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Dawn Fraser is NOT a racist!

July 8, 2015

8 July 2015

Australia is so pathetic. We’re already a nation of nanny staters and whingers and deniers of freedom, especially that of freedom of speech. These days, it’s not enough to love laws that deny such freedoms, we also must be dobbers and react sensationally in a hysterical and bullish way and label anyone that happens to say something even remotely unsavoury or disconcerting, that they are a racist, a bigot, a homophobe, a sexist or even a pepsi drinker.

That was the situation that faced swimming legend Dawn Fraser this week. When asked on a morning TV show about the tantrum and apparent tanking by tennis player Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon, Fraser suggested he should “go back to where their fathers or parents came from”. Enter the sensationalist media that feeds off such comments, and then cites a few idiots on twitter as a barometer of broader community response to justify the big headline: “Dawn Fraser launches a racist attack on Nick Kyrgios”! Poor Dawn. Of course, Fraser must apologise, which she did, saying she’s not racist and never intended anything of the sort with her comments.

One problem: Listen to the full conversation and Fraser was not even in the same galaxy as a racist. Even worse, citing such comments as racism diminishes the word, and the cause. Racism is far, far worse, with it being a feeling of hatred and discrimination against people of other races. While Fraser’s comments were idiotic, and maybe xenophobic, any non-racist can see that, in their full context, she was not being racist. If anything, if there’s criticism against Fraser, it’s that she was way too harsh in her general criticism of Kyrgios, even if at times he did behave like an obnoxious, spoilt brat. He’s still so young.

On a morning show to talk about asthma, Fraser was later asked about Kyrgios, and answered from the start in the context of the Davis Cup, which recently had both Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic threatening to boycott. Fraser said Kyrgios’s Wimbledon antics were “absolutely disgusting” and not the expected behaviour of “a good Australian sports-person”. She said Tennis Australia was right to exclude them from the Davis Cup [note: only Tomic was dumped – for disciplinary reasons; Kyrgios says he’s available], and noted their behaviour as a symptom of the money these days and that they are “a disgrace to Australian sportsmen and women”.

When asked a question about the money and fame that these stars have (the notorious Australian entitlement culture) and the lack of humility and striving to achieve, Fraser agreed exactly with that premise. She then cited the players’ poor personal management, the players should be “setting an example to this great country of ours, and if they don’t like it, go back to where their fathers or parents came from. We don’t need them in this country if they act like that.

There’s a precedent to Fraser’s thinking of players returning to the homeland of the parents, notably Jelena Dokic, who defected to Serbia and Montenegro after her unruly father caused similar problems with tennis authorities in Australia. The narratives of Dokic, Tomic and Kyrgios are almost parallel that it was easy for Fraser to make such a link. Fraser then reinforced the need to set a good example to younger children and worried that people won’t recognise or want to talk to these players in their later years if they continue with such petulance. Kyrgios fired back, calling Fraser “a blatant racist”.

That wasn’t enough. Today the same sordid news outlet (news.com.au) posted an article about the real problem with Dawn Fraser’s comments: “casual racism”! Apparently, not to challenge any “racism” like that of Fraser’s is casual racism. Therefore, the interviewers and, indeed, anyone in the country that didn’t have a concern about Fraser’s interview, they are all casual racists! What next, casual bigots, casual homophobes, casual sexists, casual pepsi drinkers. Wait! I’m one of those. Sometimes you just like a change from coke. It really is ridiculous.

Sources

(from 3:30)
http://www.9jumpin.com.au/show/today/videos/4340982225001/

http://www.news.com.au/sport/tennis/olympic-legend-dawn-fraser-launches-racist-attack-on-nick-kyrgios/story-fnu2pjj2-1227431907759

http://www.news.com.au/sport/tennis/the-real-problem-with-the-dawn-fraser-interview/story-fndkzym4-1227433856367

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