CHANGE A BRAND NAME OR CHANGE BEHAVIOUR

The supposed ‘win’ over scrapping the the brand name ‘Coon Cheese’ is the stuff of trivial pursuit. I do not support the name of this cheese being dumped and it is no major win. Coon cheese was named after its Canadian creator. It is a product derived from overseas source.

I am 74 and during those years spent many years working in remote communities. I also spent my junior years at school in WA at a time when Aboriginal children were being introduced to school. During my years there have been derogatory terms used as descriptors of the indigenous but that has been exclusive of the word ‘coon’.

Over time I believe that derogatory terminology used in address has lessened. There is one exception. As a Darwin citizen, I often hear Aboriginal persons using terrible racist expressions against each other. They verbally abuse each other in the host horrible and character stripping of language. They address each other in the vilest of terms in the most public of places. It is this behaviour, not the name of a cheese that sends shudders through members of the non-indigenous community who are unfortunate enough to witness this behaviour.

My Darwin experiences are replicated in hundreds of locations around Australia. These issues have to be addressed by Aboriginal Australians. That is far more imperative than changing the brand name of a cheese.

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