People claim that
the modern multi-cultural Australia is not a racist society, and to some extent
that is true. Most people are happy to ‘live and let live’ but that does not
mean that there is no racism in Australia. There is racism to a greater or
lesser degree in every country in the world and Australia is
certainly not exempt from a degree of this affliction.
People are naturally afraid of other people who are different. Whether that
difference is in appearance, religion, culture or language. This is a natural
tendency as people are basically territorial and resent intrusion into what is
seen as ‘our land’.
This territoriality is present in just about every type of animal species but as
we have the ability to reason, we should be able to overcome the most radical
tendencies that racism engenders.
There are still radical groups in Australia that crawl out from under their
rocks every few years but we now have laws to deal with them and put a stop to
The recent riots in Sydney are an indication that there is a limit to tolerance
and if an identifiable group insists on causing trouble, there will eventually
be a reaction by society at large. That in no way condones the violence that
erupted, but is simply a fact that people need to be aware of.
Every new group that has come to Australia has been treated poorly at some stage
or other. Most simply put their heads down, ignore it and get on with making a
life for themselves without much retaliation. Eventually as with the Italians,
Greeks, and most Asians they become an integral and respected part of society.
It is only when a group calls attention to itself by continued bad behaviour,
that unfortunate circumstances like the Sydney riots will occur.
Racism is basically an unreasoning fear of the unknown, but if a group gives
others a real reason to be afraid, then any reaction towards them will be
Our basic nature ensures that racism will always be part of our lives, but as
long as we learn to control our behaviour it should not be something we need to
concern ourselves with too much.
Australia has in the past delivered some policies that modern
society shakes it's collective head in disbelief at, but modern day Australia is
probably one of the most tolerant societies in the world and it is our sincere
hope that it stays that way.
Studies in human
genetics have concluded that the idea of 'race' is actually a fallacy as race is
an invented notion. At a genetic level we are all 99% identical. As little as
50,000 years ago all of humanity lived either in Africa or the Middle East. As a
species we originated in Africa and we are all related to each other.