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D asked in TravelAustraliaGeneral - Australia · 10 years ago

Have you seen racism happening in real life in your experience?

Yesterday, I was with my family in Hurstville. We were sitting next to these two Asian women who were talking in their native language. This white bogan who was sitting behind us started yelling "SPEAK ENGLISH! THIS IS AUSTRALIA!" to them. It scared those two away.

She then continued shouting it to passers-by who she heard talking in a different language.

I was absolutely disgusted and was on the verge of getting up to tell her off.

Have you ever seen such things happening in real and what do you think of those people?


She wasn't shouting at us but I just felt annoyed. I strongly support assimilation and agree with what the others have said but they were ADULTS - face it, it is MUCH harder for them to learn new things. I WOULD be annoyed if it was younger ones doing it but I wouldn't blame the older ones entirely.

Update 2:

No way do I see any part in my Australian life where it is a must to judge others by their race - there is more than that to a person. Why can't some people see that? Imagine someone going up and saying 'Sorry for being (race here)' - how stupid would that sound?

17 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Best Answer

    On one occasion only, I heard a crazy woman loudly telling an Asian shopkeeper to get out of her country and return to his own , all because he didn't have what she was looking for. I felt ashamed and felt embarrassed for him, until he politely told her that he is Australian, and this is his country too.

  • 4 years ago

    I was born in the early 70's and experienced racism a lot, though over time in ways that were more discreet and less honest. Some of why you don't see the real live racists, are because of what happened to that boy, and some isn't. A lot of it isn't for fear of what may happen to them, because honestly I don't think that stops a real, true, racist; perhaps someone who is on the fence and just wants to be part of the crowd, but not anyone with any true dedication to the cause. It just isn't chic these days to express your hatred the way it was 50 years ago, I mean you can ask Michael Richards about it. He didn't get beat up, but he may as well have. These days you have to deal with the media and the society ganging up on you, condemning you, being ashamed of you and disassociating themselves with you, and that's a lot worse than getting beat up. Being a racist isn't something you can easily erase or get past like you used to. People have figured that the best way to deal with the racist is to let them dig their own graves, rather than beat them up or threaten their lives. Of course racism still exists, in many forms, in indifference, in apathy, just general disdain and disrespct, many, many forms few would readily point towards and say "yeah that's racism". Racism has created situations that, while it has forced us to talk to each other, has also created a lot of contempt and negativity when it comes to people having to deal with each other. I guess it all depends on what you consider to be racism.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Yes, I have seen a lot of racism. And it makes me wonder - I am white, so not personally targeted, therefor how much of it don't I see? I was particularly shocked when I moved to the country. I had taxi drivers bragging to me how they always refuse aboriginals like it was something to be proud of, and I heard all sorts of comments that I don't want to repeat about other cultures. What made me the most mad is that some of these people had never even met people from the cultures they were bitching about. I'm not saying that all, or even most, people in the country are like this because they're not. I have just had more experiences like this in the country than in the city. It makes me really ashamed when I experience this kind of thing.

    What is wrong with those two women talking to each other in their own language? They were not trying to order food or ask for directions or talk to other people in that language, they were just catching up on old times. As someone who has lived in a non-english speaking country I know it can be very difficult, but I always tried to use the local language when out and about. However, it was also nice to catch up with friends and speak my own language from time to time. I'm sure any one in that situation would do the same, probably even if your where completely fluent in the local language.

    I love my country, but we have a long long way to go.

  • 10 years ago

    Sadly, yes. Just a few nights ago I was at the tram stop when a group of adult men approached an Asian teenager and started saying crap like, "How Australia treating you love?" and "where do you call home?" Considering she was alone and there were several of them, it wasn't just rude but pretty damn intimidating as well.

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  • 10 years ago

    Unfortunately, yeah I have. For about 6 years a close friend of mine became gradually more and more racist until she very openly told a few of our Indian and Asian friends that they should go "back where they came from" (they were all born in Australia).

    She went on endlessly about people's race, and used every cliched offensive name she could think of to refer to any ethnic background that wasn't English, ie: wogs, abos, chinks, currymunchers etc. It annoyed the hell out of me, and made me feel really uncomfortable around her (I'm of Maltese & Irish descent, and she frequently made snide remarks about both).

    Eventually I told her to f*ck off, but it opened my eyes to how bigoted some people atill are; up til then I hadn't really thought racism was really around anymore.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    The actions of that person sound like a case of extreme and untreated mental illness.

    I think you were wise not to antagonise her or you would have become the target of her tirade.

    Yes, I have seen people uncontrollably shout and rant about all sorts of stupid things not just language or race.

    One classic example is road rage.

    Edit: You lucky lad.

    I see that the newly made-over Doris has given you a second chance. I hope you feel privileged LOL.

  • 10 years ago

    I am also an immigrant to Australia (from a country where the main language is not English) and I personally believe you must speak English when out and about especially if you are within earshot of others. Whatever language you choose to speak in your own home is your own business, but in public? English, certainly. There's no excuse.

    Edit: expecting immigrants to speak the language is not being racist. Only an extreme leftiest or greenist reffo-hugger can say that. How about - for once - the immigrants changing their ways to suit the country that accepted them?

  • 10 years ago


    I'm in the US, so I can't comment about Australia...but I agree with the answer above me. Here in the US it is considered EXTREMELY impolite for people who understand English to speak another another language in the presence of others. It's one thing if they don't understand English -- nobody faults them that -- but if they understand English yet they choose to speak another language in front of others -- that's just plain rude. (Example: I wouldn't move to France, knowing the language, but speak English in front on non-English speaking people in public.)

    That said -- Elizabeth is absolutely correct. That person has some type of mental illness. Shouting at people in public is not normal, and as Elizabeth said, you were wise not to get in that person's way.

    Take care.

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  • 10 years ago


    im an indian.

    i dont get y asians r targeted all the time?

    when a USA citizen or a UK citizen VISITS india we r proud ..and we treat them in the best way possible ..

    i hav 2 examples..not personal..

    my aunt works in the usa.. and we r a hindu family so its compulsary for the women in the family to wear bindi ..

    she was assigned some work..she finished it and yet her boss yelled at her sayin " god..u dotted indians .. blah blah.." and this continued and he was tellin her indirectly to remove the bindi..in the end my aunt resigned the job..

    and yet another incident..

    one of my friends got a seat in an mba colg in australia..

    and she is very orthodox so when she dint blend with the atmosphere there..-- she came back to inida in like 2 months..

    no offense intended

    its sad.

    and its really sick

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