Why is doing something about racism so important?
|During the past year, one in eight people living in Australia was a victim of racial discrimination (around 2.6 million people). This is a decrease from one in seven the previous year, which is great news (Source).|
One in five people living in Australia has been a victim of verbal racial abuse (Source).
|Nearly half of all Australian residents from a culturally and linguistically diverse background have experienced racism at some time in their life (Source). Three in every four Indigenous Australians regularly experience racism (Source).|
While five in ten of us are positive about cultural diversity, four in ten are ambivalent about cultural diversity. One in ten has racist attitudes (Source).
One in seven people living in Australia are against the concept of multiculturalism (Source). Three in ten people do not believe that immigrants make Australia stronger (Source), and one in three believe there are some cultural groups that do not belong in Australia (Source: VicHealth 2007).
Cross-cultural tension affects everybody in our society.
A range of health problems including high blood pressure and heart disease, depression, anxiety, low birth rate and premature birth can all be caused directly by people’s personal experiences of racism (Source).
It also affects people’s employment and housing opportunities. For example, to get as many job interviews as an Anglo applicant, an Indigenous person must submit 35% more applications, a Chinese person 68% more, an Italian person 12% more, and a Middle Eastern person 64% more applications (Source).
Racism can lead to violence, as seen in Melbourne and Sydney during the past five years.
The Tourism Forecasting Committee says the number of Indians applying for student visas to Australia has plummeted by 46% due to racially-motivated attacks. This is a potential economic loss to Australia of up to $78 million.
The costs are also high for businesses. For every employee on $40,000 per year who takes a fortnight’s stress leave due to racial discrimination, it costs a business $1,855 (Source).
We asked our board Directors what is important about addressing racism, and why they care about this issue.