Much has been written of Australian soccer captain Sam Kerr’s big night out in the back of a London cab. A recent piece by Luke Pearson  of ‘indigenousX’, ‘Is it possible to be racist to  white people?’, was his attempt to explain the  controversy over the alleged remarks by Kerr,  whose father is part Indian and mother white, against a white policeman in England.

Fight shadow bans & SHARE!

Sam Kerr’s genealogy should not matter. But, in the minds of many, like Luke Pearson,  it is crucial to her guilt or innocence. Luke  runs courses in anti-racism. Luke has a father  of Aboriginal descent, but his mother does not,  meaning that he is both oppressed and oppressor. To squeeze every advantage from his love  of critical race theory and race-based ideology,  he believes that all ills can be laid at the feet of  racism, even when he, as a graduate, is privileged. He seems to be an angry man who possibly learned his radicalism from his alma mater,  the University of Newcastle, which specialises  in identity recovery. 

One of his courses explores ‘the 500-year  story of race and racism’. Five hundred years is about the time that Europeans started their  discovery of the new world, that is, the comAmencement of so-called ‘colonialism’. Except,  it wasn’t. Luke had better hide from his students  the four volumes of the Cambridge World His tory of Slavery. Slavery was the most common  form of subjugation in all societies capable of  keeping slaves. Asians and Arabs, when they  were more powerful, took whites into slavery.  Hunter-gatherers did not. Not because they  were not racist, but because they could not keep  slaves. They could barely keep themselves. The  irony is that it takes a certain amount of civilisation to keep slaves. It takes a heck of a lot more  to prevent it; only the Europeans, the white man,  in the first instance, have done so. 

As an exercise, Luke asks people in his  workshops how indigenous people can use  racism to ‘reduce the average life expectancy  of white people’, ‘increase their likelihood of  incarceration’, ‘increase their chances of having  their children removed from their care’, and so  on. He rails, that is what racism does to ‘us’, ‘so  if we can be racist to them, why doesn’t it have  the same impact on them? Why doesn’t racism  benefit us in the way it benefits white supremacy?’ The exercise leads students to lay all the  blame on one cause – the white man’s racism,  just like the white policeman. 

Luke has swallowed the whole race theory  thing. How sad. Here he is, privileged, educated, and apparently bitter. He fails to realise that he will have the same life expectancy as other  Australians consistent with his genetic makeup  because he completed school, is a teacher, and  has his own business. If he looks after himself,  for which he alone is responsible, he will have  a good life, a loving family, and free of incarceration. 

Luke wrongly suggests that racism arose  ‘around the Enlightenment when white people were positioning themselves as the superior race, with not just superior cultures, superior  intellects and superior institutions but also superior morals and ethics’. They do ‘terrible things  for power and profit while still believing themselves to be good people’. ‘Alas, dear Luke, you  suffer from what Nigel Biggar (Colonialism:  a Moral Reckoning) labels an ‘unscrupulous  indifference to historical truth.’ The Enlightenment did not invent empire; tell that to the  Assyrians. It did invent the equal value of each  person. 

Luke’s anger extends to good people of Aboriginal descent. ‘Imagine an indigenous person  who builds a political career… from denying the  existence of racism or the ongoing impacts of  colonisation on other indigenous people. They  can directly benefit from racism for personal  and political gain’. A shot at Senator Jacinta  Price and Warren Mundine and others? 

According to Luke, ‘collectively, only white  people as a group benefit from racism… white  people are not the victims of racism’. But Sam  Kerr is filthy rich, not the white policeman. The  soccer player has the media and elites behind  her, not the white copper. But the white copper  may have the institution of the courts on his side.  Whether the courts can stomach the backlash  coming their way if a woman of colour taunts  a white policeman will be revealing of whether  our cherished institutions have succumbed to  critical race theory, or as Yascha Mounk calls  it, the ‘identity synthesis’, incorporating gender  and other identities. 

Luke should also hide from his students that  his radical views were written by privileged  white men – from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to  Michel Foucault. As Jeff Fynn-Paul wrote in  his brilliant book, Not Stolen: The Truth About  European Colonialism in the New World, ‘I  know of no more efficient way to create poverty, despair and violence in native communities than to teach identity politics and identity  history’. Think about that, Luke; perhaps you  should return to the University of Newcastle and  teach your teachers to stop their classes on identity politics and identity history and teach their  students to count, read and write. 

Merit made the modern world, Luke; you  have some – don’t abuse it. 

The Coincidence - a novel by Gabriel Moens

When we use Old Aussie we might call a bloke a ‘cove’ – but why? Why is an adult male  likened to a coastal inlet? The answer is: he’s  not. The two ‘coves’ here are homonyms – different words with different histories that (quite  accidentally) are spelled and spoken the same.  The coastal inlet ‘cove’ goes all the way back  to the Germanic sources of Old English, while  adult male ‘cove’ came to Australia as a convict slang word. It’s recorded by convict lexicographer James Hardy Vaux in his dictionary  of the Flash Language. Here’s his definition of  a ‘cove’: ‘the master of a house or shop, is called  the Cove; on other occasions, when joined to  particular words, as a cross-cove, a flash-cove, a  leary-cove, etc., it simply implies a man of these  several descriptions…’ To begin with the ‘cove’  was the boss, but then (in egalitarian Australia)  the word came to mean everyman. As to origin,  the Oxford suggests it may have grown out of  Scots word, adding (in a slightly sniffy way):  ‘save that cove belongs to a lower and more  slangy stratum of speech’. If you’d like to know  more about the many words convicts have contributed to the Australian language, I have told  the remarkable story of James Hardy Vaux and  his dictionary in my book Flash Jim (Harper Collins, 2021). 

Speaking on his Outsiders show on Sky  News our esteemed editor appears to have  coined a new word: ‘pro-Semitic.’ He proposed  this as the best label for someone who opposes  anti-Semitism. And it appears to be his original  coinage – not found in the Oxford, CambridgeMerriam-Webster Unabridged or the Macquarie. The Oxford (and only the Oxford) records  the rare word ‘pro-Semitism’ appearing (only  occasionally) since 1900. But it was coined and  used as a derogatory term for Zionists. And the  meaning of our editor’s new word ‘pro-Semitism’ is the opposite of that. I think it’s an excellent word that says, ‘I stand with the Jews’. And  as long as our government is slow, and reluctant,  to say they stand with the Jews, and oppose anti Semitic hatred of Jews, then we have to take a  stand. And now we have the word to say it – we  are ‘pro-Semitic.’ 

On the subject of new words – our editor  doesn’t have this on his own. I have also coined  a new word: ‘Austrophile’. Inspired by Andrew  Bolt’s insight that members of the Albanese  government are reluctant to defend Australia  because they don’t love Australia, I coined this  word to name those of us who do. Built along  the same lines as established words such as  Francophile and Anglophile, ‘Austrophile’ has  the same slightly odd mixture of a Latin stem  with a Greek root. But if that works for the  French and the English it can work for us! And  it generates its own antonym. For those angry  mobs who object to the Australian flag and call  us all racists, we can now call them ‘Austrophobes.’ For those who love Australia’s values  as much as they love our landscape, and who  love our history as much as they love our distinctive language, we now have a word – we are  ‘Austrophiles.’ And proud of it! 

Fight shadow bans & SHARE!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Add your comments below...

You can enjoy more Good Sauce articles and shows by subscribing to the Good Sauce podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon and more. Please take a minute to help us reach more people by giving us a 5 star rating and review in Apple Podcasts.

Dr Gary Johns is the chair of Close the Gap Research and author of The Burden of Culture. The Hon Gary Johns served in the House of Representatives from 1987 1996. He served as Special Minister of State in the Keating Labor government. He was awarded the Centenary Medal and the Fulbright Professional Award, served at Georgetown University, Washington. He was an Associate Commissioner of the Australian Productivity Commission 2002-2004. He has also served on the Productivity Commission and from 2017-2022 was head of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Queensland and has authored several books and papers. He is a regular columnist for The Australian newspaper and author of many books.

Honest political commentary & analysis

Here is where you'll find quality videos, podcasts & articles from some of the best independent voices in Australian politics and culture. Subscribe to get FREE weekly updates, uncensored, direct to your inbox today.

Success! Please check your inbox in a minute to finalise your subscription.