Excerpted from the article Oversimplifying a serious matter or a fair cop – were Sam Kerr’s alleged words really racist? by Jordyn Beazley writing for The Guardian:

Prof Fethi Mansouri, an expert in intercultural communication at Deakin University, said “it is very difficult to see how this can amount to being a serious racist incident”.

“If we [say] that we are really trivialising and oversimplifying the huge impact that racism is actually having on people who are oppressed.”

It’s all to do with power and the governance systems that reinforce it, Mansouri said.

“Racism, in many ways, reflects the notion that one group is categorised on a hierarchy as being better than the other group … You are basically pejoratively putting someone down in a way that relates to your own position within society.

“You only have to look at the history of power imbalance between white people and people of colour, only have to look at history of slavery and colonisation to see this,” he said.

For Mansouri, it’s difficult to see how an incident could engender harm or injury on an individual if the subject belongs “to the majority white group in that society and the perpetrator is a person of colour”.

“We’re talking about London. We’re talking about someone who belongs to the Metropolitan police. It is very difficult to see how that is reinforcing an existing imbalance in power relationships.”