Victims of racism urged to litigate

The Australian

National Affairs

by: Patricia Karvelas
From: The Australian
December 06, 2011 12:00AM
Kate Lundy

Senator Kate Lundy

VICTIMS of racial injustice are being urged to pursue cases and use the “full force of the law” as part of the Gillard government’s renewed policy on multiculturalism.

Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Kate Lundy told The Australian the government’s new policy would focus on educating people about existing laws and encourage their use, to send a message that racial injustice was not tolerated in Australia.

Senator Lundy said that, while she was open to creating even tougher laws to stop racism and encourage multiculturalism, she believed current provisions in federal law should be used more and the government should play a stronger role in encouraging action to stamp it out.

“It’s about calling it as a government and saying ‘yes, there is a problem and we need to address it using the full force of the law that we already have in place’,” she said.

Senator Lundy said she supported Race Discrimination Commissioner Helen Szoke, who gave qualified support to a federal multiculturalism act along the lines favoured by the Victorian Liberal government.

Dr Szoke called for a broadening of the Racial Discrimination Act to enhance multiculturalism, saying a specific act might be needed if there was found to be gaps in protections of ethnic minorities from racial vilification. She will use a review by federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland of anti-discrimination laws covering race, gender, age and sexuality to call for reforms to give ethnic minorities more rights to fight racism if a review lessens those rights.

“I think it’s a case about awareness,” Senator Lundy said. “I’m really keen to see how the human rights commission will take that campaign. We’ve provided resources.

“I think our laws are strong, I think there needs to be an awareness and education about those laws and people having a good understanding of their rights and being able to pursue complaints and challenge behaviour. That will be a terrific step for all of us.”

In the wake of the Muslim community arguing for the establishment of Koran courts and Islamic law, Senator Lundy said the multicultural policy would never allow groups to have a different set of rules.

“People come to Australia because they admire our values, so it’s not about changing Australian law; it’s about asking people to subscribe to those values.”

She said stamping out racism in the workplace was a “top priority”. “We need to remind everybody that is in a position of power and employs people that they have obligations under Australian law not to discriminate.

“We need to be educating and supporting employers to make good decisions that are not discriminatory … and supporting the people who are applying for the jobs so they know their rights and we have a good system of handling complaints.”

Senator Lundy ruled out a broader constitutional recognition of racial diversity.

“I think that our very character as a nation is one built on migration and there’s a lot inherent in who we already are,” she said. “I think it is a fact rather than some stated policy that we are multicultural, so that is not something I’m considering.

“We can’t tell people what they can and can’t do, there’s no magic clicking of fingers.”


11 thoughts on “Victims of racism urged to litigate

  1. It’s too difficult to prove racial discrimination in the workplace.
    Racial discrimination in social situation is easy to handle. One can just walk away & never associate with the racists again. Simple!
    In the workplace however, it’s entirely different ball game. Your racist boss can make or break you. It’s your livelihood at stake here. The discrimination is so covert that it just cannot be proven with hard evidence. Racist bosses cover their track very cleverly.

    • Yeah. Its especially tough in smaller workplaces where the numbers are not necessarily large enough to prove a pattern.

      However , if anyones copping it, its *very* smart to *DOCUMENT EVERYTHING*.

      This is a good move by the govt, though I’d like to see more work on the cultural framework of racism. Putting money into anti-racist music concerts, getting the message into schools and making sure the later half of Gen Y get the message that a decade of howard rule denied the first half of Gen Y.

      • Agree about documenting everything.

        I think the same should be done in bullying situations. Document everything – comments, date, time, who was involved. It will help you down the track – not only to report but also for your own psychological processing of the events.

        It’s too easy to think that we are imagining bad behaviour until we see it written down in black and white.

  2. Yes you two are 100% right about documenting everything. Also I’d suggest conceal a tape recorder discreetly under your skirt or somewhere on your body to record evidence. The type that undercover cops use. Sound recording is not admissible in court but transcript is.

  3. So many things need to be done before this can happen. Labor unions need to be educated on how to handle claims of racism. Union representatives have very little knowledge on cultural sensitivity so how can they see racism happening infront of them.

    I think the Gillard government should spend some money on educating labor unions as well as white Aussies. Us non-whites are only the ones who are being educated about this.

  4. We know that workplace bullying is rampant. As a so-called non-white I also suffer racism in the workplace in every job I held. My career has been stifled because of workplace bullying & workplace racism. I am not a weak person. My mental health & physical health have been damaged & I am now in recovery.
    Unless you’ve experienced bullying & racism first hand, you don’t know the harm it does to you. You might not even believe that in this day & age racism still exists. For this reason I do not reveal my experience to people around me. Even my family cannot understand so I battle alone.

  5. Don’t expect the toothless Anti-Discrimination Board or Australian Human Rights Commission to be of any use. All those fools do is try to find excuses to justify the racists.

  6. Australian culture under threat

    Australia has long been a cohesive society based on Anglo-Christian values together with the special values of fair-go, mateship and egalitarianism that define being Australian. Under the past government policy of assimilation, successive waves of immigrants were encouraged to adopt these values while not rejecting their own cultures.

    Then without any mandate from the people, multiculturalism was imposed on us by the bleeding heart brigade in concert with the Labor Party who used billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to buy votes from ethnic groups.

    The legacy of this failed theory was highlighted last week in the sentencing of an unrepentant Lebanese thug to 55 years jail for his leadership of a gang of Lebanese Muslim youths who carried out a spate of pack rapes and racial attacks on young Australian girls.

    The Australian media in their usual politically correct fashion have played down the racial aspects of this case.

    But racial it is. The gangs went out of their way to identify their victims as Australian before attacking them and subjecting them to unspeakable degradation, in a bid to assert their racial superiority.

    The victims were subjected to racial taunts such as “Aussie pig” and “Aussie slut”. During one rape a victim was told she would be “fucked Leb style”.

    It is clear these gangs reject Australian values. There actions reflect their aim of stamping their own brutal values on Australian society.

  7. Urges for people to pursue cases in courts fairly meaningless when even after all parties and judges agree matters raised need be pursued to obtain judicial determinations and resolution of serious Constitutional issues in the High Court, when Commonwealth still denies legal assistance, such assistance the courts deem essential in order to ensure a fair trial of the serious legal issues raised.

    The Commonwealth nobbles the horses in this race, allowing only matters of interest to them to pursue.

    Our Commonwealth maintains their repugnant claims to holding a legal right to practice racial discrimination, including segregation of Australian families using race as their measure.

    Ongoing disgraceful lack of basic development in so many NT communities is direct consequence from Commonwealth’s ongoing distortion of basic legal rights and responsibilities with Commonwealth exemptions all part of their claims their segregation, their denial of equal opportunities, and grossly abnormal results from their policies all needed for the Commonwealth to help…

    The proposed indigenous rights Constitutional amendment is about widening ability of the Commonwealth to practice racism.

    In 1967 Australians amended their Constitution to re-affirm their original aim that there be NO lawful discrimination between Australians where race was a measure.

    The Commonwealth remains largest, most frequent racism practitioner within Australia.

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