Racism In Deadly Unna By Phillip Gwynne
"Deadly Unna" is the story of Garry Blacks realization of racism and discrimination in the port where he lives. When everyone else seems do nothing to prevent the discrimination Blacky a young boy steps up to the plate and has the guts to say no against racism towards the local Aborigines. Blacky is beginning to realize that the people he looks up to as role models might not be such good examples as most of them including his father his footy coach and even the pub custodian all accept racism as a normal way of life and Blacky begins to realize this and tries to make them aware.
At the beginning Blacky becomes aware of the apartheid of white and black first in the players at the local footy team, the white players (Goonyas) all got changed at one end of the club change rooms while the Aboriginal (Nunga) players got changed at the opposite end ?Usually the nungas got changed at one end us goonyas got changed at the other? pg. 21. This is when Blacky begins to realize that even though he sees everyone as equal the rest of the town does not necessarily feel the same. Even Blackys friend Pickles encourages in a way Blacky not to be Dumbys friend, Blacky goes along with it but eventually admits to his friendship with Dumby red, ? Mate of yours now is he? (Pickles) No way not him I hate his guts (Blacky)?pg. 25 after he said this he spat on the ground to prove to Pickles that he meant it Blacky had not realized that his friend were so racist and had previously gone along with any racist slurs they made. His suspicions were confirmed when, at the grand final presentation Mark ?Arks? won the Mcrae medal instead of Dumby red. Dumby had been the heart and soul of the team all season and deserved to win he had pretty much carried the team to victory and the fact that he received no recognition clearly shows racial intolerance, Mark ?Arks? (who's father was coach of the team) only received the reward because he was the best white player.
Blacky first realizes that racism isn?t just a local phenomenon and that it is not just the kids but the entire community who have grown accustomed to racism. at the game in Tangaratta, when Blacky gets into a fight with Mad Dog (a local kid). Dumby comes to Blackys rescue and subsequently ends up in a physical fight with mad dog. When Mad Dog gives up and puts out his hand as a piece offering he takes a cheap shot at Dumby and says ?Don?t shake hands with no Boongs? pg 121 (Boongs Australia an offensive term for an Aboriginal Encarta online). Blacky uses this as an excuse to be friends with Dumby so that the others wouldn?t think he was sympathetic to the Nungas.
On grand final day Blacky goes for a smoke with Clarence (Dumbys sister) in the shed down by the jetty Clarence sat down under the words Boongs piss off. this made Blacky feel uncomfortable and guilty even though he had not written it, ?I felt guilty in some way . I hadn?t written it, but I hadn?t scratched it out...
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