Sportsman’s luncheons are turgid affairs at the best of times. Indeed, you can pretty much bet that any lunch with the pompous suffix “eon” will have a post-meal speaker as tasteless as the soggy function food.

Golly gosh… I find all this scrutiny very disturban

Of course there’s tasteless and there’s plain offensive. Greg Ritchie crossed that line big time on Friday, when the former Test cricketer delivered a string of appalling comments of the type he’s been making for years under the guise of humour. Funny they were certainly not. Worse, his comments were plain stupid given they were made at a venue hosting a visiting, multi-racial cricketing power.

Calling Greg Ritchie a bigot and a racist misses the broader point, which is that the bloke is an unfunny wanker, and has been for years. He used to have a character called “Mahatma Cote”, a portly, turbanned subcontinental stereotype with a niece called Fatima Pants. Yeah, we get it Greg. You think erections and black people are funny.

The Mahatma Cote outfit is now gathering mothballs in Greg Ritchie’s cupboard alongside his own oversized hat and coat, but his low rent racist gibes continue. On Friday, Ritchie lampooned both black people and Muslims, with two lines as unsavoury as the cold pies in the outer.

First he made a joke about how he wouldn’t call the West Indian team “kaffirs”, the inference being that they were tougher cricketers than the South African “kaffirs”. Kaffir, by the way, is a heavily-laden term which equates to “nigger”. Its use is punishable through the South African courts.

Then Ritchie made a real shocker of a crack about Muslims, with inevitable 9/11 reference. Incredibly, he defended the “joke” when confronted, arguing that Muslims aren’t his favourite people, so why not make jokes about children locked up in his car boot?

Oh, and then he had a crack at his former cricketing rival Imran Khan, a noted philanthropist and crusader against the worst excesses of a repressive Pakistani regime, who Ritchie, channelling his Mahatma Cote wisdom, called “an absolute knob”.

No Greg, it is you who is a knob, and a cowardly one at that. You can always tell the next move these guys make, and sure enough, there was Ritchie this weekend, hiding behind up a big white banner emblazoned with the words POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.

Incurable, uneducable bigots like Ritchie always blame the PC cops. Like perps who say “no comment”, it is how they confirm beyond doubt their ratbaggery. They also hide behind the word SATIRE.

What people like Ritchie never understand is that satire has nothing to do with painting white skin black, or regurgitating sad old one-liners and racial epithets. Satire doesn’t ridicule those who are different to us. It holds other people’s follies and quirks to account. Satire is witty and constructive. If constructed well enough, it challenges our attitudes and beliefs.

To use the sort of boofheadish example Ritchie himself might understand, Matthew Johns’ defunct NRL Footy Show character Reg Reagan was an example of successful satire. Forget Johns himself and all his faults. His Reg Reagan character brilliantly lampooned the ageing boofhead brigade in rugby league who couldn’t see that the age of mindless violence was over.

Greg Ritchie is now as much a dinosaur as Reg Reagan. What he said on Friday is damaging, not just to himself but to an embarrassed Cricket Australia, whose anti-racism message to fans in the outer now seems more than a little hollow. The sport’s governing body should’ve given him much more than a slap on the wrist.

Above all, Greg Ritchie has damaged Australia. These stories echo around the world, and keep echoing. A week after A Current Affair did its despicable Asian mall story, the world now has two reasons to presume that Australia is a nation of white supremacist bigots who have no desire to be part of an increasingly non-white global community.

And all this in a week when the world’s number one Test cricket team is on our doorstep. This team, by the way, used to have racial quotas but that policy caused tension and was abandoned. It is now full of men of all colour and religion who have earned their places on merit.

Anyway, here’s a delicious scenario for us all to mull over. If Ricky Ponting fails again in the second innings, that fine Australian Muslim batsman Usman Khawaja, who plays for Ritchie’s old state of Queensland, is primed to take Ponting’s spot. Wonder how Greg Ritchie will feel about Muslims then?

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST

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115 comments

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    • nihonin says:

      11:44am | 12/11/12

      Also funny are Vaginas and people of any colour!

      Being a bit precious aren’t you Anthony.

    • Pedro says:

      12:02pm | 12/11/12

      I never thought Ritchie was funny in his Indian guise and wondered how on earth he was allowed to beon the telly doing his racist schtick - but then it was ch9. And it was the footy show. neither was funny - which i why I never watched unless I was at th pub and it was on in the background.
      Ritchie, like Daryl Somers and Hamish and Andy, are people who are not funny but appeal to idiots who need punch lines telegraphed to them.
      Ah - Fat Cat - always suspect to the wide delivery outside off stump which you loved to cut strasight down gully’s throat. And then there was the abuse of fellow plane passengers when you and Botham were on the turps.
      What a knob.
      (and he was on the box cover for the table top test match game years ago - go figure. Actually Botham was on the box for the Pommy version).

    • AFR says:

      12:06pm | 12/11/12

      +1 - Mountain. Molehill.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      12:17pm | 12/11/12

      A man in obvious need of some type of “relief”.
      Lighten up, Ant. Not everything is a conduit for racial intolerance, or bigotry, least of all Ritchie’s (admittedly stale) caricature. I’m not a fan of his, or even a QLDer, but I think your assessment is an overreach.
       
      I’m guessing there’s still a bit of outrage left in the tank from the Jones affair, that ultimately did nothing but generate a confluence of electronically blurted hysteria, and self-congratulating of like-minded crusaders against the broadcast tyranny of the ‘extreme right’.
      About what I’d expect from a bloke who failed to grasp the irony in Julia Gillard describing Tony Abbott as a woman-hater, while she was defending Peter Slipper.

    • Bruce says:

      12:19pm | 12/11/12

      Agree nihonin: Article is a bit precious. No doubt the writer will never watch “The Family” guy, everyone gets a serve, including whitey. As for the Asian mall story on the worst TV show “current affair”, what a beat up ! However, I guess current affair and Today tonight will always find one person out of 1 million to say something that will justify a sensational story that represents the rest of Australia !!

    • thistle says:

      01:32pm | 12/11/12

      What do the goody-goodies do when someone tells (whispers) a “race” joke? ....... I really don’t know.
      Do they Frown?
      Demand the laughter cease?
      Leave the room?
      Go home?

      Worse things happening

    • Rev says:

      05:11pm | 12/11/12

      @Wolf…actually, Imran was detained the other day by the Americans!!!

    • Notvelty says:

      11:50am | 12/11/12

      Queensland boofheads bad, NSW boofheads good. Got it.

    • Mahhrat says:

      12:02pm | 12/11/12

      You’re going to hate it just enough to be self-righteous about it, but not hate it enough to refuse to publish it?

      Gotchya.

    • Marko says:

      12:03pm | 12/11/12

      i notice Nytini the fmr. SA fastbowler is claiming racial bias in the non selection of a squad member, but looking at the team on the field today it looks to my uneducated eye a few “dark” (for want of a better word) guys out there.
      Is the racial bias Nytini is purporting simply an extrapolated case of the state of origin based selection queries the australian team has?

    • Baloo says:

      12:09pm | 12/11/12

      I think I might stop being a white male. Everyone hates me.

    • PJ says:

      01:22pm | 12/11/12

      The articles in The Punch seem to suggest your the root of all evil.

      If you wish to make reparations I will be in Young and Jacksons this Friday from 7pm. Chloes Bar. After you buy me a few drinks I can perform a small ceremony that will set you free.

      Alternatively, you could just recognise that socialists are obsessed with race and like to postulate as the champions of minority causes.
      To accep this, You need to ignore the Gillard Governments Malaysian Concentration Camp Solution, in a country bereft of human rights, and there cowardice in calling a conscience vote instead of legislating on Gay Marriage. indeed the events at the European Socialist Conference and the French Socialist Government purge of Romanians are also contradictory of the pose. sigh!

    • Tubesteak says:

      02:16pm | 12/11/12

      Being a white male is tough. If something goes wrong with your life all you can blame is yourself.

    • iwundawheresadunni says:

      12:12pm | 12/11/12

      Woops. He should have been racist towards white people. That’s very much allowed and encouraged.

    • JoniM says:

      01:00pm | 12/11/12

      Yep !

      I see Irish jokes have yet to banned !
      But then again, they are really white types and generally Catholic !
      So obviously they deserve everything they get !

    • Jay2 says:

      02:10pm | 12/11/12

      Don’t be ridiculous, we ALL know there’s no such thing possible as racism towards white people!!!  grin

      Actually, Ritchie has done the worst crime possible-trying to be funny and failing.

    • iwundawheresadunni says:

      03:13pm | 12/11/12

      Plenty of welsh jokes in the UK comedies too! Damn those Taffs!

      Therefore we should flood the western countries with 10 bazillion immigrants, because some white people are mean.

    • Humour critic says:

      12:14pm | 12/11/12

      I have no idea what the jokes were, but why are some races/religions sacrosanct when it comes to humour?  I admit some humour is in bad taste (eg, How many astronauts can you fit in a VW? 11…one in each seat and 7 in the ashtray), but what is funny to one person can easily be offensive to another.

      I don’t like Dave Hughes’ comedy, it annoys the pants off me, but I don’t put out calls for him to be gagged.  If people pay a comedian to perform as this article suggests, then knowing their material, they shouldn’t be surprised that they get what they paid for.

      Muslims should be just as much a target as anyone else for humour.  The fact that the extreme examples have a major flaw, ie, their brains explode and they get all jihadist when someone draws a piccy of their prophet, makes them prime fodder (and yes, I know not all Muslims are like that, I said “extreme”).

      How long before Irish jokes are banned, miserly Jewish jokes, dumb blonde jokes, mother-in-law jokes, etc??

    • andye says:

      01:08pm | 12/11/12

      @Humour critic - “How long before Irish jokes are banned, miserly Jewish jokes, dumb blonde jokes, mother-in-law jokes, etc??”

      “miserly Jewish jokes”? Wow. For a “Humour critic”, you don’t seem to know much about “humour”.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      01:19pm | 12/11/12

      That reminds me about the one about these two Irishmen…. ummm.  no.  Ok, let’s make this more PC.  These two Martians called Mick and Pat walked into a bar…...

    • PJ says:

      01:32pm | 12/11/12

      Those types of references are band.
      You obviously do not work in the Corporate world.

      In the big companies in our cities, the HR Systems record “White Irish” as an ethnicity.

      Calling girls “Dal” or “Dear” is classified as sexist language and contact anywhere but the shoulder is risky.

    • Mark says:

      01:38pm | 12/11/12

      Your use of the word “target” betrays your use of the word “humour”. A target is something that is attacked. Comedy, on the other hand, has a subject. And unless the subject regards the choices people make it isn’t humorous. Attacking the inherent nature of people or their culture might be a lazy, ignorant attempt to veil insults behind the word “humour”, but it isn’t comedy. Not even close.

      When you cross the line, when you fail to perceive that which is inherently curious in the choices people make, but rather take the nasty, superficial route of concentrating on people’s cultural or physical condition, you fail at comedy from the outset.

      Any comedian worth their weight will tell you the same. In fact, most school kids can tell the difference.

    • James1 says:

      01:39pm | 12/11/12

      English racism against the Irish has a long tradition, and has largely served the political purpose of painting the Irish as an unworthy, stupid race deserving of all the crimes England has committed against it.  It was a means of dehumanising the Irish. 

      I would argue that it is just as offensive as any other type of racism.  It just happens that different people complain about it, and the left seems to largely not care.

    • andye says:

      02:46pm | 12/11/12

      @James1 - Wait, your argument is that “The Left” do not care about the problem of anti-Irish jokes? Where is the “The right” taking its great stand on behalf of the Irish?

    • James1 says:

      03:16pm | 12/11/12

      andye, personally, I try to raise it at least once a week, and I try to raise it in every discussion of racism.  Can’t speak for the rest on my side of politics, though.

      When was the last time you saw anyone on the left decry the tradition of discriminating against the Irish, out of interest?

    • imste2 says:

      03:26pm | 12/11/12

      Non of these jokes have disappeared, the only thing has changed is who is allowed to tell them.  I am Jewish and proudly use terms such as “Kike” and “Christ Killer” for comic affect and Nick Gionnopolis owes his career to the “W” word.  Only those people who are members of the minorities can make jokes about the minorities.  I’m not saying this is right, just or fair, it is just how it is

    • andye says:

      05:52pm | 12/11/12

      @James1 - I was being a little sarcastic. Defending the Irish isn’t something I have to do ever, despite interacting with the Irish on a near daily basis. True discrimination against the Irish isn’t something you really see these days. The Kiwis, Poms, Irish and to a lesser extent the Canadians have more of a sibling rivalry with the Aussies, which can be easy to mistake for something nastier.  There isn’t really “No Irish” signs on pubs or anything. Bigotry against the Irish was once a whole thing. Now? not really.

      “personally, I try to raise it at least once a week, and I try to raise it in every discussion of racism.”

      See, this screams to me of this weird equivalency thing I see all the time. In principle, you are correct. In practice, the Irish don’t have an issue. Go and ask them. Do they think they are affected by racism against them in Australia? Can you identify a problem this way?

      You probably can. There are individual cases for everything. Yet when we are going to deal with issues across a society we can only do so by measuring them across the society and tackling the issues with the best cost/benefit ratio.

      I think the Irish are probably mostly ok, james1.


      @imste2: “Only those people who are members of the minorities can make jokes about the minorities.”

      Not quite. I would say that there are levels of acceptance, and since I am a massive nerd I have am mental system I just made up to decide how this works.

      A wog can make a wog joke any time. A skip can make a wog joke, but it had better be funny to the wogs.

      Replace skip and wog with whatever races you want.

      As an addendum, there is almost certainly an inherent bias against white males, so they get a slight penalty when they are the joke maker. Anyone making a joke against them gets a slight bonus. I know that’s tough, white males - but we did kinda earn it.

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:17pm | 12/11/12

      I didn’t know kaffir was an extreme insult. I just thought it was another name you applied to South Africans. Similar to calling Australians “Aussies” or “skips”.

      Not sure about your Reg Reagan comments. I used to watch the Footy Show back when Mahatma Cote was on. It was mildly funny even though it was pretty obvious. I’d stopped watching it long before Reg Reagan. However, to say one is funny in the way it lampoons a certain type of people and one isn’t funny (because you don’t like the humour or the jokes just aren’t funny) seems to be a double standard. It’s ok to lampoon the white male because he “doesn’t get it” (even though “it” is never explained or defined but seems to be some vague construct from the PC brigade about how everyone else is a victim except for the white male) but jokes at anyone else’s expense is wrong?

      I don’t think that fits with the theme.

    • marley says:

      12:29pm | 12/11/12

      @Tubesteak - trust me on this, “kaffir” is exactly as Ant describes - the equivalent of calling someone a “nigger.”  It’s used by white Saffers when making derogatory comments about black or coloured people.  It is not used the other way around.  It is absolutely a racist expression, and seen as such in South Africa. 

      Can’t comment on the rest because I have no idea who any of these people or personas are.  But anyone who’s had much to do with the South Africans would know what the word kaffir represents to both blacks and whites - so I’d have to go along with the criticism on this one.

    • Kika says:

      01:21pm | 12/11/12

      Where have you been? Kaffir is a word long gone out of common usage. That’s like saying you didn’t know N&gga; was a bad word.

    • andye says:

      01:22pm | 12/11/12

      @Tubesteak - “However, to say one is funny in the way it lampoons a certain type of people and one isn’t funny (because you don’t like the humour or the jokes just aren’t funny) seems to be a double standard. “

      I think the argument is that the Reg character is actually quite well observed. Probably because it is being “observed” from within its own culture. The other characters are more shallow racial stereotypes.

      For example, an Indian might not get the Reg character at all, not understanding various cultural cues and so on. This hypothetical indian might instead understand a more simplified and racist caricature of an aussie that we might find offensive. Something about roo-rooting perhaps.

      Flipping that over, we might not actually “get” a more accurate indian character and parody due to our lack of cultural context. So instead we get “Fatima Pants”.

    • Tubesteak says:

      02:11pm | 12/11/12

      marley and kika
      I learned something new today.

      andye
      That’s sort of the point. We call one a racist stereotype but the other is a nuanced satire of a “sort” of people that “need” to change because they need to understand that they are wrong.
      Either everyone is fair game or no-one is fair game. Either that, or we’re back at the apex fallacy….

    • SydneyGirl says:

      02:47pm | 12/11/12

      I got a bit confused myself.

      I thought kafir was a slur directed at non believers by Muslims.

      Wouldn’t be surprised if that was the source which makes it very interesting (let’s see you make a joke about one set of folk and then borrow their slur to make a joke about another set of folk?!).

      You can’t keep calling out every idiot with a frat sense of humour.  But this does seem to be prejudice dressed up as “humour”.  Even with bogan “white on white” jokes for e.g. you can poke fun at certain not so endearing traits but you can’t cross the line such that it comes across as class disdain and snobbery.

    • andye says:

      02:53pm | 12/11/12

      @Tubesteak - No, that’s not what I said at all. I am saying that the quality of the observation and characterisation is what is important, not the race. I tried to give an example that worked both ways, but it seems to have escaped you.

      It is quite possible to create an offensive and racist caricature of a white person, and every caricature of a non-white person is not necessarily racist. Even Apu from the Simpsons has some depth.

    • marley says:

      06:17pm | 12/11/12

      @sydneygirl - in South Africa, “kaffir” has a different meaning.  A lot of what used to be called the “Cape Coloured” had Malay roots, so perhaps that’s where the term came from. But “kaffir” became an extremely derogatory term for anyone of colour in SA.  It’s not about Islam, it’s about the shade of your skin there.

    • Tim says:

      12:19pm | 12/11/12

      That boot joke was classic.

      It wasn’t the muslim bit that made it funny, it could be about any group. Hell it could just as easily been about white Bogans and I still would have laughed.

      I don’t know enough about the Kaffir comment to judge.

      But do we really have to live in a world where everything anyone ever says has to be first judged by the PC police?

      “Anyway, here’s a delicious scenario for us all to mull over. If Ricky Ponting fails again in the second innings, that fine Australian Muslim batsman Usman Khawaja, who plays for Ritchie’s old state of Queensland, is primed to take Ponting’s spot”

      Why’s it delicious? He’s been playing alright and will deserve his selection if he gets picked after Ponting retires.
      Do you think Usman is sitting around thinking “yeah I’m going to play good cricket, just to showcase Islam and stick it up that evil racist Greg Ritchie”?

    • andye says:

      01:25pm | 12/11/12

      @Tim - “But do we really have to live in a world where everything anyone ever says has to be first judged by the PC police?”

      If you don’t like freedom of speech then p*** off to North Korea or something. Then you might have some actual genuine complaints about thought police. Whining that someone is allowed to disagree with you? Please find your spine.

    • Louise says:

      12:20pm | 12/11/12

      If only he’d just called them ‘c..ts’ - then not only would it be just fussy Methodists who could be outraged, but he might even score a cushy government job and get to lecture us all on morality.

    • fml says:

      12:48pm | 12/11/12

      Yep, all he needs to do is kiss a few babies and sniff a few chairs and we can all unanimously appoint him prime minster.

    • Dan says:

      12:20pm | 12/11/12

      As usual Ant, you’ve not only hit the nail on the head, you’ve pummeled it into the wood. Keep up the good work.

    • Anthony Sharwood

      Anthony Sharwood says:

      01:23pm | 12/11/12

      Not sure too many agree with you today Dan, but thanks. To most others on this thread, my sophisticated riposte is: thpppft!

    • fml says:

      01:34pm | 12/11/12

      Mr Sharwood,

      This article puts you dangerously close to being as unpopular as I am. You have my vote, for whatever it is we are voting.

    • PJ says:

      01:46pm | 12/11/12

      Would have been better written by a Sikh or Muslim.

      Based on articles on the Punch, Anthony is part of that evil demographic.

    • Arnold Layne says:

      02:09pm | 12/11/12

      Dunno how many of them are trolling Ant but there’s no way people can reasonably blame PC police or being over sensitiveness for reacting to what he said.  Maybe he’d get away with it at a mate’s barbecue, but he wasn’t at one of those.

      Incidentally he’s quite within his rights to call Imran Khan a knob if he wants - that’s not racist.  It might not be the most diplomatically clever forum in whcih to do it, but that’s his cross to bear.  The Muslim and “kaffir” comments are WAY out of line though.

    • Economist says:

      02:14pm | 12/11/12

      While I Agree with you Anthony, it’s difficult area to navigate when attempting humour. Ritchie is simply not funny yet Akmal Saleh makes a living out of Muslim jokes and Boganism.

      Once in Sydney pub an Irishman walks up to my wife an says with “Tits like those you’ve got to be Irish”. Man I laughed at his pick up line, but is it racist? My wife’s ancestry is Irish?

    • fml says:

      02:36pm | 12/11/12

      Economist,

      You are all about navigating areas today, aren’t you? Did you buy a boat on the weekend?

    • Well Travelled says:

      04:18pm | 12/11/12

      Richie’s just a typical Aussie Dan & Anthony - “Dump, drunk & racist” isn’t he boys? We should not be offended by this description, we should hang our heads in shame, right?  BS!! This should have been called for what it was, a racist slur on the Australian people. Where were you then Anthony? Silent like the rest of your ilk! Outside Australia the world is not a big happy tolerant place and if you took off your rose coloured glasses you just might see this but I doubt it.  Yes, Richie needs to find some new material but judging by your piece you would want him destroyed. Open your eye’s Anthony.

    • Dan says:

      05:51pm | 12/11/12

      @well travelled-thanks for putting words into my mouth. Unlike you I aspire to be part of a great country that does better than the usual racist drivel that is sprouted around the world. I think many of us do and it annoys me when fools who cannot even use an apostrophe properly want us to compete with the worst. I’ve been bullied by the best for having those views. I stand by them, and brave authors like Ant. I pity those filled with small minded hate like racism.

    • Monty says:

      12:26pm | 12/11/12

      The bigger issue here is that Ritchie thought that these were acceptable things to say and acceptable view to hold. Unfortunately attitudes like this aren’t uncommon in Australia and until we start actively calling out people (everyday people in our everyday lives) on their racism then they will continue to think calling peoples “kaffirs” or attacking muslims is okay.

    • Stephen T says:

      02:36pm | 12/11/12

      @Monty: It really is no concern of yours what views anyone holds, he is perfectly entitled to his views, whether it was acceptable to express them is another thing entirely.  As for Anthony Sharwood’s journalistic endeavours, well he gets paid to create debate and division in these forums and while the quality of his efforts is not generally high he does seem to get a rise out of contributors. 

      @ Anthony Sharwood: “Above all, Greg Ritchie has damaged Australia. These stories echo around the world, and keep echoing.”

      Only because useless tools like you make a living off perpetuating it.

    • Stephen T says:

      02:36pm | 12/11/12

      @Monty: It really is no concern of yours what views anyone holds, he is perfectly entitled to his views, whether it was acceptable to express them is another thing entirely.  As for Anthony Sharwood’s journalistic endeavours, well he gets paid to create debate and division in these forums and while the quality of his efforts is not generally high he does seem to get a rise out of contributors. 

      @ Anthony Sharwood: “Above all, Greg Ritchie has damaged Australia. These stories echo around the world, and keep echoing.”

      Only because useless tools like you make a living off perpetuating it.

    • Fred says:

      12:31pm | 12/11/12

      Has he threatened to behead anyone?

    • JoniM says:

      01:15pm | 12/11/12

      Bingo ! Fred !

    • Fred says:

      12:31pm | 12/11/12

      Has he threatened to behead anyone?

    • Luke says:

      12:37pm | 12/11/12

      Where did they dig up Greg Ritchie from? i thought he died off when mahatma lost his footy show gig. Must have been cheap.

    • Michael says:

      12:39pm | 12/11/12

      The other thing that peoiple forget is that Greg Ritchie virtually plagarised his catch phrase off Rob Sitch.

    • damien says:

      12:40pm | 12/11/12

      What a self righteous fellow you are old chap. The majority of the other comments nail it! Notwithstanding the jokes aren’t all that funny, but If they were aimed at Aussie white blokes, i don’t think anybody would give a toss. Double standard, PC elitist garbage.

    • Carl Palmer says:

      12:49pm | 12/11/12

      This whole racist thingo is PC gone mad. Please take a teaspoon of cement together with your stelazine and lie down.  Hopefully you will stop writing this rubbish. Your credibility went out the window at the speed of light with the jaw dropping “...NRL Footy Show character Reg Reagan was an example of successful satire”. I guess we will see some of RR literary work included in next year’s English syllabus.

      And as for “...the world now has two reasons to presume that Australia is a nation of white supremacist bigots who have no desire to be part of an increasingly non-white global community.” – Certainly hasn’t stopped the boat people from making that terribly dangerous trip to our racists, misogynous, white supremacist bigot shores.

    • Good call says:

      03:53pm | 12/11/12

      I agree PC has gone mad. You can’t even call a bigot and racist like Ritchie a bigot and racist nowdays without people getting all uppity about it.

      Let’s call a spade a spade.

    • AFR says:

      12:49pm | 12/11/12

      In more interesting cricket news - Ed Cowan has just cracked 100.

    • PJ says:

      12:56pm | 12/11/12

      Anthony is not really concerned about a Community that may have been insulted became it was the butt of tasteless jokes. He doesn’t even reference a quote from an irate member of that Community. He himself probably wasnt even there to witness the jokes.

      This then Points to another agenda, which is the wider shot Anthony took at the people that resent the Left’s hijacking of Race and the constant referencing to Race until it is a real issue.

      And once the idea has been established, that the Australian Socialist Left are the valiant White Knights of minorities, the use of Political Correctness can be used to crush alternative opinion.

      To champion a cause can be a noble thing, but in this instance the fixation on Race is purely political. The accusation of Racism is an excellent weapon against alternative opinion and can be used to crush any debate; Border Control, Illegal Immigration, inner city overcrowding, Australian House sales to none residents, the loss of jobs to cheaper foreign workers. Racism and political correctness establishes a level of madness in society, drives a divide between communities, but it does also vanquish political enemies.

      Unfortunately the strategy uses non white people as mere pawns and this is a sinister and much bigger insult, because your value is perceived by the colour of your skin, your disability or sexual persuasion. Definitely not you as a person, which is what everyone is, first and foremost.

      The value in each of us is what we bring as individuals, but the Socialist Left would have us think of people in racial terms, would control us with political correctness and punish us with the accusation of racism.

    • andye says:

      01:28pm | 12/11/12

      @PJ - Interesting comment, though in response to all your points I would like to present an alternate theory for your consideration: you are batsh** insane.

    • fml says:

      01:49pm | 12/11/12

      This post would make more sense in the Melissa George article, it seems out of place here..

    • PJ says:

      01:56pm | 12/11/12

      What? And people that see society and people in terms of racism and skin tone are sane?

    • andye says:

      02:54pm | 12/11/12

      @PJ - You keep telling people why you think they think what you think they think.

      The people in your imagination don’t read The Punch. We do.

    • Bear says:

      01:08pm | 12/11/12

      It’s great stuff. Appeals to both the yobbos and the snooty conservative dickheads who rabidly hate everything foreign.

    • Jock says:

      01:11pm | 12/11/12

      Bit of a precious article, Ant. I agree that discrimination/prejudice have no place in society in terms of the law, etc., and nor should they ever - but humour is sacred, it cannot physically discriminate against anyone (a racist joke made in NSW will not prevent a non-white person getting a job in WA, believe it or not!), and it’s from the cultural taboos that we derive much of our humour. Modern western political correctness is no different to Victorian era morality, and we culturally derive a similar relief from these rigid rules by exploiting and disregarding them (just like humour has basically always done).

      It strikes me as amusing, too, that so many people who call themselves “progressive” and “free-thinking” display this kind of witch-hunt, tar-and-feather mentality that shows absolutely no progress at all.

      1912: What, they joked openly and crudely about sex?! HOW DARE THEY!!! Flay them alive! Destroy their reputations!

      2012: What, they joked openly and cruedly about minorities?! HOW DARE THEY!!! Flay them alive! Destroy their reputations!

      Same reactionary attitude, different stimulus.

    • Louise says:

      02:58pm | 12/11/12

      Ohhhh you’ll be in trouble for suggesting they’re (shhh!) puritanical…um-ah, no! Get with it, man - that only applies to the evil, fusty old religious.

    • fml says:

      01:18pm | 12/11/12

      As long as he doesn’t use the “Me so solly” line and being retracting the front of his suit with a string.

    • PJ says:

      03:50pm | 12/11/12

      Yellow card!

    • Author says:

      02:02pm | 12/11/12

      So right Jaqui,

      You have to wonder why Mr Sharwood wasn’t so suitably outraged enough to launch an article on how offended he is by racism against whites?

      I am listening Ant, the bullshit excuse should be good.

    • Arnold Layne says:

      02:04pm | 12/11/12

      You can’t possibly think that clip and the Greg Ritchie stuff are contextually the same?

    • Jaqui says:

      03:44pm | 12/11/12

      @Arnold Layne: EXACTLY the same, both are racism in its vilest form. What I am pointing out is the hypocrisy of the leftist author. White guilt is fab huh Ant? It’s ok to make fun of a specific race as long as they are white huh Ant?
      Neither should be defended however this fashionable leftist outrage just makes me sick!

    • Kika says:

      01:30pm | 12/11/12

      We haven’t evolved into a society that can have an intelligent laugh at the subtle nuances of other people’s culture without having to resort to laughing at them because they are different. We can laugh at Reg Reagan because we ‘get it’. If someone from overseas would see it they would probably see the moustache, mullet, strong accent and boisterous ways and think “Haha he looks and acts funny” but we understand it because we get what he’s trying to say - the old school football fan doesn’t understand that football has moved on from the biff and that sort of thinking is archaic.

      There’s nothing Ritchie is trying to say other than “I have a funny accent, have a funny name and wear funny clothes”. That’s it. There’s nothing intelligent about it. And because it’s so purile it makes people laugh because they want to laugh at foreignness.

      It’s the same sht my husband has to put up with amongst the mindless uncultured and ignorant co-workers and acquaintences who have to keep up the hindu jokes etc… if you can’t see past the colour of the skin or the fact someone might be different from you only because of where they were born then you need to get out more.

    • Luc Belrose says:

      01:48pm | 12/11/12

      It’s always like a well rehearsed ritual that some successful sportsmen on their way out bucket their erstwhile opponents of different nationalities. I am wondering why they avoid doing it when they are working very hard in their hey days making a name for themselves.
        Could it be they had to watch their comments on the games rules and prohibitions in order to protect their lucrative contracts and make money. In their relatively old days when they are overlooked they therefore feel duty bound to “reveal it all”. I thought cricket has always been promoted as a   gentlemens game.

    • Bob says:

      01:50pm | 12/11/12

      “Imran Khan, a noted philanthropist and crusader against the worst excesses of a repressive Pakistani regime”

      Captain Taliban?

      Khan’s little jaunt into the FATA recently should have given a reasonable indication that he’s looking for populist support amongst the NATO haters (read: militant sympathisers).

      He’s copped a lot of flak in the Pak press for such stunts, and the feeling is that his attempts to redirect the issue away from the threat that militants in the region pose to the stability of Pakistani autonomy is detrimental at this point.

      Your ignorance is showing, big time.

    • Haxton Waag says:

      01:54pm | 12/11/12

      “Incredibly, he defended the “joke” when confronted, arguing that Muslims aren’t his favourite people, so why not make jokes about children locked up in his car boot?”

      I do not understand this sentence. What do the children have to do with Muslims?

    • FINK says:

      01:56pm | 12/11/12

      “Above all, Greg Ritchie has damaged Australia. These stories echo around the world, and keep echoing. A week after A Current Affair did its despicable Asian mall story, the world now has two reasons to presume that Australia is a nation of white supremacist bigots who have no desire to be part of an increasingly non-white global community”

      Then why are they all clamouring to get here in their rusty old buckets? If we are seen as a racial, white supremacist country full of bigots ready to have them drawn and quartered, tarred and feathered then one must ask, How do they perceive their own country?

    • andye says:

      03:00pm | 12/11/12

      @FINK - It isn’t totally unusual for americans to have a view of Australia as being slightly more racist than alabama.

    • Haxton Waag says:

      02:00pm | 12/11/12

      I have the wit to realise that racist statements emanating from other nations aimed at “whites” (white-pink-and-browns, really) usually do not reflect the views of the nation as a whole. Have I a right to expect the same mental agility from other nations? I hope so. P.S.: I am not defending Ritchie. I have never seen his shtick, but he appears to be a proponent of bogan humour.

    • When Ita tells me too says:

      02:08pm | 12/11/12

      ANYONE who laughs at Reg Reagan has no credibility.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      03:43pm | 12/11/12

      Too close to the bone, Ita?

    • Kassandra says:

      02:22pm | 12/11/12

      Where Ritchie excites the politically correct is that he makes crass jokes about groups of which he is not a member.

      To escape the wrath of the hypersensitive and the PC police in making jokes about minorities you must be one of them, for example, Sacha Baron Cohen would have had no chance of getting away with his jokes at the expense of Jews were he not Jewish himself. Likewise, you couldn’t possibly make jokes about vaginas or lesbians on TV unless you were a female comedian, preferably a lesbian one. It’s ok for gay comedians to make gay jokes, but not straight comedians; and it’s ok for African-American comedians to make jokes about African-Americans but look out if a white comedian tries it.

      So Greg’s crime is not that he’s a knob who makes terrible tasteless jokes, if that was a crime an awful lot of comedians would be out of business, it’s that he needs to make his bad jokes about his own racial, social or cultural group and not someone else’s. That’s where he’s different to Reg Reagan - Reg picked on his own kind.

    • fml says:

      02:52pm | 12/11/12

      Ummmm… Ali G? Borat? Bruno? He also makes jokes about everybody.

    • Louise says:

      03:06pm | 12/11/12

      Kassandra, I largely agree with you but, we (I’m assuming you’re a woman by your name but these days you never know so forgive me if I’m wrong) women are not a ‘minority’.

      And the Left do seem to think it’s ok for a man to use the (misogynistically* pejorative) c-word, joking or not.  If you aren’t hip to this humour, you must be a ‘fussy Methodist’ or a prude.

      *Classic Greek meaning

    • andye says:

      03:13pm | 12/11/12

      @Kassandra - “To escape the wrath of the hypersensitive and the PC police in making jokes about minorities you must be one of them,”

      No. They just have to demonstrate some basic understanding of the culture they are lampooning. This means that people who aren’t part of the culture are certainly more likely to mess it up.

      Borat and Ali G are a funny examples for you to bring up because they are actually characters that are deliberately stereotyped for effect. The true intention is to show the REACTIONS other people have to these characters. It is amazing how easily people will believe and accept the crazy things he is doing because of cultural differences.

      In many respects, Borat is a parody of a parody. It is taking the kind of stupid character that Greg had and presents this in ambush reality situations so we can see how other react to the actions of the character. This comedy works by taking advantage of these kind of racist stereotypes in a subversive way to make an opposed point.

      Basically, it means the opposite of what you are arguing. The point isn’t about Borat and his culture, it is about how everyone else reacts to this offensive caricature.

    • fml says:

      02:27pm | 12/11/12

      I find the calling of this event satire amusing. 12th man, that was satire! No one was sacred and still they didn’t use any offensive terms out of ignorance. Bring back Billy Birmingham.

    • BruceS says:

      02:27pm | 12/11/12

      Thank you Anthony, for your non-edifying, precious and humourless, totalitarian diatribe.

    • another jay says:

      02:31pm | 12/11/12

      I’ve read some of the more informative reporting on Ritchie’s comments elsewhere I have to say this article is complete BS. I’m with Ritchie on this one, I think we’re making mountains out of molehills.

      “Wonder how Greg Ritchie will feel about Muslims then?”...The author can’t seriously believe Ritchie HATES muslims cause of one joke. I find all manner of racist jokes funny, that doesn’t mean I see other races as lesser human beings.

      Funnily enough, I’m South African background (dark skinned) in a relationship with a white South African woman, and the number of times I’ve joked with her accusing her of racism is astronomical.

      Unfortunately, we seem to have lost track of what real racism (and sexism) is! Like keeping slaves, denying people job opportunities, or choice of where to live, access to govt services, being able to vote and other REAL discrimination, not teasing them cause they have a beard, long surnames, or other superficial rubbish.

      Suddenly, grown men want other players suspended for calling them names and insulting their family on various professional sportsfields. That’s a bit rich, and really, a bit soft.

      Why is it open slather making fun of redheads? Why is “ranga” not up their with the rest of racist slurs?

    • Big Jay says:

      02:34pm | 12/11/12

      “His Reg Reagan character brilliantly lampooned the ageing boofhead brigade in rugby league who couldn’t see that the age of mindless violence was over.”

      This is crazy. Look around mindless violence is in vogue as much as it ever was, from reaction to Iran’s nuclear program to the growth of UFC!

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      03:58pm | 12/11/12

      The UFC is not mindless violence, but a highly nuanced metaphorical representation of the struggles of modern man against racism and geo-political repression, striking out with his (UFC) brothers against existential societal boundaries,  as a strong individual, seeking freedom, and peace for not only himself, but for all mankind…
       
      How can you not see that?

    • Big Jay says:

      04:19pm | 12/11/12

      Haha thanks for the enlightenment Rolls…

      I like watching boxing (and rugby league) and playing rugby union myself, so I probably like mindless violence as much as the next guy, that’s before we get to the computer games.

    • ZSRenn says:

      02:52pm | 12/11/12

      While you are all making fun of Indians and sticking up for the Gregster here is something I am sure you will find hilarious!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ-B17B9nS8

      Just saying! Reality is a bitch!

    • Chris says:

      03:00pm | 12/11/12

      Gee WIzz Sharwood… maybe you need to get back into your taxi and reconnect with the real world. You have been living in your ivory tower a bit too long mate.

    • TheRealDave says:

      03:03pm | 12/11/12

      Ummm…he didn’t call ‘Black People’ ‘Kaffirs’.....try reading it again. And No, I aint sticking up for him in any way shape or form…I’m just pointing out something that has been missed and misrepresented.

      His ‘joke’, and I use the term loosely, was to have a dig at South African (but playing for Australia)  Kepler Wessels saying ‘I bet you won’t call them Kaffirs’ when they were playing the West Indies. At no point did he call them that vile derogatory name nor did he say that Kepler Wessels did either.

      Thats not excusing his comments at all - I am merely putting it there for clarity. Greg Ritchie’s ‘humor’ should have been left behind with ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ and ‘Kingswood Country’ back in the 1980’s.

    • Tator says:

      03:35pm | 12/11/12

      Ant,
      What Greg Ritchie was doing when he used the “Kaffir” term was he was relaying an anecdote of a conversation he allegedly had with South African born Kepler Wessels in the mid 1980’s.  This was when the apartheid regime was still in full force and the term was still in commonplace use in South Africa.  It was couched around the reasoning that using that term as a sledge against the West Indies team at that time was in no ones self interest because all it would do is cause the Windies pace bowling attack which consisted of greats such as Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner and Courtney Walsh, all of who couldn’t think of a better reason than that to try and kill you with short pitched bowling.
      Now in the full context of the anecdote, Ritchie wasn’t calling anybody a Kaffir and was basically saying I wouldn’t do this if I was you to Wessels.

    • Warren says:

      03:48pm | 12/11/12

      It’s all bit precious isn’t it???  If we can’t laugh at racist or sexist attitudes, what hope is there to have everyone see them as ridiculous as they are? A Good example of this would Be Alf Garnett in today’s world this program would not exist.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tW8USvdb4k&feature=related

    • Kika says:

      04:56pm | 12/11/12

      I think it’s because Greg Ritchie isn’t laughing AT racist attitudes, his humour LAUGHS WITH Racist attitudes

    • pete says:

      03:55pm | 12/11/12

      “Above all, Greg Ritchie has damaged Australia. These stories echo around the world, and keep echoing.”

      huh? Didn’t immigration increase again last year?

    • Big Jay says:

      04:13pm | 12/11/12

      Maybe he’s suggesting immigration will decrease from here onwards, as a result of Ritchie’s comments. pffft

    • Bho Ghan-Pryde says:

      04:19pm | 12/11/12

      What a delicate little princess you are Anthony. Do small pins under mattresses keep you awake at night? Oh, and how nice of you to assume the role of indignant and protector in this case. Anyway, carry on.

    • hazym says:

      04:19pm | 12/11/12

      I never really saw this guy on the TV since I always used my right to change the channel. Not that I cared what he said. I just didn’t care for that type of humour.
      Of course, I could have watched and then displayed my moral superiority by writing a lengthy diatribe about how offended I was.

      But when you’re at a lunch(eon) you can’t change the channel. But you can just walk out. On the other hand, since the luncheon is a freebie, much better to hang around and enjoy the free food and grog. Then later you can show everyone how wonderfully rounded you are by writing a lengthy diatribe about how offended you were.

      The best of both worlds…freebies and the moral high ground.

    • Swamp Thing says:

      04:25pm | 12/11/12

      The folks who froth at the mouth & rage like (dare i say it ) moslems - over the faintest whiff of ‘racism’ are somewhat more frightening than the ‘racists’ themselves imho.  I suspect in a hundred years or so people will wonder what the self proclaimed ‘anti-racists’ were getting so blue in the face over.

    • Lawrie Colliver says:

      04:28pm | 12/11/12

      Can Anthony tell me his views on Mike Tyson.
      Who would you consider a bigger threat, he or Greg Ritchie?
      It’s an open question…...................I’m not here to defend or support GM RItchie.
      Just wondered what you think…...............

    • Sickemrex says:

      04:54pm | 12/11/12

      Extra, extra, read all about it, mediocre ex-cricketer isn’t very funny or clever. I pissed myself watching The Dictator on the weekend so colour me racist. Pun intended.

    • stephen says:

      05:28pm | 12/11/12

      Yet again on the Gold Coast 2 security guards were bashed at a retail outlet during a robbery.
      And the police have never released the nationality of all these victims who have been attacked.
      Might it be possible that in every case, the victims have been either Chinese, Indian or generally Asian ?

      And that the motive for such crimes might have been of a racist nature and the stealing of money was only a by-product ?

      Sorry, but I’ve got strong suspicions.

    • Steve Putnam says:

      05:32pm | 12/11/12

      Not sure about Ritche’s idea of humour, but if he called Imran Khan “an absolute knob” then he can’t be all bad.
      Imran far from being a progressive voice in Pakistan just makes matters worse with his self-important rhetoric and grandstanding. His political views change on a daily basis and he is a chronic “media tart”. In 2007 he won the Paris Hilton award from a Pakistani weekly for “undeserved celebrity”. Despite the Taliban claiming responsibility for shooting 14 year old schoolgirl, Malala Yousofazi, in an unsuccessful assassination attempt, Khan refused to condemn them. He even went on to say that they were fighting a jihad against foreign invaders. He hasn’t accquired the nickname “Taliban Khan” for nothing.
      His hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    • Author says:

      05:36pm | 12/11/12

      Strangely, Ant, when I highlighted that ACA did a story the week before outlining Asian racism, you chose not to publish it.  Wonder why?  These kind of things echo around the world…

    • Helt says:

      05:42pm | 12/11/12

      That’s Australia for you. Be offensive and when fronted about it call political correctness. What a nasty race you are

    • When Ita tells me too says:

      06:12pm | 12/11/12

      I had to laugh at Channel 9 reporting on the ‘notorious’ Ritchie and his character Mahatma, whilst broadcasting vision FROM Channel 9 when they paid him for appearances.  Stupidity knows no bounds.

    • Utopia Boy says:

      06:41pm | 12/11/12

      Who cares?
      You know what? Some Indians DO wear turbans and wobble their heads endlessly as they speak.
      Muslims DO wear clothing that resembles a neatly stitched together bed sheet. And don’t you DARE say anything about their god.
      Black people DO often refer to themselves as niggers (ok, within a certain sub culture).
      The eyes of an Asian DO tend to be not quite as round as a Caucasian’s.
      Am I to be offended when called a honky? Why?
      I am only offended if I allow myself to be.
      I’m more offended by the amount I am expected to contribute to the government coffers due mainly to the colour of my skin and lifestyle choices (white male DINK).

 

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