Riddled Racism

Public opinion is extremely prevalent in today’s society. People are feeling the need to more frequently voice their thoughts and views on issues that they feel are present in society. More often than not we hear of debate and protest arising due to controversial issues that are challenged by the media. One of the main issues that tends to spark great debate is racism.

“Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior”

But how often do we hear of people being discriminative towards people of the own race? Not very often right? Well that exactly what Youtuber Neel Kolhatkar did in his video Australia in 2 Minutes. The video shows Neel imitating and exaggerating the stereotypes and actions of certain groups of people in Australia, which to some, comes across as being racist towards his own country.

The video was intended to be a humorous parody of the behaviours and characteristics of Australians, but turned out to be a text of great debate and controversy. Of course Neel didn’t create the video with the purpose to offend Australians and our culture. He simply and innocently took stereotypes present in our society, threw a bit of comedy and exaggeration into the mix, and addressed the racial issues present in Australia (that no one really talks about) in a clever and hilarious way.

However, not everyone saw the funny side to the video. With racism being such a prevailing topic in today’s society, offense to the video would naturally arise. Although not only did people become offended, those who were offended were being put down for merely not enjoying the video. A great debate rose in the comments on the video ranging from comments applauding Neel on his efforts, to people taking great offense and even people abusing others for being offended.

“I’m Australian and I find this racist”

“This is the perfect impression of us Australians”

“I never knew how offended Australians could get, I’m from Australia and I found this funny. It’s a f****** joke”

“I love this video! So accurate”

“Wow this is so offensive”

Even though Neel made this video with the intention of making his viewers laugh, the issue of racism is no laughing matter. To some, that was the connotation they perceived from the video. But if this video wasn’t made, and this ideology wasn’t challenged, would the debate still occur? I think not. It seems to me that debate and controversy arises only when ideologies are challenged by the media. If issues such as racism weren’t so exposed and highlighted by the media, the effects of racism on people would be much less.

Public opinion is always going to exist. People will always want their thoughts to be heard. But if the media didn’t put so much on emphasis on issues like racism, would it still be such a big problem?

Think about it.

– Sophie

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5 thoughts on “Riddled Racism

  1. This is such a thought-provoking blog! Bravo! I think you’ve brought up an excellent point about what is emphasied in the media directly correlating with what we become concerned about in the public sphere and how we address those issues. It really stresses how our opinions are formed and what portrayals may be pushed as being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ linking into the importance of people like Neel questioning those ideologies. Including the definition of racism in your blog really helps to form an opinion of the video you’ve included as I don’t think Neel puts himself in a position to show that he thinks one race is superior to another as everyone is teased equally. In that sense, it definitely seems more like a tongue-in-cheek video than ever having the intention of being racist. However, because of the way media describes and portrays racism it does lead some members in the public sphere to be quick to call ‘racism’ in a misguided opinion. I applaud the outlook you’ve taken in this blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for the feedback. It was definitely evident that mediated issues such as the topic shown in the video have a direct link to what society becomes concerned about in the public sphere. Neel approached the issue in a subjective way which allowed viewers to form their own opinions based on the stereotypes highlighted in his video. I agree, the way racism is portrayed in the media does lead to misguided opinions in the public sphere, as was shown through the variety of comments on the video. Thanks again for your insightful comment.

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  2. First of all, I just want to say thank you posting that video in your post and making me subsequently spend the rest of my day watching the rest of his videos and abandoning whatever work I planned to do. Anyway, I think it was a great example in regard to the public sphere and the interpretation people have for different things just by observing society. Within itself, the videos became a public sphere, making some realise, that whilst it was a highly exaggerated and stereotyped take on Australian society, there was still an essence of truth that people might be able to relate to. It got people voicing their opinions effectively showing democracy at work. This was a great post and I love that you didn’t just rehash what was said in the lecture but rather applied it to your own example and in an effective way. Do you think if the creator of the videos was Caucasian the response to the video would be more negative?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your feedback. I too was a victim of being distracted by Neel’s videos for the rest of the day. This was definitely a video that sparked a great array of opinions. This made it easy to relate it back to the topic of public opinion and how a mediated public sphere can cause debate to arise among it’s members. It definitely highlighted the varied interpretations of viewers as you mentioned. Also, I do believe that if the creator of the video was Caucasian that the response of the viewers would be more negative, as the issue of one discriminating against their own cultural background would arise.

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  3. Hi Sophie,
    I found this blog thoroughly entertaining! The detailed explanations and the examples provided make this blog intriguing and straightforward on your message. I absolutely agree, on how this video provided an opportunity for people to share their opinions on a topical issue, even though the YouTube video was there for entertainment, it sparked an opportunity for people to talk about their interpretations of the issue, which is a great point you mentioned. ☺
    Good job!
    Arta

    Liked by 1 person

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