Mark Latham says this word is not offensive; what do you think? 286

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Mark Latham has been at it again making, as he put it himself, his “weekly donation to Australia’s outrage” by repeated a certain word over and over again.

Appearing on last night’s episode of The Verdict, Mr Latham, former Labor leader and “semi-professional troll”, as described by Daily Life, defended the use of the word “Negro”.

The panel was discussing the condemnation of former cabinet minister Eric Abetz who used the word during a radio interview last week.


Mr Latham said, “Back in the ’70s and ’80s, ‘Negro’ was actually a respected, dignified alternative to really racist terms like ‘nigger’ and ‘darky’. So I must have missed the memo somewhere in the ’90s or more recently as to when ‘Negro’ became unacceptable.

“I’m happy to make my weekly donation to Australia’s outrage industry by saying ‘Negro, Negro, Negro’.”

When host Karl Stefanovic quoted the Oxford Dictionary, which says the word has been regarded as “outdated and offensive” since the 1960s, Mr Latham said where he comes from, it was perfectly acceptable.

“Well Karl, I could walk through any street in western Sydney and no one would find ‘Negro’ offensive,

“And who are these unelected, self-appointed people who’ve decided that we all need to speak like them? Who are these people?”

Mr Latham added that “at the ABC, you can’t use the word ‘Aborigine'” however Four Corners showed the Fair Work Commission vice-president Michael Lawler using the C-word.

“This is totally out of control,” he said.

What do you think? Is this a case of political correctness gone mad, or is the word “Negro” one that must be left behind? 

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  1. I find the term “Mark Latham” offensive, he really has no idea. the great thing about stupidity is, it’s self punishing.

    21 REPLY
    • Judith Forbes if you were continuously called “pinky” by someone that was black you may think differently.

      2 REPLY
      • I live in Central Australia and actually, I wouldn’t mind being called “Pinky” at all. It would make a pleasant change from a lot of the “terms of endearment” my indigenous brothers (and sisters) use when referring to me…

        A question. As it’s considered racist if I call “a gentleman of colour” a Darkie, why is not considered racist for that same gentleman to call me “Whitey” ??

    • Adrienne DeBritt and when “they” use the term, is it meant as a compliment?

      1 REPLY
      • I don’t think it’s meant as a compliment when the word “Whitey is preceded by the word “F***ing 🙂

        1 REPLY
        • Flour have a point BeeTee! The great Australian adjective is not very complimentary when used in this way

    • Adrienne DeBritt When my husband and son walked Kokoda last year the guides called them whitey. My husband and son were amused.

    • When you “think” about what he is saying Its all White Non Coloured races that offend Coloured races
      Look how it gets us fighting amongst ourselves
      And you all fall for it every time
      What he said makes quite a lot of sense We have been told how to speak to them by them now they don’t like it BUT they can be racist to us and there is no law in this country will back us up We are not the racist just stupid people who get drawn in and fight with each other over it
      If we ignored the whole thing maybe things would improve
      Don’t get involved

    • I certainly don’t winge winge winge Fred, I love this country have spent most of my life here. Have nothing to winge about Fred, have a wonderful family, children six grandchildren one great grandson all happy and healthy,what more could I ask for…. Very lucky

    • Yes but the word pome stands for prisoner of mother England & if you think about it that is actually Australian descendants not the one that migrate or come here of their own volition haha

    • Good point Gina…. My ancestors were convicts sent out here by the English so I guess that makes them pomes!

    • Lyn Joseph My family came here as convicts and some as Free Settlers I am not Pom, I am an Aussie 🙂

    • Ever wondered why those with those with Aussie accents are not called Poms? …here is what A pom or Pommy” (or “pom” or “pommie”) is a primarily Australian (and largely derisive) slang term used to indicate a recent immigrant from Great Britain, or a Brit in general it does not mean Prisoner of England

    • No way !! where did you come from Gina Coulter and how long have you been here? the Pomies are the ones with the English accents, the descendants of convict all have Australian accents and consider themselves only to be Aussie

    • it does not mean you have a convict ancestor Adreinne, but to have an ancestor who was a convict is an honor in this country, not many can claim that, the rest came later. Those with British accents are called Poms

  2. Mark Latham is offensive, that’s what he is all about, but to be honest I didn’t know the word negro was considered racist, nigger is racist I feel, but apparently we can’t say aboriginal now ? so yes I feel the world is getting too politically correct….eg calling blackboys grass plants, banning golliwogs, Muslim children walking out of singing our national anthem, and on it goes…we are supposed to be a multi cultural country, but there is always someone in the media making a fuss about something…..meanwhile in Australia we have an ice epidemic causing heartache right across our beautiful country, THAT is a more important issue to tackle I feel..

  3. I think political correctness is completely out of hand – I’m sure there are people whose only focus is the discovery of new things/words/events to be offended by……

  4. I agree with Mark there is no nor has there ever been anything wrong with the word Negro, that is what all African Americans and African Africans were called. It is political correctness gone absolutely crazy.

    17 REPLY
    • The only people who are able to say if it’s offensive or not are people of African origin. It’s not up to white, anglo-saxons to decide if it’s offensive. Once again, people who have never been the victims of racism are deciding what’s right for people who have.

    • I think you will find that the majority of Americans consider the word negro offensive and that the preferred words are Americans or if a racial distinction is required Afro American is used. Myself I dont understand why a special term is necessary as the majority are long term Americans.

    • There is nothing wrong with the word Negreo unless you are born an Americian Black pereson and you get called that all the time. I think we have moved on from name calling.

    • Colleen Dooley I totally agree. If a person finds that term that references them offensive, then it’s a offensive. So don’t use it.

    • Well the American gangs call their friends and enemies Niggers don’t they. That is acceptable for them within their group but not for anyone else. I always thought that the word Negro was something to do with the river in Africa called the Niger. Now, calling each other Niggers is bloody offensive but they do it so they should not judge others who use the word in the right context. They need to get a grip themselves and clean up their act.!

    • I agree 100% Colleen Dooley. Sometimes I’m a bit ashamed about people’s ignorance and I hope they aren’t passing it onto their grandchildren. Of course that word is unacceptable to use and is gang slang really the benchmark Surya Clark?

    • John Green Get a grip on it matey. Quit spankin yer monkey.! Bloody stupid comment reply or whatever you call it. Idiot.! The word Negro means Black and the German word Swartz as well and in English we say Black. Well how much denial do you want fool. !

  5. Actually this man – is quite black and white. Crazy one minute and really sain the next. I sometimes find myself agreeing with him. This is one of them. It is true what he says. Right or wrong it is true.

  6. I sometimes think it is hard to keep up with what is offensive this week, but it is quite well knwn that negro is offensive and has been for some time.

    7 REPLY
    • Why? A negro is a negro is a negro. Is African offensive? No. Is Englishman offensive, no. Is Australian offensive? No again.

    • I wasn’t aware that African Americans find this word offensive. Mark Latham is actually offensive to me. Last night a little 4 year old neighbour of Sudan descent said to me ‘hi aussie’ and I found that offensive, a little boy of that age obviously has heard it from grown ups. I would have preferred that he said ‘hi lady’ 🙁

    • Marilyn and Victoria – The inherent inequity of healthcare, inequity of education, and suicide rates of young people are all offensive. A word is not offensive. Are we as a society so precious and so PC that we are so easily offended?

    • Of course you are correct Brian, we are all too bloody precious, I generally find it all quite amusing, I was only having a little smile at Victoria cos really who gets offended by what kids say??

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