If you’re Asian, African, Italian, Aboriginal a Jew or an Arab, it may be a good idea to move to Victoria.
That’s one of the few uplifting stats to be salvaged from the results of Challenging Racism Project, Australia’s largest ever done on racism in this country. With over 12,000 respondents, answering a variety of questions regarding their own persecution and perceived intolerance of others, it seems that in addition to having a more thriving night scene and better coffee, Victoria also has the least bigoted dickheads in the country. Though the findings typically showed that racist behaviour existed in high-density, multicultural areas, Melbourne proved to be an exception. “The inner (Melbourne) suburbs tended to have very tolerant attitudes” says Survey co-author Dr Yin Paradies, “but there is quite a bit of ethnic diversity there.” That’s a far cry from Sydney, who proved to be at least 36% more racist than respondents from the rest of the country.
And that’s pretty much all the good news. 48.6% of those surveyed had problems with Muslims, as well as Asians (23.8), indigenous Australians (27.9), Jews (23.3) and black Africans (27). And a whopping 84% had seen evidence of racial prejudice in their community. Despite having one of the most complex ethnic mixes in the world and being a nation founded on immigration, many Australians are still uncomfortable with their non-white Anglo neighbours, the survey’s lead researcher Professor Kevin Dunn said. He also blamed a fear-mongering government and sensationalist local media for their ongoing stereotyping of both indigenous and ethnic minorities. You can check the results state by state here.
That nearly 50% of those surveyed still harbour suspicion towards Muslims is surprising, particularly given significant headways made in the wake of the Cronulla Riots and, you know, the White Australia Policy. But if anything, this 12-year long project certainly demonstrates that our old-fashioned, over-zealous brand of racism is consistent. Perhaps proof that idiots (like those pictured, above) don’t disappear, they simply get older.
Hopefully we can ship them all off to Christmas Island by 2023.
Photo credit: Dan Boud.