The dreaded ‘R’ word – and it’s not redhead

Sydney forward Adam Goodes is back this week.

Footballer Adam Goodes, whose dancing makes the country go wild. Photo: Getty

Australia is “uniquely racist against Aboriginal Australians”, a Q&A panellist said on Monday night during a debate about Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes’ ‘war dance’.

The statement was in response to a question from the audience on whether Goodes’ reaction to kicking a goal against Carlton on Friday night was disproportionate, seeing as redheads suffer discrimination all the time.

The inquisitor, Amanda Marie Voets, identified as firstly a redhead but also from Aboriginal, English and Irish heritage.

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She said she suffered discrimination as a ‘ranga’ all the time, and asked why Goodes should be offended.

“Do you think he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder in starting the race debate?” she asked.

The debate that followed on Monday’s Q&A stood out for two reasons.

Uncle Jack Charles delivered some truth bombs, as he revealed that despite being a well-recognised indigenous actor, his daily struggle is against homelessness.

“Well actually my lifestyle choice is not being homeless right now,” he said.

The former cat burglar related that his living conditions had stabilised after his temporary accommodation had burned down.  

His take on Goodes’ celebration and the aftermath that followed?

“Australia itself is uniquely racist against Aboriginal Australians, Mr Charles said.

“To remove us off lands … to take away funding for the remote territories strikes me as purely strange.”

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg attempted to talk up Tony Abbott’s and the government’s interest in the future of remote Australia since it emerged as part of the 2013 election.

Since then, the government has announced policy that pushed the funding responsibility for remote communities onto the states and resulted in nationally coordinated street protests.

Nevertheless, Mr Frydenberg declared: “I think there’s enormous goodwill towards Indigenous Australians.”

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