Have You Ever been Racist?

Personal reference. Group agitator. Life reference. Put your damn phone down is all of the above.

The curated collection of provocative questions spliced with raw stories resonates with teenagers and adults a like.

For example... Have you ever been racist?

Well...have you? I have. Here’s the story...

1980’s Australia.Inner city Melbourne. VFL football. Hot pies, duffle coats dripping in badges, full strength beer and bad language. Really bad language. I was 12 years old standing next to my father watching the match of day soaking it all in.The stench. The profanity. The cowboy atmosphere. You could say anything. Anything!

So I took my chance. As umpire Glen James cradled the ball ahead of bouncing it I yelled wildly from the wing terrace ‘Bounce the ball you black maggot’.

My timing couldn’t have been worse.The previously boisterous crowd chose that moment to take a breath and my thoughtless exclamation seemed to be amplified for all to hear. A collective glare seemingly fell upon me as my fathers upon hand met the back of my head. I’d been clipped. Hard.

My head tilted forward with the force-my eyes now set upon the garbage at my feet. Tears snaked down my cheeks.I knew it was wrong. Stupid. My father said nothing nor I too my father. I was ashamed and didn’t watch another second of the game.

I have no idea who won the game that day but I certainly know who lost. Lesson learnt.

Use your phone to watch Spike Lees iconic ‘Do the right thing’ 1989 (YouTube Clip 5 highlights this very scene)

Spike Lees raw urban tale ‘Do the right thing’ should be mandatory viewing in schools.Set in the 90s the film highlights systemic racism-across all cultures.

The imagery is bright,the language hard and the message clear.

The pizza shop scene where the central character Mookie (Spike Lee) discusses ‘heroes’ with Pino (John Turturro) is unforgettable and should serve as a perfect reminder that racism is born of ignorance and fueled by fear.

Purchase - Put your damn phone down - here.

Glenn Manton