Is Australia a racist nation?

Is Australia racist? Reports this week have emerged showing that 100 Victorian police officers have been caught circulating a racist email. The email reportedly shows a black person being tortured.

Earlier this month the Victorian police chief admitted some officers were racist. Is this something that is common throughout Australia though?

I know that in the UK they certainly seem to be much more politically correct than in Australia. Over here you will often see black newsreaders and Indian presenters on TV, but in Australia it often seems to be Caucasian people reading the news. But does this reflect the population? I don’t think so, as there are certainly a lot of Asian people in Australia but the only time I’ve seen an Asian newsreader is on SBS.

People in the UK also seem to be a lot more sensitive to racism than in Australia. For example, I wasn’t even aware that the word ‘paki’ was a racist term until I came here. However, my British friend told me that someone had once called her that name and she couldn’t even say it out loud to me, she finds it so offensive.

Australia is a multicultural country. It seems ironic that there are racist people there when most of us only arrived in the country 250 odd years ago. We’re from all different kinds of backgrounds, so what’s the point of insulting someone because of where they’re from? And especially racism towards Aboriginal people – they were there first! I don’t understand it.

I, myself, was born in the UK to Zimbabwean parents. I was raised in Australia but had a Scottish grandfather and an Afrikaans grandmother. I’m sure many of us come from backgrounds as diverse as mine.

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