The Sydney Train Attack: Where Do We Draw The Line?

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]

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About William

William is a very simple person who can't sit at a desk for an extended period of time without going insane. He is currently studying law but hopes to find a career with more than just daily paperwork. He believes that humans are blind to their own bias and often reason is merely a state of mind. He also doens't mind being contraversial at times, believing that accepted notions should be challenged to encourage greater thinking. He has a hunger for going off the beaten track and doing something other than the usual asian pursuits (karaoke!), and is passionate about hiking and extreme sports. He likes to kick back to music and a good movie now and then and is proud of having never been drunk in his life (or broken a bone!). Eventually, he wants to have made a difference to the world somehow, and strongly believes the maxim that glory is fleeting but obscurity is forever. Oh, and he likes to blog on 8asians and brag about himself in bios.
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