We’re not racist – we just look that way
Tanveer Ahmed; 9/4/10
Given my Indian-looking appearance, when I travel overseas I am often asked whether I experience racism in Australia. My answer is: very occasionally and at a low level. Australians become upset when we are called racists in other countries, such as when Robin Williams recently called us “English rednecks” on a US talk show. Our anger is understandable, given most of us experience the diversity, opportunity and tolerance of our society all the time, both at work and socially. We have the highest rate of mixed marriages in the world and among the highest rates of social mobility, as measured by income and education levels. But our diversity is not represented in our broadcast media and storytelling industries, which significantly contribute to our international perception. Stories are at the heart of our personal and collective identities. There are few faces from non-English-speaking backgrounds, nor are there many characters based on an ethnic heritage.