Aus PM 'sick' of racism

2010-02-09 11:22

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said his Chinese son-in-law has worried him with stories about racism, but he believes Australia is a tolerant country despite recent violence against Asians.

Rudd, whose eldest child Jessica married Hong Kong-born banker Albert Tse in 2007, denied that Australia was fundamentally a racist nation.

"My son-in-law's Chinese, from Hong Kong, I hear stories from him from time to time which make me really worried about what might be going on out there," the prime minister told ABC Television late on Monday.

"But his overall story is that he's completely accepted and part of the Australian family."

Rudd, who was speaking at a televised question and answer forum with young people in Canberra, said his experience of Australia over many years was that it was a very tolerant nation.

Tolerant country

He said he was sickened to hear that one young Indian man in the audience had been pushed around and had racist comments directed at him by teenage drunks on the country's national day in January.

"That's a really awful story and makes me sick," Rudd said. "It really makes me sick that anyone would treat you, as a guest in our country, like that. It's wrong."

He said the government was working to improve the safety of Indian students after rising numbers of assaults and robberies against them, but warned Australians to keep "a weather eye on any of this stuff ever taking hold.

"Because this country Australia is and shall be a tolerant country and we have a combined responsibility... to keep it that way," he said.

Australian officials have downplayed racism as a motive for the attacks on Indians, which have prompted media outrage in India.

  • Very Black - 2010-02-09 12:00

    that is why Most white south africans want to migrate there. perfect place to practise rasicm dont you think????

  • expats - 2010-02-09 12:03

    must be the immigrants from here taking their racial intolerance baggage there. How come it is happening after 1994 and before that Aus was a tolerant country. Food for thought

  • Abraham - 2010-02-09 12:08

    The world will be at peace if we can accept ourselves as one humankind.

  • Dilip Hariram - 2010-02-09 12:19

    The grass is not always greener on the other side ...immigration like certain clothing has become fashionable to many people.

  • Sipho - 2010-02-09 12:20

    No, we must all be tolerant... I do not agree with the racially motivated comments above! These comments only lead to division and hatred. It would appear some people have nothing better to do than slander others!

  • @expats - 2010-02-09 12:23

    Australia was far from tolerant before 1994 what did they do to the Aboriginies? Food for thought for you. Please get your facts straight before you try and play the race card!!!!!

  • NAM - 2010-02-09 12:23

    @Expat.......never heard so much crap, ever watched Rabbit fence or the movie Romper stomper....Australia has a horrific past with regards racism,up until the 1970s aborigenes where classified lower down than forna and flora......They lke SA suffer the the the disease of herditery racism

  • Yawn - 2010-02-09 12:25

    Just ask the Aboriginals how 'tolerant' the Australians are? Mr. Rudd get a clue!

  • smooch - 2010-02-09 12:26

    one British friend once mentioned that South Africans cant cope in Britian because there you might find xenophobia directed against Poles and other foreigners believed to take their (the Brits) jobs, but racism is not tolerated, and i guess that is the reason why so many South Africans leave Britian for Oz because there they can practice their old ways.Hahahaha, got you South Africans!!!! So the British weather is not the reason why you leave Britian for Oz, it is the practice of racism in Oz that you find attractive.

  • Charles - 2010-02-09 12:27

    you should experience the racism in SA on white people, then you will become sick.

  • Tired - 2010-02-09 12:29

    Come on people. The "race" excuse is old, overused and, in most cases, not true. This country could be the greatest place on earth. Even the Aus PM said it's youngsters. Just like here. If the older people of different races here have started getting along, why not the kids? Stop placing blame and start being the solution.

  • me - 2010-02-09 12:29

    what he did not say and you dont know is that the majority of the attacks were done by non-white gangs (African, Arab and Asian). But, that you dont read, that is too politically incorrect.

  • vivien - 2010-02-09 12:33

    Very Black...Is that WHY so many very black South Africans have migrated so that they can get some more racism thrown at them...GET REAL

  • francois - 2010-02-09 12:46

    some people will allways be intimadated with
    anything that is different to them or what they know. that will never change. race,religion etc etc. its about respect. that you teach a child when he is still young . some have it , others never will

  • Kaapenaar - 2010-02-09 13:06

    I wouldn't mind being the part of the majority race. It brings responsibilities, but it would be nice to not be stepped on 24/7.

  • Point Blank - 2010-02-09 13:21

    Very Black is right, I have friends who left for Aus because "there are hardly any black people there"..... But all in all, yet another article about racism that is open to comments...

  • very positive - 2010-02-09 13:40

    I do not believe in racism. We are all created by the same Creator, no matter what your skin colour is. Sure, you do find racism all over he world, but I think it is only the misinformed, misguided and criminally inclined minority.

  • Spoed - 2010-02-09 13:45

    What about the Aborigines?

  • human species - 2010-02-09 14:12

    i think the human race is complicated - a dog is a dog right no matter the color; a cat is a cat no matter the color; a bird is a bird no matter the color. So you silly human beings why can't you just be the supreme human beings that God created you to be without looking at that skin tone because below that everything is the blood, one nose, two eyes, same emotions, same way of making babies and giving birth and the list goes on. YOU ARE HUMAN BEINGS with a skin tone that is in different shades. At the centre of that being is a spirit - and then we what is the fuss about race?

  • Chris - 2010-02-09 14:20

    @Very Black : People go to Aus from here because of the climate, UK has terrible wheather People choose a first world county. They leave SA because, come on, just look where we headed, when infrastructure fails then everything starts to go. This country is slipping more and more each day, corruption, no service delivery, crime, Malema, etc, etc, etc.

  • Corrie - 2010-02-09 14:45

    Ignorance, it's a blissful thing..., most of you people who post don't have a frieken clue.

  • Seagull wins the race to the tip!! - 2010-02-09 16:53

    I recently went to Australia on holiday. I am South African Indian. I was shocked at the racism in that country. The Aborigine people suffer intensely at the hands of the white Australian people; not to mention foreigners, etc. They are so intolerant of different races and cultures. I would not migrate to Australia if it was the last place left on God's Earth!!!!

  • 360Deg - 2010-02-09 17:21

    send all the south african expats home and your problem will be solved.

  • Jessie Fraser - 2010-02-09 18:49

    Australia has a long history of racism. The treatment of the Aborigines was and often still is barbaric. Then there was the White Australia policy that no one talks about any more! South Africa has problems with racism but we ae more likely to solve them because we admit that they are there. Australia is a seriously odd society than is in denial about many social problems.

  • Injun Joe - 2010-02-24 12:52

    Jessie Fraser hit the nail on the head and into the coffin. They are in serious denial.

  • Pierre - 2010-03-02 20:56

    Tolerance, it's one of the most over-rated characteristics in SA. Check the drivers, the taxi industry, the Govt. THEN there is the big X word = Xenophobia.... Tolerance in a different form ? RACISM ? or a convenient term to cover for non-acceptance of different people. Wake up SA.!

  • To very black - 2010-06-24 09:19

    ...and all the zim and mozambiqans want to come to SA...but it is always white rasicm, have you ever thought of black racism, you probably can't think that far...?

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