I find Yassmin Abdel-Magied a complicated individual. I’m not going to go point by point, but, while I agree with most of the things she says, I do feel like she sometimes uses blanket-terms and hyperbole in her arguments that kind of bug me.
So let’s get Eddie McGuire fired.
Wait! Here me out! Yesterday, Abdel-Magied posted on her FB page “Lest. We. Forget. (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine…)”, drawing attention to how there are people suffering from the effects of war in modern times. Some people found this dismissive of the ANZAC spirit. I agree that when offensive comments are made, they should be treated seriously, and perhaps even lead to dismissal, which is why I feel like Eddie McGuire should be fired for calling John Eren a “Turkish-born Mussie”, and referring to Western Sydney as “the land of the falafel”
Later, Abdel-Magied changed her status to just say “Lest we forget”, but it’s a lot harder to forget comments once they’ve been said. When Eddie McGuire made a joke about paying someone $50,000 to drown journalist Caroline Wilson in ice water, presenter Jessica Rowe still remembered Eddie McGuire’s constant harassment at work. So did Mark Llewellyn, who, in an article to Crikey in 2011, remembered that Eddie McGuire had joked about boning Rowe within discussions about firing her. We should probably fire Eddie McGuire.
Let’s be fair, Abdel-Magied did apologise in a related comment to her “Lest we forget” post. She wrote:
“It was brought to my attention that my last post was disrespectful, and for that, I apologise unreservedly”
Eddie McGuire also apologised for his suggestion about Adam Goodes promoting King Kong mere days after he was called an “ape”. However, it was less unreserved, when he blamed the incident on being fucked up on meds.
The right to free speech, now referred to as the ‘right to offend’ is a complex issue for some, not for others – especially when we talk about Section 18c of the racial discrimination act. Even if Australia does decriminalise being a racist fuckwit, you may not be able to say anything you want without consequence. You may lose family or friends for offending them and/or the people they love. Or, you may have a code of ethics to follow at work, which requires you to not say things that offend our human values and rights. Which is why, in discussing Yassmin Abdel-Magied, one thing is clear:
We should fire Eddie McGuire.