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Kerri-Anne Kennerley addresses racism row on Studio 10: "Let me make myself perfectly clear"

Kerri-Anne Kennerley addresses racism row on Studio 10: "Let me make myself perfectly clear"

Kerri-Anne Kennerley has opened up about the controversial “racism” dispute that occurred last week with Yumi Stynes.

Appearing on Studio 10 last week, the 65-year-old TV host and 43-year-old radio star butt heads as they discussed changing the date for Australia Day.

It didn’t take long for the conversation to escalate, as Kennerley questioned protesters about whether they had visited outback Australia to see where “children, babies, five-year-olds are being raped” – an issue that she believes takes precedence over the changing of the date.

Stynes responded by telling Kennerley that she was “sounding quite racist”, saying, “That is not even faintly true, Kerri-Anne. You’re sounding quite racist right now.”

Now, a week later, the 65-year-old Studio 10 host has broken her silence by writing an open letter for The Daily Telegraph, defending her choice of words.

“The ‘racist’ word became the burning headline … the spark that started the fire and what a burn it has been,” Kennerley wrote. “The definition of racism is considering another culture inferior or considering a culture superior. Abuse and violence whatever the culture is wrong and should be called out.”

But despite Kennerley standing her ground regarding her comments, she does believe her delivery “could have been smoother and clearer".

“So, let me make myself perfectly clear. I am talking about abuse here and now. That issue only. I can let others debate the merits of Australia Day,” she wrote. 

“To me, the much more pressing issue for not only the indigenous community but the nation as a whole is the horrific rape of children, babies and women in indigenous communities as reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The reports are online for all to see. I encourage you to read them. It’s simply mind-boggling.

“At no stage did I suggest that all indigenous communities or men were guilty. I simply asked what is being done to sort these horrendous crimes, which are much more pressing and important than protesting Australia Day,” she further added.

“How can people turn a blind eye to this? Where are the protests against these crimes? Isn’t this more important than arguing about the merits of a date for a public holiday?”

In her lengthy piece, Kennerley also touched on Stynes’ not showing up the next day, as she believed it “would have been walking into a trap".

“Yumi felt so strongly about the issue that when she was invited back the following day she, well, had the day off. ‘I’m not coming in because I really urgently want to lie around and do nothing,’ she said. Each to their own,” wrote Kennerley.

Do you agree with Kerri-Anne? Let us know in the comments below.