The American company Mattel, which is based in one of the most racist places in America, California, and the maker of the Scrabble board game, seems to have a singular hatred of Australian Aborigines, so much that it allows players of the game to win points by using bad words used to describe Aborigines.
Aborigines are the only people in the world that Scrabble allows to be slandered in this way, maybe because they hate Aborigines so much, and professional complainant Stephen Hagan is doing something about it. Nobody else is going to do this important restorative justice work, so he has to do it.
Hagan has filed a complaint at the Australian Human Rights Commission against Mattel, because it allows these words to be playable:
Though he is evidently smart enough to know that he can’t complain about this derogatory term for Aboriginal women:
It’s unclear what his position on “nunga”, “koona”, and “boori” is though.
Then there’s the problem of “goon ninja”, two words, “goon” meaning grog, liquor, but it is conceivable that players could place them in such proximity that people might get the wrong idea. Hagan may not have considered this, yet. To be clear, Hagan should think about also petitioning Mattel to remove both words, so there is no possibility that anyone’s feelings could be hurt.
My wife and I never encouraged our children, when they were young, to experiment with racially offensive words or slurs whenever they played Scrabble.
I would like to think that when they have children they would also explain the importance of not using racially offensive words to gain points in Scrabble.
Excellent, important advice.
Some of these words many young Australians wouldn’t even recognise – “boong” (and “gin”) – because they are so rarely used or heard anymore, “boong” in particular being pretty vicious sounding such that few would have the gumption to utter it. So Stephen seems to be trying to make sure everybody knows about them again.
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