Famous Australian Artist Charles ‘Blackman’ discriminated against

20 Jul

It wouldn’t be the first time a black man has been discriminated against but in this case he is white.

A two year old filly called ‘Blackman” has been blacklisted (irony not lost here)  by the Racing Information Services Australia (RISA), which controls the  registration and naming of racehorses, after it received one complaint. The Trainer David Hayes was informed “the name Blackman “could be construed as being offensive” and was forced to change the name to ‘lady blackman’.

The name ‘Blackman’ actually carries significant meaning. The horse is by a stallion called Excellent Art and as is often the case the foal is given a name that somehow relates to the stallion. When a name was being decided the Famous Australian Artist Charles Blackman was mentioned. Renowned for his ‘Excellent Art’, Blackman  is one of the best known Australian artists still living today notably for the Schoolgirl and Alice in Wonderland series of the 1950s. So the trainer and his staff decided that ‘Blackman’ would be a perfect name for the horse and a fitting tribute to Mr Blackman.

That is until the RISA decided to act after a lone complaint was made to them about the name. Some in discriminant loser with little to no time on their hands decides to complain that the name of the horse is racially offensive.  Now instead of taking the complaint and filing it under ‘loser’ the RISA decided in their wisdom that the complaint was valid and the name needed to be changed. Even when they investigated the reason for the name they decided that ‘without context’ it could not be used.

When I read this, shock bells started ringing . Because this man’s name was ‘Blackman’ the horse could not be name after him. Isn’t Mr Blackman being discriminated against? If they called the horse ‘jones’ or ‘smith’ I am sure that would have been acceptable. What if the horse was called ‘whiteman’?

Now don’t get me wrong racism is destructive and should not be condoned but clearly in this case there isn’t even a case to answer. Has society become so scared that  the opinion of one person can directly affect so many. Mr Blackman has been robbed of this honour because some ill directed freedom fighter forgot to take their medication.

If I went by the name white, brown, black, grey I would be extremely worried that in the near future my name will be banned from being printed or published in fear offending someone. They will have to call Quentin Tarrantino for a rewrite  of ‘Reservoir Dogs’ in fear that the lead characters names have offended 100% of the population.

Australia needs to have a good hard look at itself. We once reviled America for being too politically correct. Now America has a black man running the White House!                                         I don’t want to live in a society where i fear that I am offending someone or where I have to constantly monitor what comes out of my mouth.                                                                                              What am I meant to do when I order a coffee or a tea from a cafe?

‘can I please have a black coffee, oh shit sorry. A coffee with no milk.

‘ how would you like your tea?’

‘white with one thanks. Oh no I am sorry, shit,  I meant to say, with milk and sugar’

If we don’t address this issue now then our society will be a very sad and intimidating place to live.

Finally I would like to mention that there is a great Hotel in Richmond called ‘The Blackman Hotel’. It has 670 digitally reproduced fine art prints from Charles Blackman. I wonder when this hotel will be closed because the name ‘Blackman’ is not used in context. Or maybe this hotel is for black people only.  Either way on my trip to Melbourne this weekend I will be dropping by to have a beer, admire and pay tribute to a great Australian artist.


29 Responses to “Famous Australian Artist Charles ‘Blackman’ discriminated against”

  1. Paul July 20, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    You go mate well said.. Johnny for PM

  2. Kieran C July 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    I’m offended that you’re offended, it’s offensive. A black mark against your name…ooops!

    • Spyder August 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      Lol… love that comment.

      Just as an aside – I was out to dinner as part of a group of Australians in NYC. At the end of the meal we ordered coffee – a long black, two short blacks, and a flat white were part of that order. We got a five minute lecture from our waiter on how ‘we weren’t allowed to say things like that in the US’ and how ‘racist’ that we were being. Needless to say we all laughed. Sad but true.

  3. Pacman July 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Well said Johhny!

    There is no point existing if we won’t stand up for what’s right.

    If the name was a racial slur then absolutely it should be struck off the list – however an intelligent and deeply meaningful name should be heralded as the way forward for a successful multi racial society. Poor form to the racing registry, shame on them.


  4. Dana Raquel Bryant August 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The full glance of your web site is excellent, as neatly as the content!

    • errol August 11, 2012 at 3:31 am #

      Happened on this web page by chance. Saw this thread & the poor emergency worker adolescent/virgin airlines one. Are all Aussies paranoid? do all of you have a inferiority complex? re: BLACKMAN, great idea to honor a person during their lifetime. However, hard to believe one
      would name a filly “Blackman”, sounds screwy to me. Why not be clever & name the filly “BLACKMAN’S ARTISTE” or “BLACKMAN’S GAL”. With
      the gentleman’s approval, of course. Maybe being paranoid is a Commonwealth thing. Noticed it about Canadians 50 years ago. You people down under are great, no need to flex your muscles, or fight at the drop of a hat. G-DAY.

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