A friend of mine just got back after a year traveling in Australia and said while it was beautiful, she was shocked at how racist the Aussies were against the Aboriginal people. All walks of life she came across seemed to have nothing but scorn and contempt for "abbos" and used them as the butt of every joke.

Can anyone corroborate this? Was she just hanging in the wrong crowds?

Another thing she pointed out is that there are so many backpackers going there, that they have become the primary source of cheap labor for the country, and are exploited at every turn.

Always thought of Aussies as friendly, happy folk so this came as a bit of a shock to me.

They also seemed to exploit every possible natural resource, have no regard for sustainability, and kill every wild animal there is due to their ever expanding and encroaching farms.

Painted a pretty different picture from "Crocodile dundee" for sure.

Any aussies out there can shed some light?

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Comment by Daniel W on January 28, 2010 at 4:19pm

I'm no Australian, and have never been there. It sounds like your friend got her eyes opened, and is less naive than a year ago.

Australia has been in the news quite a bit lately due to racist actions against Indian immigrants or temporary residents. Here is a new search on the topic. Modern racist activities in Australia have included violence and killing. Is it less per capita than other places? I don't know. The heritage of discrimination and dehumanization of indigenous peoples is unique to Australia, other than US, Canada, Mexico, Israel, Japan, China, Indonesia, Malasia, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Nigeria, South Africa, Cuba, New Zealand, and maybe 50 or a hundred other countries.

If we exclude people in N. America, S. America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Africa, and Island nations, you won't find a lot of racism. That doesn't excuse it, but it's there. Everyone makes assumptions based on inadequate information, such as "Always thought of Aussies as friendly, happy folk so this came as a bit of a shock to me." I don't mean that to be an accusation, just a way of showing that it's a generalization, stereotyping an entire nation of people, and we all do it. Doesn't make it OK, but we all do it.

The challenge to your friend, and to the rest of us, is what to do about it?
Comment by Robert Madewell on January 28, 2010 at 12:52pm
I've had several Australian friends (both online and in person). They did seem to be a bit prejudiced against Native Australians. Though, one friend in particular did seem to have an appreciation for their spirtual beliefs.
Comment by ryan cameron on January 28, 2010 at 10:35am
I agree every country has its racism, ignorance etc. but I somehow thought Australia was completely different for some reason, perhaps all the marketing. They certainly do a better job of hiding the "nasty stuff" than most countries do I guess.


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