Following calling out those two “redneck scumbags” for dressing up in blackface as indigenous men for at an Australian Icon themed party, First Australian artists Briggs proceeded to cop a tonne of abuse online.
Not only that, but there is actually a movement on social media of other people ‘blacking up’ in solidarity with the racist douches. Yep, apparently we’re living in Alabama in the 1930s and Atticus Finch is nowhere to be found.
Still it’s not all a tumult of stomach turning racism as a number of fellow musicians have rallied behind Briggs, sharing their messages of support on social media.
Seminal local hip hop crew The Funkoars called out those who were posting photos of themselves in blackface in support of the men. Hilltop Hoods added their voices to the wave of support for Briggs and Plum with a Louis C.K. meme. Meanwhile Elefant Traks head honcho Urthboy posted a message commending Briggs for having the courage to speak out.
It’s inspiring watching how Briggs take down racist fans on fb. Most acts too scared to on account of their feeds becoming toxic
— Urthboy (@urthboy) January 31, 2016
It wasn’t all received positively however, with some such as some commenters on this post of support by the Facebook group of website Ozhiphop.com echoing the racist and apologist sentiments of those who have been attacking Briggs online.
Briggs wasn’t taking any of this lying down though, publicly shaming people who were sending him racist comments.
Speaking to triple j‘s Hack, Briggs noted sadly of the controversy: “It’s 2016 and in Australia you still have to explain to people why blackface is racist.
“This isn’t just for show. It’s not my job to educate everyone about racism. that’s the usual response I get, ‘well you know why don’t you take the time to educate them’ – they’re grown men who can educate themselves.”
But can they? Unfortunately for those of us who think that supporting indigenous Australians and being sensitive to their history of oppression is part of being a good Australian, not many seem to share that view. If we go off the poll the Ballarat area paper The Courier is currently running at the bottom of the article covering the controversy which asks the question: “Do you think Aboriginal costumes are offensive?”
With the results at the time of writing listed below, it’s clear there is a problem (Discounting the fact that a poll like this actually exists is problem enough, I say we all flood the poll to give a resounding “Yes, the costumes are racist” result.)
And while some are arguing the costumes were ‘all in good fun’ a ‘bit of a laugh’ etc, this video below obtained by Pedestrian gives us a glimpse into just what kind of fun was being had. Take a look for yourself and decide how you feel. I’ll be in the shower trying to was the shame out of my white skin.