Stan Grant and how we keep driving people from the stage so viciously.

What is wrong with us?

When did we become incapable of hearing things we disagree with, views different to our own?

When did death threats and abuse replace silently thinking “I don’t agree with that”? Or changing the channel? Or scrolling on by? 

How did we become so vicious and cruel to one another in our need for only our opinion to exist in the world? Has the Internet done this? Social media

Have algorithms so coddled us in opinions identical to our own that we have lost the ability to tolerate difference when we encounter it? 

Instead of “I have a different view,” it is now: “Your view is not only wrong, it is evil. You are evil and you should die and so should your family."

Watch: Stan Grant's racism speech is a must-watch for all Australians. Post continues after video.

Video via ABC.

Any person in the public eye who expresses an opinion on any topic will have experienced this.

And if that person is from a marginalised group, the abuse is a thousand times worse. More brutal. More personal. More vicious. 


Is this what we have come to expect? 

Is this the price for expressing a point of view? 

What the hell has happened to us when hearing or watching or reading something we disagree with is so intolerable that it – and whomever is saying it – must be expunged? 

How did this happen? And what is the remedy? I have no answers. Just a heavy heart as I watch yet another big thinker leave the stage. Who will be left in the end? 

Nobody can say it as well as Stan Grant himself did last night.

On his final episode hosting Q&A, here were his exquisite, heartbreaking and powerful final words.

"Many of you would know by now that I'm stepping away for a little while. Sometimes we need to just take time out. Sometimes our souls are hurting and so it is for me. I've had to learn that endurance is not always strength. Sometimes strength is knowing when to say 'stop' and to those who have sent messages of support, thank you so much but I'll be okay. 

"Please send that support and care to those of my people and all people who feel abandoned and alone, who are wondering whether they have a place in this country and who don't have my privileges. 

"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. 


"I'm sorry and that's what Yindyamarra means, it means that I'm not just responsible for what I do but for what you do. It's not just a word, it is sacred. It is what it means to be Wiradjuri, it is the core of my being. It is respect. It is respect that comes from the earth we are born into from God. Baiame. If I break that, I lose who I am.


"I am down right now, I am, but I will get back up and you can come at me again and I'll meet you with the love of my people. My people can teach the world to love. As Martin Luther King Junior said of his struggle, 'we will wear you down with our capacity to love.' Don't mistake our love for weakness, it is our strength. We have never stopped loving and fighting for justice and truth, the hard truths to speak in our land.

"Yindyamarra winhanganha means to live with respect in a world worth living in and we in the media must ask if we are truly honouring a world worth living in.  Too often we are the poison in the bloodstream of our society. I fear the media does not have the love or the language to speak to the gentle spirits of our land.

"I'm not walking away for a while because of racism. We get that far too often. I'm not walking away because of social media hatred. I need a break from the media. I feel like I'm part of the problem and I need to myself how or if we can do it better. 

"To my people, I have always wanted to represent you with pride. I know I might disappoint you sometimes, but in my own little way, I've just wanted to make us seen and I'm sorry I can't do that for a little while. To my family, I love you."

Image: ABC

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