Telling a racist where to go

marcuswong1

Reblogged from Waking Up In Geelong

March 20th, 2014

Last night I was headed out of the city on a packed route 57 tram, along with the usual Wednesday night crowd of people headed for the night market held at the Queen Victoria Market. Among them were a number of people chattering away in a foreign language, when a tattoo covered troglodyte said under his breath to his scraggy looking girlfriend:

You’re in Australia: Speak English!

Such a classic line!

marcuswong2a

Our tram had been stopped outside the Queen Victoria Market to drop off passengers, and I was sitting in the seat behind him, so I told him to watch what the hell he was saying. He got up out of his seat to have a go at me, spewing forth the usual bile that racists do when confronted, and asking me if I wanted to talk it outside. I just stayed in my seat, while he had his sleazy lady friend backing him up from their original seat, when some random woman down the other end of the tram told him to shut up and piss off.

Our tram driver, who was a middle aged woman, eventually got onto the PA system and told the guy to either quiet down or get off the tram – he reacted to that by punching the perspex door leading to the driver’s cab, and asking me another time if I wanted to take it outside – again, I didn’t respond!

Eventually the clod realised he had been outgunned, as he and his companion left the tram, before punching the side of the tram near where I was sitting, and then spewing some more racist bile venom to the crowd assembled at the tram stop.

At this point I remembered I had my camera in my bag, and the tram had opening windows, so as the tram departed I videoed his reaction.

He then ran after the tram, faster than he ever had in his life, but couldn’t make it far – giving up in the middle of the Victoria and Elizabeth Street intersection.

marcuswong3a

Afterwards a half dozen passengers came up to me and asked if I was okay, and that I did a good job standing up to the racist boor. As well as that, I was glad to have a random woman call out and provide backup in the heat of the moment – when a big guy is throwing their weight around, understandably most people are afraid for themselves first.

Footnote

Another line the bigot used was:

If I went to Russia then I would speak Russian

For a start, I doubt this guy has ever been to Russia, and if he did, I doubt he and his life partner would have learned Russian – I visited said country back in 2012 and only learnt four Russian words:

  • Да (“da”) – Yes
  • Нет (“nyet”) – No
  • Спасибо (“spa-see-ba”) – Thank-You
  • пиво (“pee-vah”) – Beer

Another footnote

Putting yourself into harms way by telling fat racists where to go probably isn’t the safest thing to do – a safer alternative is to abuse them from an open tram window once they leave the vehicle, because they can’t do anything back to you!

An update

The tram driver also made a police report, which Yarra Trams is following up:

And another update

By lunchtime The Age had put together a piece on the topic – Yarra Trams investigates alleged racial abuse.

Read the original here.

And some of the racist comments are real doozies.

8 thoughts on “Telling a racist where to go

  1. Good work Marcus! There needs to be more standing up to racist remarks.
    Had a similar experience on FB with a friend making racist comments. Pointed out the indiscretion and copped a tirade of abuse. Howling they were not racist, even though there it was in black and white on the screen. The problem is some people don’t even realise it’s racist. My Daughter had another experience at her workplace this week with an elderly male customer asking a non European costumer if they could speak English as he poked her in the back with his walking stick. Then ask?, “well, why don’t you ask me what sort of a day I was having”. After my daughter posted the story on FB to gain a reaction about feeling bad for not taking action herself and wanting advice. I was surprised to see that the majority of the comments were to not interfere because it might make the situation worse and you’d never teach the racist they were in the wrong. I remarked that is not about teaching a racist a lesson, it’s about supporting a victim of violence and to show that not all Australians are racists. If a little shame washed over the racist in doing so, well, I’d say that’s a bonus. It’s important now more than ever. We’re seemingly represented by a racist manipulative government supported by racist right wing shock jocks in the media. Which they’ve used politically to gain power and divide a nation. This in turn has emboldened the worst of our society. If you witness racism call it out for what it is, yes be a hero, we need them now more than ever.

  2. Yeah, I’ve had a few instances of people being bigoted towards Muslims ( which they are quick to tell me is not racist, as if that makes it OK ) and been all surprised when I called them on it. Good for you, Marcus, the more people do this and the more it’s publicised, the sooner we’ll move towards a society where people who act like this can expect that instead of being silently upset, decent people will stand up for what is right.

  3. Well Islam is a religion not a race. But it is still bigotted.

    I feel this man will be arrested soon. The author of the article and the tram driver are witnesses who have stated their accounts and the authorities have acknowledged them. Hopefully, there is further evidence from CCTV on the tram.

    After seeing the photos of the couple, I need some eye bleach.

  4. People should be able to speak whatever language they like to each other. I don’t understand why bogots have such a massive issue with someone speaking some other language to people they know. It’s the language they feel comfortable speaking and can understand each other. Why is it a problem? I don’t understand the logic. I’ve been to countries with a single official language and I’ve never heard the people of those countries complain publicly about. Presumably because they just don’t give a shit. Sometimes some countries, if enough people speak that other language, have actually MADE the other language an official language. Unless you see Somalis or going up to strangers or sales people and start speaking Somalian to them, then I don’t see what the freaking big deal is.

    • It comes from two things-

      Fear that the person speaking in the other language are talking about them. Which is fairly ridiculous, because they’re really not that interesting.

      Fear that the migrant will never learn English and will demand everyone understands them-which, even if it were true always leads me to think: “Well, if such a person exists, and they want to cut themselves off from the vast majority of Australia, this will ultimately only hurt themselves, with the worst I can expect to experience is to be unable to be served in one shop, allowing me to easily go to the shop next door”

  5. Nick “I fell out with Darrin hodges” Folkes is looking to expand his Sydney centric “party” to Victoria. This man would fit the bill perfectly, racist + stupid. That’s unless Nick is still waiting by the phone for Darrin to call him…

  6. I have just become a victim of racism after nearly 20years in australia. Today was the first time I had someone say to me to go back to your village go back to your country it was none other than a real estate agent I purchased a property from. Had my final inspection he didn’t like the fact that I accused the owner of running off with my money like a fool I purchased a couple of things from the vendor I gave him the money without collecting the things. His reply to me was to hurl abuse and ask me to go back to my village/ country. But wats the point of making a complaint no one will care and he’ll deny it. It’s very sad to know there are people like that out there I’m 30yrs just 5feet how much damage can I really do.. Very sad australia.,,,

    • Disillusioned, you can make a complaint. Tenants and anti discrimination groups may not have all the power in the world, but they do give an individual a bit more power and confidence to take on an organisation.

      I don’t know what state you’re in, but if you were in Victoria, I’d recommend talking to the tenants union of victoria about issues with the tenants, and to a community legal centre (Victorian legal aid is pretty good, but really any community legal centre can provide advice and support). Police are also a possibility, but if you don’t feel ready for that yet (And to be fair, the police aren’t always the most welcoming of people) your local community legal centre and tenants union would be a help.

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