“I’m not racist” is no excuse for making racist comments

adamm goodesEverybody makes mistakes and we should be forgiven for making mistakes, especially when heartfelt apologies are made. One of the lessons that needs to be learned from the racist comments made against Adam Goodes in the past week is that just because you don’t think that another race is inferior in any way does not mean that your comments are not racist. Non-racists can still cause tremendous hurt and great offense with their words.

A racist comment is one that causes offense, no matter what the intention was. What’s relevant is how the other person feels, not what your views and beliefs are. It certainly seems that Eddie McQuire now understands the impact of his gaffe on Adam Goodes and realises that the fact that he is not a racist is irrelevant.

This is a great opportunity to teach our children about the damage that is caused by unintended racist jokes and comments. Those who are calling this episode a storm in a teacup are failing to see things through Goodes’ eyes and how he feels is the only measure that counts.

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