September 18-24: Watch the school that tried to end racism, without words, Fat Pizza | Illawarra Mercury



entertainment, entertainment, Free to Air TV, The school that tried to end racism, Lost for Words, Fat Pizza

Ending racism is no small goal, but one elementary school in Sydney won’t know how successful it has been in years. Racism is something that tends to take hold once a child reaches fifth grade. This is when he begins to gravitate around his own racial groups rather than hanging out in the playground with the same kids in his class, regardless of ethnicity. a program for children in grades 3 and 4 in the hope that it can counter some of their unconscious racial biases before they start to affect their conscious decision-making. Not surprisingly, most of the white children in the class do not understand the level of racism experienced by their friends from other ethnic groups. Being the least racially persecuted group, whites tend to assume that racism isn’t really that bad in Australia – because they haven’t experienced it. At least the kids on this show are fortunate enough to have their eyes peeled for the reality of racism in Australia, and with it, maybe get the chance to do something about it. Here’s a telling statistic for you: over 43% of Australians don’t have the reading and writing skills they need for day-to-day living. That’s almost half of the country’s adults – and we’re not talking about the inability to read a book or understand a report at work. This is what some of us would think of as basic things, like reading the screens on station platforms to find out where the next train is going, or figuring out a recipe in a cookbook. Or even a friend’s post on social media. It is often difficult for adults to get help, due to the shame factor – although with almost half the population in the same boat, there is no need to be ashamed. The people on the show decided to ask for help in the form of a crash course in literacy. It’s a show worth watching if you’re in that 43 percent – because it might offer some hope. And, if your literacy skills are good, it’s always worth looking to get a feel for how difficult it is in everyday life when you can’t understand the words in front of you. Back to business? It’s a shame. Because, really, the show that was meant to be scorching, irreverent and certainly not PC has been overtaken by the real world. Every day on social media people say outrageous and shocking things – often just to get a reaction. There was even a doofus from an American president who dropped some really horrible things out of his mouth. This creates problems for Fat Pizza. With the show’s efforts to be controversial now seeming outdated, all he has to do is fall back on his comedy. But the problem is, without that shock value to distract us, the truth of Fat Pizza is revealed. It’s just not very funny. There was a time when Fat Pizza had its place, especially showing groups of people who never watch TV shows (other than A Current Affair or the Australian real crime shows). It might be time for creator, director, screenwriter and actor Paul Fenech to try something else.




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