Is Australia Racist? Racism in Australia…

It’s a question that isn’t easy for me to answer, being as I have a colour of skin that could easily pass for Australian. It’s only when I open my mouth and my thick Essex accent comes to the fore that anyone would discover that I’m actually English, or, as we are sometimes called here, a Pom.

A guy called John Oliver, the presenter of American TV programme “The Daily Show” thinks we are. He said so on his programme just the other day, although it is a satirical current affairs show, so maybe he’s just saying these things for a laugh, who knows?

Either way, he has described Australia as “comfortably racist“, or to quote him in full “Australia turns out to be a sensational place, albeit one of the most comfortably racist places I’ve ever been in. They’ve really settled into their intolerance like an old resentful slipper.

I listened to the recording, so I heard how he delivered his comments and you can too over at the Sydney Morning Herald. It was delivered with some humour, but is it a serious point, is Australia really racist?

racismLNP Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes just today said that Queensland, in particular, is a very inclusive state.

Refugees from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Congo, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Sudan have settled in Queensland,” he said and you can read more on that one in the Courier Mail.

So, what’s the truth?

Some time early in 2011, the University of Western Sydney completed a massive study which took 12 years to do and surveyed more than 12,000 people. You can read about their findings on the university’s Challenging Racism page of their website.

If you search for “is Australia racist” on the web, you will find various claims, such as “One in ten Australians is racist”. That one is based on the survey’s finding “Eighty-seven percent like cultural diversity, they see the benefit of it.” That means that 12% don’t, hence the one in 10 quote.

Elsewhere I saw it mentioned that almost half Australians are racist, this one is based on the finding that Anti-Muslim sentiment was running at 48.6 per cent.

Yet on Australia day of this year, this country welcomed a record new number of citizens. Queensland held the biggest ceremony, with almost 5000 new citizens from 120 different countries. 25% of Australia’s population are immigrants; Australia is A Nation of Immigrants.

If Australia is a racist country, it has a strange way of showing it. Personally, I have never witnessed any racial incidents here, but, of course, I know some ugly things have and will continue to happen. Surely there isn’t a country in the world that doesn’t have “some” racism? Every country has its idiots.

The debate over whether Australia is racist is well documented online, not really much more that I can add.

Except…

The view from an Indian migrant

A few weeks ago I got a couple of emails, both on the same day and both from people who have moved here from India. One was struggling to get a job and felt racism was at play. The other was from somebody just thanking me for running this website and saying how much he was enjoying his life here.

I replied to both of them, but to the second I mentioned the experiences of the first and asked “Do you think there is racism in Australia?

Here is his answer, which he has given me full permission to print…

Hi Bob

There is DEFINITELY NO Racism in Australia, but a lot of newcomers from Asia feel there is racism until they find a good paying job, a group of friends and most important they feel they are part of the Australian Community. But unfortunately all this takes TIME, and it is during this gap (we could term it the ‘gestation’ period) the human mind develops some negative traits, and the first one that comes is of being treated unfairly.

Let me tell you frankly, I have lived all my 56 years in India and 3 years in Australia. I have felt that the last 3 years spent in Australia are the ones where I have been treated fairly according to my capabilities and skills. I cannot say the say of my time in India, being treated unfairly is part of every Indian’s life every day in all spheres of life. The rich, the affluent, the politicians, the government officials, every one gets a preferential treatment, a humble hard working citizen is not treated on the same level.

So, I would suggest to those who move to live here to have patience and study how they could integrate into this society at the earliest, so that those around them will feel comfortable and lend a willing hand towards their problems. This convince them of the absence of Racism.

To tell you my story in short, I teach Iyengar Yoga (I am a Certified Teacher) and most of my students (rather 95%) are white Aussies. They have given me opportunity and encouraged me to be part of this beautiful multicultural society, where everyone gets treated equally in all spheres, everywhere.

Thanks for your time mate.

Good day.

Chandru Melwani

C H E E R S

……………….

Sound advice, I reckon, for anybody looking to move here and concerned about possible racism. I don’t fully agree with Chandru, as I said earlier, I don’t think there’s a country in the world that has NO racism, but it was interesting to hear his views about being treated fairly, something he didn’t feel happened to him in India but does happen here in Australia.

Well, here in Australia, “a fair go” is one of our catchphrases.

What’s your view? Do you think Australia is racist? Please feel free to comment below, but do make sure you abide by my comment policy. Over to you…

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{ 233 comments… add one }
  • Ratface November 23, 2016, 3:32 pm | Link

    Here’s why I hate Australians (Not spam):

    Website link removed by admin.

    • BobinOz November 23, 2016, 5:25 pm | Link

      I have removed your link as I will not allow you to promote your hate filled rant on my website.

  • max July 3, 2016, 8:25 am | Link

    G’Day Bob
    The question asked, as an Australian, am I racist?
    Yes I am but not in the way that the rest of the world thinks!
    I am not racist to a person due to colour or ethnic roots, I am racist to any group that refuses to join the community in general after they arrive here, I am very racist towards those that refuse to pull their own weight and only live on welfare, I hate those that would try to change my way of life.
    So many people try to gain entry the wrong way, jumping of boats etc, we can’t know who they are, and unfortunatly a few of them want to change ME, they want to change the law to allow Islamic law to be used, this scares me, they don,t come to australia because Australia is here, they come because I am here, The common Aussie, The people.
    I as a good person and My family (all Australians) is very open, I will invite a stranger home for a BBQ, I will help a newcomer to shift their furniture, I will give till it hurts if my neibours have a hard time and need help, no matter what colour they are.
    Yes I am racist, and I will remain racist.
    I will help protect you, as long as you are willing to do the same, I will respect your culture and religion as long as you do the same, If you can lable this as racist then I must be!

    • BobinOz July 3, 2016, 11:18 pm | Link

      If that’s the way that you are Max, then the word isn’t racist, I think we can say that you simply dislike or hate certain people.

      You dislike or hate people who do not pull their own weight and only live on welfare. You dislike or hate people who would want to try and change your way of life or impose their views on you.

      I am probably a bit the same, I don’t like these traits in people either.

      I think it only becomes known as racism when somebody naturally assumes by the colour of somebody’s skin, or by their religion, that they intend to impose their views/religion and/or live on welfare.

      That’s racism.

      Only you can know whether you are a true racist or whether you simply dislike or hate certain people. I agree with you entirely with your closing statement though, everybody should respect each other’s culture and religion.

    • Lahcen July 3, 2016, 11:20 pm | Link

      Oh please. Are your serious? Ok so I’m racist to your people because they tortured and nearly exterminated aboriginals who are the actual land Lord of Australia. You have no moral ground to talk smack like that homie.

  • mark July 3, 2016, 2:45 am | Link

    first day i arrived in Perth and tried to get into a pub i was refused entry and got told your kind are not allow in and got pushed and laughed at so i walked away but they didnt realized that i just moved into the same building and was paying $300 a night i was very surprised and my holiday was ruined and i had to move away from the city. but not all Australian are racists but out of all my 17 years in Australia i felt like 1week was alot and couldnt wait to move out of perth and back to brisbane. until now i have got no answers to why i was provoked but all i know is that the media is cooking up everything.

    • BobinOz July 3, 2016, 11:05 pm | Link

      I’m sorry to hear this happen to you Mark, I would have thought this sort of thing was highly unusual though. I never heard of anything like this.

      If I am reading your comment correctly, then it would seem this took place 17 years ago. That doesn’t make it acceptable, but I would like to think that things have improved a great deal here since then.

    • Lahcen July 3, 2016, 11:24 pm | Link

      Geez just reading what happened to you made me furious. If I were I’d go public and expose those retards. That’s like the sixties man. Honestly man I’m grateful for this blog because it changed my mind about moving to Australia. I’m happy in my country Canada. I invite you and your family to move here. I can guarantee you d never experience that

      • BobinOz July 5, 2016, 12:04 am | Link

        Lahcen, I wouldn’t let one comment of this nature change your mind about moving to Australia, what happened to Mark is extremely rare.

        Australia is a great country to live in, it’s multicultural, it’s certainly not like the 60s.

        Mark, maybe you can expand on exactly what happened to you, and when, and tell us more about what you feel about Australian now.

  • Oenone June 23, 2016, 5:32 am | Link

    Everyone will have a different opinion on this, depending on their personal experience. Here is my 2 cents’ worth:

    Case 1: I’d been trying to get a job in a real estate agency for a long time. Sent out many applications. I had a long last name (Greek background) and, just for the hell of it – because I’d heard about a social experiment on the news and wanted to try it out – I put a fake Anglo name on my resume and sent it out. Same qualifications and work experience, just different name. I got a call the very next day from a real estate agent wanting to invite me for interview. She even went so far as to e-mail me to get my correct phone number (as I had to tell her the number she’d called was incorrect). So much for the ‘no racism, just hundreds of applicants’ view; apparently, certain applicants will always get a look-in.

    Case 2: I was a TV extra for a while and met an Anglo chick who told me and a fellow extra (an Italian chick) quite plainly, that there was definitely a racist approach in the way TV extras were cast or recruited. She said she had an Italian friend who’d been with the same agency as her and after 18 months was still waiting for work, while she had regular work almost every week. What annoyed me most was she was sitting here telling me and this other Italian lady this while sounding almost happy about it; like it was just the way things were and we just had to accept it. Not surprisingly, she was cast as a cop, while I and the Italian-Australian girl were both called on to play criminals.

    You can easily rationalise these situations if you want to, giving all manner of reasons as to why racism wouldn’t or couldn’t be involved. But after decades of living in this country and seeing the same thing happen over and over again, a lot of us just won’t be fooled.

    One other thing I’d like to add: People generally feel more comfortable with those who share some life experiences with them, be they religion, culture, a common interest etc. Yet some people have the almost magical ability to overcome such differences and make themselves liked simply because of their enormous level of emotional intelligence, or social empathy. I therefore think that the ones who will find racism impacts them most severely – especially when it comes to finding employment – are those with limited capabilities in these areas i.e. those with poor communication skills, those on the autism spectrum, or those who are suffering from mental illness or a history of abuse or bi-polar. You can be accepted as an ethnic minority if you’re sporting a fantastic personality; but God help you if you’re of foreign extraction AND a social klutz.

    I really hope one day this will all change and that it will happen faster than in the US; because, looking at them, it’s been 200 years that the Africans have been in that country now (as long as our ‘Aussies’ have been here) and yet they’re still fighting racist attitudes.

    • BobinOz June 24, 2016, 1:05 am | Link

      Interesting point of view, and very well put forward, but I have to ask, are your two cases really examples of ‘racism’? Or should we be putting a different label on it?

      In your first case, is it not possible that the owner of the business would prefer somebody working for them for whom English is their first language? I’ve spoken to many people who have learned English as a second language and they can speak it very well, far better than I can speak their language, but I still do sometimes find it hard to understand what they are saying.

      That doesn’t make me racist, and I don’t think it makes an employer racist if he prefers to employ someone who does naturally speak the English language. Selling houses is all about communication and maybe the employer thinks that those who do have English as a first language can communicate better in that respect.

      Your second case is similar inasmuch as only the film makers/directors/whoever else is involved knows what kind of characters they want to play what parts. I’m not sure we can accuse them of racism if they have decided that they have no need for an Italian.

      For me, racism has to be more blunt than that. You have to sit at the back of the bus. You cannot enter this tavern and have a drink. You cannot come into this restaurant. That’s racism.

      Talking of restaurants and taverns, I would guess that any owner of such an establishment would have a preference toward employing a good-looking waitress or bar tender in preferences somebody who was, I can’t believe I’m going to say this out loud, ugly. We can’t call that racism, but I suppose we can call it prejudice. The business owner might call it business sense.

      I just think we have to be careful what we label as ‘racism’.

      You mentioned the US; I personally believe they have a massive problem out there with racism, in particular with the police shooting black people for, sometimes, almost no reason whatsoever.

      If Australia ever got as bad as that, I’d be fighting against it just like you are, but at the moment I think we just have the normal minimalistic racism that every country has to live with.

      • Lahcen June 24, 2016, 5:13 am | Link

        Interesting points you raise there bob. But what if the person was born in Australia and spoke perfect English but still carries a non English name¿ I’m sure there are plenty of cases like this. And the person who commented could very well be one of them… I remember a similar experiment was conducted by a French channel awhile ago. Sure enough all the applications with French names were getting calls and interview requests. whereas others were thrown in the trash as the hidden camera showed.

        • BobinOz June 24, 2016, 8:02 pm | Link

          Well, if that is the case then I would say that’s just unlucky. The problem we have here with the current lack of job opportunities is that recruitment departments are receiving 200 or 300 applications per job when they used to only get 20 or 30.

          They can’t possibly interview everyone or even read every CV. So they have to whittle it down and quickly. So they decide to chuck out certain things that don’t suit them, depending on what job it is they have on offer.

          They might decide to throw out all applications from people who live more than 50 km away from their business premises. Or they may decide to throw out everyone who doesn’t have a particular qualification, even though that qualification isn’t specifically needed for the task.

          And, in some cases as has been mentioned here, they may throw out everybody who doesn’t have a traditional Anglo-Saxon surname.

          I don’t think we can necessarily call this racism, but I’m pretty sure we can attach the label of discrimination to it. Even that is a bit harsh though, in my view, because these people are simply trying to whittle it down quickly.

          I’m sure there are quite a few employers who use quite discriminatory techniques to select their employees, for example, think of air hostesses, or cabin crew, or whatever they’re correctly called these days. I can think of loads of discriminatory criteria that could possibly be applied here, but I don’t think it would be right for me to go through the list here. I’m sure everyone else can think of them too.

  • Arsi May 29, 2016, 2:43 am | Link

    Dear Bob,
    I am considering applying for a bechlors programme at University of Wollongong. From what I’ve heard (from my relatives in Brisbane), Australia is quite a cool country but you can be sure to find idiots at subway or in the streets.
    I am really poised to study and settle in Aus but I’m not sure of the current prevailing situation in Wollongong (or rather, in NSW). Aus has always been a dream place for me (sunny beaches, good infrastructure, weekly bbq’s, best education – know what I mean?)
    From what I’ve heard, the best way to ‘meld in’ with the society is to master their accent. Is this true?
    Also I want to confidentially stay in toch with you through your e-mail, should I encounter any challenges during my study period.
    Thanks a lot and Kind Regards.

    • BobinOz May 30, 2016, 3:56 pm | Link

      No, I wouldn’t suggest trying to master an Australian accent, that would just sound fake. I’ve been here eight years and I wouldn’t dream of trying to talk with an Aussie accent, I’m from England and have an English accent and that’s the way it will stay.

      My daughter is a little different though, she’s been here since she was three so she will quite naturally develop an Australian accent, and nothing wrong with that.

      If you were to meet some kind of idiot in the subway or wherever and then said to him ‘g’day mate’ he would probably think you were taking the Mickey 🙂 Just be yourself, that’s the best way.

      If you get any problems during your study, just post them on here as a comment, that way others will be able to help as well as myself. Good luck, Bob

  • sam February 8, 2016, 9:01 pm | Link

    I think Australians are very racist towards black people. My grandfather is from Nigeria, he leaved in the States between the early 60’s and traveled there frequently in the late 70’s. I can’t really see much difference from what he told me about how African American were discriminated and treated in America during those years. They created negative stereotype about them. Won’t even sit close to them in a bus and really looked down at them. I am really offended when I read articles or comments posted by a white person about how Australians are not racist. First of all your not African and you don’t have any clue. One of my friend got a call for a job interview with one of the ICT consulting firms in Sydney. First thing the person that was supposed to interviewed him said when he got to the office was “Oh your African, I didn’t know that” 15 mins later he was told that the job was no longer available. All am saying is that for you to know if there is racism in Australia, you should look at it logically and not from your own perspective. Having lived in Chicago, New york and London, I can really say that there is racism in Australia. The only good thing is that Australians tend to be polite unlike the Americans.

    • BobinOz February 9, 2016, 8:19 pm | Link

      Did you actually read the full article Sam? It is largely based on the experiences of an Indian migrant living here in Australia, not mine. I am fully aware it is more difficult for me to judge, although having lived here myself for more than eight years now, I do have a right to an opinion.

      • Gillian October 30, 2016, 12:03 pm | Link

        You are white. It doesn’t matter if you have an accent. Anglo Saxons will not discriminate against you as they see you as one of them.
        Your blog post is offensive. What gives you the right to comment on racism in Australia? Get a clue.

        • BobinOz October 30, 2016, 7:47 pm | Link

          Sounds like you didn’t get past the first paragraph Gillian. As I explained to Sam above, the article is largely based on an Indian migrant living here in Australia. That aside, you appear to be suggesting that a white person has no right to comment on racism and I find that offensive.

  • esma ali December 23, 2015, 12:06 am | Link

    This question can be answered differently by just about anyone but throwing in my 2 cents. I’ve lived here my whole 23 years as a black muslim aussie, biggest minority as they come, I never lived anywhere but Australia. I can honestly say I have never been discriminated against and the racist remarks I have received can be counted on one finger and even those were laughable. Most Australians I believe are curious, I’ve gotten a few double takes especially when they realise I can speak perfect english. In light of the events that have occurred recently, I’ve heard plenty of stories of racism but none that have been aimed at myself but in saying that I think its also important to note that when one racist rears its ugly head there are always two others ready to defend. I work in a major metropolitan hospital in Melbourne and getting a job as someone else mentioned was not based on anything other than hardwork. So yes call me naive but I do believe Australia gives everyone a fair go no matter who they are or where they hail from. You’ll meet ignorant people anywhere you go, I’ve always laughed it off and never let it bother me. But thats just me 🙂

    • BobinOz December 24, 2015, 2:36 am | Link

      Fantastic to hear it, especially as you are from Melbourne which is probably the one city in Australia that appears to get accused of racism more than any other. Thanks for throwing in your 2 cents, it’s much appreciated.

  • Jimmy December 3, 2015, 9:01 pm | Link

    I was born Indian, immigrated to UK, became British, now getting immigrated to Aussie. Joining Brisbane soon. I saw this question and got interested to read because I too heard a lot that Aussies are racist. Heard lot of news about racist attacks in Sydney and Melbourne. But after reading all the comments, its mostly opinions. not many actual experiences.

    Here in England, lot of English are surprised when I say that I haven’t experienced any racism here yet. It might be area specific. My friends in Brisbane(Indians) haven’t said anything about racism yet.

    It might be there. As long as its not harmful, I wont bother. But Australia has a well managed immigration system. Hence only the cream of the world are allowed in. The most genius may be ignorant in everything except the one he has a deep knowledge in. People with a wider knowledge and wider thinking can never show racism. Its better to be completely ignorant about history. Its full of wrongdoings. It should not be taught in schools. Current society and current values are much better. What can be a solution to a drunken teenager shouting racist remarks from the back of a speeding car. I have nothing to offer if its not recurrent.

    • BobinOz December 4, 2015, 7:40 pm | Link

      I’m sure you will find Brisbane very welcoming and you will soon discover that racism is confined to a very small minority. Good luck with your move, I hope you settle in quickly.

  • Dr Omar October 1, 2015, 2:40 am | Link

    Dear Bob,

    Thank you a lot for bringing up this important subject. From my openion, Australia is the biggest racist nation on earth. Media and people go to the moon with their multicultralism and every one deserve a fair go propagandas! While in fact the whole country ozes racism everywhere, in the trains, hospitals, univetsities, jobs. I would like to share here my story in this horroble times, I got a PhD from a well ranked Australian Univetsity, and a friend of mine did the same. I have published more that 8 papers in high impact journals, so did my friend. I even got awarded by Irvine University California for one of my papers. We worked so hard and acheived more than anyone else at our school, our work load were almost like that of 4 PhDs relative to locals. We did not complain and we excelled. After graduation, we spent 1.5 year sending resumes and looking for jobs, and yet we did mot get an interview. All our juniors colleagues at the univetsity goy jobs even before graduation. Now me and my firend left the country to look for jobd overseas, simply because we do not want to live on centrelink the rest of our lives and we do not want to be servants for this cruel ideology.

    • BobinOz October 1, 2015, 4:30 pm | Link

      You are labelling Australia the world’s most racist country simply because you didn’t find a job? A little harsh, I think.

      • sam February 8, 2016, 9:10 pm | Link

        You really didn’t get his point. What he meant was that he is fully qualified to get a good job. Something must have gone wrong for a student with his academic qualification not to get a job in Australia where there is a skill shortage. Ask yourself this honest question assuming that he was “white” would it have been possible for him not to get a job 18 months after graduation. Not even an entry level role

        • Pip February 8, 2016, 9:30 pm | Link

          I would hazard a guess that he didn’t get a job interview due to his lack of written English skills. If his rèsumè and application were written in a similar manner to his post then I imagine they went straight in the bin. Anyone, of any race or background applying for employement at that level would be expected to have a certain level of written English.

          • BobinOz February 9, 2016, 8:22 pm | Link

            I fully got his point Sam, but there can often be many reasons why somebody is unsuccessful at interview. Pip has pointed out one such possibility, just because he didn’t get the kind of job he wanted does not make Australia the most racist country in the world.

  • Kholoud September 9, 2015, 6:35 pm | Link

    As for me, I am Asian, reverted to Islam 10 years ago. I am currently living in multi cultural Islamic modern country. Of course, like in any other places there is racism here. Here racism can be encountered from Arab to Asian, White to other nationalities, religion to another religion, etc.

    Sometimes I do encounter racist people and it depends how you handle the situation. I do not think it is the question of “is Australia racist”, rather ” are Australian racist”. Australia is very open to multicultural society whereas I do not think all Australians understand this.

    There are times that I think twice to immigrate to Australia especially when I see videos of people in Australia mocking Muslims.I can say that religion Islam is the most misunderstood religion in the world because of what media is portraying about us. They thought that whatever one Muslim do, applies to all Muslims.

    Well in fact, my visa is under process and I am still going to immigrate together with my family. Unless I hear that Australia bans Muslim or Asian, I will still consider immigrating.

    I know I can not please everybody. But why should I bother….

  • Warwick August 7, 2014, 4:09 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    all over the world the newspapers are running stories about the drunken louts who got on a bus full of Jewish schoolkids and shouted “Heil Hitler” and “We will cut your Jewish throats..”
    Lets hope that the Aussie Jews adopt a different course of action from the Jews in Europe who allowed themselves to be meekly herded onto cattle trains to be sent to their doom.
    Let us hope that the Aussie Jews fight like lions.

    • BobinOz August 7, 2014, 6:45 pm | Link

      Actually, let us hope that it’s a one-off incident as it seems to have been. Half a dozen drunken teenagers terrorising schoolkids in the middle of the afternoon, what is a matter with these people?

      I hear they were arrested at 3:30 AM this morning, still too drunk to make a statement, but hopefully they will be charged in due course and made an example of. Well, I can hope, can’t I?

  • jan July 13, 2014, 2:27 pm | Link

    UH…. Ya think you can update this question any? Well it really seems to be “played out” so how about something more more current….. like… “Should Aboraginals be denied ANYTHING in their native land?” Get real and ask REAL questions. LOL I daare you.

    • BobinOz July 13, 2014, 11:33 pm | Link

      I assume you are talking to me Jan? You want me to change the question? That’s not really how it works, this is a blog, we don’t change it as it goes along. That would be like changing entries in your diary.

      You want me to ask real questions, and you offer the suggestion of “Should Aboraginals be denied ANYTHING in their native land?”

      Are you sure?

  • Mary June 10, 2014, 9:50 am | Link

    Hello,
    I’ve been a little concerned about this now. I talked to someone from Sydney today and he said that people are quite racsist towards Indian/Sri Lankan looking people. I am German/Austrian and am moving there so i have no idea how they fell about me but my boyfriend is from England, has a white father and a tamil mother and definitely looks Sri Lankan. We are moving there in a month because of his Msc of Science and I honestly never thought about his looks being a problem until today now I am very worried.
    Hope to hear honest pointers on how people in Perth are towards people with dark skin.

    Best,
    M.

    • UKAussi June 10, 2014, 10:35 am | Link

      I have been in Sydney now for a month and in certain areas there are very large numbers of immigrants from the Indian region.
      I believe the problem may be due to many of them NOT assimilating themselves and changing to the Australian way of life and culture but rather sticking to their previous culture. This will always cause resentment and “discrimination” in any country, something I saw a lot when growing up in England with Indian and Pakistani immigrants.
      I spoke to a few “white” friends who have lived here most their life and they confirmed the same.

  • Roger December 20, 2013, 3:31 pm | Link

    Gerry, thank you. Up to a point, you are of course right. But don’t forget it’s the very people that our young and impressionable look up to who should demonstrate good behaviour. Cricket is only one arena where racism is evident. Professional sport in general, shock jockeys on your local radio and the and unnecessarily many parliaments Australia seems to need are obvious others.

  • Roger December 19, 2013, 3:14 pm | Link

    I’m Australian of European background and I have to say I’m beginning to worry about those nasty rough (and white, I might say) Australian cricketers who are being so rude to our visitors from UK. On the field, there appears to be racism, both arrant and increasing, between persons of the same cultural background. Apart from diminishing our image abroad, I don’t think this behaviour is right in any situation. The Government should do something about it.

    • BobinOz December 20, 2013, 12:57 pm | Link

      I can’t comment on this one Roger, I’ve not been watching the cricket so I have no idea what’s been happening.

    • Gerry Georgatos December 20, 2013, 1:53 pm | Link

      Roger, for racism to be understood and reduced, preferably eliminated, we have to start at the bottom end, not the top end. If we get it right for those who are afflicted by it the most, for the most vulnerable and assuaged, then we’ll get it right for everyone. Much respect, Gerry

  • Janet December 12, 2013, 6:29 pm | Link

    Have a read of this and I hope you come away with the understanding that time will unfold contextual perspectives: €>>> and in the mean while the HATE persists & the racist discrimination prevails…. We should just smile and act happy? YOU are. CRAP!

    • Gerry Georgatos December 12, 2013, 7:47 pm | Link

      A premise of a humane civilisation, where it can only burgeon from within the coalescing of people, is to first do no harm – but does everyone follow this premise? I think not. Hence we strive to bring this about, despite the time it will take, generations subsumed, but in this unfolding we strive. Ultimately, the means to the end is imperative.

  • Gerry Georgatos December 11, 2013, 7:50 pm | Link

    Have a read of this and I hope you come away with the understanding that time will unfold contextual perspectives: http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/australias-federal-parliaments-still-reflect-a-white-australia,5978

    • UKAussi December 12, 2013, 1:51 am | Link

      Whereas I agree with the aspects of this article that relate to how hard it will be to change the “White Australia Policy”, mainly because many people who put it in place are still alive or affecting those around them, I would disagree with the reasoning behind why we do not see as many “non-whites” in Parliament.

      How people “WIN” seats varies between political structures but Australia is very similar to the UK. As many of you of UK ancenstry or familiar with the last 25 years or so of UK politics will know is that just because you have 10,20 or 30% of the vote does not mean you will have that percentage of seats as was very apparent for the SDLP in the 90’s. Indeed, I believe in ’94 when I left the UK they had around 20-25% of the popular vote but only 3 or 4 seats in Parliament.

      Unitil the MAJORITY of people in each seat vote for a “non-white” candidate, you will not see a signifcant change. Indeed, what was not mentioned in that article was the number of “non-white” candidates who actually stand up and make a serious attempt at representing their electorate, that would have helped explain some of what was said.

      I still believe that in every society founded by Anglo-Saxons you will still have some form of racism, or more accurately “descrimination”, against those who are not of the same origin. In fact, I would go so far as to say that almost EVERY society in the world has descrimination against outsiders, as this is part of human nature, to be wary of something that is not “the norm” or something that may affect their way of life. It will take time for people to accept outsiders, even if they were actually living there before them (Southern Africa was/is similar), and especially in an economic climate like today where it is “survival of the fittest”.

      NOTE – as mentioned before I am a 40+ white Anglo-Saxon born in the UK and lived in Australia as a kid in the 70’s and now the US for 19 years and I personally believe everyone is equal and indeed work in a team of 5 where I am the only “white” (others are black, asian, hispanic and middle-eastern). I do however take issue with those who move to a new country and do not embrace and follow the culture and traditions of that country, but rather continue to follow their own and try to force others to also follow them.

  • civicblade December 10, 2013, 9:56 pm | Link

    This evening, while walking back to my apartment after dinner, it happened.

    I was on the receiving end of a racist taunt.

    A caucasian youth in the back seat of a car driving past shouted out “Get back on the boat” to me and my family.

    I am living in Hawthorn East and Camberwell area, supposedly the better suburbs in Melbourne.

    Suddenly, I am now worried about the safety of my wife and my toddler son. Migrants who had experienced racist remark or taunts told me to not worry about these things as these events are isolated incidents and rarely bring about any violence or further verbal abuse.

    I am not too sure about this although I have never experienced anything remotely racist at work (multi-cultural work environment).

    After this incident, I feel that I am not welcomed in Australia. Maybe this feeling will pass.. I don’t know only time will tell.

    • BobinOz December 11, 2013, 3:09 pm | Link

      Very unpleasant, that’s for sure. But I would not let the actions of one cowardly idiot driving past in a car taint your view of life in Australia. As your friends have said, these events are usually isolated incidents and from your own experience there have been no problems at work.

      Every country has idiots I’m afraid, don’t let this one get at you.

      Cheers, Bob

    • Gerry Georgatos December 11, 2013, 7:48 pm | Link

      You are welcomed in Australia, and in time it will unfold that everyone will welcome everyone.

  • Gerry Georgatos December 7, 2013, 7:10 am | Link

    Thanks Janet. Ninga Mia is a tragically perfect example of racism, racism by neglect, racism by omission, racism by marginalisation, racism whether covert or otherwise, where peoples languish nearby prosperity enjoyed by all others. Pastor Geoffrey Stokes has much to say about the racism that leads families and young children to sleep under cardboard and corrugated iron, Ninga Mia is without water and electricity. But Kalgoorlie-Boulder is not alone with a Ninga Mia, right throughout the nation there is a shame that our mainstream media barely reports other than in a speckle of short and sometimes skewed documentaries or broadcasts. The tragedies in the Northern Territory, in the Kimberley, in the Pilbara, in the Western and Central Deserts, in the APY, in the far west of NSW and in the far west and north of Queensland should have long been remedied, and the easy answer is equality. Much respect, Gerry

  • Janet December 7, 2013, 6:11 am | Link

    Meant to include you too Warwick

  • Janet December 7, 2013, 6:06 am | Link

    @ Gerry Georgatos: Thank you for your honest input! Your facts, your reports and your writings are truly needed. For and others, including oz who share the same delusions, I ask: Can you even say racism? Well, try reading some current facts as reported by Mr. Georgatos, try getting yourselves out of denial and see if you
    can say Ninga Mia, without blaming the victims.

  • Gerry Georgatos December 6, 2013, 8:09 pm | Link

    The veils and layers of racism are myriad, and within these layers many are caught up in, complicit in any number of ways, while others are significant in driving hostile racist agendas. Statistics do speak strongly, but often go unheralded. 30 per cent of Australia’s prison population is comprised of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders, despite them comprising only 2.6 per cent of the total national population. This is racialised imprisonment. Australia incarcerates its Aboriginal adult males at six times the rate that South Africa incarcerated its Black adult males in the final years of apartheid – in Western Australia, one of Australia’s backwaters of racism and of social injustices, this rate rises to nine times the apartheid rate. 43 per cent of the Western Australian prison population is comprised of Aboriginal peoples, and in the Northern Territory this rises to 83 per cent. Aboriginal peoples suicide spates and rates are among the world’s highest. According to the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index Australia is ranked number 2 (for social wealth and public health) while if we standalone Aboriginal peoples, their ranking would be 122nd. Racism by neglect, with covert or otherwise. Australia’s parliaments and boardrooms do not reflect the demography of Australia, multicultural and Aboriginal. 90 per cent of our parliamentarians are Anglo-Celtic-Saxon, and 90 per cent of them with more than century of familial history. Political parties have failed to affirm the demography of Australia and still hang on to Anglocentric cultures (of favour dispensation) and only through assimilation will they slowly change – but change will come, this is inevitable. Australia still continues a hostile denial of its racial and racist identity and this affects the national consciousness. It has skewed the debates on Asylum Seekers, created hostilities and divides, the type that lead to Cronulla riots and the types that have generated underclasses or migrant, first and second generation, poverty – alienating them and creating hardship for them from the beginning of life. Racism is a phenomena across the planet, but also unique to regions of the world. Streams of consciousness divided humanity, led to eugenics, led to apartheid, and White Australia was part of this collectivised proposition. To suggest that Australia has remedied its racist identities because it is increasingly populated by rising numbers of other cultures – of peoples born overseas – or because of hybrid and multiple identities is wrong. The embers of racism are a long way from being extinguished but the prosperity of hope is in this, that this will one day be the case.

    I have lived racism my whole life but also studied racism academically, and with substantive research, and my work does not seek to make hostage of perpetrators and victims, but to understand racism and define the ways forward, for all of us.

    Gerry Georgatos – you may wish to consider some articles by me published on various sites, including The Stringer – thestringer.com.au

  • UKAussi December 6, 2013, 4:24 pm | Link

    So an interesting conversation with a online gaming buddy I have who is a sales manager for a large company in Sydney brought up what I think is what likely ( but do not know for sure as I do not live there) exists in many parts of Australia and I think I may have mentioned (and others have too) is that there is still a level of discrimination amongst the older population if you are not a white Caucasian. He had a great sales rep that was Indonesian but he had a large customer who refused to see him because of what he looked like.
    It exists in every country in the world most likely, and is not limited to white against black or white against Asian. The opposite occurs in many of the countries around the world, which my very white uncle experienced against himself whilst working in many African countries as well as the Middle East.

    So yes it does still exist in some people in some parts of Australia but it is no longer an overwhelming consensus amongst the majority, just as racism against black is no longer the consensus amongst the majority of people in the US but very much exists in certain areas.
    Things change over time. I know from personal experience as a kid in Oz in the late 70’s where women were still not allowed in many bars in Australia, even in the major cities, but that has changed. I would never be moving back to Oz with my wife and 2 daughters if I thought otherwise.

  • David Nixon December 6, 2013, 10:14 am | Link

    Laws put in place for a stupid race of people unable to manage aspects of their lives?? I think that says it all.

    A colonial argument that belongs in a museum. But that’s the problem, its still being used in Australia.

    And yes, I’ve done my homework and the more people that do the sooner we get this kind of cultural racism chucked in the bin,.

    • BobinOz December 6, 2013, 2:14 pm | Link

      David, david, David Nixon, If you could use the same name every time that would be helpful, thank you, that way we know you are the same person.

  • UKAussi December 6, 2013, 2:11 am | Link

    Interesting to read the opinions and compare them. It is often quite clear which people have actually research the various subjects and have the intelligence to understand the various influential factors that come into affect in both ancient and modern cultures. There are many cultures/societies (mostly in the 3rd world) today that are extremely immature or outdated and, for the lack of a better word, “stupid” when they come into contact with our modern society.

    What some of you are calling “racist” policies may indeed have originally stemmed from “racism” but in fact are based purely on the abilities, or inabilities, of a group of people to abide by rules or manage certain aspects of their own lives. Similar rules are in affect on “Native American” reservations here in the US but the HUGE difference is that most native americans choose to educate themselves and their children and to advance their society. Other societies in this world choose NOT to advance their society and a great many more just do not have the resources to be able to advance their society even though they want to. Just look at the many parts of Africa and SE Asia.
    Suffice to say, you can rant and rave and make “generalized” comments but if you ignore the facts and information being given to you then you are simply plain ignorant and people will ignore you… which I will now do.

    btw, I live in California and have done for almost 20 years so on the other subject of racism here in the US it is still present against the hispanic population, but nothing in comparison the the blatant and ignorant nature of what you will see in the “deep south”. I would advise against anyone who is not a white Caucasion visiting many of these areas of the US as any run in with local police (who are almost always VERY white) will not end well and you WILL be treated differently and unfairly.

    • BobinOz December 6, 2013, 2:12 pm | Link

      Suffice to say, you can rant and rave and make “generalized” comments but if you ignore the facts and information being given to you then you are simply plain ignorant and people will ignore you… which I will now do.

      – Do you mean all of us? 🙂 If not, you probably need to tell us who you are actually replying to. Cheers, Bob

      • UKAussi December 6, 2013, 4:08 pm | Link

        No Bob, not all of you, just one of you whom I choose to ignore as he chooses to ignore actual facts. I contribute and comment on a few different postings.

  • david December 5, 2013, 11:27 pm | Link

    Yes great isn’t it that they are supporting the idea that aboriginal people should decide for themselves on alcohol restrictions. A pity though there’s a racist law put in place by the Federal Government (not Queensland) in the first place that needs to be opposed. That’s the point isn’t it and its one of many such laws that are not going to go away anytime soon

    And what does strongly intimates mean? what aboriginal elders and what dysfunctional communities? Whatever happened to asking the people affected what they needed?

    Or do you believe what the last person posted, that some people; a complete race of people in this particular case, can’t help themselves and need others who know better, to make their decisions for them? Racism mate.

    If you really want everyone to have a more informed opinion your readers (and you if you care to) may also want to google the following.
    Aboriginal deaths in custody
    Aboriginal suicide rates
    Aboriginal over representation in prisons
    Aboriginal health and life expectancy

    Your jumping up and down comment is precisely the response I described on my first post, to any challenge on the multicultural paradise pushed by PR Australia.

    • BobinOz December 6, 2013, 2:07 pm | Link

      David, you described an incident in a bottle shop which you said was racist. I have merely pointed out to my readers that in my opinion it was not a racist incident, it was the person working in the bottle shop following the law.

      The law is in existence mainly at the request of senior aboriginal elders and of course it has to be a “law” introduced by Federal Government otherwise that person working in the bottle shop would not be able to enforce it.

      Under those circumstances it was certainly not a racist incident, it was somebody complying with the law. When I was in Alice Springs I went into a bottle shop, before I could buy anything I had to give them my driving licence which was photocopied and put on file.

      That’s not racism either, that was the bottle shop complying with the law for that region.

      Your response to me for simply pointing that out is to accuse me of being the type of person you describe in your first post when you said “or the person concerned gets insulted and shouted down.”

      I have neither insulted you or shouted you down, I just pointed out some facts.

      Of course, now you want to widen the debate and ask us all to Google various subjects, here’s what I found from the Australian Bureau of Statistics…

      “In June 2009, the age standardised imprisonment rate for Indigenous prisoners was 1,891 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population, compared to 136 non-Indigenous prisoners per 100,000 adult non-Indigenous population. Twenty-five per cent of all prisoners in Australia in 2009 were Indigenous.

      Of the 74 deaths in all forms of custody in Australia during 2007, 12% or 9 deaths were of Indigenous people. The largest number of deaths in custody recorded since 1990 was in 1997 (105, of which 15 were deaths of Indigenous people). The largest number of deaths in custody of Indigenous people was in 1995 (22 deaths of Indigenous people from a total of 87 deaths in custody).”

      Source: ABS

      You will argue that there are more aboriginals in prison because of discrimination, but there is a possibility it’s because they commit more crime. I don’t know the answer to that, I’m just offering it as a possibility. Maybe, if they do commit more crime, it’s because of alcohol. And maybe that’s why those senior aboriginal elders prefer to have the alcohol restrictions in place.

      What the above figures do show though is that people die in custody, whether they are aboriginal or not and there is certainly no evidence here that proportionally more aboriginals die in custody than non-aboriginals.

      • David Nixon December 6, 2013, 2:43 pm | Link

        Racism isn’t just personal, its also institutional and if you read my last comment you will see I clarified my point.

        And no you are completely wrong, these were not implemented by the Federal Government at the request of aboriginal elders. That is inaccurate, they were part of nasty and racist initiative called the Northern Territory Intervention, aimed just at aboriginal people and communities and I make that point just so your readers don’t get the wrong idea.

        A recent comment on this page suggested, no not suggested, stated that aboriginal people were stupid and needed these laws because they don’t know any better. my response was

        – Laws put in place for a stupid race of people unable to manage aspects of their lives?? I think that says it all.
        A colonial argument that belongs in a museum. But that’s the problem, its still being used in Australia –

        Aboriginal people make up 2% of our population, yet as you state they make up 25% of the prison population. And just by looking at the figures you have produced on deaths in custody you can see the proportion of aboriginal people dying is far higher than 2%

        And while we’re looking at these grim statistics how about this one. 1.6 per cent of all Australians die by suicide, but for Aboriginal people its more than 4.2 per cent of all deaths. That’s shocking and we should be collectively ashamed of ourselves.

        Are you, like others on this page, suggesting that aboriginal people have an inherent problem with coping and alcohol and need white people to implement federal laws, that discriminate against and are aimed specifically for them, for their own good? Because if you are that’s racist and I can’t think of clearer example of it.

        No I’m not trying to widen the debate. This blog says Is Australia Racist, and everything I’ve written and if geared to illustrate the answer. Yes It Is.

        Using language like jumping up and down isn’t exactly objective is it? But its clear that you took some time and care with your reply so thanks for that.

        • BobinOz December 9, 2013, 2:21 pm | Link

          Well, who ever brought the law in and for whatever reason, it does appear that senior aboriginal elders like the idea that it is in place. Why you are repeating recent comments on this page and your response I don’t know, I am fully aware of what is going on on this page.

          You brought up the subject aboriginal deaths in custody, I was just pointing out to you that actually more non-aboriginal people die in custody in Australia than aboriginals proportionately to those being held.

          As for the suicide rate for aboriginal people, yes, it is shocking and I would certainly hope something is being done to address that. And maybe, just maybe, (I don’t know) the restriction of alcohol is part of what’s being done. If the domestic violence that has been documented above is fuelled by alcohol, then it’s not inconceivable that a good proportion of those committing suicide are victims of that violence. Also alcohol, as you know, is a depressant. Maybe aboriginal people are taking their own lives whilst under the influence of alcohol because of this.

          I’m not stating these things as a fact, I’m just wondering if they are a possibility.

          You ask if I am suggesting that aboriginal people have an inherent problem with coping with alcohol? No, personally I am not, I do not have the medical skills or in-depth knowledge to do so. But others with that kind of knowledge are saying that kind of thing, see my quote from my comment December 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm.

          As for widening the debate, let me explain exactly what I meant by that. You came in here and described an incident in a bottle shop which you felt was racist. I simply pointed out to you that in my opinion it’s not as simple as that.

          By that I meant it wasn’t a case of an aboriginal walking into a bottle shop and the assistant thinking “Hey, great! A non-white, think I’ll ask him for ID and all sorts of stuff because I’m racist and this would be really great fun make me feel superior.”

          It’s more complicated than that, that’s my point. That’s all I wanted to get across.

          Since then you’ve been attacking me like some kind of Rottweiler; well, you are barking up the wrong tree. Whatever your problem is, I am not a part of it.

  • Warwick December 5, 2013, 9:51 pm | Link

    For a moment, try looking at this situation from the viewpoint of the women and children in the Aboriginal communities.
    When are the Aboriginal women most likely to be bashed by the men, most likely to be murdered by the men.
    When the men are drunk.
    When are the Aboriginal children most likely to be raped, most likely to be sodomized, by the adult men?
    When the men are drunk.
    Whose voices are strongest, in the Aboriginal communities, asking that the men, particularly, be restricted in their drinking?
    The Aboriginal women.
    If white men were to drink like fish, and bash their wives, and sodomize and rape their children, what would happen?
    At the least they would be jailed and separated from the women and children they abuse.
    The black men get off pretty lightly.
    Does the general community (and the Aborigines are a part of the general community) have a responsibility to the women and children who are being bashed and raped by the drunken men?
    Of course we do.
    Do the Aborigines really belong to the general community?
    Of course they do.
    In the remote places, the Aborigines have entirely lost their former hunter/gatherer skills. They demand, and receive, unemployment and other social security benefits. Without these they would die.
    But the aborigines are special and very difficult cases.
    Wherever you go in the cities of Australia you will find huge numbers of Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Malay, Indian and various other people of non-European races. The harmony is wonderful.
    If you want to focus on the Aboriginal people, forget about a “rights” based approach; that’s been tried for fifty odd years and the results, in terms of improvements in the living standards of the Aborigines, are negligible.
    There are certain feelings of moral superiority engendered in the minds of people who know nothing and enjoy nothing as much as feeling morally superior, but the poor old Aborigines, the women and children particularly, are slipping further and further down into a living hell.

    • BobinOz December 6, 2013, 1:36 pm | Link

      I fully understand the point you are making Warwick, but maybe you didn’t need to be so graphical, if you don’t mind me saying.

      When I was in Alice Springs the other year, I was quite shocked reading the local paper to see that there were three or four stories involving serious domestic violence the four days I was there. Obviously I can’t remember them now, but I found this quote just now…

      “In 2009/10, more than 840 Aboriginal women had assault-related admissions to hospital in the NT, compared with 27 “other” women. In the year ending June 2012, the rate of “assault offences” recorded in Alice Springs was nearly six per 100 people (almost double the NT average). 68% of domestic violence is alcohol related. The rate of domestic violence assaults is 98% greater than the NT average.”

      That’s from Alice Springs News.

  • David December 5, 2013, 5:11 pm | Link

    In some areas its by choice in others it isn’t, so no its not all at the request of aboriginal elders and yes of course its racist for heavens sakes because its aimed at aboriginal people not white people.

    And who the hell are you, me or anyone else to tell another race that you/I/we believe they have an inherent problem with alcohol so you/I we’ve decided they can’t have access to it? White and black Australia has more than its fair share of alcohol but its not the same law for whites is it? Two laws but not racism….really??

    Its all straight up written law and order and there’s no need for interpretation, no grey areas, no it would seem. Its all written down in black and white for everyone to see.

    Campbell Newman, Premier of Queensland wouldn’t need to propose that aboriginal communities be given a choice in the matter. But Darwin is in the Northern Territories not Queensland and anyway these are Federal laws not State laws, which federal government want to extend for another 10 years.

    Its a law that discriminates on the basis of race; its racist pure and simple, same as Income management for Aboriginals not whites, same as pornography filters, compulsory acquisition of townships etc etc.

    And no, I’m sorry mate, Racism isn’t complex at all, its pretty bloody simple – People being victimised by ignorant bullies because they are different.

    • BobinOz December 5, 2013, 5:59 pm | Link

      Maybe you didn’t read the article I gave your link for, that’s up to you. Here’s the first two paragraphs…

      THE Northern Territory’s new Chief Minister has become the second conservative leader to break ranks with senior indigenous leaders and argue in favour of easing alcohol restrictions in Aboriginal communities, declaring that prohibition has failed and ignored the real problems.

      Terry Mills joins Queensland Premier Campbell Newman in supporting moves that would give communities the choice to reintroduce alcohol, previously prohibited from the most dysfunctional communities.

      As you can see, if you read it, Campbell Newman, despite being Premier of Queensland (where restrictions are present in the Torres Strait and elsewhere) is supporting the idea that aboriginals decide for themselves on alcohol restrictions.

      The article also strongly intimates (in just those two opening paragraphs) that senior indigenous leaders prefer to keep the restrictions in place. Are they being racist against their own people?

      No, of course not, so why do they want the restrictions?

      I think primarily it is because of the health issues. If you have time, read this quote…

      Indigenous Australians die earlier than non-Indigenous Australians as a consequence of harmful alcohol use and alcohol induced conditions, with approximately 7% of Indigenous Australian deaths resulting from such use. The Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision estimated that alcohol-related death rates were between five and 19 times higher for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians in Qld, SA, WA and the NT. Map 1 illustrates the regional variations – ranging from 0.8 to 14.6 per 10,000 – in the rate of alcohol-related mortality (1998-2004) within the Indigenous Australian population. Table 1 presents the key alcohol-related causes of deaths for Indigenous Australians.

      I got that from healthinfonet and that is where you can see those maps and tables.

      You can jump up and down and shout racism as much as you like, I just want the rest of my readers have an informed opinion.

    • Lui December 5, 2013, 7:55 pm | Link

      I see the point of yours, but see Bob’s point of view too.

      I come from a country where similarly to Australia there re problems with the aboriginals,although they re called slightly different.
      There were good relationship between non-aboriginals and the aboriginals even in the politics,but that last not really long.
      Was there discrimination when the mr ‘aboriginal’ couldn’t follow up the constitution? (ah white man’s constitution…what should we live in the aboriginals constitution? Once the aboriginal came in the parliament,the regent constitution is what the majority abides to)… oh wait,how about the aboriginal himself not really interested in the ‘modern issues’ and are happy with a piece of land and some alcohol?
      What should the other politicians have done in that case? Forbid the Mr aboriginal and his people to drink alcohol and smoke some weed? That wouldn’t be legal.

      you know, even if discrimination exists stronger than we regular people can actually see, we have to look at the other side too: many times the other side isn’t simply interested. ‘one can bring a horse down to the river,but one can’t force the horse to drink from the water’.

      It’s normal to proceed in life with what we consider of our interest, which in this case here and in many countries like in the U.S where many aboriginal descendents were given a basic structure but they paid no interest in that sort of opportunity. Simply not interested in academic or other modern social life,they had the choice,as alcohol is their choice and guess in which direction they re going? People will carry on and progress in life. Who wants to live in a hut, with mud on the walls, clothes smelling burnt wood, killing on the daily basis wild animals to feed on’….? People will get further with what they believe is better(talking about life)

      The world is like this, just look how many individuals will collect a bunch with stones and make a castle while some will only see it as a pile of stones.

      Culturally speaking is the same. Some cultures see no value in owning a car,while the most common today is ‘wanting to have cars culture’. Some see ‘land” as the main thing to achieve,some simply want gold, camels, goats or so.

      We demand a fair planet to live in,but we forget that we are still humans, we fail,we re imperfect and will favor those who are more like ourselves. We see in our own ‘perfect private school’ I had the chance for a small period of time to study in an expensive private school…just to see the same bullying as i witnessed in the poor area’s school. That wasn’t against someone totally different, who commits bullying aren’t interested in the ‘different’ type,they are interested on the weak,even when this weak person is ‘white’ rich, pretty (and all those things that we learn from our pop start culture/fashion world about who is and who isn’t pretty)

      Racism is everywhere, but even those who call themselves ‘victims’ are many times also judgmental themselves. (Near the black people community I spent 3 years,my nickname was straight away given as ‘the most white’ ”whitty”.They called me ‘whitty’ because I was clearly not their skin tone, and guess what happened, nothing.They re still friends of mine after 25 years)

      who am I? not an expert,just an average joe, but am 38, have in my life already lived from the ‘clay floor in the house’ to the ‘sparkling marble flooring in my sitting room and bathroom’.
      Married previously to a humanitarian worker(previously volunteer) that’s at the moment in Philippines due the catastrophe.

      Like she always said: ‘people can’t always be helped, many of them aren’t simply interested at what we want to give or the salvation we want to give,they grab some food, some ‘funding’ and live in their own mind, spirit and beliefs’. … I 100% agree.

      • BobinOz December 6, 2013, 1:28 pm | Link

        Lui, fascinating reading and a very interesting point of view, I like what you’re saying. Thanks for the contribution to this debate.

  • David December 5, 2013, 3:19 pm | Link

    No we don’t want to be American and just like anyone else I don’t take kindly to anyone shouting their mouth off about what they do or don’t give damn about in our culture, particularly from someone using their own country as a paragon of tolerance and multiculturalism, when it locks up more of its people than any other nation (including China) in the World,

    But he’s raised some valid points about the big fat blind spot Australia has about racism in its own backyard. As soon as anyone says something that questions the multi cultural Australia PR message that gets touted to the rest of the World, people either pretend they can’t hear the question or the person concerned gets insulted and shouted down. What a pathetic way to carry on.

    I just got back from Darwin where I watched white people walk into a bottle shop, no questions asked, then a mature black person walk into the same bottle shop, stopped and asked to show an identity card to security staff. It wasn’t an isolated incident either because two days later I saw exactly the same thing happen. On one of these occasions there was a big, middle aged drunk white man in the courtyard shouting and creating problems for the staff. One nation, two laws and two attitudes for two different cultures and that’s racist, from the highest levels right down to your local shops. You can’t argue with that.

    • BobinOz December 5, 2013, 4:04 pm | Link

      David

      Before your bottle shop story grows legs, I think I need to point out that what you witnessed was almost certainly not racism or discrimination. I suspect your mature black person was aboriginal and as such they are restricted when it comes to the purchase of alcohol in certain parts of the country.

      It depends who you read and/or believe, but from what I have read it would seem that these restrictions are at the request of senior aboriginal elders on the basis that the aboriginal people have an inherent problem with the tolerance of alcohol which can lead to (I think) medical problems.

      If you check this article from The Australian you’ll see what I mean and it clearly shows that Queensland’s current Premier, Campbell Newman (not an aboriginal) supports giving these communities the choice to reintroduce alcohol.

      This is just one article of thousands on a very complex issue.

      So, one nation, two laws, but it certainly isn’t racism.

      Cheers, Bob

      N.B. If The Australian asks you to login, you can see a reprint of some of the article over at ISX.

  • Pip December 5, 2013, 3:15 pm | Link

    Americans are just sore that it took them Fifty years longer than most other civilised nations to abolish slavery. The very idea that the US is forward thinking in issues of race is pure comedy. I’ve seen more racism in the US in the 6 weeks or so I’ve spent there than the 2+ years I’ve spent in Australia.

    • BobinOz December 5, 2013, 4:13 pm | Link

      Ah, you must have gone to Mississippi 🙂

  • Jim Thome December 3, 2013, 6:40 am | Link

    Hi All,

    There are a few comments making the rounds here. Instead of addressing each one of them I thought a summary comment could work. First I am a naturalized (first generation) US citizen. I have lived here most of my life. So with that here are a few points:

    1. One of the comments I have seen repeated is — other countries in the world are also racist! That is a poor defense. So, just because others are racist, it gives you the excuse to be racist is the inference.

    2. Then there are references to parts of the US and racism. This is where lack of local knowledge can be a problem. Social racism exists in parts of the US which are predominantly White. At the same time the most prosperous state in the Union CA is an example of what Multi-Culturalism (before some racist points out that this is NOT Queens English — let me tell you we dont give a damn about the queen in the US) can achieve. The racist places in the US are the really poor and decrepit south and the always backward Mid-West. This happens mainly when people get used to living with their own kind — only White communities still longing for the days of slavery — Mississippi is by far the most racist place in the country and you see that it ranks 49th on everything in the country. Also, in general, Americans are capable of seeing their faults if you point them out.

    3. Then there are some points made about how Indians want to come live in Australia. Here is where a couple of points of “history” are to be understood — if people have the ability to do so. A country with 1.2b people and economically backward will have considerable number that will want to go live else where. The sad part is people in Australia seem to have forgotten that the Europeans ran around looking for new land and decimated local populations to create their lands. Now places like the US have found that immigration of the cream of the crop from other countries helps grow their economies and have opened their doors to everyone. While places like Australia are still struggling with the concept of “multi-culturalism” because they thing the others are NOT like them. So, here they still want people to be like them to accept them! This is Neanderthal thinking for the 21st century. California is an example of why having a place of complete freedom can create progress and development and how ideas of just one kind cannot fuel a country’s growth. But like Pat Buchanan (a known racist politician in the US) says “if we continue like this the entire country will look like CA” — Pat has run for president several times and in the Republican Primaries he has gotten a max of about 2% of the vote — that should tell you how many people agree with him on his ideals.

    The problem Australia faces is — the economy is still pretty good because of the mineral exports — but what happens when that dries up? You still think the 20m people you have will keep you ahead in the world? That is a question for your country’s leaders. Obviously as Europeans you took away the Aborigines land and are now calling it yours while calling them “lazy” “fit for nothing” etc. — you think you built an economy using their land and call yourself “moral people”. I think racism starts there in Australia. Americans have moved forward and accepted modern reality (mind you it is not all Americans).

    The fact that some guy working some place in India writes back and says “india is full of castism” and people accept it as gospel and think all 1.2b people are into castism shows that you believe in generalization which leads to racism in the first place. What you need to decide is if you want to be like the American society which has its issues but has made the Multi-Cultural society discussion a thing of the past or you want to be White Only Australia.

    I will give you a conversation I had where I live with a person that was considered racist in our office — pretty much the entire office thought he was against any person of color entering the US. He started a conversation with me during the tech boom in the US by saying that things were better before this “multiple cultures” thing in the US. I asked him if he was saying this because of the large Indian population that entered the US during the tech boom. He said NO. And I asked him a simple question — “would you be saying the same thing about the British that moved to the US in large numbers during the 50s and 60s” — he didnt have an answer — at least he didnt lie about it to me. He accepted that he was being prejudiced by the Indian immigration but was OK with the British coming in. That is what racism is all about — some people dont even know that they are racist till circumstances expose them to the truth.

    Good luck with this discussion — you will find that if it is in your destiny to remain prosperous, you will embrace the “new” or your place will die a silent death like lot of EU is now.

    Best,
    Jim

    PS: As you may have already understood Jim Thome is NOT my real name. I would like to remain Anonymous for business reasons — my name is searched a lot and I dont like my social views being aired in my real name in public — Politics and Business dont go well together.

    • BobinOz December 5, 2013, 1:42 pm | Link

      You speak of a “lack of local knowledge” when mentioning that some people have talked about the US and racism. Yet you, an American, are lecturing us about how multiculturalism works, or doesn’t, in Australia? Cat, pot and kettle are words that spring to my mind.

      You accuse people here of “generalisations” yet your entire comment is full of them.

      You say “Here is where a couple of points of “history” are to be understood — if people have the ability to do so.” Which is about as derogatory a sentence as I have seen in this entire thread.

      And no, we don’t want to be like your American society here, which you think “made the Multi-Cultural society discussion a thing of the past”, a statement I find rather amusing.

      And those are just the highlights 🙂

      I’m not surprised you have not used your real name to air your views.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Bharathi November 30, 2013, 12:40 pm | Link

    Ladies & Gentleman
    I have seen many places around the world. My advice would be…Keep the mind open,Explore various culture,Have fun,Respect the values & system,Remove the baggages,Be conscious , Smile from the heart, Dont try to enforce AND Believe in the Australian system …Its a fair system.Keep it simple and Dont Complicate.

  • Soontogo October 2, 2013, 9:18 pm | Link

    I ‘heard’ that “not all australians are racist..only about 1/5th are..” which got me thinking about how unlucky i have been in my 10 year stay in australia that, everywhere I go, be it work, supermarket,transport,kids playgrounds, restaurants..etc, i have ‘only managed ‘ to come in contact with the 1/5th..immgrants (regardless of race) on the other hand, tend to have some degree of tolerance, gained by having being thro’ and endured the ‘welcoming’ treatment by the ‘racist 1/5th’..anyway that’s my 10 year personal experience..h and some 5 people that i know as well…saying goes ‘love it or leave it’..cant remember loving it, but for my aus born kids sake, i cant ‘leave it’-wont be the first nor the last..

  • Warwick August 23, 2013, 3:31 pm | Link

    Dave,
    you sound like the kind of clergyman who used to teach religious instruction, or Sunday school, to ten-year-olds when I was a kid.

    Birds? Fish? These parables do not shed even a glimmer of light.

    We are talking about the kind of views that enable one to fit in with and contribute to the society in which one lives.

    We have to deal with real problems, like female genital mutilation and the denial to young women of their right to an appropriate education.

    Address that sort of issue, not some fairy tales about fish with an ethnological exclusivity.

  • Dave August 23, 2013, 3:03 pm | Link

    There is a term “thinking out-of-the-box”. I think it refers to the group-think that happens as people tend to develop tunnel-vision over time, and across issues. Ego-defensive mechanisms and self-justifying rationalizations require tremendous discipline to be kept in check. Sadly, we, humans, often fail at that.

    Is there Racism in Australia? Yes, no, maybe, are the answers given so far. And the “advice” that if only you embrace “our” lifestyle, values, and habits, you would have fewer problems with racism all over Australia.

    So, let’s see if we can compensate for the human failings of self-deception, self-justification, and the giving of free passes to prejudiced thinking, but considering the following.

    Ask yourself this question – In what area of the ocean have fish established a rule that to swim, eat, reproduce, and live here, you have to embrace a certain fishology. That you are welcome to swim here, as long as you think a certain way. If not, go back to whatever part of the seas you come from. And if you are from here, and do no embrace how many of “us” think, then leave, and find or make your own special part of the ocean.

    Ask yourself this question – In what area of the sky have birds established a rule that to fly, eat, reproduce, and live in this area, you have to embrace a certain birdology. That you are welcome to fly and nest here, as long as you think a certain way. If not, go back to whatever part of the sky you come from. And if you are from here, and do no embrace how many of “us” think, then leave, and find or make your own special part of the sky.

    Why is land any different? Why must one think a certain way to have the right to walk there, eat there, work there, live there, without being mistreated, abused, made fun of, threatened, or attacked?

    Intelligent beings? Is that what we are? The most intelligent beings in the universe you say? Really?

    Think out of whatever box you are in. You have been in it so long that you cannot even see its walls.

    Doing so will make Australia a better place to live. And wouldn’t that be a good thing for all.

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