Is Australia a Racist Country?

Getting Down Under Australia

Is Australia a Racist CountrySo before I even begin to tackle this sensitive subject, let me give you a little context behind the purpose of this article.

Today the federal government said the Indian media is unlikely to show restraint when reporting on alleged racism in Australia. India’s foreign ministry has called on its media to exercise restraint when reporting on recent attacks on Indians in Australia.

The call follows media reports that suggest the stabbing death of Nitin Garg in Melbourne on January 2 and Saturday’s attack on Jaspreet Singh, who suffered burns after being allegedly set alight, were racially motivated.

So there we have it, more attacks on Indian students but are they racially motivated?

Possibly.

Is Australia a Racist country?

Absolutely not!

I’ve written in the past about the small numbers of Aussies who appear to have a distinctive dislike for the local Aboriginal communities.

Unfortunately this appears to be a generation thing more than anything else. If you travel to any large Australian CBD, you won’t have to travel to far before you happen across members of the Aboriginal community, sometimes drinking or worst still, sniffing petrol or glue.

Aborigines that you’ll find in most city centres are not a representation of the Aboriginal people as a whole. It’s unfortunate therefore that these underprivileged folks are the ones that most city dwelling Australians will identify as being a ‘typical Aborigine’. They’re not doing much for the PR of their native people, that’s for sure.

Now back to my old home, the UK. Having lived in the UK for the first 30-odd years of my life, I think I can confidently say that I’ve acquired a reasonable level of experience living in a country which adopts a pretty sensible attitude to multiculturalism. Spending my life growing up in Bradford I found myself in one of the UK’s ‘hotspots’ for Indian and Pakistani families and in general everyone got on pretty well.

Politically though; the UK is not the most welcoming of countries. High profile political groups such as the British National Party (BNP) see too that. To give you an idea of why, I’ll give you a little background.

The BHP is a far-right political party formed as a splinter group of the National Front by John Tyndall in 1982.

At its founding, the BNP was explicitly racist. In October 1990, the BNP was described by the European Parliament’s committee on racism and xenophobia as an “openly Nazi party … whose leadership have serious criminal convictions”.

When asked in 1993 if the BNP was racist, its deputy leader Richard Edmonds said, “We are 100 per cent racist, yes”. Founder John Tyndall proclaimed that “Mein Kampf is my bible”. When Nick Griffin became chairman in 1999, the party began to change its stance with regard to racial issues. Griffin claims to have repudiated racism, instead espousing what he calls “ethno-nationalism”. He claims that his core ideology is “concern for the well-being of the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish ethnic nations that compose the United Kingdom”.

The BNP requires that all members must be members of the “Indigenous Caucasian” racial group. The party does not regard non-white people as being British, even if they have been born in the UK and are naturalised British citizens. Instead, Griffin has stated that “non-Europeans who stay”, while protected by British law, “will be regarded as permanent guests”. Not very British is it and the scary thing is, in the last election over 20,000 Brits voted to try and get these guys into power.

It’s not very British is it?

I guess the point I’m making is this. There are countries out there in the world (Britain included) that has a significantly worse track record than Australia. To a certain extent it’s almost accepted to the point where scuffles (or worse) don’t even make it into the local papers, let alone gain worldwide attention.

I’ve been living in Australia now for over three years. Prior to moving to Australia I’d travelled to every single continent around the world and I can honestly say that I have yet to visit a country whose people are as welcoming as the Aussies.

Violence against Indian Students is shocking because it doesn’t normally happen. As it doesn’t normally happen then the stories become big ‘news’ and the media jump onto these news stories because it helps sell newspapers!

Some of the stories I’ve read recently are just plain silly though. Take this article titled “Students think twice to go to Australia” where the story centres around a nervous Indian Student called Neha.

Neha it seems has to live life disguised as ‘An Australian’. Why? To keep her safe from the racial attacks of course.

The story goes onto say:

“Neha’s mother, Soni has a reason to be scared. She agreed to get a blonde look for Neha to make her resemble an Australian. She now spends huge money to stay connected to her daughter in Melbourne by calling her almost every day. She said: “Neha over the phone told that this time, one needs to be extra cautious”

Extra cautious, blonde hair, disguises? Come on guys… these stories are just plain silly

Have both Indian and white Caucasian students, living in low cost / high crime areas become the victims of muggings in Australia? Yes!

Will the international media report that the people being questioned in relation to the recent attack on 29 year old Indian, Jaspreet Singh were all of Indian origin? Most probably not!

Is Australia a racist country? Far from it!



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    Anonymous
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    Anonymous

    Australia is racist to its core. Just sit in a overcrowded bus if you look a bit different. You will notice that you have an entire seat to yourself with people on top of each other in the isle. I’ve had this happen to me as a child and now I’m 60 and it happened today. I’m of Mediterranean extraction, a little on the swarthy side<—— and that's the issue in this country. If you're not English white, that is can't pass for such, then you are an outcast and you struggle daily with the odds stacked against you. And… Read more »

    Fred
    Guest
    Fred

    You are spot on ! Interesting the author being of the “correct” ethnicity would make the at best, naive assertion that Australia is not a racist country. For goodness sake It was built on racism

    Rebecca Chua
    Guest
    Rebecca Chua

    I do think Australia seemed tolerant on the “surface”. However, it’s mostly an illusion. I studied in melbourne for 3 years in a good university because in order for me to gain my bachelors degree, I have to. I do appreciate the opportunity I had however, I was pretty shocked by the constant racism I faced throughout my student life there in melbourne. I am from a south-east asian nation and it is common for us to go abroad for studies and Australia is one of the popular choices though the fees aren’t cheap either. And in melbourne no student… Read more »

    Roberto
    Guest
    Roberto

    I feel we need our own unique national flag representing a huge and different landmass totally surrounded by the seas. The ‘coat of arms’ is pretty accurate. This would greatly help the national psyche. New Zealand could also have their own unique national flag. The Union Jack really belongs in the U.K.

    rit
    Guest
    rit

    The only country students should go to study is USA, USA and USA. I am an asian studying in australia from 3 years. I study and work legally within 20 hrs/week boundry, may be 15 hrs a week, cause i dont get time to work, because of assignments. I am doing masters. I am fortunate to have wife and family to support me financially and in tough times. But god knows, how I have been through the racists. I have been bullied quite a lot. I tolerated, fight back and what not. But the work culture doesnot support the victim.… Read more »

    rit
    Guest
    rit

    I want to correct error in number 5 :
    I meant to say :
    5. In USA, you will not be bullied. I have not heard any unpleasant situations in US (from my friends and relatives working and studying there). But in australia, whether you work in cash jobs (its natural, its illegal and employers will get advantage of you.) or you work legally in good jobs ( i wonder why?).

    Australia is racist
    Guest
    Australia is racist

    I was born in & grew up in Australia and my life was a living hell, being that I am a non- white person. I have enough stories of my experiences with white australians to write a book on it, and those same white australians are the ones that are quick to say Australia is not racist… I think Australia is not racist if you are white. Australia provides safe haven for nazis from Germany and also white south africans fleeing because apartheid is over. Everyone else they say “Fuck off we’re full”. And I agree it is like living… Read more »

    sam
    Guest
    sam

    based on what i read you guys made me scared from going there to study ,, too bad the image i once had for Australia has been shattered .. i think im going to find a university in USA ,, at least they more civilized when it come to racism . off-course there is no country in the world don’t have racism but after i researched its seem Australia is the most racist country toward every culture including Americans

    Maddie
    Guest
    Maddie

    I was born and have lived in Australia my whole life, and personally I think that there is subliminal racism that exists here. We coexist with people of other backgrounds with ease yet our policies on asylum seekers is atrocious. We have friends, work with and are used to people of different backgrounds being in our every-day lives and society, but somehow seem to have a certain resentment towards non-white people, or people who were not born in Australia. It’s a shameful notion that has been passed down from the older, post-war generations who hold a lot of hate for… Read more »

    leteasha
    Guest
    leteasha

    just a question, what is australian?
    our country is made up of people from all over the world so it kinda makes it hard to judge one race dont you think?

    I’m australian, yet im friends with indians,japanese,indonesian and chinese people….

    Lara
    Guest
    Lara

    yet you refer to them as “indians, japanese, indonesian and chinese people” – why don’t you refer to all the white people you’re friends with, or are they what you consider ‘normal’ Australians

    david
    Guest
    david

    Hell yes, Australia a racist country look at the past laws and how the original people are treated.

    Karan
    Guest
    Karan

    Yes I am a Indian I have experienced lot of recisim in australia for 8 years yes lot of Time my dad bought a new house in Sydney castlehill that night when we sheft in it was 2am at night every one was in bed I smelt something I woke up there was a front yeard window in m bed room and I sow 4 moulims and 6 Australians at my front door they had botles of petrole in there hand they burnd m house down my mam and dad and and me got out safe but m little sister… Read more »

    Australia not racist
    Guest
    Australia not racist

    Hi I be live that is a reference to the koo klucks klan and not everyone is that bad if its so bad in Australia than leave no one is forcing you to stay, if you don’t want to leave then don’t complain Australia tries its best to cater for everyone you can’t expect everything handed on a silver platter. YOU CAN’T BAD MOUTH AUSTRALIA BECAUSE OF A MINUET GROUP!!!!!!
    Sencirly Australia is NOT RACIST!!!

    Steve
    Guest
    Steve

    Alan,

    I agree with you. If we observe carefully, australasia is racist. Sun is hot but we don’t say it everyday it is hot, only to a certain degree. There are things they can hide but not every thing. Assimilate with them, you’ll know.

    Quilley
    Guest
    Quilley

    Rabbit Proof Fence… this movie says more than enough. Australia is a seriously racist country. The Australians we knew, and went to church with in Texas are the most racist people we have ever met. Yes, even more than the uneducated white people in Texas. They are the worst. Missionaries from around the world should go to Australia and live there for years, and try to witness to those thousands of outright racist people who dare say they acknowledge God’s existence. What a joke! I love the people who actually are true history majors…just like American did the Native American… Read more »

    Jamie
    Guest
    Jamie

    Based on my personal experiences, I feel that Australia is a racist county. My parent were from Asia and I’ve lived here nearly all my life. ‘Australians’ like to think that they welcome different cultures and races, but they have a condition, ‘adopt the Australian way of life’. This is pretty much telling people not to display their cultural traditions or differences. Now how is this accepting cultural diversity?

    Michelle
    Guest
    Michelle

    I agree, based on my personal experience, I am white australian but have mixed children and I’ve experienced people just look at me, give me dirty looks and are very rude at times. I can’t stand Australia at all, after living in the states nothing can compare to it thats why thank god I’m moving back there soon, I feel sorry for all the non white ppl living in Australia because it is such a racist country. I believe ppl should capture their culture of their country as that is their roots from where they are from and who they… Read more »

    Lara
    Guest
    Lara

    I’m the same, I have three beautiful half-white Australian/half-Indian Australian children. I never realised how racist Australia could really be til I had my babes. Now I’m looking for options to move out of the country my great great grand parents settled in because I know that whatever Australians claim, they will always treat my children differently – simply because of the colour of their skin.

    So cheers racists, have the country ALL to yourselves. Then you can start hating between Anglicans and Methodists and Catholics.

    Alan
    Guest
    Alan

    hi Mark,

    The truth is, educated aussies know how to hide their racism side and pretend to be friendly. at least uneducated bogans are being honest bout their racist attitude towards other cultures.

    Alan

    Melanie whiting
    Guest
    Melanie whiting

    Wake up Australia! It is a racist country. If you have to ask, then it is. Just look at the debate about refugees & funeral costs. We are involved in destroying Iraq & Afganistan & we have little sympathy or empathy for the people affect. Only took over 200 years to apologise to our own people for crimes against humanity.Damn right it is a racist country. You think not! You are in denial. It makes me ashamed.

    Mat
    Guest
    Mat

    Yes, but we >>>DID<<< say sorry, unlike Americans and their racism towards African/Americans, or Afghanistan people to their own women. Australia is NOT a racist country, and should not be viewed as one. I don;t recall America having a female president. And that is the only reason Obama won, because his only competition was Hillary Clinton. SO America was like: "Hmmm, a black man or a woman?" Yet in Australia we have Julia Gillard. So no, Australia is NOT a racist country.

    We're not talkin about Americans !! we're talking aboutAustralia
    Guest
    We're not talkin about Americans !! we're talking aboutAustralia

    Who cares about America !! The main Argument is about Australia. We’re not living in America, we live in Australia for godness sake and you’re bringing up America. Australia is the most racist Country and if you’re sooo suprised then you better wake up and look around you. It’s either that or that you are blind or that you have not been to places that much. If you did, then you would be so surprised by what you would find out there. At least America is making progression with Racisim in their country by electing a Black male to represent… Read more »

    Patrick
    Guest
    Patrick

    There is no such such thing as a racist free country take a look at all the KKK groups running around USA murdering innocent african american people and jewish people. No country is perfect stop being narrow minded.

    Michelle
    Guest
    Michelle

    How pathetic, Australia is so much more racist than America in which I’ve lived for many years. What a pathetic comment you made.

    Chip
    Guest
    Chip

    I have been to America several times and I have lived in the UK for 12 years- in my experience, Australia is the most racist country. Although there may not be open hostility, the racism is much more subtle. Many people subconsciously think that people are different just based on their race. I have seriously been talked to like an idiot many times since I’ve been here (like I don’t understand anything/don’t speak English) and I am pretty sure it’s just because of my race. Not only that, it’s also overly-nationalistic, not in terms of splinter parties or groups like… Read more »

    Mat
    Guest
    Mat

    I admit that I don’t like the local Aboriginal communities, because a lot of them ARE very rude, obnoxious and racist themselves. I don’t hate them, and not all Aboriginals should be judged because of my town, but almost every Aboriginal I’ve met has been a racist, obnoxious, stupid asshole, and yes, a fair amount of criminals ARE Aboriginals, and unemployed. But no, Australia is NOT a racist country.

    Maddie
    Guest
    Maddie

    Everything you just stated contradicted your last sentence… it’s people like you that ensure that Australia remains and ignorant and racist country.

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    Thankyou Mark,What you have said is very intelligent and also very true. Thanks mate, there is a very small minority of Australians who are racist/small-minded..i am and my family/friends arent. We are very very proud to be Australians and don’t welcome ANY racism to our country..Im 23 (appartently the age to be against Lebs,Kooris) and ive grown up in Rural NSW, where ive seen the damage done to the Aborigine’s,..I respect there culture as they respect mine, and the way i see it..thats Australian,and always has been!! Australia’s not a racist country, just the few dickheads that call themselves “Australian”..

    George
    Guest
    George

    Australia is far from a racist country. It is perhaps the most multicultuarally diverse country on the planet (greater than the US, UK and Canada according to the UN, where Australia has over 25% of its nation being foreign born from over 250 different cultures and 185 nationalities). I think the Australia is racist thing is taken way out of context. And I think people continue to refer to events that happened 50-200 years ago, rather than at present. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are all melting pots of different nationalities. If Australia is so racist, why do we accept all… Read more »

    Lara
    Guest
    Lara

    You must have been absent for the Cronulla riots or the Indian student killings. How fortunate for you that you could have such an outlook. I completely disagree, but it’s nice that you can look at those events and think that it shouldn’t count.

    goodson
    Guest
    goodson

    The previous generation of australia were ex-convicts from britain. Australia was just a dumping ground for those unwanted elements from Britain. So that tells the story for ruthless behaviour that exists still.

    jamy
    Guest
    jamy

    Australians have different attitude towards Asian migrants, I don’t know why? Asian migrants are playing a great role in the progress of this country.i am living in Brisbane from last five years.i always observe the behaviour of Australians,they don’t have any respect for other cultures (because they don’t know the definition of CULTURE)

    Dave Wertz
    Guest
    Dave Wertz

    I agree. I am an American living in Australia. Nice country and nice people. However, I have noticed serious racism in this country. The funny thing is that all the Australians I know go out of their way to try and demonstrate that they aren’t racist but their actions are completely in conflict to what they say. I have seen so many acts of bullying (especially against Asians) in the workplace and bullying of females. What is it about Australian men (at least those I have met) that brings out such bullying and racist behavior? Can someone explain that? I… Read more »

    Michelle
    Guest
    Michelle

    Believe me that is the norm. on how Aussies act, I’m an Australian thats lived in the USA for many years and wow what a difference in culture and yes Australia is 30 yrs behind in everything, they think its such a great country thats why a 300ml bottle of coke is $4 yeah okay, if I were you I’d get the heck outta here as fast as you can and get back to the real world, you’ll loose yourself over here and start thinking like them. I can only stand coming back to australia for a short period just… Read more »

    sats
    Guest
    sats

    I ve been living in sydney australia for the past 2 years and found people are unfriendly and do not treat asian and indian people as same as they treat white people, even if they are german, french or whatever background they are from, they tend to have some sort of grudge towards asian people. i really liked australia before i came here to study,but now the impression of australia has changed so badly. i d like to say that the world belong to everyone and everyone should be treated the same no matter what they look like or their… Read more »

    Mat
    Guest
    Mat

    SOME Australians treat Asians differently because, you remember that thing called Pearl Harbor? A LOT of Aussies died in that.

    Kimberley
    Guest
    Kimberley

    Hey Mat,

    You know that thing called Pearl Harbour? That was planned and orchestrated by the Japanese. Last time I checked, there were other countries in the Asian-Pacific region that were considered “Asian”.

    And you know what else? Pearl Harbour was on United States of America soil. I doubt very much that there was “alot of aussies died in that”, espcially since it wasn’t even in our country.

    Just letting you know. I bet you failed history in school, didnt you? Or maybe you just failed at life.

    Kind Regards,
    Kimberley

    Michelle
    Guest
    Michelle

    Well said Kimberly!

    Chip
    Guest
    Chip

    people like mat in australia is the reason why people like sats feel the way that they do.

    Ash
    Guest
    Ash

    “They’re not doing much for the PR of their native people, that’s for sure” – pull your patronising head in mate, you have absolutely no idea. Your point about track records is the same liberal party line bullshit that I have been fed my entire life. You think that by doing a comparative with another western nation you can detract from the moral gravity of our racist history? Go visit some of your states rural towns, and when you find mass social dysfunction due to an inability to integrate into society (ie shepparton, victoria, 6000+ indigenous Australians, 90% unemployment), come… Read more »

    BobinOz
    Guest

    Is Australia racist? Australia welcomes migrants from all over. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics almost 5 million, that’s about a quarter of the population of Australia, were born outside of the country as at mid 2006. The UK top that list with just over 1.1 million and New Zealand are second with just under half a million. Then China are third followed by Italy with, further down in descending order, Vietnam, India, Philippines, Greece, South Africa, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Serbia and Montenegro, Indonesia, United States, Poland, Fiji, Ireland and Croatia. So quite a diverse list.… Read more »

    Karl
    Guest
    Karl

    Mark

    Great story!!

    However you are so obviously wrong and incorrect with what you are saying, the aussies dont even like people from other states let alone other countries.

    No matter how long you live there you will all ways be treated as an outsider and will all ways be looked down upon, you will be treated differently to the aussies and you WILL be paid less than the locals.

    Why do you think alot of poms come home.

    Answer me this, are the asians treated fairly? I think not!!

    Karl

    Jaideep
    Guest
    Jaideep

    Hi Mark,

    I couldn’t agree with you more, although i have never been to Australia till date but whatever i have heard from my friends, all Indians and all who have been living there with families for more than 2-3 years is exactly the same thing what you are saying. I am landing in Sydney on the 20th of Feb and hope to get a taste of the the Aussie hospitality first hand.

    regards
    Jaideep

    Australia not racist
    Guest
    Australia not racist

    If you haven’t been here you can’t judge some times people prvoke racists remarks , they can’t say there not racists against us