Playing the race card hardly proves rampant racism
Sudanese-born supermodel Adut Akech this week played the tattiest race card yet and with insane success.
Watch Melbourne's Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, grovel and apologise to Akech on behalf of … what? Her race?
Watch the ABC rant how racist Australians were to this poor victim (actually a pampered and feted 19-year-old).
Dear God. How Australia's intelligentsia gone utterly bonkers?
This farce started when WHO magazine mistakenly ran a picture of Ugandan model Flavia Lazarus in a profile of Akech for Melbourne Fashion Week.
It was the kind of stupid mistake I've seen made by so many publications. London's Sun even ran a picture of the wrong man on a front-page story on the son of serial killer Freddie West.
The independent ran an apology that made it even worse for some has-been actor it had mocked: "We ran a photograph of an actor named David Bradley under the heading 'stars who have slipped'. We very much regret that we used a photograph of the wrong David Bradley …"
But to Akech, WHO's dumb mistake was another example of the racism she claims has blighted the life of this international supermodel.
"This is not the first time a racist incident has happened to me in Australia," she raged on the ABC, as host Jon Faine fumed over her suffering.
"Australia has to do so much better," she insisted.
What? It's the fault of all Australia that someone at the opr Agency, contracted by Melbourne City Council, made what opr called an "administrative error" with pictures it sent to WHO?
Yes, apparently this catastrophe is our collective fault, which is why the Lord Mayor rushed to Akech to apologise on behalf of all whites, or all ratepayers, or … well, it wasn't clear just who Sally Capp was apologising for.
Maybe it was for all of us, to judge from her liberal use of the collective "we".
"It's so important we stand with Adut and say things need to change," she sermonised.
"I think we've become better in Australia at calling out blatant discrimination and racism. But the fact is, in our communities this is happening every day."
Pardon? What's the "this" that's happening "every single day"?
Is there now a parade of African-born fashion superstars whose vanity is daily pricked by some administrative error? By some failure to recognise them?
The most pathetic part of Capp's apology is that she seemed - to me - to acknowledge she was actually participating in a farcical show trial, in which some poor schmucks at opr and WHO are publicly flayed as racists to make our hand-wringing class feel better about themselves.
"People may say it's a mistake or may say it's careless or be blasé about it (but) this is unacceptable," Capp babbled.
Again, what's the "this" that's "unacceptable"? Is it what Capp described as merely a "mistake"? So why is a mere mistake "blatant discrimination and racism"?
But to Akech - of an age when things are so black-and-white - there's no doubt this was racism: "It is racist because it's telling me that every single black model looks the same."
But compare the two photographs - of Lazarus and Akech - and the confusion seems not so surprising.
Lazarus, like Akech, has closely cropped hair and very high cheekbones and in her picture is holding an unnatural pose, her head titled right back, making it harder to identify her.
On a casual look you might well mistake her for Akech, particularly if you'd been told the pictures were of the same woman.
And Akech's ego aside, for all her sudden success overseas, she's not yet widely known here.
But whatever caused this error, one other thing must be said to those exploiting it to denounce Australia's "racism".
Why are you so determined to damn so many Australians on such little evidence, when Akech's life is actually a tribute to Australia?
Consider: we took in Akech as a refugee. That doesn't seem very racist of us. Akech was made ambassador for Melbourne Fashion Week, despite being only 19. That doesn't seem very racist of us, either.
And WHO did a flattering profile on the model, expecting readers would love it. Is that really evidence of racism?
No, it's evidence that the racism industry is now an insult to our intelligence and our country.
What a joke, when Australians must now apologise even to someone they accepted as a refugee and helped to make a supermodel.
Surely it's time to bin that race card.