Aussie TV journalist Grant quits over racism issue - GulfToday

Aussie TV journalist Grant quits over racism issue

Stan Grant

Stan Grant

In most Western countries dominated by the white majority, racism simmers just below the surface. And more people are challenging it more than ever. Australia lies in the east end of Asia but it is a white colony and it carries the Western legacy or baggage of racism to that island-continent when the English landed there in the 18th century and Britain used it as a penal colony.

The issue of the indigenous people who were nearly decimated in the United States, in Canada and in Australia, is now on the public agenda,  and in recent years, the indigenous people have stood up to the injustices of the past, and reclaiming part of their land and cultural legacy. It is in this context that Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)’s Stan Grant, who is of Indigenous origin, has taken a loud and clear stance while hosting the show covering the coronation of Charles III earlier this month, and talked about the suffering of the Australian indigenous people.

He was criticised widely in the Australian press for making those observations on the injustice suffered by the indigenous people under the British Crown, and in the most reprehensible language, racial profiling Grant and calling him a hatemonger.

Grant hit back in a piece he wrote for the ABC website, saying, “I pointed out that the crown represents the invasion and theft of our land. Police wearing the seal of the crown took children from their families. Under the crown our people were massacred.” He said he loved Australia and that is the reason he feels that the truth has to be told.

He said that the persecution of the indigenous people still continues because they have the highest rates of imprisonment and poverty. The ABC backed Grant though he has decided to leave the programme he hosts for the national broadcaster because of the “racial filth” he was subjected to by the media.

Grant was also upset because no one from among the ABC executives had spoken out against the media abuse he got for pointing out the facts of persecution suffered by the indigenous people in Australia. Grant wrote: “I am writing this because no one at the ABC – whose producers invited me onto their coronation coverage as a guest – has uttered one word of public support. Not one ABC executive has publicly refuted the lies written or spoken about me.”

The ABC has however registered a complaint with Twitter for the “racial filth” that was hurled at Grant. ABC news director Justin Stevens issued a statement backing Grant and said that Grant faced “grotesque racial abuse, including threats to his safety.” Support for Grant also came from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese when he told journalists, “You can have respect for different views without engaging in vilification.”

But the more stinging statement in support of Grant came from the cultural editor of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Osman Faruqi, who was a former staffer at the ABC. He said in his opinion piece that the national broadcaster’s staffing pattern did not reflect the cultural mix of Australia. But he argued further: “It’s also bigger than the media. There is a toxicity around race that resides deep within this country, infecting all of our institutions – the media, sport, arts, business, and politics.”

White-dominated western societies and governments have to face up to the issue of exploitation of not just the natural resources of the lands that they have colonised, but also the crimes against humanity that they had committed in the treatment that they had meted out to the indigenous people of those lands. The voice of Stan Grant is a reminder to white Western societies of their moral duty.

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