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 most of my life, 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.