Racism (in Australia)

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Racism Wog, gook, nigger, abbo, ching, go back to your own country! Imagine one or more of these ugly racist words flying in your direction as you walk down the street. Now imagine being spat on, stared at, threatened and bashed. But don't stop there. Imagine being beaten so badly by an angry crowd that your whole face is swollen, a bone is sticking out of your leg and you can't see out of one eye. Imagine being killed by people you don't know for illogical reasons that you don't understand and can't change.

Good morning Mr Langer and class. I have just asked you to imagine a situation which some of you may think is blown out of proportion and over exaggerated. However similar examples of racism occur all around the world, every day and it MUST stop.

Discriminating against someone because of their colour of skin, religious or ethnic background is wrong.

Nobody can choose where they are born, what they look like, or what religion they were brought up. So why are people filled with so much hatred for people of different races? The number one reason for racism in Australia today, might be war. Many Australian boys and men have lost their lives in past wars with Japan, Germany, Austria and Italy. The older generation, who have lost fathers, sons, uncles, husbands and friends to war, want to blame somebody for their losses. However, patriotism allows for a person's home country to be excused from all blame and therefore there is a lot of hatred flying around between the countries associated with previous wars. The old saying "forgive and forget" does not always apply here as the older generation end to be more stubborn in their mindset. Racism based on war is very unfair to the people it is aimed at, for example a 12 year old German boy can't be held responsible for initiating World War II.

Another "excuse" for racism, particularly on the Gold Coast, is the growing tourism industry, which attracts billions of tourists to Australia each year. Particularly those from Asian countries, these tourists are everywhere and congestion occurs in popular holiday destinations such as Surfers Paradise. Locals sometimes become angry and frustrated when their suburb becomes overpopulated and they are forced to wait in queues for prolonged periods of time, and regularly find themselves stuck in traffic. Inconveniences like this do occur in popular tourism areas and when you choose to live is a certain place, you should take into account circumstances like these. Taking your anger out on all the Japanese people within a 10 mile radius is not the answer. Tourism is the Gold Coast's major industry and without it, unemployment levels would skyrocket. Information like this might make people stop and think about how irrational their racist comments can be.

All eight of Australia's states and territories have passed legislation, which makes racial discrimination unlawful. But we have freedom of speech, why can we not express our racist opinions verbally? The answer is simple: racism kills. It is a form of verbal abuse, which can lead to physical abuse. Physical abuse can lead to retaliation and from there fighting and domestic violence occur. Even if the abuse is only verbal, it can seriously hurt someone's self esteem which may cause them to commit suicide or lead to mental illness.

And as for the positive effects of racism, there are none. You could argue that you are trying to keep Australia for Australians but sharing is caring and we should share our country with everyone and they will share theirs with us. Everyone is made equal and it is only the things that we do and the decisions we make which decide if someone thinks someone else is inferior. Skin colour and the shape of our eyes are only physical differences and this is the 21st century so there are a lot more important things to worry about.

Thankyou.