Have you ever stood up to hate?
The Anti-Hate Heroes:
Simon on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“Today I cheated on my Iraqi hair dresser. On my way to the supermarket I walked past a charming little barbershop. I just had to get my hair cut and couldn’t be bothered going all the way down to my beloved Iraqi. Also, the hairdresser looked very interesting. Bodybuilder type. 6’2”. As I sat down on the chair we started a conversation about the ideal location of hair dressing salons. “Right next to a supermarket because people just walk in that way and want their hair cut.” Spot on. The conversation went downhill from here. Unprompted he went on a rampage explaining why cyclists are bad people. I thought to myself: “There is no point in arguing with the Hulk holding a razorblade to your throat and it’s not like he loves Hitler or something.” I changed the topic asking where he was from. He left the Lebanon as a young adult and thirteen years on he owns his own barbershop. It was a relief to have the conversation back in safer waters. He asked me where I was from. As I replied he seemed delighted. “Germany! What a beautiful country. I have lots of relatives there. I would love to visit. Driving a BMW on the Autobahn – what a treat that must be. Also, Hitler! I deeply respect the man.” My eyeballs popped out, I tensed up. Secretly I hoped he would follow up with a bad hairdressing joke: “Nobody parts his hair quite like good old Adolf.” “He celebrated Movember all year long.” My hairdresser was dead serious though. “I love him. He loved his country. I always respect a man who loves his country. And he got rid of all those Jews. I know you love him too. He is a good man. He killed the right people.” Enough is enough. F*** the pleasant conversation. Also, he wasn’t holding a razor blade anymore but moved on to the silly looking half-witted scissors to thin out my luscious hair. I told him that his comments were inappropriate and hurtful to many people. He didn’t agree with my radical idea that genocide was never ok. Some people just need to be killed he said. He was happy that “this great man” had the balls to kill “a few worthless Jews”. At this point he put on the finishing touches. Blow-dryer, gel, mirror back of the head check and done. Next time, I promised myself as I walked out of his shop I will go back to my Iraqi hairdresser, who by the way saw his family murdered in the Iraqi genocide. He needed a skilled migration visa to leave Iraq because he didn’t qualify for asylum in Australia. He gained his qualification as a hairdresser while his city was bombed day and night. I am sorry for cheating on him. Won’t happen again. Originally published via https://t.co/zu4rZFSr2B Please feel free to share :)”
Arjan on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“I am Dutch, I have lived in Melbourne since 2006. One day last year, I was working in the CBD, (Providing telecommunications/ IT support) when a man said to me 'I can't understand you!' He was referring to my accent and expressing a lack of tolerance for me not having an Australian accent. In my 7 years here, nobody has ever not been able to understand me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning and using Aussie colloquialisms in my vocabulary and expression. My response to this man was this: 'You cannot understand me because I speak English with a Dutch accent? Perhaps we should communicate in one of my other languages then... How about Dutch? Or German? Or French? Perhaps a little bit of Norwegian, or Polish? Even better, why don't we both learn to speak in Wurundjeri, or another Indigenous language? You not accepting my accent is racist, you need to do better than this.' I was in a public place at the time, people around heard what I said, the man was obviously embarrassed and did not say anything. I am glad I called him out on his racism, he might think twice about his narrow-minded ethnocentricity in future... ”
Avinash on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“We where chatting in an online chat room. There a girl commented on my black color ND I replied my color is on your head (your hair) and your color is under my feet.... ND she was really humiliated... LEARN TO FIGHT FOR YOURSELF”
Deanne of Brunswick on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“I think this is my favourite Nelson Mandela quote - "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."”
Wils on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“I'm doing research for an essay and came across this quote by Elie Wiesel - "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference." Which made me think about how apathy is the source or cause for so many problems in the world. Then I find this quote by Rollo May - "Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is.". And what's the 'worst evil' according to Helen Keller? The apathy of human beings.”
Moe on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“This is not my story. This is what I have witnessed and this is why I'm proud of Australia. On tram #3010 (96 East Brunswick) this morning a passenger outraged by the tram driver's emergency brake started shouting at him while incorporating racist comments referring to the driver's ethnicity such as "Chinese c***". Upon using that racist comment, an Australian passenger jumped off his chair and walked towards that person and said: Oy! Shut up or get out! The racist dude started shouting back at the guy. Another passenger interfered and both Australians started talking to the guy and told him that he cannot say that to the driver or anyone. The racist guy felt outnumbered and embarrassed and ended up leaving the tram. I had the chance to thank that person and told him not to bother with an ignorant person. He said he had to say something because it's wrong, this is not what Australia is all about.. I am really proud of being part of this country and what happened today made me proud of Australia and Australians. Those heroes did not need to interfere yet they stood up for all Australians of different ethnicities and creeds. Respect! ”
Bridget on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“I've posted this after I read two extremely ignorant status updates that made me shake my head in shame. Alright bit of a rant but maaan, what the hell is wrong with people? Do you really think it's okay when you're mad at a person that you can insult them with a racist/offensive term because they did something wrong? Or generalise all people of that race or religion for that one person’s actions?”
Sophie on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“I am a strong advocate for LBGT "rights"… It is extremely sad to see that in this day and age, our people are fighting for equality. Being able to marry the one you love shouldn't be a "right" that we have to fight for. ”
Reynah on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“As a first generation Australian, with a diverse ethnic and cultural background, I think there is an urgent need to address the overt and casual racism in our society. Every now and then, someone puts up ‘White Power’ stickers in my neighbourhood. I don’t think my kids should have to grow up in a place where that is acceptable.””
Keith of Thornbury on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“Hey thanks for your 'There's no place for hate' stickers. I've stuck them on some racist grafitti in my neighbourhood. It's good to be able to do something! I'll send you pictures.”
Donna on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“I was with my nan and pop today with a few of their friends, and they were talking about gays, and I was surprised to know that they have nothing against people that are that are open about their sexuality. And I found it powerful that they are open to the idea that there are people that love the same sex and they have the same rights. ”
Phil on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“I am very ashamed to say this, but when I was in primary school, I used to laugh at racist jokes my mates told about our Australian Aborigines. It didn't dawn on me until many years later that I didn't personally know any Indigenous people. Today, I am very proud to say that just today my sons and I were watching the SBS advertisements for the opening of the Indigenous Television Channel this month. We are really looking forward being able to watch and learn together.”
Merrin and Nick on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“On our walk into work this morning we came across a wall of posters with the slogan 'white power, white pride'. We spent 10 minutes removing as much of them as we could and making sure that the message was no longer visible. As we walk this way to work nearly every morning we know that the posters had probably only been there since last night, so there was not much opportunity for that hate message to be viewed. It was a small thing to do but very satisfying.”
Chris O on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“Two Chinese women were speaking in their language on the Belgrave line train, and a man told them to "shutup and speak Australian" - or words to that effect. Not wanting to let this stand, I stood up and said loudly "They can speak whatever language they want, this is Australia - its a free country". Unfortunately, he took this rather badly, and proceeded to threaten me! Luckily, he had to get off at the next stop so nothing physical eventuated. Opposing hatred can sometimes be a dicey propositi”
Chelsea on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“We've had the african kids at my daughter's school get up and talk about where they came from and how they ended up in Australia. Now the kids are trying to raise donations for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. A great way to connect kids from different cultures and races as respectful human beings.”
Michael on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“After an article in the paper about an incident at a football game a friend involving young African men a friend of mine who is African got an email racially abusing him and telling him to go back to where he came from - it was sent by someone he had never met but had tracked down his email address. I was really angry about the email. I sent this man an email explaining the law and telling him to leave my friend alone and that he was embarressing all of us by his behaviour! ”
Zoe on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“There is a white power sticker on a street sign near my supermarket. It's bothered me for ages - plenty of people from different backgrounds must walk past that every day. But until now I haven't ever thought to just take it down or cover it up... next time I walk past I'm going to get rid of it!”
Teneha on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“I was walking in Footscray and passed this man who yelled out to a group of African men sitting outside a cafe "shut up you black dogs". I was outraged and upset and said very sternly to the man "be quiet" and looked at him very disapprovingly. He didn't say anything and walked on by. I think it's important to take a stand and let people know that others do not approve of this type of behaviour (upon assessing that it is safe to do so).”
Ruby on dealing with discriminatory comments.
“I was on a bus and a woman wearing a veil was getting hassled by another passenger. I went over and asked if she would like to come and sit next to me. The hassling person got off at the next stop!”