Growing up with brown skin in Australia was not easy. I experienced racist taunts at school, in hospitals, on the bus and from work colleagues. This made me feel insecure about myself. I know so many others who feel the same as a result of racist remarks they have been subjected to as they go about their daily routine.
Australians want to live in a society where people aren’t insulted, offended or intimidated on the basis of the colour of their skin. But many people still hear awful remarks on the basis of their race – that is why it is important Australia has laws to help us end this.
Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to do something that does “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people” on racial or ethnic grounds.
Federal Attorney General George Brandis wants to remove this protection – but it is important to all Australians, especially Aboriginal peoples and those with culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
This is more than ‘hurt feelings’ for individuals, it is about preventing racial discrimination of groups of people in our society. It’s an essential part of creating a truly equal footing for all Australians, no matter their racial background.
I’m asking George Brandis to keep section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Will you join me?