"Racism exists in every country." So let's not confront it?

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    Jan 20, 2012 7:56 AM GMT
    A prominent Aussie surgeon of Chinese descent has spoken out against racism in Australia days before the country celebrates Australia Day on 26 January. Cue knee jerk reactions from the public. The story has attracted almost 500 comments on the original website it was published alone. Most of these refute Dr Teo's assertion that "racism is alive and well in Australia". The accompanying poll shows a different story with 83% of 8,257 respondents in agreement that Australia is indeed largely racist.



    The anecdote that Dr Teo gives is that of his daughter celebrating Australia Day as any proud Aussie would, with the flag painted on her face, and being told by some Aussies of European descent to "go home". Thinking of sharing my own experience of racial discrimination in this country and to encourage others to come out with theirs, I tried to submit my comment but it was never published. Internet censorship, anyone?

    I'll share it here and perhaps you can decide for yourself. "I was recently refused service by the white Aussie staff at the Ted Baker store in Melbourne CBD. Neither would look in my direction, but five other white customers were greeted without hesitation and offered assistance when they stepped into the store soon after I did. The staff could not have known I wasn't Australian myself and passed a quick judgement based solely on my ethnic Chinese appearance. This talk about migrants' assimilating takes focus off the real issue, which is integration will never be enough for some."

    To me, the comments made against Dr Teo's claims have one disturbing trend, a visceral defense backed only with insufficient, even spurious, evidence. "Other countries are even more racist!" "We're not the only ones." Few actually expressed sympathy with Dr Teo's daughter or other examples of racial vilification put forth in the article and comments.

    Not attempting to cause a storm in a teacup, I am simply curious to know how you perceive this issue, the prevalence of racism in your own country and whether you agree that "because we're not the only ones" is enough justification to dismiss the existence of racism in a country like Australia.
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    Jan 20, 2012 1:59 PM GMT
    We have our own home grown Aussie racist..

    Our own "BONA FIDE" homosexual!icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 20, 2012 7:18 PM GMT
    Yes, Aussies are inferior racist pricks and that's why we hate'em. icon_eek.gif