Police probe racism row in Australia

2012-11-22 15:00

Melbourne - Police on Thursday were investigating a torrent of threatening and racist abuse against a French woman on a Melbourne bus that was caught on camera and went viral on YouTube.

The woman and a group of friends were returning from a day at the beach when one of them began singing in her native tongue, which promoted an angry reaction from some passengers on the packed bus.

One aggressively demanded she "speak English or die" and then threatened to cut her breasts off.

Another man pushing a pram joined in, shouting: "I'll fucking boxcutter [knife] you right now, dog."

The woman was then told: "Everybody on the bus wants to kill you" before the incident ended with a bus window being smashed.

The woman targeted, Fanny Desaintjores, told The Age newspaper she and her friends were terrified they would be physically assaulted.

Passengers silent, impassive

"I realise that maybe we shouldn't sing on public transport, but I think that's insane that they reacted like that. We're all adults," she said.

"We could have a conversation and talk gently, instead of all these insults and threats."

In an opinion piece, Fairfax Media said the most disturbing thing was that so few people spoke up in defence of the woman.

"The majority of passengers were silent and impassive, probably wishing they were elsewhere," it said.

"A racist, abusive bigot is like sitting next to the smelliest person on the bus - you hold your breath and count the stops until you can get off."

Parts of the incident were caught on camera by stand-up comedian Mike Nayna and the footage has been viewed thousands of times on YouTube, with the story picked up by French newspapers.

'I hate blacks'

Melbourne police said they were investigating "verbal threats and racist taunts towards a group of women travelling on a bus".

"The incident was reported to police and detectives are appealing for anyone with information to come forward as there were a number of people on the bus at the time," police said.

Nayna, who describes himself as "brown", says that when he asked the passengers to calm down another man started ranting at him about hating black people.

"He said darkies should be kept at the back of the bus where they belong, before repeatedly yelling 'I hate blacks'," Nayna told reporters.

  • neutedop.opinie - 2012-11-22 15:54

    Which part was racist? Look, no way to talk or behave, but because it is a black and white person, now it is racist? White people have called white people a dog, and then it is just verbal abuse. S**t, people love making a story racial nature!

      becky.jamieson1 - 2012-11-22 16:07

      Actually if you read the story correctly(which clearly it seems u haven't) they were first verbally abusing a FRENCH woman for being FRENCH not because she is white, black, pink, purple but because she is FRENCH. Where the hell do u come in with white and black??? My goodness!

      khumo.lebone - 2012-11-22 16:46

      Bro, just lay off that stuff you're smoking. Its making you see things that aren't there.

      omo.naija.750 - 2012-11-22 18:31

      *Sigh* Human Beings!

      omo.naija.750 - 2012-11-22 18:35

      I wonder why the Melbourne police are saying they don't know who threw the "missile".I bet it is the idiot with the baby stroller,the missile was thrown a few seconds after he got down from the bus.He is the only one who got down from the bus with his family while cursing.The Melbourne police should stop beating about the bush and arrest the guy.I am sure his neighbors will be able to recognize him if they put that video on tv.

      omo.naija.750 - 2012-11-22 18:46

      The woman is actually of mixed descent,just Google her name.The middle aged guy with the white phone did shout "black bitch" so it was definitely a racial abuse.If these folk could be this mean to a colored woman what will they do to a black woman.Quite sad because i always thought Australians were non racist.I guess i thought wrong.

  • becky.jamieson1 - 2012-11-22 16:05

    The one thing I hate more then anything on this planet is racists. They should all go to hell, whether they are white racists, black racists or any other. They should all burn in hell.

      customdesign - 2012-11-22 16:11

      And we can braai marshmellows on the flames of their fires

      Slowrider - 2012-11-22 16:18

      Incidentally, hating is what racists do best.

      Cuteandbronzed - 2012-11-22 20:48

      Your American white arent you?

  • customdesign - 2012-11-22 16:10

    haha this commentator has a funny spin on it

  • sagin.verity - 2012-11-22 17:04

    Half a story, half the facts. sensationalism at its best.

  • simone.hawkins.39 - 2012-11-22 17:05

    And what caused this in the first place, hate. If we can all stop the hating maybe there would be a little more peace in the world. It starts with one person.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-22 17:28

    Take your anc mentality elsewhere

  • ft.burhaak - 2012-11-22 17:30

    Typical of these ignorant people to pick on defenseless people,woman and children.Despicable people who fight like cowards and in numbers,but they are like rats when they alone!

  • oz.mann.1 - 2012-11-22 17:50

    Assuming it was caucasian (ie. white) Australians dishing out the abuse, then it can't be racist as the French woman was also caucasian. You can't racially abuse someone of the SAME race! At best this could be labelled a xenophobic attack - a fear or hatred of foreigners. I am Australian and I would love it if someone started singing French in a bus...especially if it was Plastic Bertrand!

  • erich.goosen - 2012-11-22 18:08

    With a name like that of the complainant, I think it is very likely that she will suffer abuse.

  • augustine.brown.50 - 2012-11-22 18:13

    And then iimigrate to the other ANC (Australia, New Zealnd and Canada) to avoid resverse wonders what our expats of colour over there must be going through. Probably happened to a few of them but to ashamed to say :-(

  • veldt66 - 2012-11-22 19:03

    Australia where racists live. Initial it was murders & rapists sent there.

      augustine.brown.50 - 2012-11-22 20:08

      Yep went there a few years ago & whilst their some thuggs plundered local school and stole all computers. Shows we all have our inherent problems with crime, discrimination etc...

  • wordis.word.1 - 2012-11-23 06:32

    I bet every single australian is exactly like that... (FYI, that was sarcasm)

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