As young Australians and Chinese dedicated to bringing about a more prosperous, sustainable, and peaceful world, we deplore and condemn the racist attack on two Chinese international students in Sydney last Monday. The mindless violence exhibited by a gang of teenage bullies is inimical to our vision of the future.
Our deepest sympathies go to those students who have been seriously injured in this attack. We fully share the outrage and anger of all Chinese caused by this attack.
We call on all thoughtful Chinese people to understand that this group of teenage bullies does not represent all Australians. Australia is country with an evolving ethnoscape – a process that inevitably brings tensions. In 2011, almost one third of Australians were born overseas, with nearly 10 per cent of Australians born in Asia. Half of all Australians’ have at least one parent born overseas. This is still a new reality for Australia to which some Australian’s are yet to become unaccustomed. Of course, this in no way absolves Australia of responsibility for the incident.
We therefore call on all Australians to reflect on this incident and the meaning it has for us as a society. When such events occur we are quick to dismiss them as ‘isolated’ and ‘not racially motivated’, but this is not the first violent attack on an international student in Australia in recent years, nor is it the second. Australia is a forward-looking, vibrant, multicultural country. However some sections of the Australian community strongly adhere to the old approach of assimilation or the even older approach of rejecting those who look different to them. We must overcome intolerance in ourselves and in our friends, family and fellow Australians.