Yesterday, in a dog-related group on Facebook, a major blue occurred. The cause? A racist remark. The argument went on for over an hour; I was busy doing house-stuff (or motor-home stuff), so had to rely on reports from my husband. I don't remember the whole of what he told me, but the initial post stuck with me.
Basically, a young Aboriginal family had a dog which was digging under a shared fence; the woman whose fence it was feared that if she said something to them, she would be the victim of an Aboriginal crime-wave. I get that; I've had neighbours who have scared the bejabbers out of me, I'd be too scared to talk to them too (although their skin colour/religion etc had nothing to do with it, their previous behaviour did). But, she had the woman and her daughter over as visitors, for coffee and to swim in their pool on a regular basis.
Ok. So, I had to read the originating post, to make sure I hadn't mis-heard, or misunderstood. I hadn't. I was pissed.
As I say, the row went on for over an hour, I got there 5 minutes before the thread was deleted. The majority of posters, and the original poster kept insisting that she wasn't being racist. I disagreed. Hard.
I came into the discussion with this "I'm Aboriginal, I'm here, and I'm pissed!
Silence. Resounding silence.
I went to check email, and came back to my post to find a whole bunch of likes, and my inbox overflowing with supportive messages. I even got apologies from people who had previously said this woman was not being racist, and thanks from others. Say what?!
I missed something. I got on there because I was pissed. Offended and hurt, to be more accurate. I didn't want anyone to say anything to me, I just wanted this woman to realise what she was saying was hurtful and offensive. Not to mention wrong. Although I guess, as one poster said to me, I opened people's eyes to the fact that racism not only exists, but is seen as acceptable by some Australians.