Stan Grant says ABC coronation ‘evil abuse’ ‘would not have happened to a white person’
The ‘evil, vile, hateful’ abuse levelled at Stan Grant after he appeared on an ABC TV panel criticising the monarchy during the King Charles III Coronation ‘would not have happened’ if he were white, he claims.
The Indigenous ABC star appeared at the Sydney Writer’s Festival on Friday afternoon where he issued a withering assessment of Australia’s media landscape, after he stepped down indefinitely from Q+A on Monday.
Grant last week described copping relentless racial abuse after joining a panel discussion ahead of the coronation, and blasted bosses at the ABC for showing him ‘no’ support.
Now, he has opened up about the weeks before he pulled the plug on Q+A and the impact the abuse had on himself and his family.
Grant said that during the May 6 panel discussion ‘no one shouted over anyone, no one abused anyone’ and that it had been a healthy, respectful and constructive debate about the history of the monarchy.
‘If a white person had been on air… if they talked about invasion of the land, they just would not have been abused in the way that I was,’ he said.
The ‘evil, vile, hateful’ abuse levelled at Stan Grant after he appeared on an ABC TV panel criticising the monarchy during the King Charles III Coronation ‘would not have happened’ if he were white, he claims
The Indigenous ABC star issued a withering assessment of the modern media landscape in Australia, noting he is ‘complicit’ in an industry which ‘is far too often the poison in the bloodstream’
‘It wasn’t just what I was saying, it was the fact I was saying (it). The racial abuse and attacks began before I had even uttered a word.’
That revelation was met with gasps in the sold-out crowd.
‘To hear day after day that it was a hateful hour of television, that it was awful, that I hated Australians… to see people depict me in that way was such a cultural violation.’
Grant revealed he and his family were bombarded with ‘the most evil, vile, hateful abuse’, which culminated in death threats.
On Wednesday night police arrested a 41-year-old man in Fairfield Heights, western Sydney, and charged him with using a carriage service to make threats against Grant.
Grant said: ‘My kids have deserved nothing of what has happened to me and to them.’
Grant revealed his youngest son, Jesse, wrote his father a heartfelt letter in the days after he announced his decision to step away from the media.
‘If a white person had been on air… if they talked about invasion of the land, they just would not have been abused in the way that I was,’ he said during a panel at Sydney Writers Festival
The note was left on Grant’s bed for him to find.
In part, it read: ‘Dear dad, since the moment I was born, I have looked to you for strength and purpose, you’ve been like a superhero to me.
‘You’ve fought every day for yourself, for us and for this country. It hurts me to see how the world and even us at times have abused your strength.
‘You won’t have to fight much longer. I will begin fighting. I’ll start providing more and allow you to finally find peace.
‘Thank you for showing me how to be a man of purpose.’
Grant himself fought back tears and tried to maintain his composure as he read his son’s heartfelt letter.
There were no such qualms in the crowd. Tissues were passed from one guest to another as dozens of people bowed their heads and wiped away tears.
During his final evening on Q+A, Grant apologised to his haters listening on from home. He said: ‘To those who have abused me and my family, I would just say – if your aim was to hurt me, well, you’ve succeeded.
‘And I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I must have given you so much cause to hate me so much, to target me and my family, to make threats against me.’
On Friday, Grant doubled down on his decision to apologise to the people who have caused him so much hurt, and explained what prompted that decision.
He said the hate, trolling and abuse were symptoms of a broader problem with humanity, one that he himself feels ‘complicit’ in.
‘I know that by working in the media I am complicit… I’m sorry that I am part of a media that has utterly failed,’ he said.
‘We cannot just be responsible for ourselves. We are responsible for the worst others do as well because we’ve created a world where that is possible.’
The ‘evil, vile, hateful’ abuse levelled at Stan Grant after he appeared on a panel criticising the monarchy during the King’s coronation ‘would not have happened’ if he were white, he claims
Grant said he would continue to fight hate with love, and trust in ‘God’s grand plan’. He spoke in depth about his faith, his relationship with religion and that Christianity’s message of forgiveness ‘always stays’ with him.
The media personality was a guest at the festival to promote his new book, The Queen Is Dead, which grapples with the monarchy and institution and his relationship to it.
But, he stressed, his challenging relationship is not with the late Queen herself as a woman, a mother or a grandmother.
‘I met the Queen,’ he said. ‘When she died, something broke open in me. Not her as an individual, but what that crown represented.
‘That we would mourn the crown more than we mourn our own people; the most unloved people in the country.’
He encouraged the crowd to be angry for the mistreatment of First Nations peoples.
‘If you’re not angry,’ he said, ‘then you don’t have a soul’.
The media personality was a guest at the festival to promote his new book, The Queen Is Dead, which grapples with the monarchy and institution and his relationship to it
There were whispers among the crowd, who had been hanging onto his every word for almost an hour.
One woman looked to the woman on her right. ‘He’s such an intellectual,’ she said. ‘He has this ability to break down the most complex of subjects in a way everyone understands.’
The woman to her right, a stranger with whom she’d connected over their shared admiration for Grant, nodded.
‘He’s a gem. A shining light for this country. I’m embarrassed by how we’ve treated him.’
When Grant had walked into the room, another woman shouted ‘we love you Stan’ over the deafening sound of applause. He nodded graciously, thanking her.
Grant said during his speech: ‘There is no such thing as race.
‘There are peoples. I belong broadly to First Nations peoples. My grandma was a white person, but she lived with us, she had Aboriginal children, she was rejected by white society.
‘Whiteness is the way of ordering and separating, but it is not white people. [My people] have never talked about race, we talk about peoples.’
When Grant had walked into the room, another woman shouted ‘we love you Stan’ over the deafening sound of applause. He nodded graciously, thanking her
Grant asked: ‘What have we done to be the most impoverished and imprisoned people in this country? What have we done to be locked out of the best? To die 10 years younger than everyone else?’
He wrapped up the panel with another short reading from his book, and then looked up to the crowd to realise he’d been met with a standing ovation.
There were more tears, more tissues, more questions about how he was made to feel ‘so isolated’, and if his employer could have done more.
When announcing his break, the 59-year-old accused the ABC of ‘institutional failure’, claiming no-one in senior management had offered him public support.
Grant said the racial abuse levelled against him had ramped up since he appeared on the ABC’s coverage of King Charles’ coronation on May 6.
The ABC received more than 1800 complaints about it’s coverage of the King’s Coronation but more than a million people tuned in
More than 1,800 complaints were lodged over a segment running from 5.15 to 6pm in which a panel including Grant discussed ‘critical perspectives on the role of the Monarchy in modern Australia’ as early guests were arriving at Westminster Abbey.
The ABC ombudsman found the national broadcaster’s coverage of King Charles III’s Coronation was ‘jarring and distracting’.
It was not, however, in breach of editorial standards around impartiality, the ombudsman said in a finding released on Thursday.
Grant also said he was not walking away because of racism or social media hatred, but due to a broader disenchantment with the media.
‘I need a break from the media. I feel like I’m part of the problem. And I need to ask myself how, or if, we can do it better.’
Grant ended his final night on Q+A by thanking his family, speaking a few words in his native Wiradjuri language and then said a simple ‘Goodnight.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk