Not sure if you have heard about it but there is some crazy debate going on all over the blogging world about the recent HEY HEY It’s Saturday renunion show.

See the link above. Basically, people are calling Australia racist after a skit on the show and its sent the media into a spin. Worldwide debate has sparked and Australia is baring the brunt of it.

I’m finding this all a bit silly really! I think this is yet another case of media hype, over reacting, over sensitivity and the world being overly politically correct. You want to say Australia is the most racist country in the world? Well, I’m sorry but that is completely out of line. Why is it ok for America to get up on their high horse and tell the world how to behave in regard to other races- is it not there former President who was “hunting” down members of other countries and branding them all as “terrorists”. Please don’t tell me you go to the Southern parts of America and find peace and harmony and love between all people of colour, race and nationality?


I’m not America bashing either. What I’m saying is peoples opinions vary across the world, and we need to stop jumping the gun. An entire nation cannot be labelled as racist based on a television skit by a few guys having a laugh. Take it with a grain of salt.Lighten up!


I have travelled to a fair few countries now and I have seen and heard my fair share of racism. Does that mean that I will forever think of those places and the people from it as racist? God no! It was simply opinions being expressed by them. Whether right or wrong is another story, I believe racism is wrong, but I am not going to crucify someone over it. I would simply tell them I disagree, IF I say anything at all

I was astounded when I went to South Africa at the open racism and naming of classes, castes and people. But honestly, they do not see it as racism sometimes because it simply is the way it is.


Racism is bad. We should not judge people based on their country, origin, skin colour- and for that matter other things such as lifestyle (gay/straight/single/marrried) , choice of professions… geez the list goes on.


I see that people were offended. And I think it was good of Hey hey to apologise to those offended. But I do not think that the ongoing criticism and jumping on the “racist” band wagon is acceptable.


Let’s all step back, take a little deep breath, and stop chastising people over things they say. There have been far worse things in the past and I believe this is simply blown out of proportion.


I just hope that as I continue to travel the world, I will not be labelled as racist simply because I come from a country where an issue of racism was raised…. for is this not too a form of racism???

7 thoughts

  1. How can you say that what happens in South Africa is not racism but “simply the way it is”? It’s racism Emma, clear and simple, one group of people treating others badly because of the colour of their skin. It might very well be a way of life but that doesn’t change that fact that its racism, it should not be seen as normal.

    How can you say that you have been to countries where discrimination is clearly a major issue i.e. India, Mexico, USA, Spain, Morocco etc and say that you don’t judge the perpetrators as they are allowed their own opinions? Is it justified that an indigenous Peruvian not be allowed entrance to a club in Miraflores in Lima because it’s only for Peruvians of European decent? Is it justified that a little Indian girl In Mumbai cannot become a lawyer because her father was an untouchable and other parents don’t want her at school with their children? Can you honestly stand by, watch this happen and say “oh well, everyone is entitled to think as they wish…” Personally, I think if you stand by and watch someone act or speak in a racist way and don’t speak up and then you’re taking just an active a role as they are.

    Of course there is an argument to cultural sensitivity, accepting that when overseas cultural norms are varied and cultural practices are different but in cases of discrimination be it based on race, gender, religion or other something needs to be done. Machismo in Latin America, Racism in Australia, Religious based discrimination in Israel etc, is all-wrong. No one is better than anyone else and we all need to stand up, admit the problem and work on ways to solve it.

    In terms of Australia being a racist country, I’d agree. Whilst it is true that other countries have bigger issues with racism than we do, we have quite a serious issue. Have you ever been to Cronulla? Or Wagga Wagga? How about Dubbo or Moree? Ever been to Melbourne? To those Australian who are not white and middle class, racism and discrimination are a reality. Take our Indigenous population for example, while most of Australia understands the plight of those unlucky enough to be born poor in Sudan or Bolivia, how many people really understand the living conditions and daily struggles of Australian Aboriginals? Many of who live in conditions comparable to the worst slums of Latin America, Africa or Asia.

    It doesn’t surprise me that, if as a white middle class Australian in Sydney you have not experienced racism on a personal note, hell, neither have I but it is part of Australian life, one which we need to deal with as a matter of urgency and bullshit skits like that should one condemned.

    And one more thing, “travelling the world” is something that most Australians do at some point in their lives. It doesn’t make them any better than those who don’t travel and in most cases it is far from the most interesting thing they will do in their lives. I know people who have never left Australia who have a much greater understanding of the world that those of us who have been drunk is 50 + countries…

    Also, check your spelling and grammar girl! The errors are really distracting to the reader.

    Un saludo,


    1. Thank you for your comments Cait.

      You raise some very valid points, and I do agree with you. Racism is wrong, I don’t like it and I don’t partake in it.

      HOWEVER, my point in writing this post was to comment on the specific situation that is occuring and the extreme generalisations that are being used.

      Another thing I wanted to point out was that it’s not a quick fix, one off statement, ok let’s fix racism. Nuh uh. Yes of course racism takes place all over the world, and quite evidently in Australia. My point was that exactly. It does take place everywhere, so why then was Australia being labelled as the MOST racist country. I think the whole debate was blown out of proportion, it became silly and the media over reacted (as per usual.)

      I will let you know that I have been discriminated against as a white person and I have felt the effects of being labelled as a certain type of person due to my apperance and especially my skin colour. Of course, I have no idea what it is like to have to live in a completely different part of Society due to my physical appearance or heritage, but I understand the consequences and feelings of such treatment.

      We can’t just make judgements and statements about other coultures and societies and on how they are structured. We are then placing our own biases and beliefs from our systems onto them. Take for example, child labour. I was appalled when I walked into a shop in Mexico and there were 8 and 9 year olds packing bags at the supermarket. I couldn’t believe this actually went on and straight away started reflecting upon the labour laws and roles within my society. It was later pointed out to me that these children went to school and came to their job AFTER in their own free time. They chose to be there and chose to work. Or it could also have been that they were there to support their family and to help. I never had to face this situation as a 9 year old, so how could I then judge them. I instantly wanted to jump on my high horse and scream from my soapbox how wrong it was. But that would not be right. It’s a different situation, a different society, and a different circumstance for me to even comprehend. And what… am I going to run over with my money and help all these families? No, I can’t. It’s not possible- So who fixes it? How do we create change.

      How do you say that we go to some of these countries and educate them that racisim isn’t the right way? Have we not been working on this for years?

      My comments were to do with a specific situation and perhaps they could be viewed for what they were. Comments, suggestions and food thought. I’m sorry to have offended you and I do appreciate your views and perspective on this issue.

      I do not claim to be a saint and have all the answers. I was simply voicing my opinion. As now are you, which is welcomed and appreciated.

      However, I belive that poiniting fingers and making statements about people’s ability or inability to understand social and cultural dynamics is not going to get any of us anywhere.

      “been drunk in 50 + countries…..”


  2. By writing your opinions on the internet you open yourself up to criticism and you open up the possibility that people are not going to agree with what you have said. If your opinions are those which you expressed in your comment you did not express yourself very well in your post, sweeping statements backed up with flimsy personal experiences.

    In terms of creating change, the first thing we need to do is lead by example. If it ok in a first world country like Australia to make a skit like this one, then what is the majority (third) world supposed to think when our government lectures them about human rights? About sex, religion or racially based discrimination?

    As for helping out in the development of the majority world, the George Bush method of bringing Democracy is quite obviously an epic fail. You cannot help out everyone and you cannot force your views on someone else. There are a lot of wonderful people working in development around the world to help out those most at risk and ultimately if you want to help the best way, I think, is to become involved with some of these organisations. Many are about making a bad situation slightly better, i.e. helping out sex workers with information about safe sex, teaching them non penetrative sex methods, allowing their stigmatised children to go to school. Or arranging for child workers to have some time off to study or micro financing women to create their own businesses, creating drop in medical centres for homeless people etc. It’s not an easy situation to rectify but hiding your outrage and accepting everything as “cultural differences” certainly doesn’t help anyone in the long run.

    Obviously, the problem of racism in Australia, when compared to other nations in relatively minor and you only have to walk down the street in Sydney to realise how truly pluralist we are. In many ways it’s great this skit has raised so much controversy because it reminds us that we need to be careful about what we do and what we say. Australians have a habit of saying things without placing the appropriate amount of importance to their meanings and I think this is very dangerous. I too have been surprised over and over again when this year I have been asked about Australia being racist. Stolen Generation, Cronulla Riots, Policies on Asylum Seekers etc. We have a bit of a bad rep internationally…

    Anyway, you have a good week…If only you could apply your editing skills to apostrophes and the differences between they’re, their and there.


  3. I gotta admit Emma, when I read this post I stopped reading your blog (and I’ve only just come back to reading it now). I feel like I have to comment.

    You know that my girlfriend is black and so I am patently and obviously biased, regardless, blackface is just wrong and not funny (Cos opinion > fact yes?).

    There are two types of blackface, the first is the type used in the Hey Hey it’s Saturday sketch, with exaggerated features, lips with the person obviously not black. The second is of the type where the person is not obviously not black, similar to that used on AMNT and John Safran, where a person is made up to all intents and purposes to appear black. A photographic image should make the difference between the two clear.

    Type One:

    Type Two:

    Type One blackface was used throughout the history of the US to both portray black people in a negative light and to further exclude them from white society. It has all the negative connotations and history associated with slavery & racism throughout America. It is offensive and hurtful especially when you consider that black people were only legally considered equal with white in the 1960’s. For reference, my girlfriends parents were alive and adult during this time.

    Hey Hey it’s Saturday’s skit was performed with Type One blackface and is highly offensive. It should never have been performed and doubly so with Harry Connick Jr in the panel, who understands the context and nature of the style.


    1. Hi Sebastian

      Thank you very much for your comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to write back to this. I also appreciate you coming back to the blog and giving it a second chance after the things I wrote obviously offended you.

      I am sorry to have offended anyone and I did not mean to do so in writing this.

      My blog was more aimed at the media and the ridicuous nature of the media industry to take things and blow them out of proportion. To me, this is what happened anyway.

      I think it very courageous and virtuous to have such strong viewpoints on particular issues and for people to express themselves over them. I also see though that we do not live in a perfect world and us standing around berrating one another over things we say or do doesn’t really help the problem.

      I think that had Harry ConnickJr not said anything, the issue would never have flared up. Perhaps it was a good thing that it was brought back in to the media spotlight.

      I must say though, I don’t regret what I have written and I still believe that the particular situation of the Hey, Hey it’s Saturday skit is a far cry from the far more serious racial issues that you are discussing.

      Again, Sorry to have offended and I really value your opinion and thoughts on this issue.


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