Racism in Australia: Yay or Nay

The Guardian which is a popular newspaper site in the United Kingdom published an article about the confrontation and increasing tension between India and Australia. Written by Tim Soutphommasane in response to the murder of Indian gradate Nitin Garg who was knifed and killed in Melbourne.

In particular Soutphommasane writes this piece in response to several articles published after Garg’s death warning students to avoid Australia at all cost. Here’s a link of an article that was published in India Today that highlights what Soutphommasane is writing in response to


Soutphommasane really advocates for Australia saying that racism is not strife in everybody, he still munitions’ that racism is a big issue but not to the extent that the media says it is. He believes that the way Australians act and are, the nonchalant way we live our lives is the very thing which is getting us into some very hot water. He says that the racism experienced is just Aussie humour, the very core fundamental of Australia is the ability to make fun of ourselves and others in joking manner. He implies that the majority of Australians truly believe that racism and racial slurs are done so in a humorous way with no malice or ill intent behind them. Soutphommasane also says that Australia is no less racist than any other country around the world he even goes as far to say that racism in Australia is less evident as the tolerance of Australians is higher than other countries.

From this article I gather that the view of Australians around the world are influenced by some racist individuals and extremists that make up a minority and not the majority. This article points out that the indertone of racism in Australia is merely a refelcetion of those extremist groups. It also mentions how the media exaggerates and twists data to suit their needs and a point is made about not trusting media outlets as a soruce for identifying national identity. Another thing mentioned explicitly is Australian humour, it is said that our nonchalant attitude is our downfall when it comes to the way the world views us. Another thing raised is how we are represnetated by few individuals that may or may not be our choice. Unintentionally I think he makes a good point about globalisation and technology being huge deciders and influencers of the way people groups and countries are perceived and defined. Another question I asked myself is what does this article tell me about Australian identity?

To be honest it told me nothing new, it mentioned some good points which helped me redefine what I was looking for. The reason why it wasn’t good was because it was quite ambiguous in what it mentioned and what it was trying to achieve.  This article itself was somewhat logically flawed although it did give a well rounded response, looking at both sides of the story.  One thign about this article which wasn’t credible was the fact that it was mostly opinion with some statistics. I think the fact that it was created to give both sides of the story made it a soruce which didn’t really give me a set opinion or set value that identified Australians as Australian. So therefore I deem this helpful but not helpful at the same time.


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