Australia’s indigenous peoples are far more likely to experience racism than any other minority in the country, according to a survey released late Sunday.
Over 6000 people were surveyed for the study, with most having encountered racism at one point or another, but over two thirds of Indigenous people said they had been taunted with names, and treated without respect.
Professor Claire Smith of Flinders University told Xinhua, that the “everyday” racism cited in the report by Western Sydney University, is not just a concern for Indigenous people
“I think everyday racism against Muslim people, against Asian people, against Aboriginal people, occurs often through exclusion,” Smith said.
“The thing I hate the most are the advertisements of the ideal” white couple to sell products, excluding all the people Australia is not, with only white people represented.”
“This is no longer white Australia, its multicultural Australia, and this is multi-coloured Australia, and we should recognise and celebrate that.”
The figures also showed that one in two Australians believed that people who are from minority backgrounds and beliefs should behave like “mainstream Australians”, with over half of those surveyed who weren’t born in the country saying they had been the victims of racism in the past year.
Professor Kevin Dunn of Western Sydney University, says that although the findings may be shocking, Australia has a good track record of handling racism.
“Racism in Australia is a national calamity, but the good news is there’s a vast amount of ground and it can be made up quite quickly,” Dunn said.
But Smith says the government needs to do more to combat racism, as many of the legislative instruments they have introduced have only served to hinder those they claim to protect, especially in areas with higher Indigenous populations.
“They don’t say these (laws) are against Aboriginal people, but they target behaviour associated with Aboriginal people,” Smith said.
“There are plenty of measures the government should take to turn back the things that they have done.”
On the whole, 17 percent of the total respondents surveyed said they had experienced racism in Australia over the past calendar year. Enditem
Source: Will Koulouris, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh