THE persecution of a young fan of AFL star Nic Naitanui proves today’s anti-racist is now often just a bully.
Anti-racism, once a noble cause, has instead become a licence to humiliate even children.
First, these anti-racist hypocrites turned a 13-year-old girl into the “face of racism” in Australia and named and shamed her for yelling “ape” at AFL star Adam Goodes at the football.
Never mind that she said she did not mean the insult in a racist way and was tearily sorry.
Never mind that she was a mere child. No, she was identified on national television, detained by police and evicted from the stadium.
It was disgusting to then see powerful adults — football administrators and champions, media heavies and activists — line up to smash a powerless girl from a broken home.
That was shameful enough, from moralisers claiming to be fighting for a kinder and less judgmental world. But now their latest victim is a grade four boy.
His sin: to have so idolised AFL star Nic Naitanui, of Fijian Indian background, that he wanted to look like him as much as possible for a school dress-up day, even getting his mother to colour his skin.
“He is pasty white,” explained his mum on the Facebook wall of Perth blogger Constance Hall. “If I sent him in (just) a wig and footy gear, no one would tell who he was.”
Be clear here. If racism is belittling people of a different “race” or skin colour, this boy and his mother are innocent.
Indeed, the boy clearly admired Naitanui, and, painted brown, was given a prize at his school’s best-dressed parade by judges who appreciated this obvious tribute to a local hero.
Is this not exactly how we’d wish our children to be: so far from despising a darker skin colour that they’d wish to share it to be closer to someone they admire?
Yet our anti-racists are dead to both pity and reason. They did not judge this boy by his heart or his intention. They judged him instead by the colour painted on his skin.
“Racist!’ they screamed, and, having somehow sniffed out evil, these witch-hunters felt licensed to commit evil of their own.
The abuse they heaped on the boy’s family on social media was astonishing — some of it vile and some of it threatening.
“We have been in tears and are too scared to leave the house,” the mother said. Her son did not dare go to school.
Hall, whose blog had run a picture of a boy posing as Naitanui, was so frightened that she pulled down the post and put up a picture of herself crying as she pleaded for mercy.
Hall insisted she was “culturally sensitive” and never believed the boy and his mother racist.
Yet said she’d never received so much abuse.
“Please stop sending me these horrible messages and writing these things on my wall, I am feeling really broken and alone right now and I don’t have the strength for this.”
Good God. This is the work of people claiming to be more moral? To send death threats to women?
To humiliate and scare mere children? Innocent children, at that?
I am so sorry Naitanui fell in with this mob, though he rightly said the mother had meant no offence and her son was in his “innocence merely attempting to emulate his hero”.
Naitanui should have left it at that — a finding of not guilty — and called out this fraud. Yet he still felt driven by the social media hysteria to cast his fan’s loving gesture as inherently racist.
“It’s a shame racism coexists in an environment where our children should be nurtured not tortured because they are unaware of the painful historical significance ‘blackface’ has had previously on the oppressed,” he tweeted.
Seriously? How about judging an action by the intention?
Judging a boy and his mother by their hearts?
Why make some tenuous connection with some distant past practice few people remember or understand just to take an offence when clearly none was intended?
And in what way is Naitanui — so admired and well-rewarded — among the “oppressed”?
If anyone is “oppressed” here, how about the boy too scared to go to school?
Such frantic offence-taking and drawing of racial lines is becoming sinister. Divisive. Inflammatory. Cruel.
Don’t tell me the pack turned on the boy just to root out racism — because here there was none.