Racist attacks against Asian transit passengers in Australia
I recently posted a blog about what happened when the U.S. show What Would You Do? staged scenarios in which Asian people were discriminated against.
Shortly thereafter, the latest video in a string of racist verbal attacks against Asians on transit in Australia went viral online.
In Perth, an aboriginal Australian woman making a racist verbal attack against a female Asian passenger was caught on camera this past weekend.
The Asian passenger remained silent as the other woman called her several derogatory terms, including a "whore" and "slut", and approached her. None of the other passengers stepped in.
In July during rush hour in Sydney, Karen Bailey, a 55-year-old woman, was caught on camera on a Newcastle-bound train for verbally insulting and making fun of a passenger of Asian descent.
According to reports, the tirade was triggered by two white children who wouldn't give up their seat for her. She had screamed swear words at them and called them "fucking bogan children" (bogan is Australian slang for someone unsophisticated) before the video started.
She is captured calling the police to complain about the children.
She then went on to call an Asian woman sitting beside them a "gook" and "go back to China" for no other reason than the fact that the Asian woman was sitting near the children.
Bailey repeatedly mocked the woman's Asian accent and pulled her eyes. She insulted the woman's non-Asian partner for having an Asian girlfriend.
Other passengers argued with Bailey and defended the Asian woman.
Bailey later apologized for the racist remarks. Bailey had initially given a fake name in the video, Sue Wilkins, but her name was later revealed to be Karen Bailey.
She pleaded guilty to offensive behaviour and was given a 12-month good behaviour bond.
Here's a foul-mouthed racist rant from a woman against an Asian schoolboy on a Sydney bus in August 2013.
In addition to making comments about him being Asian, she hypocritically calls him "fucking rude" and tells him to "get some manners" in spite of shouting expletives herself. She talks about being born in Australia and asking for more boats to take people like him out of the country.
The bus driver intervenes by telling the Asian passenger to sit down, but doesn't kick off the verbally abusive passenger who engages in arguments with—and even threatens to kill—other passengers as well.
The 46-year-old Susan Bernobich, who is a mother, was not convicted.
Like Bailey, Bernobich gave a number of excuses as to why she engaged in the tirade, none of which had anything to do with Asian people.
There were a number of other verbal attacks against people of Asian descent in Australia in 2013, including one by a group of teenage girls against a female Asian passenger (the Sydney bus driver kicked the girls off the bus) and a man criticizing some Asian tourists on a Sydney bus.
While there haven't been as many viral videos of similar incidents in Canada, I have seen many brief racist and derogatory remarks on buses in Vancouver.
It's always a debate whether or not to get involved in such an exchange but it's important to keep in mind the details of such incidents so that they can be reported to the bus driver or authorities if necessary.