Where do I start with this one? The background. A few months back Alice Kunek (Bulleen Boomers basketballer and member of the Australian Opals national team) posted images of
herself in “black-face” dress-up on the internet. Her Opals team mate, Liz Cambage (an Australian of Nigerian heritage), expressed disappointment and disgust that a team mate of hers could think that this is okay. Next thing you know Cambage, not Kunek, is bombarded with criticism on social media. The players reasonably quickly made peace with each other. Now that the dust has well and truly settled it seems reasonable to ask a few questions about the incident.
It is highly likely that Kunek did not intend to offend or act in a racist manner at all. That being said, surely enough Australians of indigenous or African heritage have made it
clear that they find “black-face” deeply hurtful and offensive and therefor Kunek should have known better. Is it perfectly okay for young people to simply plead ignorance and for the average man or women in the street to attack the one who is offended as a “sook” and “sissie”? The fact that Cambage had been painted by some as the “bad guy” in this story is the most troubling aspect to me. What does that say about our society?
Some had even said that Cambage had deliberately ruined Kunek’s life! I bet she was hurting somewhat… but a ruined life? Seriously!
Any thoughts, readers?