The Cheap Racist Singlet That Continues To Divide Australia
"IF YOU DON'T LOVE IT, LEAVE."
A singlet taken off supermarket shelves following social media pressure continues to divide Australia today.
Greens MP Adam Bandt led the charge against the singlet, which reads "IF YOU DON'T LOVE IT, LEAVE", posting an image of the item to Facebook after it was seen stocked by Woolworths in Cairns and Sydney.
"The singlet was not one we ordered," said Woolworths in a statement posted on Bandt's Facebook page. "The sentiment expressed on the singlet does not reflect the views of Woolworths. Woolworths has a policy of 'Doing the Right Thing' which means we believe in fostering an environment where everyone is treated with dignity, courtesy and respect."
However, the embarrassing backdown from Woolworths sparked a new debate on Tuesday, led by those who supported the singlet's message.
Sydney shock-jock Ray Hadley took up the cause , dubbing the item the Team Australia singlet and lambasting Bandt for "getting his knickers in a knot".
"It's not racist, it's simply a fact of life," said Hadley on his radio show. "If you're here, if you reside here, if you're an Australian resident or an Australian citizen, you love the joint. And if you don't love it, nick off!
"It's Team Australia, that's what the prime minister said. It's another way of saying, 'We're on Team Australia!'"
Hadley's colleague Ben Fordham started giving away this T-shirt during his afternoon radio show.
The debate about whether the singlet is "racist" or part of "Team Australia" – a phrase adopted by the prime minister Tony Abbott – has been going on for years.
A T-shirt version of the singlet is currently archived at the Museum of Victoria and classified under "racism" after it was sold in Darwin as part of a Hardcore Aussie Pride Pack in the lead-up to Australia Day 2009.
It was also removed from Aldi supermarkets earlier this year over similar concerns.