Let’s Talk: Do over 60s play a vital role in stopping racism in Australia? 307

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It seems racism in this country has reached an all-time high and it makes us think: are we the ones who need to be more open-minded?

There have been so many incidents in the last few weeks that have been race-related and it should be highly concerning to just about everyone… yet it isn’t. Not only were there the Reclaim Australia rallies last week, in the news today there’s the Adam Goodes debate – is he being racially vilified or is he just unlikeable? Not to mention WWE wrestling legend Hulk Hogan’s n-word outburst. And last night, we had the first episode of Go Back To Where You Came From‘s third season, and suffice to say it was shocking.

It is fair then to say that the majority of people involved in all of these situations were over 35. Look at the Reclaim Australia footage – there were 40-60-year-olds blasting their opinions through loud speakers. Hulk Hogan is 61. Kim Vuga on Go Back To Where You Came From was at least in her 40s. Are you seeing a trend? Some might argue that these people are old enough to know better.

A few weeks ago, we showed a video of children talking about asylum seekers and what they thought. The sheer honesty and openness to others was a stark contrast to some of the hate that is spilling out of mature mouths and onto the streets.

No matter what way you look at it, racism has no place in our multicultural society. Sure, Australia has been victim to a hostage siege by an Islamist extremist, but does that warrant full blown rallies that essentially tell all Muslims they aren’t welcome?

White people are also murderers, rapists and criminals, but that fact seems lost when speaking about radicalisation of our country at the hands of a minority.

What happened to love and acceptance? Our own grandchildren seem to be more accepting than we are on grounds of not only race, but also same sex marriage and other controversial topics. With that said, we know that there are so many people over 60 who do have open arms to others, no matter the colour of their skin. So what has changed? Has our own racism made younger generations take a step back?

In another example, many were up in arms about the hero character of To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch, and his racism later in life. To be so bold, do you think this has parallels to real life? Do we get more cynical towards people of another race as we age?

So we want to know today: do you think over 60s need to be more open-minded to asylum seekers, people of colour and other nationalities? What can we learn from the younger generations?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I think we use ‘racism’ as an excuse, and often an inaccurate excuse for a much more profound behaviour. The law of the baboons is – see the stranger, fear the stranger, hate the stranger, kill the stranger. Deep down in our reptilian brain we don’t like the ‘different’.

    3 REPLY
    • But we are not reptiles, and like or not we have the right to express our selfs right or wrong, humans like to be critical of every thing because that’s the way we protect ourselfs, wether we are white black fat or skinny or just odd

    • No Elena you don’t have the right in this country if what you are expressing is racially motivated.

  2. I am not against immigration but the immigrants must obey our country’s laws and not try to impose theirs on us.

    As for the Adam Goodes debacle, he is not popular because of his racist views towards white Australians, not because he is aboriginal. This is my opinion and I suppose I will be called a racist for it.

    1 REPLY
    • I agree with you Rosanne, anyone who wants to live here, must agree to our laws. Our ancestors fought for rights, equality, and to forge the way for peace, to end war and unnecessary killing. I for one do not wish to see those rights diminished in any way. What I am seeing at the moment is a religious tax on my food, (despite others only having to say one word over food to make in acceptable) Males using a cultural differences plea when they rape, and a small minority that wish to convert the majority. There are good and bad in all groups, and we should not judge the majority by the actions of the few, but it would help if the few spoke out against atrocities being committed. Education is the way forward, and Equality for all in the law, No one is above the law of the land.

  3. Racism starts in the home I believe!

    4 REPLY
    • That’s a really good question Judith, I am no expert, maybe other influences at a certain age, what do you think?

    • I agree, I seems like you are upset by what I posted. This was not meant to be critical of anyone, I worked with children most of my working life, often a child would make some racist comment and I was obvious that it came from an adult.

  4. I don’t think many Aussies are racist, I think it all in peoples mind to take offence at what being said.For how many years have we called people Dago’s, Poms,Itie’s,Wogs,they all just laughed it off,knowing it how we accept people into our group. Today they all just a bunch of sissy’s looking for compassion an maybe some compensation..

    1 REPLY
  5. Years ago, in Sunday school, we used to sing “Red And yellow, Black and White, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the children of the world!”

  6. Racism is taught and caught. Those of us who are are anti-racist need to speak up more. No one is born racist, they are taught to be.

  7. Australians, generally, are not racist – just anti aresehole! Sick of being told if you don’t agree with someones behaviour it makes you racist.

  8. Yes I do think we are, & homophobic, you just have to read a lot of the replys on here to different articles.

    5 REPLY
    • No Bronwen, Everyone doesn’t have to express the same opinion. But if you express an opinion in a public forum that includes a lack of understanding, tolerance and compassion, expect to be called on it by those that disagree with you.

    • And that applies to anyone expressing an opinion in a public forum. Opinions are like noses….EVERYONE has one. Just because my opinion differs does not give anyone else the right to abuse and call names.

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