An anti-racism campaigner says Coon cheese is next on his hit-list after the Queensland government ruled a controversial grandstand being rebuilt in the state’s south would not be renamed after E.S. “Nigger” Brown.
Toowoomba Sports Ground Trust chairman John McDonald on Thursday said that while the grandstand bearing Brown’s name was to be demolished in coming days as part of an upgrade, the “N word” would be used on a plaque or statue at the new ground.
But late on Thursday, Sports Minister Judy Spence ruled it would be inappropriate to use the racist term in any way.
Spence said she had talked to Mr McDonald, and he agreed the word would not be used at all.
“I do not want the next generation of Queenslanders thinking that using the word nigger is acceptable,” she said.
Toowoomba academic Stephen Hagan, who campaigned against the name for almost a decade and even took his case to the United Nations, said his celebrations would be shortlived.
Hagan said he would now focus his time and effort on fighting Dairy Farmers’ Coon cheese.
“Initially, Dairy Farmers said it was named after Edward Coon, who revolutionised the speeding process of making cheese,” he said.
“But I’ve questioned the authenticity of that story.”
Formerly manufactured by Kraft, Hagan claims the cheese used to have a black wraparound and was named Coon as a joke.
“I want Dairy Farmers to show me the evidence of Edward Coon being honoured an honorary doctorate and what year he received that honorary doctorate,” he said.
“If they can prove to me that Edward Coon was a famous cheesemaker, I will drop my campaign.
“If they can’t do it, I’m going to fight them all the way, just like I did with Nigger Brown.”
Hagan said Spence’s decision to ban the word nigger from the Toowoomba Sports Ground was unexpected.
“I’ve fought this campaign for nine years and all reports made yesterday made some indication that (nigger) would still appear somewhere,” Hagan said.
“I fought the (Toowoomba Sports Ground Trust) in all the courts and they have not once given me one indication that they would be flexible in any way.”
McDonald said the contributions of former local councillor and Kangaroos representative Edward Stanley Brown would be recognised in an “appropriate” way.”
That sign was built in the 1960s … that wasn’t yesterday,” McDonald said.
Edward Stanley Brown was of Anglo-Saxon descent, and it is said he was nicknamed “Nigger” because of his fair complexion or after a brand of shoe polish.