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.