So it turns out plenty of us are Dumb, Drunk and Racist

It is hard to believe, but a little TV show with the subtle and unassuming title Dumb, Drunk and Racist has upset a lot of people. This is even more remarkable given that it hasn’t actually gone to air yet.

Wonder what made people think we were racist? Picture: Craig Greenhill

The show was intended to pick up on a news article from last year that revealed Indian call centre workers were trained to believe Australians were “dumb, drunk and racist” – a stereotype reinforced by many in the media there.

Our original intent was to go to India, pick up four locals and bring them back to Australia to show them we weren’t so bad after all. Unfortunately we were proven wrong.

Already conspiracy theorists are claiming that we planned it that way – the ABC being a known perpetrator of sensationalism and set-ups. In fact the opposite is true. Indeed much of it we didn’t even catch on tape – although even what we did was more than confronting enough.

The truth is virtually every confrontation, every bit of violence or abuse, was caused by people we just happened to accidentally stumble across – or rather who just came across us.

It seemed that just walking around with a group of Indians, be it on city streets or country paths, was considered by some people to be an open invitation to hurl abuse – and in one case hurl rocks.

I didn’t believe this when I set off on that journey and I would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own two eyes.

What I’d expected were people who might have issues with various races or cultures but were worried about saying so – the old “I’m not racist but…” line. Then we’d have an interesting little ABC-style chat about what’s racist and what’s not and everyone would be home in time for tea.

What we found instead were a number of people who, far from being worried about being stigmatised as racist, were proud to be so.

But still many people have taken great offence that anyone could dare suggest Australians are racist – or, if so, that there is anything wrong with that.Collapse )

Dumb, Drunk and Racist airs tonight 9.30 on ABC2.