One hundred Australian police officers are being investigated for circulating a racist e-mail showing the torture of an ethnic male.
Victoria Police chief, Simon Overland said that the material was racist and too alarming to be made public.
This follows criticism of the Victoria Police force from the Indian community in Australia who has accused police officers of racism after they failed to respond to a number of attacks by white racists on Indian students.
It also follows a report condemning the police for taunting and beating up an African youth.
In June of last year Bollywood legend and film star Amitabh Bachchan rejected an honorary doctorate from an Australian university in protest of racist attacks against Indian students.
The 66 year-old actor was due to receive an honorary doctorate from Brisbane university but received an overwhelming response on his blog concerning the situation in Australia where some reports cite that as much as 500 Indian students in the past four years has been attacked in cities like Sydney and Melbourne etc.
In a statement last year Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, said “Indians living in India and abroad were highly outraged by the growing incidents of violence against Indians in Australia…where it was termed as “curry bashing. Besides Theerthala who was stabbed by a screwdriver, other incidents included hurling of petrol bomb at Rajesh Kumar’s Sydney residence causing him about 30 percent burns, stabbing of Baljinder Singh in Melbourne, brutally beating of Sourabh Sharma on a train in Melbourne, attacks on students in Newcastle University, killing of a man in Victoria last year, etc.”
Indians form the second largest group of overseas students in Australia; approximately 94,000 Indian students are living in Australia.
A legacy of racism
White Australians have a long history of racism towards the native Aborigines and and other ethnic groups. Reality is far different from the cosy, suburban neighbourhoods portrayed in popular Australian soaps like ‘Home and Away‘ and ‘Neighbours‘.
According to British journalist John Pilger, “Ninety percent of overcrowded households in Australia are Aboriginal, and that’s from two percent of the population” (Pilger: 2003: p.170)
In a typical Aboriginal community, one or two men out of fifty up to the ages of twenty-five will commit suicide, two or three will attempt it and at least a dozen will give it some serious thought. (Pilger: 2003: p.171)
The life expectancy of an Aborigine is up to twenty-five years less than whites. The death rate of Aboriginal women is six times that of white Australian women. (Pilger: 2003: P.172)
Racism is not the belief of a few in Australia either. The mainstream media did a good job of keeping the race scandal of former X Factor judge Danni Minogue from public view. In November 2002 Danni was interviewed by GQ Magazine in a London Restaurant and revealed her racist views.
In the interview she said that she could understand why Jean-Marie Le Pen, the French far-right white nationalist leader had “struck a chord with people” (LoveMusicHateRacism:November:2002)
She then went on to complain about Asians living in Australia, saying that even the street signs were in Asian, as well as condemning Gypsies and asylum seekers.
Such was the significance of Danni’s statements that the British National Party even used her comments on their website as an endorsement of their views.
While Australia may want to give the impression that they have moved on from their legacy of slavery the evidence indicates that this far from the truth. Racism remains embedded deep within white Australian culture and justice for the Aborigines as well as ethnic groups remains a distant hope for the future.
For further Research:
Pilger, J. (2003) The Chosen Ones in The New Rulers Of The World: Published by Verso UK