For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 5 Jan 2014.
Recently I saw a series of photographs documenting instances of “racial microaggression” that students at Fordham University had faced. The attitudes and words are deplorable. Each of us needs to take care to eliminate such racist “microaggression” in our communities and networks.
Physical violence or employment discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity might be classified as “macro” aggression, but small instances can also hurt. Justice demands zero tolerance for all racial prejudice. And so-called micro-aggression leads to other expressions of racism in word and deed, and to a culture of racism.
I see this culture in the commentary of some Australian radio shock jocks, in attitudes to measures aimed at addressing Indigenous disadvantage, in recent public commentary on Indonesia’s response to revelations that Australian intelligence agencies spied on the Indonesian President and other officials, and in the current asylum debate. In some ways, Australia remains a deeply racist society. This needs to change.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.