‘We speak English in this country’: woman films racial tirade on Sydney train

December 18, 2015 – 11:36PM

    Kate Aubusson  Journalist

A Sydney train has once again become a battleground for racial tolerance after a young woman was subject to a vicious tirade from a fellow passenger.

Natalie Soto, 20, was speaking Spanish to her mother over the phone as she rode a train into the Sydney CBD on Thursday morning.

“My mum just wanted to make sure I had caught the right train. Her English isn’t very good so I was speaking to her in Spanish,” Ms Soto said.

Natalie Soto filmed the woman on the train

She could hear the angry grumblings of a woman sitting two rows in front of her but was shocked when she realised the woman’s gripe was with her.

The incident is the latest in a string of racial tirades filmed by commuters on Sydney trains and buses.

In September a woman filmed hurling abuse at a Chinese-Australian passenger on a bus was charged with assault after a string of similar incidents involving the same woman was reported to police



Nikki Strong, the 19-year-old who defended Natalie Soto against racial slurs from a fellow passenger. Photo: Supplied

In April a Muslim couple from Brisbane were the targets of an anti-Islamic rant by a woman on a train on their way to Sydney airport with their four-month-old son. A female passenger filmed the exchange, and was praised for standing up for the couple.

A 55-year-old woman was arrested at Wyong Train station after she was filmed unleashing a racist tirade, targeting children and an Asian woman on a packed peak-hour train.

Ms Soto said she initially paid no attention to the woman.

Natalie Soto said the incident on the train was by far the worst she had encountered. Photo: Facebook

“I didn’t really take any notice until she turned around and looked at me and said ‘get that dirty wog off the train, she’s giving me a headache’,” Ms Soto said.

“I thought ‘okay, this is about me’,” she said.

But Ms Soto’s fellow passengers soon came to her defence.

That’s when Ms Soto started recording the scene on her camera phone.

“It’s not English. Why should we have to listen to f—ing rambling,” the woman can be heard saying on the recording Ms Soto posted to Facebook.

“Because we are a multicultural country,” a young woman fires back as she swivels around in her seat in view of Ms Soto’s camera phone.

“Are we?” the blonde woman says.

“Unless you’re Aboriginal, you have come from another country to live here. We’re all from different cultures,” the young woman responds.

“Yes, just look at the carriage,” Ms Soto replies, referring to her fellow passengers.

“We speak English in this country. If you can’t speak it in public don’t speak it [sic] at all,” the blonde woman said.

The woman seemed to be taken aback that Ms Soto responded in English, the 20-year-old said.

“Lucky for you I can speak multiple languages and I can understand exactly what’s going on,” Ms Soto said.

“Speak it in your own home, don’t speak it in public,” the blonde woman responded.

“Does it make you uncomfortable?” Ms Soto asks.

“Yeah it does,” the woman responded.

“I think you really need to question yourself,” Ms Soto said.

“Do you want me to speak my f—ing language and see how you f—ing like it?” the blonde woman says.

“So her speaking another language is not okay but you saying the c-word in front of children is okay,” said the same young female passenger who spoke up earlier.

She was referring to a comment made by the blonde woman before the recording had started, according to Ms Soto.

The Australian born retail assistant, born to a Chilean mother and German father, said it was not the first time she had been called a “wog” or copped unpleasant comments from strangers who overheard her speaking Spanish.

But her encounter on the train was by far the most aggressive, she said.

“It has never been such a public outburst. There was so much anger there,” she said.

“It was definitely a slap in the face.”

Ms Soto said she didn’t film the woman to shame her, but to highlight the everyday racism she believed was an enduring problem that needed to be addressed.

“The point was to show people that this is a very real issue in Australia. It’s not just me. It’s more than that,” Ms Soto said.

“But I know people like her [the blonde woman on the train] are just a minority of really small minded, bigoted and [prejudiced] people. It’s really comforting to know that,” she said.

She was also heartened by the response from her fellow passengers’ response.

“I didn’t get to speak to or thank the beautiful girl who stood up for me. She was lovely.

“I’d really like to find her and say thanks,” she said.

The young man sitting next to her had also cheered her up, telling her he thought Spanish was a beautiful language, Ms Soto said.

“He said: ‘Don’t ever let someone tell you the way you are is a bad thing’,” she said.

A Sydney Trains staff member has been in contact with the 20-year-old regarding the incident.

Ms Soto is also planning to make a formal complaint to police.

Update: Natalie Soto finds her defender

The “lovely” girl who stuck up for Ms Soto during the tense confrontation is 19-year-old university study Nikki Strong.

Ms Strong reached out to Ms Soto after seeing news reports of the incident on Friday evening and the two women, both psychology undergraduates, have bonded over the experience.

“We definitely want to meet up. We’ve found we have a lot in common,” Ms Strong said.

The 19-year-old said she had on occasion heard offensive comments during train trips, but nothing as vehement as Thursday’s incident.

“When I started sticking up for Natalie she called me a c— and said she was going to spit on me and my boyfriend,” Ms Strong said.

“There were children … under five years old … sitting literally five metres from us,” she said.

Ms Strong said she was driven to defend Natalie because she couldn’t stand the idea of a carriage full of people sitting in silence as one of their number was the target of racial slurs.

“Someone had to say something,” she said.

“I honestly just felt really bad that it happened to Natalie, and I hope people can learn from this and acknowledge that we live in a multicultural nation and have to respect people’s languages,” she said.


Party for Fascism Freedumb and the pathway to fail

Nicholas Folkes and his fast-diminishing fan club, now called the Party for Freedumb or something equally dopey, are the Don Quixotes of the far right.


Don Niqi does the stupid again

You would think that at some stage some kind person would take them aside and point out what muppets they are. But instead they keep on the same pathway to fail.

The pathway to fail in this instance was Sussex Street Sydney on Sunday 20th June outside the closed-for-the-weekend Labor Council office during World Refugee Week. And with typical strategic foresight the Pffs decided to hold their gigantic big huge awesome demo. Something about visa overstayers…?

1. on a Sunday in the middle of winter
2. in what is effectively a narrow one way street

To top it all off Sussex Street is almost in Chinatown. How the bogots must have been filled with fear to see the thousands of local and overseas Asians who flock there at weekends to sample the retail and culinary delights of nearby Haymarket.

Here is Niqi’s pathetic little hate gathering.

Thousands  Hundreds A few Muslim haters shivering outside an evil green socialist left-wing building with a blue car.

Thousands Hundreds A few Muslim haters shivering outside an evil green socialist left-wing building with a blue car.

Here is the real Rally for Refugees, attracting hundreds of people held at the Town Hall on the same day and featuring well-known guest speakers.

We can tell you who featured at Sussex Street. Niqi’s new Sancho Panza, Ralphski.


Here’s Ralphski all kitted up in hate gear. He has also come to our attention before.

Ralph also likes to contact women he doesn’t even know. That must be why he is currently desperate and dateless. Note the breathtaking sophistication of the message.


Ah well he always has Niqi. Niqi doesn’t like women all that much either.

Now Niqi was it really fair to subject those 15 odd definitely mentally impaired racists to the horrors of multicultural Sydney with all those scary people of a different colour and all that delicious foreign food when all they want to do on a cold Sunday is to huddle at home like troo Strayans and watch people whom they think look like them on the telly?

And always the copycats, they cannot even copy-and-paste their own party correctly. Niqi has long insisted that his new Facebook group party is modelled on his hero Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party.

However there is one glaring difference. Wilders it seems has no problems with GLBTI rights and same sex marriage. Everything with his limited issue party is subsumed to the task of ridding the Netherlands and Europe of “teh_mooslems”.

By contrast Niqi’s PFF party is all over the shop with “policies” on everything grabbed from a motley array of far right sewers including Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats, Niqi’s former home the Australian Pathetic Party, the League of Rights, One Nation… you get the picture?

We won’t bore you with a link but if you want to have a laugh just Google “Party for Freedom”.

Niqi has also been somewhat out of favour with certain other nutzis because he has an Asian wife – despite his well-publicised vilification of Filipino women and his championing of white exceptionalism.

You can read all about it here

And here’s a demo evaluation from some senior sources in the Pff

Some Muslim haters spin some yarns

Some Muslim haters spin some yarns


By Jessica Rowe                                                                                                                        January 20, 2012

Racism is one of Australia’s worst-kept secrets.

ThongsIf you scratch a little deeper beneath our white sand and easy-going attitude you can find ugly, hateful feelings of resentment from otherwise seemingly ordinary people.

How many times do you hear, “I’m not racist BUT…” Or how about, “Some of my friends are Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian BUT…” What follow can be the most absurd statements arising simply because of someone’s nationality or religion.

Australia has a reputation for being laid-back and generous. However all is not what it seems in this land of plenty. For a country that prides itself on having a ‘no bullshit’ attitude – we are hopeless at having an honest, and sometimes painful, discussion about the level of racism in our community.

And it doesn’t take much to get the debate going.

Legendary neurosurgeon, Dr Charlie Teo, has got the conversation started in the lead up to Australia Day. Dr Teo, who is the son of Chinese immigrants, is giving the New South Wales Australia Day speech.

I heard him explaining on radio that he ran his original speech by his family. His initial premise was that racism is no longer such an issue compared to when he was growing up in Australia. However his daughter disagreed. She told him she no longer goes down to Bondi Beach on Australia Day.

This sunny young woman had been in the mood to celebrate our national holiday, so she went to the beach proudly wearing those Aussie flag stickers on her cheeks. However, she had been abused by a group of people, who told her to “go back to where she came from”. She wonders where that might be – given she is a born-and-bred Aussie.

The good doctor discussed this with his colleagues. One of his registrars, who happened to be of Indian descent, had told him that he had been spat on at the bus stop because of his colour.

Such bigotry is shocking. And it makes me feel like I need to apologise and say we’re not all like this.

All well and good to apologise but it’s impossible to deny that racism is a real problem in our country. I’ve heard usually sensible people say, “well other countries are more racist than we are!”. Does that make what we do right? No. Such an explanation doesn’t make any type of racism okay. And besides why can’t we be better than the rest of the world in how we treat one another?

Recently I was enjoying my comfortable middle-class existence in one of my local cafes. I got chatting with Mario, the gourmet food supplier. He had a delivery of sensational olive oils, pasta and cheeses. Here was a trivial, but tasty benefit of living in a multicultural society.

Now despite living in Australia for over 40 years, Mario still has the thick accent of his mother country. He tells me that life is good in Australia; he had his children here and now his grandchildren are getting ready to start university. But he’s getting out of the food industry because “the Indians are now taking over the kitchens”. Huh? That is simply not true.

I’ve also heard from a number of politicians who represent electorates with large ethnic communities that earlier migrants have racist attitudes to newer arrivals.

Often we fear what we don’t know, or we fear something new…

Human rights campaigner Samah Hadid is passionate about breaking down the fear we have of the unknown. This young woman, whose parents are Lebanese Muslim migrants, lives in Bankstown in Sydney’s Western suburbs. She has also experienced racism as a young girl growing up in the suburbs, where judgements were made about her Muslim faith.

She has experienced racism in the workplace. Such unfortunate experiences mean she’s highly qualified to bring the discussion about racism out into our bright, harsh sunlight. She says the issue is like “the elephant in the room”.

She points the finger at our politicians, claiming they don’t want to acknowledge the racism in our community.

Why? Well, Samah believes its part of the collective guilt we hold about our past, that shameful part of our history of how we treated the original inhabitants of this land.

But before I sound holier than now, I also have had to recognise that I too have been racist. I have made unfair judgements about people based on their appearance. My champagne socialism and activism was challenged when I travelled through the United States as a naïve but pretending-to-be-world-weary student.

During that time I’d been active in student politics at uni, and spent my days and nights having impassioned discussions about how to change the world. I wasn’t ‘one of those people’ who judged others… Oh, noooo, not me. But, oh yes, I was…

My privileged and sheltered world was shaken when I found myself avoiding young black men on the subways.

I thought I would be mugged and worse. I was sure they were gangs waiting to draw a gun on me. Looking back, rather than boyz in the hood, these men were probably students, musicians or maybe adventurers just like me. And it makes me feel ashamed that I had felt such prejudice. Such irrational judgement took me by surprise.

Samah Hadid says it is human nature to fear the unknown.

She says we are all “a bit racist” because of the perception we have of “others”. And that racism exists in every society. The trouble really begins when those fears are exploited by one group to exclude another group and it becomes politicised. A perfect example of this is the image of asylum seekers and refugees.

Samah says at the heart of asylum seeker policy is racism, and that no-one on the left or right of politics wants to acknowledge it. Interestingly she says many Australian find it confronting to see images of ‘foreigners arrive by boat’ because we’re an island and we have this idea of being taken over and swamped.

Our geographic isolation means we are sheltered from the rest of the world and perhaps it’s not a stretch to say this also feeds into the ‘us and them’ mentality.

So what is the way to deal with our guilty big secret?

Change is in the air if women like Samah have anything to do with it. Samah says we need to listen seriously to minority groups’ experiences of racism and not dismiss their stories as trivial and un-Australian. We are a demographically diverse country so how about we see that on our television screens and in the corridors of power. Let us applaud our politicians if they take the high moral ground.

It takes bravery and courage to get our heads out of the white sand but I’m game if you are…

Jessica Rowe*Jessica Rowe is a broadcaster and writer who, in a career spanning 20 years, has worked at all the major Australian commercial television networks. She is has written the best selling book, Love. Wisdom. Motherhood as well as co-authoring The Best of Times, the Worst of Times with her mother Penelope Rowe. Follow Jessica on Twitter @msjrowe or visit her website at www.jessicarowe.com.au

**Jessica is an ambassador for welcometoaustralia.org.au


*Image of Australian flag on home page via wazoologist.blogspot.com

An open letter to Emma West, the racist on the tram

Posted by Rae ⋅ November 29, 2011 ⋅

Emma West

Dear Emma,

You don’t know me. You’re not even aware of my existence, and you’ll never meet me. However, thanks to the power of the internet and the quick thinking of a young woman with a smartphone on the Croydon Tramlink last Sunday, I know of you. I’ve watched you repeatedly as you spat your racist venom all over a tram carriage full of non-whites, while your child sat on your lap.

We’re both 34, Emma. We both grew up in Britain and are both British. That’s where our common ground ends. You wouldn’t be able to tell what my background is from my face or accent, but I am one of the myriad people to whom you object so revoltingly strongly. My father is an immigrant. He’s lived, raised a family, educated his children, built a business and paid taxes in this country. He and his fellows are the backbone of this nation’s economy and culture; they are part of Britain’s history and her future.

Only you and your ilk are blind to this rather obvious fact.

Let me tell you a little bit about Britain, my dear.

Britain’s days as a colonial power ended long ago. Because Britannia so plundered and abused the countries that formed part of her ‘glorious’ empire, her subjects had no option but to come to Britain and build lives for themselves. Not only that, but Britain actively encouraged immigration to rebuild the country after a devastating war in which colonial subjects fought alongside white Britons. And not only that, but Britain has always been a racial melting pot. ALWAYS. You need only look at a history book to see that.

But someone like you won’t do that, will you? It’s far easier for you to remain ignorant and bigoted, to be fed outdated views that have been spoon-fed to you by other, equally ignorant and bigoted individuals. You have a distorted view of history, a perverse sense of your own racial superiority and your place in a modern society.

Forgive me for shattering your illusions, Emma, but “your Britain” doesn’t exist. It hasn’t existed for a long time, and her current survival is to be credited entirely to immigrants. All those jobs that you pass up because they’re ‘beneath’ you? They go to immigrants. The jobs to which you may aspire – though aspiration may be beyond you – will never be yours, because you’re simply too uneducated and ignorant to work in them. So you see people who aren’t the same colour as you making their way in life, while you sway drunkenly on a tram and berate them in the vilest of terms.

So now you’re on remand, charged with a racially aggravated public order offence. No doubt your cause will be championed by the National Front and the EDL. You’ll be a martyr in their eyes when you’re convicted, even if the sentence is little more than a fine. You’ll achieve a degree of fame within a very narrow circle, and notoriety in the wider community. You’ll be reviled, possibly attacked, and you’ll never find work with that kind of offence on your criminal record. Who wants to employ a convicted racist? Tell you what, luv, my dad certainly doesn’t.

What about your poor child? Using that kind of language around him is one disgusting thing; doing it in public is worse; and using it to express the hateful and hate-filled views that you espouse in public is utterly unacceptable. What kind of life are you giving him? And what life will he have once you’re convicted? Because believe you me, you certainly will be convicted.

We have laws against your actions, and laws against your views, precisely because they are unacceptable in a civilised, multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial society. The law sanctions them because they cannot and will not be tolerated in Britain.

This is the Britain you live in, Emma. Welcome.


OMG R U Serious??

Australia Day is changing its name to Multicultural Day. Okay, well it’s not, but let’s not let that get in the way of making up stories to stoke the patriotic xenophobic fires. Add a little bit of ‘why do they say it’s racist to take pride in our country’, when the people who call you racist don’t do so simply because you’re proud of your country. We all are. If we weren’t proud of our country, we wouldn’t care so much about booting turkey slaps like these out of here. They give the rest of us a bad name.

On a side note, January 26th might be a significant part of our history, but it’s important to remember that it represents invasion and land occupancy to our Indigenous people. Having a national day of celebration for the anniversary of when Aboriginal people were given the vote and counted as Australians in the census, or the National apology would be certainly worth embracing if anything were to ever happen to Australia Day…

But’s that’s enough blaspheming.

Immigrants’ Ways of Doing Things

“Australia is already “multi-cultral” (sic) enough, (sic) people are running from there (sic) countrys (sic) but trying to bring there (sic) beliefs and ways of life to australia (sic), (sic) obviously if there (sic) running from there (sic) country there (sic) ways of doing things isnt (sic) the right one (sic)! You come to australia (sic) then you live like an australian (sic)! isnt (sic) that the reason you came here in the first place??!!”

‘Maggi’ speaks on behalf of both Australia’s immigrant population and resident population.

So refreshing, especially after Harry suggested building a fence around Melbourne. So insightful! Caging racist bogans in with each other – why hadn’t we thought of that before?