First of all, thank you for all your kind words and messages of support after my appearance on ABC TV’s “Offsiders” last Sunday.
It seems many of you share my conviction that it’s time to call racism out - wherever we encounter it.
The calls, texts, tweets and emails have been overwhelmingly supportive.
There has been the odd angry man thrown in (and it’s nearly always men!) using that lame Aussie colloquialism, “Pull your head in”.
Well the days of “pulling your head in” are over.
It’s time we all had the courage to stare down the implied threat carried in that phrase.
That is - don’t rock the boat, get above our station or challenge what we know is wrong.
That’s exactly what you must do.
A number of people who have contacted me to say that what I said Sunday was exactly how they’ve felt when they’ve found themselves in similar situations. Yet they chose to stay silent thinking that they best “pull their head in”.
It’s no longer good enough.
As I said on the program, We talk a good game in this country.
We’re so comfortable with ourselves we’ve become frightened of asking any hard questions about who we really are and where we’re truly at.
Sure, we have our Long walks, Indigenous Rounds and All Star games.
But when we have to put a name and a face to racism our first instinct is to make excuses for it.
I was misheard, taken out of context, they can't they take a joke..
It's time we had the guts to call it out.
None of us are perfect.
We have to fight our own racism. It lives in the assumptions we make about people and who they are, what they think, eat, wear and believe on the basis of their culture.
It’s a battle everyday to free ourselves the prison of our own narrow vision.
Or else we allow it to own us.
It’s from there that the throw away remark at a dinner party, the trash talk flying over the fence at the footy or the reckless stupidity dribbled into a microphone is allowed to mutate into something hard and ugly.
If we do not stare it down there and then it diminishes ourselves and everyone subjected to it.
Racism is racism whether it's dressed casually, wearing a mouth guard or in a business suit.
It’s time to call it out.
Until we do - we are all complicit.