Photo illustration shows the front page of the Herald Sun newspaper, featuring a cartoon of US tennis player Serena Williams (lower R) Photo: AFP
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Serena cartoon fuels debate about 'racist' Australia

53 Comments
By Andrew Beatty

Australia is by most measures one of the world's most successful multicultural societies, but a controversial cartoon of Serena Williams has rekindled accusations it is also inveterately racist.

Australia should be a poster-child for diversity: One in two Australians has a parent born abroad. The economy has been growing for 27 straight years. Crime is barely a worry. Melbourne and Sydney dominate rankings of the best places in the world to live.

Visit any medium-size human habitation on the mind-bendingly large continent and it's obvious that Australia is the proverbial melting pot -- Kiwis, Chinese, Irish, Filipinos, Brits, Vietnamese, Italians, Indians, Greeks and Lebanese at every turn.

But this racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity contrasts sharply with a lingering image of Australia as an angry white country stuck in the past.

It was an impression underscored by foreign outrage about an Australian cartoonist's depiction of a fat-lipped and masculine Serena Williams, and the collective shrug it prompted Down Under.

After the drawing was published, a CNN opinion piece described Australia as "the nicest racist country you will ever see" and the New York Times thundered that "Australia has never fully confronted its own history of racism."

Many Australians admit there is a problem.

The legacy of European settlers terrorising Aboriginal communities looms large, and inequality between the two groups remains staggering.

Racial epithets are still tossed around in a way that makes visitors' jaws drop. A "White Australia" immigration policy, only fully dismantled in the 1970s, and more recently off-shore migrant detention centres have also done much to frame the modern image of Australia abroad.

But many Australians also believe the problem can be overstated.

"There is an element in Australian society that is racist," said John Blaxland, a professor of International Security at the Australian National University. "But every country has them. Name a country that doesn't."

He insists the reality of modern Australia is a "vibrant, booming, multicultural society" that integrates almost 200,000 migrants a year -- the equivalent of the United States taking three million people.

"Australia is a success story!" he insisted. "We're really hopeless at selling that message. People are dying to get here, literally and metaphorically. It is such a coveted place to be, why is that so? It's not because of racism."

As real as the problems in race relations are, popular stereotypes have also played their part framing Australia as a racist nation.

Ask any foreigner to name a famous Australian and they are likely to cite the endearing yet uncultured "Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee" -- well before indigenous rights activist Eddie Mabo or pioneering social reformer Edith Cowan.

Today experts point to a coarsening of Australia's politics and a powerful right-leaning media that has turbocharged the impression of a country that is socially tone-deaf.

Duncan McDonnell, a professor at Griffith University's school of governance, sees immediate roots of that politics in the Liberal Party's decision to co-opt right wing messages in the 1990s, giving the politics of prejudice a mainstream platform.

Figures like populist firebrand Pauline Hanson, once on the fringes, found their ideas firmly at the centre of public debate.

The strategy was "on one hand to shoot the messenger and on the other hand steal part of their message."

"They started being much more explicitly harsh on immigration and also on issues related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders."

Creaking infrastructure and stagnant wages growth have helped give populist messages more purchase.

That hard-line message has been amplified by Australia's conservative press -- on Sky News and in print media outlets like the Herald-Sun which printed the Serena cartoon not once, but twice. Both are owned by Rupert Murdoch and like his properties in Britain and America, simultaneously channel populist sentiment and steer it further to the right.

Australia's former race discrimination commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, describes what he sees a "monetisation of racism."

Some Australian media -- which is still overwhelmingly male and white -- have embraced hard-line views as a business model to counteract shrinking audiences, he told AFP.

"You only need to look at the Herald-Sun's response to get an indication of how that works. You try to take advantage of the outrage, you try to run with it as your front page and that's your coverage for the next two days."

Data from the Australian National University suggests Australians have -- with some ebbs and flows -- actually become markedly more tolerant over the last three decades.

Its tracking of public opinion on key issues since 1987 has found that attitudes toward indigenous Australians and asylum seekers have softened dramatically.

Soutphommasane insists racism is a serious problem, but Australia's media and her politicians, which garner so much attention, "do not reflect the multicultural character of Australia."

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

53 Comments
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Today experts point to a coarsening of Australia's politics and a powerful right-leaning media that has turbocharged the impression of a country that is socially tone-deaf.

Beoming tone-deaf isn't the only adverse side-effect of listening only to right-leaning media.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

The liberal media is doubling-down on the “criticism of Serena is racist “ narrative but most are aware enough to see through it.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

In the normal course of things, in multicultural Melbourne I don't hear racial epithets being tossed around in a way that would "make visitors' jaws drop". And there hasn't been "a collective shrug" in Australia about the Serena Williams cartoon - look at the reports in the non-Murdoch press, TV, and online readers comments to see that's not the case. The controversy about the cartoon began in Australia, after all - we didn't need some overseas media report to start it up for us.

The main groups facing prejudice and discrimination here are one traditional one - the Aboriginal people - and one new - Muslims (especially refugees). Multi-millionaire tennis stars aren't usually targeted, whatever they might look like. The newspaper this cartoon was printed in is traditionally the preferred medium of the conservative and/or the uneducated, and the failure to avoid cultural stereotyping displayed by the cartoonist reflects that. There's a lot in this article that's true, though - although I dare anyone from anywhere else to say that the same or similar problems don't exist in their countries.

26 ( +30 / -4 )

It requires a delicate balancing act to ensure that the line between satire and offense is not overstepped. Blurring the lines has always been the mainstay of comedians and cartoonists throughout the ages and a caricature by its very nature picks up on traits and characteristics that are of obvious notice. This is no exception and the only reason its being picked up on is because people are too afraid to actually be truthful and say "well actually yes it is a bit like that" but wont for fear of being attacked or criticised myself! I wonder if there would be as much uproar if a black newspaper showed a cartoon that exposed the traits of white people in such a manner? I doubt it?

In the supposed equal and fair society that we seem to be hastily carving out for ourselves like a bull in a china shop with out thinking it through properly first, we seem to be loosing the ability to critique in a humorous manner. . Give it a few years and comedy will be declared offensive I suspect

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Australia has been "the Mississippi of Asia" for a long time; however, the younger generations have become a little more understanding of cultural sensitivity.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Ever been to Australia? Racist terms are used regularly in primary schools by white kids. Normal. I was so shocked to stay there two years ago.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

I love Aussies and my wife wants us to live in Australia after retirement but many Aussies do tend to be a bit behind the times. I remember the old idea of Australia being a warm UK with the fashions of 15 years ago and the culture of 50 years ago. My experience working with Aussies and my time spent in Australia confirmed this to some extent.

Australia may be swept with PC culture after the rest of the developed world has moved past it ;)

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

The vast majority of Australians I've encountered online and off of all just about all persuasions have seen this cartoon for what it is: a caricature of an elite athlete chucking a tantrum. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course there are always a few outliers looking for some offense to take, including the author of this sorry excuse for an article.

Now, though, everything seems to devolve to a question of race, and who's more racist. (clue: it's always whitey). It's pathetic, but as long as someone can draw political or virtue points from pointing the finger, it's not going away.

Almost makes one long for the saner times of the Salem witch trials.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Day by day I see more and more people getting offended for literally nothing.

cartoonist's depiction of a fat-lipped and masculine Serena Williams

I mean, have you seen Serena Williams? It's pretty accurate. These are just her traits. Or would people rather the cartoonist draw her like a disney princess? Then they'd get a rise out of people who complain that it sets unrealistic standards of beauty et al.

This is why I like Japan, for all it's faults, people don't get pissy about everything

11 ( +21 / -10 )

Isn't it strange that the whole country is now accused of racism for a caricature drawn by one person? (Not that he intended to be racist, just wanted to show how even superstars can't lose with grace).

The morals-don't laugh at American superheroes. No one would care if a caricature was about an Indian, Russian or Chinese. Pretty sure, lots of people would find it funny and not offensive at all, and point out that exaggeration of body and face features is caricature's most recognizable method.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Aint it grand how people who act like complete pillocks tend to throw out & hide behind the old rascist and sexist tags as a smoke screen to hide their obvious ugliness as human beings. No doubt Serena is an awesome tennis player that has achieved in Tennis what no other has however her actions on the court against Naomi were UGLY and it's not the first time either. Just because she is a she and happens to be black doesn't give her the green light to behave like a back passage. Bravo to the cartoon for saying it exactly like it is !!

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Pre-justice pre/judice

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The cartoon of Serena Williams is a good resemblance. It's a good caricature. That's what cartoons are. If the cartoonist had depicted her as a white person, would that have been any better? Surely that would have been racist, wouldn't it?

Whatever colour her skin is, she acted like a total beach (misspelling) on the court. It's to her credit that she cooled out later, but she completely stepped over the line, put her own neck in the noose and kicked the stool away herself.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Regardless of people's excuses for the cartoon, Australia is pretty racist country! This isn't some one off incident. Australia has an international reputation for being a racist country. It was founded on racism. Some of the links below are from actual researchers not just somebody's opinion.

Australia is still fighting racism and it's time we faced up to it

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-27/australias-race-relations-will-be-examined-by-un-in-geneva/9198272

IS AUSTRALIA’S INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION AS RACIST JUSTIFIED?

https://www.amnesty.org.au/is-australia-rasict/

Institutional racism

https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/institutional-racism

Racism in Australia - Open Research: Open Research collections

https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/41761/4/dunn_paper.pdf

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

I’m actually disappointed with this article and if it was printed here (Australia) it would be dismissed as absolute rubbish.

I don’t have enough space here but will say that if anything our media is more left leaning than right!

As for the cartoon, it is a caricature. Look at the one he did of Krygios and Trump. Some real precious people out there hence the PC gone mad headline.

@Goodlucktoyou

How long did you stay here to form that opinion?

Having said this Australia of today is a much different place than the Australia I grew up in, sure we have racist people but doesn’t every country? On the whole I’d say we have become more tolerant.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I am getting conditioned to seeing sensationalist PC headlines in the press, using words like “outrage” at almost any trivial thing, which probably applies to the feelings of a relatively small % of the readership that actually care to that level.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Or would people rather the cartoonist draw her like a disney princess? 

Like they did her opponent ?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Australia has been "the Mississippi of Asia" for a long time

Racist terms are used regularly in primary schools by white kids. Normal.

I remember the old idea of Australia being a warm UK with the fashions of 15 years ago and the culture of 50 years ago. My experience working with Aussies and my time spent in Australia confirmed this to some extent.

I cannot believe the sheer patronising inaccuracy of your comments. Did you come to these conclusions in the 1950s and just not bother changing your minds since then?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Wingers and whiners, black or white, are still wingers and whiners.

The Williams family has always been sensitive and protective anyway, which at times has tended to just fan flames. If the cartoon had not appeared in Australia a similar one would have appeared somewhere else (and probably did, though has not come to light).

Serena's outbursts and moaning about being a mum and so on were out of place in the last set of a Grand Slam tennis final. She has won a lot, so she really should have known better. Reminds me of Tonya Harding with her foot up on the judges' bench years ago. They made a movie about her so maybe now they will make one about Serena.

At the same time her record of 24 wins can never be taken away from her. One more and she would have beaten Margaret Court's record and be regarded as, sort of, the best ever or something. Bad luck - she missed out.

Pressure! Pressure cooker final! Anyone notice the spat dummy next to her racket? Finally it was so sad hearing her feel sorry for herself so publicly. Did she deserve the cartoon? Well, attracting so much negative attention to herself, of course a cartoon and social media firestorm was just waiting to happen, and deserve has nothing to do with it.

Are Australians racist? Anyone who bangs on about race is racist. And the PC crowd all over the world were the first racists to put their hands up this time.

And Naomi Osaka, well, she is going to get a whole new world of racism in Japan now she has hit the big time. Stay way on tour, Naomi, or they will do your head in.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I cannot believe the sheer patronising inaccuracy of your comments. Did you come to these conclusions in the 1950s and just not bother changing your minds since then?

The last time I was in Australia was in 2015. Have you lost the ability to be honest about yourselves since then?

I’m not picking on Australia. All countries have their bad points. Get me started on my home country ( the UK ), and I’ll write you an epic.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Have to admit the caricatures of Serena, Little Rocket Man and Trump are pretty funny! The artist made Trump look almost like Blofeld, haha

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Whoever is saying this cartoon is racist IS the real racist, because he is assuming that if you make fun of a person who just happens to be Black, then you are doing it because of the color of the skin, not the content of their character. People like that see only color, and nothing else. These people are the real racists. Serena acted exactly the way she is depicted in the cartoon, and she does look like it too. This has nothing to do with her skin, but trying to make it so proves that these people see nothing but skin color, which IS what racism is all about.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Have you lost the ability to be honest about yourselves since then?

I made my admissions about Australia's racism in my first post. I'll look forward to your epic, though.

Sorry, but your idea of Australia being 'a warm UK with the fashions of 15 years ago and the culture of 50 years ago' is as out of date as a Chips Rafferty movie and I can't imagine how anyone working in Australia's cities in 2015 would've failed to miss the multicultural makeup of contemporary Australia and how well it generally works.

Finally, I would back the strength of Australia's PC industry against any in the world.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Serena Williams was pathetic and has disgraced herself.

The cartoonist and editor are also pathetic and have disgraced themselves. They have done so by producing something where the question is not "how pathetic is that behaviour?" but "is that S@mbo from the Jim Crow era?". The obvious response would have been to print a small apology followed by exactly the same cartoon drawn "less S@mbo".

We have terrible newspapers in the UK too, so this cartoon says nothing about Australia. I'm from the UK, but the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, and the vast majority of politicians, celebrities, and people on UK TV do not speak for me. Many of them are a running embarrassment.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

All this hype was created by Americans who just don't understand the Australian sense of humor. Australians will poke fun at everybody, including themselves.

kohakuebisu - The cartoonist and editor are also pathetic and have disgraced themselves. They have done so by producing something where the question is not "how pathetic is that behaviour?" but "is that S@mbo from the Jim Crow era?". The obvious response would have been to print a small apology followed by exactly the same cartoon drawn "less S@mbo".

This is the kind of rubbish comment that creates this kind rubbish media hype. My daughter has a GollyWog doll handmade by my grandmother and do not consider it racist, but I bet you do. She also has a European rag doll made by the same person. Is that racist too?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

My daughter has a GollyWog doll handmade by my grandmother and do not consider it racist, but I bet you do.

Yes.

She also has a European rag doll made by the same person. Is that racist too?

No.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

God, I wish that John Cleese was a member of JT.

He could step in and clear this all up in a minute.

Satire is dead.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Isn't it strange that the whole country is now accused of racism for a caricature drawn by one person? (Not that he intended to be racist, just wanted to show how even superstars can't lose with grace).

No, it isn't strange at all. Happens all the time on this forum, where the bigoted actions/words of a few Japanese somehow represent all of Japan by default.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@Wipeout

So, you find a gollywog doll racist, but not a European rag doll. What if an African American child had both a gollywog and a European rag doll. Would the European rag doll be racist?

This is the stupidity if the while while racist argument. It’s onky the Europeans who are considered to be racist while the others who hate Europeans are considered to be oppressed. The truth is, every race, color and creed of humans are racist to any other race, color or creed, but it’s onky the Europeans that get called racist. Just the act of calling somebody a racist is in itself an act of racism. Get it?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Everyone seems to be missing the point. Cartoons are caricatures. Caricatures are created by exaggerating the characteristic features of the subject. If someone is black, those exaggerations will be of the characteristic features of a black person. Ditto for other ethnicities. Should he have depicted SW as white? And, the yellow ponytail simply just happens to be a characteristic, identifying feature of Naomi Osaka.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

 Just the act of calling somebody a racist is in itself an act of racism. Get it?

No.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It's funny watching white people decide what is and what is not racist because white people know so much about racism.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

To set the record straight.

Australia is not a racist Country, Australia is a country that has racists. Every Country has racists so no country should think it is less racist than Australia or that it is better than Australia. Australia has opened its immigration to all peoples of the world and is arguably the most successful multicultural country in the world.

Australia has 3 cities in the top 10 in the world for being the most livable. This includes safety and equality of justice for all (not just whites) among many criteria.

Cartoons by nature are light comedy. Do not equate Aussie's laconic laid back nature for racism. Things that may bother others or be seen in an offensive way by others are just not seen that way by most Australians. We laugh at ourselves as much as we laugh at others or at comedy sketches. We are what we are and we mean no offense. If we did there would be no ambiguity involved. We are a friendly nation to all who wish to be friends, and tolerant of those who may not.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Williams' behavior was out-of-line, and invite pillory.

I am glad I live in the US -- a society like Australia -- that allows us poke-fun, criticize and insult public figures and the powerful. That's an essential part of freedom of expression, without which a free society and polity does not exist as I understand it. I think we all know what I am talking about here.

Satire is a key tool to keep ourselves free. Satire uses humor, irony, and exaggeration to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices. All of us are stupid and have vices, and no one particularly enjoys having their mistakes lampooned. But being chastised about our mistakes is important, otherwise we continue to make them, and most of us can handle this chastisement, because that it what it means to be an adult. We make mistakes, are called out on them, and we (hopefully) improve ourselves. Well, at least most of us. There are two kinds of people in this world, though who can't take a joke, who can't laugh at themselves, and the rest of us. We all grew up with those difficult kids who for one reason or another could not take a joke. We didn't let them arbitrate the playground rules then and and we all know they should never be the people who determine what "crosses the line" when it comes to giving offense now

And we all know they, as adults, they should also not be Presidents...

As such, setting up satire v offense is a false framing. Satire is meant to offend. "Offensive" language is part-and-parcel of lampooning someone's stupidity and vice. Satire cannot be done without offense. Indeed, it just makes me think the whole point of crying offense is to prevent the free expression of the idea in the first place.

Regardless, satire is part and parcel of the freedom of expression. To live in a free society means you will be constantly exposed to things that upset you. And that is a good thing.

The truth is as simple as it is uncomfortable: if you value, if you want to live in, a prosperous diverse, democratic society you must be very wary of curtailing and strenuously protect the freedom of speech. That means protecting unpopular ideas and even ideas that you find loathsome.

That means you must invite being offended.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Left wings journalism and human rights activism are hijacking our society and our sense of humor these days.

Mark Knight's Serena Williams the US Open cartoon is nothing to do with sexist or racist. The Cartoon was satirical cartoon about how Serena Williams was over reacted and misbehaved being world top woman tennis player and who was idol and role model for many children.

I know many US TV hosts and Journalists are friend with Serena Williams and they want to defend Serena Williams' misbehavior but you can't blind eyes and deaf how she was badly behaved and what she shouted at Umpire Carlos Ramos. Serena Williams was really gone mad. The Cartoon portrayal was satirical cartoon about just tennis player Serena Williams.

Please, don't hijack everything and don't put foot in your mouth.

Cartoon is just for laughs.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Just the act of calling somebody a racist is in itself an act of racism. Get it?

No.

Leftists will never get it because they have somehow convinced themselves that a non-White person can never be racist. I don’t know what word they can now use to describe a black person who hates Asian people because of their race and vice versa. They have become illogical and are at their core racist in their thinking - yet that is the world they live in.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Australia WAS a racist country in the past, the infamous White Australia Policy and its treatment of the aboriginal people. However, it has changed and now is one of the world's most successful multicultural societies.

I am an asian who has been living in Australia for 26 years. Have I been subjected to racial abuse? Yes. How may times? Once!

I am not that naive to believe that all Australian are not racist. At the same time I am also not that hateful to say Australian are racist.

If you want to know more fact that supports my view, Google "Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 Australia". It takes too many words to explain it here.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The cartoonist and editor are also pathetic and have disgraced themselves. They have done so by producing something where the question is not "how pathetic is that behaviour?" but "is that S@mbo from the Jim Crow era?". The obvious response would have been to print a small apology followed by exactly the same cartoon drawn "less S@mbo".

Jim Crow was an invention of the American Democrat party after their Civil War and lasted until the 1960's. You are attempting to apply a uniquely American phenomenon to people of a foreign country and ascribing similar intent. That's wrong headed. Cartoonists satire all people and exaggerate their features - not just black female American tennis players. American history does not preclude cartoonists from applying the same standard equally to all in their satire.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Australia is by most measures one of the world's most successful multicultural societies,

Laughing stock really........

but a controversial cartoon of Serena Williams has rekindled accusations it is also inveterately racist.

...the proof is in the pudding :)

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

When you want to know if a country is racist, ask the POC from that country. A bunch of white folks from Australia or other countries holding forth and declaring it paradise for the browns is completely meaningless.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

When you want to know if a country is racist, ask the POC from that country. A bunch of white folks from Australia or other countries holding forth and declaring it paradise for the browns is completely meaningless.

Exactly..

https://youtu.be/DOV53YCzvW8

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

When you want to know if a country is racist, ask the POC from that country. 

Focus on equality for all and don’t forget that white is a color too. America is a predominately White country and had a biracial president just two years ago. Unfortunately he was a racist.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Focus on equality for all and don’t forget that white is a color too. America is a predominately White country and had a biracial president just two years ago. Unfortunately he was a racist.

Ah, the clarion call of that most oppressed of species, the lowly white male. Compared to their great suffering, what have POC or indigenous peoples ever really faced. Let's level things out entirely, pursuing true equality. Your father was lynched, your ancestors were enslaved, genocide was widely used against the Aborogines:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_of_Indigenous_Australians

But can any of this really compare to a few butthurt white boys traumatized by the tyranny of PC culture. Oh, if only it were the 1950s when a racist could be a racist, amirite.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The surest sign of a racist undercurrent in a society is members of that society being unwilling to question if there is a racist undercurrent in their society - or if they try to deflect by saying it doesn't matter.

I doubt Australia has many racists in the manner of the Nazis or the KKK or their modern alt-right intellectual descendants, but hateful, spasmodically-shouting racism isn't the only kind of racism.

joyridingonthetitanicSep. 14  05:37 pm JST

It requires a delicate balancing act to ensure that the line between satire and offense is not overstepped. Blurring the lines has always been the mainstay of comedians and cartoonists throughout the ages and a caricature by its very nature picks up on traits and characteristics that are of obvious notice. 

That's not what this caricature did, however. Have a look at the cartoon, then have a look at photos of Williams during the incident vs. a google image search for "mammy". The cartoon looks more like a mammy stereotype than Williams. A big giveaway is the lips. Serena Williams doesn't actually have very large lips. She has a large mouth and jaw- these are distinctive features of her face- but in the way she dresses for the tennis she doesn't wear especially visible lipstick so her lip proportions look about the same as anyone else's. The cartoon however gives her absurdly large, brightly-colored lips. You might say it's just a caricature and that's what caricatures do, but her jaw is completely invisible in the cartoon. It strains credibility to say that a caricaturist would ignore someone's most striking physical feature and instead emphasize a separate body part. The artist of the cartoon ignored William's traits and instead stuck into her picture attributes from the "mammy" stereotype.

There are two unavoidable conclusions from that: first, that the artist just isn't very good at drawing yet. Second, they are to some degree motivated by racism. Maybe they're not burning crosses in anyone's yard yet, but they're refusing to look at the person who is really there and instead drawing from memory of a stereotype. If Australians cannot bear to look at that honestly and confront it, then it is fair for us to say there is a degree of institutional racism in Australian society.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

fat-lipped and masculine Serena Williams

Well, Serena does have thick lips and she is very muscular. And if you look at the other caricatures above, most of them also have fat lips (e.g., Trump, Kim).

These overreactions will only make more people ignore real examples of racism and sexism.

I like that caricature of Serena, it suits her.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

POC have been treated incredibly badly by white societies through the ages and in some places are still treated as second class citizens. This is not denied. In many countries White men are at the top of the heap. Mostly in majority white countries but also in some that are not. In the recently past decades, movements of equality have seen pushes for more women in positions of power and for more representation for POC as well in countries around the world. In order for this sweeping change to occur it has meant targeting white men predominantly.

Here is a few tips for those who are not white males.

For every white male at the top of the heap there are thousands at the bottom. If you want to get equality your going to need the support of the huge numbers of white males at the bottom of the heap, as well as agreement and coordination between the sex's and POC. Putting down the average white male and imagining that he has no troubles of his own that can possibly compare to your own is not going to get his vote.

Continue to alienate the masses of poor, downtrodden, taken advantage of by unfeeling white men at the top just like anyone else white males and you make your quest for equality even harder than it is and unnecessarily so. You will garner no sympathy from those you need to help push change through when you berate them as if they were alive a hundred years ago owning slaves.

Yes privileged white men are the problem. What you forget is that most white males are not the privileged.

Before anyone makes the comment of ("no sympathy for a white boy having a cry"), I am just stating a fact. There is no request for sympathy from anyone of any sex, race, creed, color or sexual persuasion.

Serena acted poorly. Serena was shown via caricature acting poorly. Caricatures rely on blowing up personal features to exaggerate them. There is nothing intended to be hurtful. There has been nothing different in portraying Serena that is not done daily in caricatures in papers around the world depicting all types , shapes and races of people.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Having said this Australia of today is a much different place than the Australia I grew up in, sure we have racist people but doesn’t every country? On the whole I’d say we have become more tolerant.

The poster captures it exactly: 'Australia of today is a much different place than the Australia I grew up in' and that 'we have become more tolerant'..

As it is 'we' that became more tolerant to...'them' ..shows exactly the problems that the descendants of earlier immigrants and convicts have with newcomers...

Right-wingers argue that Western values are at stake but their arguments are too often contrary to those values :)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I doubt Australia has many racists in the manner of the Nazis or the KKK or their modern alt-right intellectual descendants..

The Alt-right movement has followers everywhere thus also in Australia. There's nothing 'intellectual' about most of them.. :)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

japan: Ah, the clarion call of that most oppressed of species, the lowly white male. 

There are poor white males in unfortunate circumstances but apparently your heart is so cold you have no sympathy for such people. I suppose it’s possible that a homeless mentally ill white man is the descendant of a plantation owner in the 17th century so it isn’t necessarily to spare any sympathy such a privileged person.

There are people of all races that are oppressed by other individuals. MLK’s civil rights revolution was successful because he simply asked for the government to live up to its word. So all Jim Crowe laws were invalidated. Unfortunately it is a fact that non-Whites and women, at least in America, are privileged by the government. That cannot be denied. The Democrat party has always been the party of racial spoils.

The problem with blaming a group of people today for the wrongs by their group many decades and centuries in the past is that it will only compound the resentment. But the Left has always used racial antagonism to control people. So the white man is the enemy that must be blamed for all of society’s ills. It’s not the content of ones character that counts to the Left, it’s the color of their skin.

But can any of this really compare to a few butthurt white boys traumatized by the tyranny of PC culture. Oh, if only it were the 1950s when a racist could be a racist, amirite.

If only people today would learn from the past and stop using race to judge people when each person should be judged based on the content of their character.

Serena Williams’, a privileged multi-millionaire celebrity athlete, made a mistake by attacking the umpire based on his sex. She is used to being catered to and she when she was judged by ‘the content of her character ‘ she came up short.

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@Peter14: POC have been treated incredibly badly by white societies through the ages and in some places are still treated as second class citizens. 

First of all White is a color - so all people are POC. Also, you show a lack of historical perspective by ignoring cases in history where Whites have been treated incredibly badly by non-Whites. A glaring example of this would be the millions of Whites from coastal Europe who were enslaved by Muslims. I am not trying to make it seem that Whites did not do bad things to others - as surely they have. But to point out the reality that Whites are not historically unique in doing bad things to others. I know it isn't currently popular to make this observation but it happens to be true. A one sided way of looking at things also ignores the incredibly bad treatment that occurred among people of the same race but within separate tribal groupings (ethnicities, religions, etc.). People of all races are equally capable of evil. Highlighting only bad things done by Whites against non-Whites is to ignore history as appears to be a means to launch attacks upon another group of people that you dislike. That's called racism.

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@wolfpack.

I agree with your last post, my intention was to answer the anti white posts in this discussion by putting out a few truths about us. Clearly through history every races has had a time of persecuting others and all colors have had a time of being persecuted.

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Peter:

> For every white male at the top of the heap there are thousands at the bottom. If you want to get equality your going to need the support of the huge numbers of white males at the bottom of the heap, as well as agreement and coordination between the sex's and POC. Putting down the average white male and imagining that he has no troubles of his own that can possibly compare to your own is not going to get his vote.

We can agree to disagree about the cartoon, but I largely agree with this, which I why I've always voted for candidates like Sanders. I've made the exact same argument numerous times to Democratic partisans whose politics turns on identity politics. My family background is white working class, I went to college in Appalachia and I still have family that lives there. I've read Hillbilly Elegy and though I feel the author drew the wrong (bootstrap) conclusions, I can respect his basic humanizing portrait. So, yes, I understand that not all whites are living lives of comfort/the majority of those in poverty in the US are in fact white. Your mortality rate doesn't rise unless something's deeply wrong. And I'll go so far as to say insulting the likes of Wolfpack online is ultimately not productive, simply b/c other less privileged readers may be lurking.

But I stand by the assertion, backed in reality, that the right's rhetorical objective of leveling all human suffering is to make light of the ongoing discrimination and mistreatment that POC disproportionately face (just as they always have). I could reach out to folks like Wolfpack and try to build common cause around socio-economic issues but ultimately we both know he's for tax cuts for the wealthy and cutting off "entitlements" for the parasitic browns, so let's be real. Some bridges can't be built. Not to mention that white guys (like me) from the professional class are in fact privileged. I have the leisure time to engage online.

I was in Appalachia for much of the last month, face to face with the white working class, and it was nothing but respect. Of course, for most of them, politics isn't even a topic of discussion. They're too busy farming or cutting firewood.

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 I am not trying to make it seem that Whites did not do bad things to others - as surely they have. But to point out the reality that Whites are not historically unique in doing bad things to others. I know it isn't currently popular to make this observation but it happens to be true. A one sided way of looking at things also ignores the incredibly bad treatment that occurred among people of the same race but within separate tribal groupings (ethnicities, religions, etc.). People of all races are equally capable of evil. Highlighting only bad things done by Whites against non-Whites is to ignore history as appears to be a means to launch attacks upon another group of people that you dislike. That's called racism.

Always interesting to notice the tactics based on 'equality' conducted by the Alt-right movement :)

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