Are Australians racist? Survey says yes

May 31, 2021
Anew survey has revealed Aussies think we have a problem with racism. Source: Getty

A new survey has revealed that more than half of Australians believe the country has an issue with racism, with many revealing they still have family members partial to a racist joke.

The Australia Talks survey, conducted by the ABC, asked 60,000 Australians about their lives and “what keeps them up at night”. The broadcaster released some of the staggering findings on Monday, revealing Aussies’ views on racism, discrimination and the treatment of First Nations people.

The prevalence of racism was one of the most widely agreed-upon statements offered up from the survey, coming well above the ‘I pay too much tax’ statement, which garnered only 31 per cent agreement. The survey found 76 per cent of Australians think racism is still largely prevalent across the country, with another 61 per cent said they have friends or family who tell racist jokes.

When filtered down to specific groups, only 20 per cent of Aussies with European ancestry had personally experienced discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity. However, 76 per cent of Aussies of non-European ancestry said they had experienced discrimination. When asked to rate the form of the discrimination, 79 per cent said it was was “minor or subtle”, but 59 per cent of Non-European Australians reported being subjected to racial slurs.

When it came to being treated unfairly at work, both Australians of European ancestry (36 per cent) and those of Non-European ancestry (28 per cent) reported they had been, although a lack of definition about what constitutes unfair treatment at work means it’s difficult to tell whether people were justified in their responses or merely suffering from the ‘office blues’.

The survey also asked about the treatment of indigenous Australians, with 57 per cent of respondents saying racial discrimination was the main constraint for prosperity and wellbeing for First Nations people, while 68 per cent said Australia needs to “do more to address past and current injustices against indigenous people”. Meanwhile, 60 per cent of respondents said racism is prevalent in Australian sport, while 51 per cent believe it pervades the criminal justice system.

You can complete the survey and find out how others answered here. The key findings will be aired on ABC at 8:00pm on Monday, June 21.

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