1. The March issue of Surfing Life magazine includes a story called ‘Poetry Night with Mermaid Killer’. Written by Nathan Myers, it contains a pretty shocking description of Indigenous surfer Otis Carey.
2. Myers wrote, “With his apeish face and cowering hair-curtains, I expect little more than Cro-Magnon grunts from his mouth. I am caught off guard by the clarity and eloquence of his speech.”
3. Needless to say, Carey was upset by the remarks, and a lot of people took to social media to express their outrage.
8. On Wednesday, Surfing Life issued a statement on their website apologising for the story.
They say they originally read the “offending term as a jibe at the stereotypical surfer - and failed to see the racist connotations.”
They add that editor Wade Davis is of African and Indigenous heritage, and despite being sensitive to racism, is “devastated” that a “misread” allowed such a term to be published.
Interestingly, they repeatedly use the singular “term” in their apology, presumably referring to the use of the word “apeish” - apparently still missing the offensiveness in the assumption that Carey’s intelligence would be at “Cro-Magnon” levels.