I have to agree with James Packer, the booing of Adam Goodes has made me feel uncomfortable and ashamed too. Where are we with this? Waleed Aly’s clear analysis of the booing made sense to me, as did Francis Leach’s observations on Offsiders.
Francis said that clearly this issue goes way beyond sport and we, in Australia, have the problem of not having ‘a language’ to discuss racism. It is a topic we are clearly uncomfortable with and we avoid having conversations about it.
Waleed said that although we are a very tolerant society when someone from a minority speaks out and stops being a supplicant, we are uncomfortable and we ‘boo our discomfort’.
We’ve all heard a child in trouble saying “I didn’t do it! – He did it!..”Psychologists say we ‘project’ our feelings of discomfort, and transfer the feelings we don’t want to have, onto others. Isn’t this what has been happening since Adam started ‘calling us out’ over issues facing Indigenous people?
“It’s hardly exemplary behavior to try to escape blame or criticism by (shamelessly) ‘passing the buck’…projecting our mistakes, or misdeeds, onto others..
A good deal of our anger is motivated by a desire not to experience guilt..
Underlying it [anger]..are such core hurts as feeling disregarded, unimportant, accused, guilty, untrustworthy, devalued, rejected, powerless, and unlovable…
It’s therefore understandable that so many of us might go to great lengths to find ways of distancing ourselves from [these emotions].” (Psychology Today)
1. Let’s develop the language to deal with such situations…we can practice when Adam, and others call us out.
2. Indigenous people should speak out, about the problem and the solution, so we can – together – address disadvantage.
Let’s hope clear thinking will prevail over anger and hurt