The recent attack on two Asian International students on a Sydney train really made me angry. Based on the students accounts, not only was it not necessary for anyone to step in on the bashing of two people but apparently, one passenger who was targeted even said, “rob them, they are Asian and they have got money.”
Funnily enough, it took a massive media blitz in China, retweets on Weibo, (China’s version of Facebook and Twitter combined) that hit over 10,000 people and Consular officials in Sydney intervening before this really hit the news. Former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd himself stepped in and amazingly, the New South Wales Opposition Leader John Robertson even used the word “racist” when describing the attacks. Although this time the perpetrators were arrested and charged, there’s a clear lesson here that all Asians, both at home and abroad should learn.
It is not acceptable to lie down and “take it.” Ghandi might have gotten it right with passive action but when faced with elements of people that don’t have any issues with breaking the rules, you just can’t. I even feel that the students should have been more aggressive. You cannot rely on judicial rulings or a legislature to stop attacks. There is the inherent image issue (as so often addressed by 8Asians) that must show that Asians are not a soft target. I believe that it takes the people on the street to understand, the sooner we stop accepting this and fight back, the sooner people will realise that it is not ok to do this. It might never end, but we won’t accept being bullied anymore.
[Flickr photo credit: baltoria]