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What is racism?

Racism is a combination of attitudes, beliefs and behaviours; such as:

  • believing your race is superior to another race
  • offensive or aggressive behaviour towards someone due to their race, language, or culture.
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What is racial discrimination? Is it different to Racism?

Racial discrimination is an extension of racist thoughts or feelings. It is discrimination (i.e. a behaviour or practice) based on a person’s skin colour, cultural heritage or nationality which stops the victim from participating fully in public life.

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Who is Racist?

At some point in our lives, all of us will have thoughts or feelings that are racist. This is because of how pervasive racism is in all societies around the world. Racial discrimination occurs when thoughts become actions.

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How do I know whether a comment is Racist?

A comment is racist if the intention is to hurt or offend another person because of their skin colour, nationality or cultural background.

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Where does Racism Happen?

Racism can happen anywhere.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has a guide about dealing with racism online.

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How does Australia Compare?

Australia fares comparatively well to other countries, with one in ten people holding racist views. People who hold racist views in Australia are a vocal minority who’s opinions are not shared by the majority of Australians. However, 4 in 10 people are ambiguous as to what racism looks like and where and when it can occur while acknowledging that it does happen.

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What is Multiculturalism? How is it linked to Racism?

Generally, multiculturalism means people from many cultures living or working together within an atmosphere of mutual respect.

The opposite of this is assimilation, where people from a dominant culture expect newcomers to live or work with them in exactly the same way.

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When I go overseas on holiday, I am expected to fit in, so why shouldn't I expect people who come here to “FIT IN” Also?

When you go overseas, you are usually catered to by tourist services which have been set up to ensure you have an enjoyable holiday or business trip. For example, you probably stay in a hotel where the staff speak several languages including English. Their concierge (or your guidebook) can advise you about the most appropriate way to behave locally so that you remain safe during your stay.

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Australia with city lights from space at night - Earth daytime series (Elements of this 3d image furnished by NASA -  source maps from http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/)

Why are only "WHITE" nations like Australia expected to open their borders?

Some people believe that only “white” nations are expected to open their borders to immigration while “non-white” nations are not.

People who use this argument refer to “white” nations as those with a white majority like Australia, Canada, United States and United Kingdom while nations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are “non-white”.

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How can I behave in a culturally respectful way?

It is impossible to answer this question directly, because there are hundreds of cultures from around the world, and every culture has its own customs. Nobody is an expert on all of these cultures, so it is ok to be ignorant of what is culturally respectful in a specific culture.

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Is Discriminating Against Muslims Racist?

Some people say discriminating against Muslims is racist. Others say it isn’t racist because Islam is a religion, not a race. We think it doesn’t matter either way: discrimination is offensive and illegal.

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What can I personally do to help erase Racism?

Practise ways of safely speaking up against racism.  And see our infographic on how to respond if you witness racism on the bus

Get involved in helping All Together Now thrive:

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