10 February 2023
There’s a deep irony behind Australia’s Woke warriors who spend their waking (and probably sleeping) hours obsessed with calling out ‘white privilege’, ‘ageism’, and every other possible thought crime they can dream up.
The vast majority of these commentators and columnists resemble the baying crowd in Monty Python’s Holy Grail – ‘She’s a witch, burn her!’ Some need look no further than their bathroom mirror to find the most egregious examples of the unspeakable ‘privilege’ they so vehemently abhor.
One Australian commentator took aim at a despicable Millennial (a person under 30) who had the audacity to offer a pleasant quip when serving her retirement-aged husband at a bakery. The Millennial said, ‘What can we do for you, young man?’
They were words that, according to her, caused her husband ‘upset’ and ‘humiliation’.
This friendly bakery worker should have known the emotional pain and hardship faced by affluent shoppers in the northern suburbs of Sydney. Never mind the Hindenburg… ‘Oh, the humanity!’
While these commentators lament the personal turmoil of being called ‘young’, there are hundreds of thousands of families in parts of Sydney who can’t afford to buy bread from a boutique bakery.
For many families, the Homebrand white loaf from Woolies at $1.70 is costly enough and has to last a fortnight. The thought of buying an artisan loaf of hi-fibre, low-GI white bread from Bakers Delight at $5.70 is simply out of the question as cost-of-living pressures around the nation bite hard.
The Australian media is filled with privileged commentators moaning about social injustices, while at the same time there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who are stretching their family budget for food and energy bills. They’re more worried about being able to pay for the meagre parcel of goods they’ve just laid on the counter than cute comments from the server behind the counter.
Real privilege is having the time, wealth, and opportunity to dedicate an entire column to a trivial comment made by a low-paid sales assistant and imagine it’s a genuine problem facing society.
There are numerous examples of rank hypocrisy among the elite press class.
Take those commentators who obsess about climate change while driving gas-guzzling Land Cruisers and residing in mansions with heated pools and a couple of spare tennis courts.
Or the columnist who was challenged by Malaysian-born entertainer Kamahl on the writer’s assessment of Don Bradman being a racist. The columnist suggested Kamahl was accepted as ‘an honorary white’ – an Uncle Tom. Social media exploded, rightly pointing out that his comment was, itself, racist.
Then there is the Australian Indigenous Senator – apparently the only person in Australia who understands remote Indigenous policy, having grown up in, um, inner-city Victoria – who has decried the Commonwealth as a monument to colonialism while happily taking a parliamentary paycheck from the Commonwealth Department of Finance every fortnight.
What hope is there for sensible debate and the development of practical policy in this country – let alone the future of young sales assistants trying to be pleasant to their customers – when the warriors of Woke won’t acknowledge the hypocrisy in their own reflection?
Brad Emery is a freelance writer and former political staffer in the Howard government