Friday, 19 June 2009

Tokenism, Hodge can do it

Cricket Victoria and the Victorian Police hope a few generic shots of cricket will appeal to the protesting Indian student community and hopefully appease their demand for justice and protection.

Fucking hell.

Note the supposed magic formula:

Cricketer + Police Officer + Indian Representative (with credit to sponsor KFC in biggest font possible) + Random Alleyway = Bravo, Instant Success! No need to actually deal with the problem at hand.

There's a difference between using cricketing figures for assurance and as a sort of relevant intermediary in the right circumstances, but this is bizarre and sadly undermines the seriousness of the attacks actually taking place in Australia.

Unity is one thing, but this is utter rubbish.


Esra_Star said...

Those shots weren't staged at all! Gotta love the hard assed grafitti in the alley too, really sells the realism. This is what happens when you leave Hodge out of Aussie cricket...

Anonymous said...

Hodge is a twat, I have met him.

Stani Army said...

Have a fat bloke advertise KFC? not a good idea.

They coulda at least let Kevin Rudd finish having his piss in the background (1st pic).

Is that a chalk outline of a dead body beneath the stumps? May be the last wicket keeper. The bowler must be fast....the pig better watch out.

Amy said...

Esra, do Melbourners find that graffiti artistic or something? It looks so ridiculous.

Anon, agreed. Hodge is a twat. But I was once privy to an interview between him and the sports editor of a paper and for some reason, in that moment, he came across as an alright person. I never believed it anyway.

Stani, how dare you? KRudd is more high brow than that you bastard.

Philip said...

Hi may name is Philip Yew

i am one of the organisers of this day from urbanseed. the guy in orange in the image. i find it incredible to believe that you are suggesting this is tokenistic.

We decided to do this as a way to show the commenalities b/t each commuitiy. and that we can rise above the violence and celebrate our mutual loves that is cricket.

laneway cricket started by urbanseed and cricket vic to promote saftey in melbourne streets between coporate businesses and marginalised people in melbounres CBD through combining coporate players with a welfare agency. we have done this for 2 years and it has been a great thing for those participating and the city. if you want more info email me at

Yes it is only a start to tacking this problem but i am horrified that people such as you self. are saying this is nothing.

as the people indian students and police involved wanted this to happen to create a sense that something good can happen admist the violence.

Are their efforts in vain? give them a break it's not perfect ie KFC but at least something is trying to be done. By the intrested and affected problems.

Hodge despite his previous attitude. participated while his wife was in the hospital awaiting the birth of their child. He did it becuase he felt it was important due to his ties with indian people whom are his close friends. give the guy a break at least he was there. Don;t dismis his commitment.

We are all responsible for violence in melbourne what are each of you doing to try and create a more positive place for us all. have a think before being so attcking and dismisive of the efforts of others who care about our communities.

Thanks philip yew.
urbanseed credo cricket co-ordinator

please email non abusive thoughts about how this could have been done better.

Amy said...

Hi Philip,

Nice dig about the "abuse" there. This is opinion, however, and that's just how it was phrased, although I didn't attack your project specifically in an abusive way. But if you prefer it, I am also capable of telling it like this:

Thanks for actually communicating and putting forward your side of things, but I think you'll find that we're addressing separate issues here. I understand the value of your efforts in terms of its symbolic power, and in fact I applaud it. Urbanseed is taking a positive step towards improving ties between two groups during a time of friction and that's entirely appropriate.

However, the personal is not always the political. I think you'll find that most people in Australia are supportive of the victims of these racial attacks and the majority of people who view these photos are not going to be of the variety who are most likely to attack Indian students, i.e. racists and bigots. You may have set out to show a sense of community, but as soon as the Victorian Police became involved in this, the matter became more of a political one.

The fact of the matter is - and this is what I was referring to in my criticisms in the post - the Victorian Police have much to answer for after the multitude of racial attacks on Indian students. And until now, they have shown a marked inability to deal with the issue at hand, making their involvement in projects like this appear tokenistic at best. Indeed, until recently, they were denying the attacks were racially motivated at all. These recent events have exposed a serious problem in the policing system. There has been an under-reporting of crime by the police force and in fact, a mismanagement of it. No effective steps have been taken to ensure the safety of these students. The situation with Victoria's police force is much like that of NSW reaching well into the 1990s, before our current police chief was appointed and undertook an overhaul of the system.

The Victorian Police have failed to address this issue with the seriousness it deserves, as evidenced in the increase of attacks in the weeks after they began making headlines regularly and were pinpointed as being areas of grave concern.

And in that respect, I find this venture by the Victorian Police to be deserving of criticism. There is no serious attempt on the streets and in practicality to back up their involvement in this Urbanseed project, in terms of preventing and effectively dealing with racial attacks on Indian students.

I think you underestimate the impact of the advertising (re: KFC) in these photos. Had the large KFC logo been present on Brad Hodge's clothing, it would have been slightly more appropriate. Instead, it is the representative of the Indian community who is bearing a shockingly large logo on his white shirt, making it virtually impossible not to notice. Are you serious? That essentially undermines the project and cheapens it. To me, as the intended recipient of these photos, as an ordinary person in the community, it feels like a stunt. Furthermore, it feels like this situation is being exploited for the purposes of commercialism. This is a sensitive issue and due care needs to be taken with how conciliatory efforts are presented.

In regard to Brad Hodge being the professional sportsperson to be involved in this project, I do believe he isn't the best choice you could have picked for it, given the image he has presented of himself and the reputation he has gathered over the years. That said, I don't condemn his efforts at all. If he is getting out there and opposing racism, then all the more power to him. I do believe more appropriate cricketers would have been picked, and have been picked for other organisations. As I understand it, Adam Gilchrist is an ambassador for Australian universities and recently travelled to India with a mind to making positive reconciliation efforts regarding this issue. That's only one example, of course. If you wanted Brad Hodge and he was willing to do this, so be it.

Amy said...

You stated I was being "attacking" towards the project. Yes, I was, as I have every right to be. However, it wasn't towards Urbanseed's efforts but the connotations of the photos and the degree of impact the Victorian Police has actually had on stopping this violence in the community.

Continue with your efforts, they're certainly appreciated.

- Amy

fordaluvofMorne said...

Even after all that explaining I still can’t link random alleyway with graffiti to racial attacks on Indian students????

p.s- leave poor K-Rudd alone... he already has enough on his plate with this ute saga!

it's only a bloody old ute...fair dinkum!

Amy said...

It's the laneway cricket idea, as explained in Philip's comment. Promoting safety and unity between groups.

fordaluvofMorne said...

I gave up on reading Phillips post from about the 2nd para.

A bit far fetched but yea ok I kinda get it :)

The MG said...

*claps enthusiastically*

Very well put, Amy! You really should be writing KRudd's speeches and parliamentary addresses!

Amy said...

Who says I don't?

...I don't.

The MG said...

I knew you didn't. If you did, I'd probably listen to them, instead of falling asleep :P

But I don't really mind KRudd. How could you after his predecessor?

Lulu said...

Personally, I think a little positivity is a good thing. If anything, it acts as an antidote to all the fear mongering and hate peddling being done by the media.

I'm quite upset with how the media has handled this issue. This "us against the world" attitude inspired by (mainly) the Indian media is only encouraging more violence, more racial tension and segregation.

Using sport as a means of bringing people together in a community is usually a good idea. I am shocked that you have labelled this gesture as sad and bizarre.

And I like the street art.

Amy said...

MG, aww, it was kind of sad when Johnny lost out, not because he wasn't PM but because he even lose his own seat. I thought that was crazily harsh by the Bennelong voters but yeah, I did prefer Kevvy.

Lulu, it appears you didn't read my above comment and instead misinterpreted the purpose of the post and the group it was targeted at, i.e. the Victorian Police. Thanks, especially seeing as I've never had a problem with sport repairing ties and bridging boundaries.

Lulu said...

To be fair, you didn't make it entirely clear that you were critising the police in the original post. But you're right; I didn't notice that you had replied to Phillip's comment. Apologies.

Still, I stand by what I said. It was not intended as a personal attack.

Amy said...

Hence the clarification in my comment. I had thought the first sentence of my post would have indicated where I was coming from, though.

Anyway, it's alright. Views are views, racism is crap, we can all agree on that.

Philip said...

hi philip here,

thanks for all your support. and suggestions.

I agree the police need to do things better in following up such actions like this little laneway cricket idea. and i apologise if i came across a bit annoyed and attacking of your opnion. but i did feel that the orignial post did have an element of one sidedness and not including all the facts. And offering the positive side of the idea.

The KFC thing is a bit of a paradox. we had no say in that. but it is a minor point in comparision to the racisim. Thankyou for the feedback this will hopfully add to further things we and cricket victoria try and do in the future in commuities.

Also to note. the positive outcomes of this story has been published on my count around 150 sites around the world. many in india. Which is great for a small thing that we were trying to achieve. And hopefully this can be built upon. By people in each country appreciating and respecting each other.

tahnks again for all feedback. i hope it will inspire readers of your blog to think about ways in which they too can do small things for a greater good.

Philip yew
Urbanseed credo cricket co-ordinator

Stani Army said...

Nothing wrong with what K Rudd is doing. All I'm saying is that they should of let him finish before taking the photo.

I think you're just jealous that we (men) can do it standing up.....and practically anywhere.

Completely agree with your post Ames.

Amy said...

Philip, cheers, I apologise if the post seemed one-sided. I'm glad I had a chance to clarify my viewpoint in the comments. And it's great that the media, especially the Indian media, is reporting on this in a positive light. Good things are coming of your efforts.

Stani, I'm not jealous at all. Why would I want to do it anywhere? In that respect, KRudd is also more woman than man. He doesn't like to do it anywhere either.

Stani Army said...

Is he a man then?

Have you met him Ames? Seriously?

Jonathan said...

Amy, we're talking about the Victorian Police. Just be thankful they haven't shot anyone yet.

The MG said...

Agreed, Jonathan! But we shouldn't speak too soon :S

Amy said...

Stani, he's not just a man. He's a manly man. And I'm not sure whether you're being serious about that second question. But yes, I have. I regularly do now.

Jonathan, that seriously irks me about them. They often ignore crimes simply for the sake of keeping their figures up. If this issue weren't so well publicised, would they be targeting it at all?

Stani Army said...

I was serious I am sometimes. Was you serious with your answer?

What do you call him then? K? Ruddy Wuddy? Do you give a handshake or a high five?....or is it more like "touch, give me some skin bro"?

This is interesting stuff.

Amy said...

...Well, no, it's just Kevin. He is socially inept at high-fiving others.

I still can't be sure whether you're being serious.

Stani Army said...

Look at me...see? I'm serious.

What's happened to you? You was quite good....very good, at telling when I was being serious or not. In fact, a couple of times I had to look over my shoulder (Albie can't do this, he has no shoulders) to see if you were spying on me; you were that good.

It's all this working for those bloody liars init Ames? These bulls*******g politicians. You don't know who's telling the truth and who's not.

You shouldn't call him Kevin....that's a little boy's name. Change it, call him Kelvin or something. If he notices, pretend you said Kevin. Actually, Kelvin's a teenager's name....s**t. Help me out here.

Jonathan said...

Stani, Stani, do you really need help? The answer is Kev!

Stani Army said...

Jonathan, that's something you'd call your best mate.

I want more

The MG said...

Stani, the whole image of the Australian Labor Party is built on the idea that your best mate is running the country. After all, they do claim to stand for 'mateship' and 'a fair go' - admittedly the sort of stuff that comes out of your best mate only after a few pints at the local.

Anonymous said...

my eyes hurt after reading all those comments, and i only got as far as philips big rant and decided hell no am i to read it all.

Only reason i'm commenting is, is that on my flight to Australia, I swear I saw that indian man! Either on my flight or one of my days here, but he's in Western Australia for sure.

Stani Army said...

Are you sure Samina? I can ask him you know.