An insult to black Australians is an insult to all Australians 69



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The lead singer of popular band Matchbox20, Rob Thomas has made a comment that ensured everyone in Australia took a sharp breath in.  And he has already realised the damage he has done and attempted an apology.  But his insult was brutal, and frankly, given the delicate nature of indigenous progress in our country, more than a little disrespectful.

He might think he was being funny, talking about drinking at his concert in Melbourne. But this remark is anything but and is being discussed all over social media this morning.

The footage from the event has him laughing about how he drinks on long flights to manage his jetlag.

“I’ve been doing it for so long, I’ve got the jet lag figured out,” he said. “What you do is, when you get on the plane on your way here, you start drinking.”

It seems to be in good fun, so everyone laughs.

“And then I drink until I think I’m Australian.” Again the audience laughs with him. Then he adds “And I keep drinking until I think I’m a black Australian.”

The crowd collectively took a large breath in shock and disappointment and booed him. The event dissapated, with no further interaction on the subject through the concert.

After the show though, Thomas stepped up to his mistake quickly, no doubt having had it pointed out by minders.

“After the show in Melbourne tonight while backstage with some of my Australian friends, it was brought to my attention that I said something that is racist and insensitive,” Thomas writes.

“Please understand that although it is no excuse, I was completely unaware that in Australia there is a polarizing social issue happening right now involving indigenous people and alcohol.

“When I was made aware of it, the ground fell out beneath me, and I realized that people may now see me as the exact opposite of who I am.

“I’m sitting here in my hotel room completely gutted that a joke that I made was much more relevant to the times in Australia than I realised.

“I feel like a fool and apologize to all Australians.”

Rob ThomasRob Thomas made offensive comments on stage in Melbourne. MORE: Weekend Sunrise on Channel 7 now. Live stream: #RobThomas #sun7

Posted by Sunrise on Saturday, February 20, 2016

After the show in Melbourne tonight while backstage with some of my Australian friends, it was brought to my attention…

Posted by Rob Thomas on Saturday, February 20, 2016

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I think the insults started when he first opened his mouth! As far as I understand, he is an American. Would he dare to make such comments in the USA?

  2. He has only apologized because he is worried about his popularity, it was a definite statement and he must have been aware of publicity in this area or he wouldn’t have said it, i have never heard that said before, i’ve heard things said about drunks, but never singled out as “black” drunks.

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  3. u should do some home work on the country u are visiting , it would not go over well in the states , so why say it in Aus.

  4. This attempt at humour should have been water off a ducks back and treated as such. Instead we over dramatice and condemn to the point where an apology is forced for reasons of political correctness. So it was ok for him to suggest that white Aussies drink a bit but mention indigenous Aussies and suddenly he is a racist. Who cares what bloody colour you are. Get over it. It was a joke for heavens sake and he’s right; we all love a drink or two.

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  5. Yes, went over the line when he suggested all Aussies drink to excess, then further when mentioning Aboriginals. Poor attempt at humour. But he’s apologised, so let’s get over it

  6. We are all Australians, why did he have to single out one particular group,Australian’s are Australian’s, are Australian’s, what a silly sod!!

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