Published in the Journal of Australian Aboriginal Studies (2016)

Williams (1992) draws on alchemy to describe how racism is ‘infused’ with rights. The booing of Indigenous athlete Adam Goodes in the Australian Football League (AFL) in 2015 was dissolved into fictitious right of moral equivalence.

Booing could not be ‘racist’ because non-Indigenous athletes are also booed. As a critic of race, based in Papua New Guinea (PNG), I was dismayed to hear of the booing. Wanting to learn more, I chanced upon a feature by journalist Dalton (2015) in the Weekend Australian in which he captures spectator utterances of bigotry to question the treatment of Goodes. Distance has its own perspective. Following Dalton, this study reflects on the politics of my location in PNG, in response to the Goodes affair as the basis for identifying the distorted logics of race and racism cited to defend booing. This is consistent with Williams’ (1992) subjective methodology of story-telling to make known the lived experience of the racial ‘other’.