurt no one,” “we live with a darky,” and “cheer up.“
Indigenous artist Thelma Plum also posted another photo of an apparent friend of the duo engaging in some casually racist bullshit.
And in case you thought that the nonsense conduct ended with the mere donning of the costumes, this video of the two men in question in action at the party – obtained by PEDESTRIAN.TV – begs to differ.
Here’s a hot take for you: This is not something you get to have a fucking opinion on.
If people who have experienced systemic racism for their entire lives are saying that something is racist, then it’s racist. That is literally the end of the discussion.
There’s not a drink strong enough to adequately deal with this shit, we swear.