Asian tourists abused on public transport

A man was captured on film abusing a middle-aged couple of Asian appearance on a Sydney bus, in another instance of racial abuse aboard public transport.

Another instance of racist abuse has reportedly been recorded on a Sydney bus.

A Caucasian man was captured on film abusing a middle-aged couple of Asian appearance, swearing at them and ranting about the Japanese bombing of Australia during World War II.

At one point the Asian man began apologising but it did not placate his abuser, who continued yelling, Fairfax Media reported.

The incident occured on the 470 bus from Circular Quay to Lilyfield in Sydney on Sunday evening.

A 30-year-old office worker of Chinese descent, Heidi, said she and another passenger told the man to get off the bus but were ignored. She then began filming the incident.

Heidi, who asked the Herald that her surname not be recorded, said no other passengers said anything.

“We didn’t receive any support from the other passengers,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Some told us to sit back down and be quiet and everyone just looked really blase.

No one did anything about it. In fact, two girls sitting next to me thought it was funny and burst into laughter.”

This is the latest in a string of videos to be posted, showing racial abuse on public transport.

Last year an attack on a French woman who was singing in French made headlines.

Two people abused the woman and made threats of violence against her.

Earlier this year, ABC Newsreader Jeremy Fernandez was racially abused on a Sydney bus in the presence of his daughter.


And there’s more

‘What if that happened to my mother?’: Man who stood up to bus racism told to accept abuse

April 2, 2013 – 1:52PM
Rachel Olding

Rachel Olding


Racist bus rant backlash

A second witness to a racist attack on a Sydney bus has come forward to say he was also targeted in the anti-Asian rant, and told by fellow passengers not to challenge his abuser.

Meanwhile the woman who used social media to publicise the attack has become the victim of further abuse online.

Yong Wang, a Chinese-Australian man, said he stood up on the 470 bus to Lilyfield on Easter Saturday to defend a middle-aged man and woman of Korean appearance who were being racially abused by a Caucasian man.

Racist rant … a screengrab of the video posted on YouTube.

Yet the man then turned on Mr Wang.

“He started to accuse the Korean lady in the video [for] not being able to speak English,” he said. “The lady’s son started to apologise and explain she is a tourist. Then he got worse.”

Another woman, who came forward yesterday and only wanted to be known as Heidi, backed Mr Wang’s intervention but said they didn’t receive any support from the other passengers, who either looked away, told them to sit down or laughed.

Mr Wang said people had told him not to argue with the man as he appeared drunk.

“I felt that I had to stand up when he called the lady disgusting because I just thought ‘what if that happened to my mother when she was visiting Australia?’,” Mr Wang said.

In the latter part of the rant, which Heidi caught on film, the Caucasian man yells at the Asian tourists about the Japanese bombing of Australia during World War II and calls them “f—ing bastards”.

Before the camera started rolling, the man yelled racist taunts such as, “Do you f—ing speak English?”, “Japanese c—s” and “why did you come to Australia?”, predominantly at the woman, said Heidi, a 30-year-old office worker of Chinese descent.

Since posting the video on YouTube and urging people to share it if it “upsets you”, Heidi has been subject to abuse and the YouTube page has been bombarded with racist, sexist and abusive comments.

Most of the 350 comments on the video attack the victims of the rant or those who stood up for them.

City Central police are contacting witnesses to ask if they would like to make a formal statement which would initiate an investigation into the incident.

A State Transit spokesman said CCTV footage and assistance would be provided to police if required.

Bus drivers can try to intervene to ask a passenger to leave a bus if an incident of anti-social behaviour occurs but they have no power to force a passenger off.

They can contact a supervisor via radio and organise for police to meet the bus, a spokesman said.

A leading racism researcher, Kevin Dunn, said the majority of bystanders will do nothing to intervene in a racist attack, usually because they don’t know what they should do.

He said witnesses could say something to the offender, film the incident or report it to an authority.

“In circumstances where people do speak up, the affirming effect on the victim can almost be so positive that it cancels out the effects of the racism,” he said.

The incident is the latest in a string of racist rants on public transport to be filmed or shared on social media.

In February, ABC newsreader Jeremy Fernandez tweeted about being called a “black c—” who should “go back to his country” by a female passenger on a Sydney bus. He was told by the bus driver to move seats but refused to.

In November last year, footage of a racist attack on a French woman on a Melbourne bus went viral after she was called a dog by male passengers, threatened with having her breasts cut off and told to “speak English or die”.

12 thoughts on “Asian tourists abused on public transport

  1. Alcohol is a real problem in Australia. This isn’t a story about racism, its a story about the depressed, inferior, angry mindset of a drunk and hapless idiot spouting ridiculous, pointless crap. Now that he is sober (if he IS sober), he either doesn’t remember it or is hiding and hoping no one recognises him. Drunks on buses are better than drunks in cars, but normal people have to interact with them, unfortunately.

  2. I think a lot of bystanders are scared of being attacked and bashed by people like the aggressive drunken racist arsehole in the clip here. There are some really nasty thugs out there and people have been king hit and sometimes seriously injured or killed as a result so if some one like the racist scumbag there is out of control and potentially violent I think people are afraid of an ugly situation escalating and getting much worse. (My brother and I were discussing this incident last night and he told me of an incident where a not-really-friend of a friend bashed someone in a particularly nasty road rage incident.)

    I hope in a similar situation I’d have the courage to speak out and take a stand but I can understand why people don’t want to risk it and don’t think its necessarily fair to be blaming the bystanders although i wish they had done more too.

    The bus drivers should be given the power to automatically eject or even arrest racist and other violent offenders in these situations and maybe even given tasers to back them up?

    I hope the racist bully here is caught and properly punished for this. I hope as a society we make it crystal clear that such behaviour and abuse of innocent people is completely unacceptable, beyond the pale and will have consequences. That needs to happen. Because, aside from all other ethical concerns and issues, Australia’s reputation for racist episodes like this is really building up and hurting us all.

  3. This is just depressing. My girlfriend is a Chinese student, and it sickens me to think that one day she could be on the receiving end of this kind of abuse. I don’t believe – and I really don’t want to believe – that this is a racist nation, but incidents like this are becoming more and more common, something needs to be done.

    • Are they becoming more common? Or are people reporting them more?

      Racism is common in Australia, just ask anyone who isn’t caucasian about it, but these sort of vocal public obvious racist actions aren’t the big problem. They are rare, and only the most idiotic of idiots support the one screaming the hate.

      The bigger problem is the subtle racism. The “Your name isn’t european enough, so I will ignore it in job applications” or “I don’t like saying your name, so I won’t” or “You look different from my usual tenants, so I won’t let you lease my property” or “You have a slight accent, so I will not answer your questions over the phone”

      In most of the above cases, people may not even know absolutely for sure that they have experienced racism, just a niggling suspicion that gets confirmed when they change their name into a european name and get a job, or get appropriate service when a white or Australian accented friend does the work for them. But this is the area where it hurts more.

      My wife doesn’t like making calls for businesses, because she thinks with her Vietnamese accent people will understand her, but refuse to help her. And while I encourage her to make calls, I know that if she and I both call the department of immigration, or a nurse registration board, I will receive helpful advice, where she will be told no help is available, because this has happened before.

  4. Pingback: Where did all the good people go? | The Grizzly Bear Perth

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