The Adelaide Zoo recently made a most disgusting mistake in trying to raise awareness of the plight of orangutans worldwide. Not being a reader of what is arguably one of the worst newspapers in Australia, South Australia’s Advertiser, I only heard about this through a snippet in the Weekend Australian this weekend.
The Adelaide Zoo made a call for redheaded women to appear alongside the Zoo’s orangutans in order to be photographed for an awareness campaign.
Not so bad, you might argue? Hmm. Well, the Zoo advertised “free entry for all rangas”.
Now, it might just be me. I could be overly sensitive to this type of thing, being a ginge myself and having endured all sorts of godawful taunts and comments throughout my life from everyone: school mates to family members. As with many other gingers, I wished my hair away fervently.
I have never been called a ‘ranga’ in all my days. The comment by some that it’s a ‘common name’ for a redhead shocked me utterly. Maybe it’s common in South Australia, but coming from a bush town in western Victoria I would have thought I’d heard them all. It’s not like the rednecks back home are particularly forgiving. Ranga common? Bullshit!
To my mind, calling a ginger a ‘ranga’ (in allusion to a redhead having the same colour hair as an orangutan) is the same as calling a black person an ape.
Whoever thought this up at the Zoo, and whoever thought it might be a good idea, ought to be brought to account on some level. It is not just poor public relations, and nor is it a faux pas; it is absolutely horrendous practise. Why not call on Asian people to appear alongside monkeys? It’s just as bad, in my humble opinion.
If you’re a ginge, it might be a good idea to boycott the Adelaide Zoo; on principle if for no other reason.