With COVID-19 racing across the world, it’s become a different reality overnight.
Some of us feel fear hearing COVID-19 cases rise in other countries. Feel uncertainty as toilet paper disappears from the shelves at the grocery store around the corner.
For some of us Asian-Australians, we feel the slap of racism once again amidst this pandemic.
Melbourne Central (MC) 2020 (1)
Being an Asian-Australian who once aspired to be a journalist in Australia, it’s disappointing seeing recent anti-Asian sentiments in the media and racist incidents on the streets. It’s undoubtedly disappointing seeing certain cultural groups get accused of spreading coronavirus.
According to a study by the Australian National University, 82% of Asian-Australians surveyed reported they experienced discrimination in Australia. A survey of 6,001 Australians found over 30% experienced racism on public transport or at work.
Growing up in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, this sentiment surrounded me in subtle and non-subtle ways. As a kid brought up in a traditional Chinese family, I never agreed with this train of thought. These days I still don’t.
As someone who was born in Australia and has lived here for many years, some stereotypes, myths and perceptions about Australians ring true. And some don’t.
Australia is a diverse country, with the outback and city side by side as I wrote in this blog post about the geographic land of Oz itself. Naturally, Australians are a pretty diverse bunch in general, diverse in terms of what they like, the way they choose to live their lives and who they chose to be.