Racist Australia?

Over the time we’ve been here we’ve got almost used to the incipient racism underlying a lot of Australian society. The one thing in it’s favour is that it isn’t hidden away and that people are quite open about it which at least means it is able to be discussed freely.

However occasionally underlying racial tensions explode into violent confrontation, the last such obvious occasions were the Cronulla Riots of 2005, when 5,000 adults confronted each other over perceived “intimidatory behaviour by groups of non-locals”, and mayhem ensued. Those events are exceptional, and as regrettable as they are, especially to the individuals hurt, they might serve in some way to relieve tensions inasmuch as local concerns can be addressed and resolved by concerned authorities.

What are far more disturbing are those groups that target individuals for no obvious reason other than their assumed ethnic origins. For example, three weeks ago fifteen year old Angela Stanovic was attacked by a group of 15 females and males as she waited for her mother to collect her from school.

Angela Stanovic and her mother DanilelaAs her mother approached the bus stop where, already frightened Angela was waiting, she ran for safety towards the car and the crowd gave chase shouting for her to ‘go back where she came from’.

She was pulled out of the car, struck in the face and then kicked repeatedly as she lay curled on the floor. Her mother ran to protect her and was also attacked by the crowd!

Police later raided the school seized several mobile phones which pupils had used to record the confrontation and then charged a 16 year old girl with assault and robbery.

The ethnic composition of the crowd attacking her is unknown, but I could hardly suggest that they would see Angela’s appearance as anything other than ‘ordinary’. From the picture you wouldn’t think there was anything clearly ‘alien’ that a crowd would hit on to distinguish her from any other child at the school she is just a pretty young girl. Yet it appears her Serbian origins were enough to generate enough hatred to warrant this assault. There can’t be any other reason, she had only been at the Nerang school three weeks after leaving a previous school where she had *also* been bullied and given death threats!

To me this disgraceful attack is more disturbing than the Cronulla riots in that whilst it was clearly racially motivated it was carried out by young children. In Cronulla we had a group of adults who should have known better relieving tension that could have developed for any number of causes, racism being just one. In this case these children would have had no obvious reason for their racism.

Where would feelings like these develop? The only real answer is that they developed at home, and that whilst they were absorbing the racism at home, they also learned that it was both appropriate and acceptable for them to respond to these irrational feelings by a violent mob attack on a defenceless young girl.

If this is symptomatic of what youth in Queensland view as the proper way to respond to their social concerns all I can say is God help the rest of us!! These kids are Australia’s future, and whether they like it or not immigration will continue. They need to be taught to come to terms with it. In the meantime, the knowledge there is a sub-class of violently racist youth developing isn’t something to look forward with any enthusiasm whatsoever.


2 thoughts on “Racist Australia?

  1. Not that I have had too much experience with racism shown by some Australians but I thought I would share a drunken moment I had in Bali with a ozzie guy that I must say shocked me to the core.

    Having seen this guy and a few of his friends around the hotel bar I was frequenting for about 3/4 days, we got chatting and after a few hours moved onto the general issue of racism and it’s indemic nature in Australian society. When he suddenly got quite aggressive, stood up threw his drink accross the table and stated that never in his life had he been accused of racism (not that we had in any way) and that as a ‘young’ Australian (he was about 25) he was offended to be generalised as such. The group (in an attempt to calm him down) apologised and quickly changed the subject. About 15 minutes later and for no apparent reason, he started the racism subject up again and began slagging off the “Abo’s” as he referred to them as the “lazy, drunk, uneducated drain on Australian society” and said they “should have shipped them off to Maralinga in 63..!!!!”.

    Now bearing in mind this happened in the mid 90’s, one can only hope this type of view is not indemic within Australian society, it’s worth considering however that people of this guys age are actually the ‘parents’ to which you refer.

  2. The sentiment described above is indeed endemic and typical throughout Australian society. I’ved lived 12 years in Australia, and have experienced far more racism in that period of time than in 25 years in the UK where I grew up. I’ve been spat on, attacked by a group of thug skinheads with one of those sharpening tools used for sharpening butcher knives, an incident in which I fought like a maniac to defend myself, only to be arrested for disturbing the peace. The people who atacked me were not even arrested, their statements were treated as infallible. Just recently, I had two students make monkey noises in the clasroom at the college where I study. When I reported it to the campus director, he basically laughed it off and called me a liar. I could recount many more instances of blatant racism toward myself and others, but suffice to say that I’ve regretted every last moment that I have spent in this country and look forward to the day when I’m finally able to repatriate back to Africa.

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