By staff writers
April 26, 2013 3:11PM
A FACEBOOK site which vilifies the African community in a western Sydney suburb has been liked by more than 4500 people.
Called “Had a dream I was in Africa, woke up, still in Blacktown” the page features racist comments about Sudanese and Indigenous people.
It has been used to advertise a meeting of the far right wing Australia First Party, to “end the refugee invasion of Australia”.
The page’s main picture shows Blacktown Railway Station, where a number of the local Sudanese population are on staff, with the caption: “all the black people live in Blacktown, hence the name. Lots of lols provided”.
The page appears to have inspired spin-off sites, including a site entitled “Had a dream, i had sheet on my head, woke up still a Muslim”.
Posts include “the africans are everywhere you look” and claims about Sudanese people being unemployed.
NSW Community Relations Commission CEO, Stepan Kerkyasharian, said he was aware of the page, but “unfortunately I can do nothing about it”.
“The difficulty with internet issues of race discrimination is jurisdiction,” he said.
“It depends on whose server the material is sitting on, and Facebook does not recognise the jurisdiction of the Anti-Discrimination Board.
“Unless there has been a criminal act that would bring in the police, we are unable to stop this form of race attack.”
The Reverend Michael Robinson, whose Blacktown Anglican Church has a significant Sudanese membership and a Sudanese co-pastor, said he counselled members of his congregation when they came under attack.
“I say to them there are people in Australia who do not like foreigners and you stand out because of your skin colour,” the Rev Robinson said.
“I tell them to stand tall and proud, because they are Australians too.”
The Rev Robinson said the Sudanese families at his church had come from a country rife with conflict and civil war and had settled well into Australia, where they had found work and a place in the community.
“They’ve all got jobs, in fact many have two jobs and they manage to fit in together despite the fact they come from different backgrounds.
“We have twelve different Sudanese tribes represented in our congregation and they manage to work together harmoniously.
“It’s a shame some Australians can’t manage to do the same.”