Welcome back to Yourour Friday dive into the letters and comments on what you have set as the topic of the week.
This week, letter writers and online commentators took to their keyboards to support – or not – Stan Grant, who retired from the ABC after being relentlessly racially abused after his comment during the king’s coronation.
People who love Australia want harmony
- Stan Grant delivered a powerful speech in his final moments as presenter questions and answers. He described how he felt he was part of the media problem before taking an indefinite hiatus from journalism.
ML Many journalists are victims of hate and hatred on social media. Stan Grant is no exception. However, hatred directed at him is part of the institutionalized racism that has made Australia what it is today.
pippid Social media – the most anti-social invention of all time – is ubiquitous and unavoidable unless you live completely off the grid and have no family and friends.
nixon If you have a soapbox to represent your opinion, whatever it may be, be prepared for failure. So many opinionists are able to express their views without ever engaging directly with their audience. Social media, obnoxious as it is, has finally given people the power to act on it.
suzee When will bigoted, racist Australians realize that Indigenous Australians love this country far more than they do? People who love Australia want harmony.
Sue Walshe I respect you Stan and wish you a speedy recovery from the dirt that was thrown at you.
Would unbiased media broadcast the coronation?
- Stan Grant challenged us on how the media has “turned public discussion into an amusement park.” Without Grant, the public debate is only going to get worse, columnist Sean Kelly wrote.
Nell Knight, Avoca Beach Should we censor ourselves like citizens of an authoritarian regime? Or can our media, as required, fearlessly and calmly discuss and judge our history and institutions?
millsy10 For a mob that is supposedly inherently egalitarian, many of us seem ill-equipped to deal with a mirror placed in front of us. You can’t deny the story and you can’t argue about the timing; it was perfect.
bluespot Stan Grant’s resignation is a great loss to the intelligent debate. The racism he faced is inexcusable. Any fault in deciding the nature of the panel/discussion and coverage of the coronation rests with ABC management and not Stan.
Gavan Keating The ABC’s decision was correct. We are meant to be a democracy with freedom of speech to discuss, analyze and argue with serious ideas. This is exactly what the program in question wanted to achieve. The timing and context were perfectly legitimate.
I’m just saying Surely Stan could have declined any comment on the coronation? Just say no.
Ross.Mallabula If the ABC were impartial, they would not have broadcast the coronation. The program demonstrates the right-wing, monarchist orientation of the national broadcaster.
Graham Lum, North Rocks This attack on Stan Grant has put racism back in the headlines. However, things were already bubbling beneath the surface of the referendum debate. Voters must be very astute when it comes to analyzing the statements of those who have a strong public voice. Beware of the racist wolves in sheep’s clothing.
ScottoftheAntipodes Australia has a ridiculously racist past and we sometimes forget that it wasn’t that long ago that we stole indigenous children, we had white Australia policy, we didn’t allow Aborigines to vote.
We have to speak uncomfortable truths
- Columnist Jenna Price felt “devastated” by Stan Grant’s final words on race, racism and the Australian media. Letter writers and online comments felt the same way.
John Pace People who want to divide rather than reconcile are absolutely part of the problem.
Bobby Beauty The people who criticize questions and answers I daresay they don’t like hearing views that don’t agree with their own. If we all barricade ourselves in our separate silos, we will never solve our myriad problems.
SJP I am still waiting for the conga trolls to be identified, charged and jailed for their criminal attacks. Nothing silences bullies and thugs like public attention followed by swift law enforcement.
John Rome, Mt Lawley After what they did to Stan Grant, it’s indecent for right-wing ideologues to say they believe in free speech. Everyone has the right to express their opinion. You are welcome to object to this. But you are attacking the opinion expressed, not the person who expressed it.
Kanshen Stan Grant speaks the truth without any ideological ballast restricting him. While alienating the right, he also manages to scare off many on the left who might otherwise have given him their full support.
Merran Dawson, Beecroft It will always be painful to face our history and the daily struggles of our indigenous people. Without you telling the truth, Stan, it gets a whole lot harder.
blackbird We need people like Stan who can speak uncomfortable truths with integrity and credibility. Hopefully he’ll come back stronger than ever soon.
- You can join the discussion on smh.com.au in the comments of each article and in letters to the editor in print and online. I’ll see you next Friday. Your. sincerely, Pat Stringa, Letter Editor