Published in G. Tsolidis (Ed.) Migration, Diaspora and Identity: Cross National Experiences (2014)
She saw what she wanted to see. But the world does not divide as neatly on the ground as it does when gazed upon from an ivory tower (Baum 2008).
Hylton (2005) writes that “where race has been ignored, include it, where it has been marginalized, centre it, and where it has been problematized, theorize it” (p. 89). In May 2008, I wrote a letter to the Editor of a Melbourne newspaper to suggest that an article discussing the differences between two superstars of elite Australian Rules football, one (white) described as “team oriented” and the other black as “self-oriented” (Walls 2008), conformed to racial dualism of white intellect and black instinct. My inquiry to understand the reasons for rejection of my letter drew a stinging rebuff in an article penned by a senior journalist. As Maori critic of race, who writes from the margins, in my adopted country of Australia, I draw on critical race theory (CRT) of counter story (Ladson-Billings 1998; 2003), to deconstruct criticism of me and my comments. I also draw on van Dijk’s (2002) theory of blocking devices to argue that race relations of dominance are inverted as a strategic device to dismiss me through selective reading of my criticisms on the racial representation of indigenous athletes in Australia.