Tuesday, January 19, 2021

“Little brown girl”: Condemning The Australian’s racist cartoon

The mainstream newspaper responded to the backlash by defending the cartoon.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Australian newspaper is refusing to take down a cartoon published earlier today that is overtly and obscenely discriminatory. The caricature by Johannes Leak has raised eyebrows for its clearly racist and misogynistic tone.

The cartoon follows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s recent speech about Senator Kamala Harris in which he highlighted the inspiration her candidacy for vice president brings to children of black and brown heritage. The Australian depicted Mr Biden calling Ms Harris a “little brown girl”.

Source: Twitter
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The racist cartoon has been condemned by many members of parliament, journalists and writers alike. 

Ketan Joshi, a science writer and University of Sydney alumni slammed the mainstream daily newspaper in a tweet.


In the same thread of tweets, he added that quotes from Biden’s speech were twisted and taken out of context by The Australian to produce the discriminatory cartoon.

The Democrat is clearly referring to children of colour rather than his running mate, Ms Harris.

Johannes Leak is the son of controversial cartoonist Bill Leak, who has also been similarly accused of racism.

Indian readers will remember his 2105 cartoon in which he criticised the UN’s aid of solar energy to India, by implying it had nothing to do with alleviating poverty. He showed starving Indians eating shards of solar panels with mango pickles.

Chris Dore, editor-in-chief of The Australian has been reported as saying “Johannes was quoting Biden’s words”, and referred to Mr Biden’s recent tweet.


The Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles called the cartoon “offensive” and “racist”. He also called for a national anti-racism strategy to drive out discriminatory practices from Australia.


Labor MP Andrew Leigh demanded that The Australian issue an apology for publishing the racist cartoon.


A writer for The Guardian expressed disappointment with the mainstream newspaper and emphasised that most Australians would agree with her.


Another reporter at the ABC, Matt Bevan strictly denounced the artist. In the same thread said that if this were America, there would be protesting in the streets and Leaks would be fired.


We at Indian Link deeply condemn the actions taken by The Australian. We hope mainstream media will be more aware of such discriminatory practices in the future and actively remain anti-racist. 

READ ALSO: Kamala Harris is Biden’s choice for VP

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Bageshri Savyasachi
Bageshri Savyasachi
Truth-telling, tree-hugging journalist.

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