Culture

These Powerful Ads Targeting Casual Racism Are Coming To A TV Near You

"Racism. It Stops With Me".

The Australian Human Rights Commission has today launched a new anti-racism campaign centred around two TV ads that depict experiences of “everyday” or casual racism in Australia.

The ads are part of the AHRC’s ongoing anti-racism campaign, “Racism. It Stops With Me”, led by Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane. One of the 30-second clips highlights casual racism in the workplace and the other focuses on an Aboriginal man trying to hail a taxi.

The ads were informed by independent research that showed “racist incidents frequently occur at work and while people are doing everyday things such as catching a bus, riding a train, or flagging a taxi,”  Soutphommasane said.

“Not every act of racism is overt or obvious,” he told Junkee. “And it’s not always about racial superiority. Racism can involve more insidious stereotypes or acts of exclusion.

“Around the world, we’re seeing intolerance and bigotry on the rise. We must emphatically stand against racism in all its forms.”

In 2015-16, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accounted for 54 percent of the complaints received by the AHRC under the Racial Discrimination Act. According to the recent census, Indigenous Australians account for approximately 3 percent of the Australian population.

A survey by the Scanlon Foundation found that nearly 60 percent of Indigenous respondents had experienced racism in the last 12 months.

The AHRC’s statistics also demonstrate that casual racism in the workplace and in the provision of goods and services collectively make up nearly 40 percent of all complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act.

“These everyday and often casual expressions of racism are unacceptable,” Soutphommasane said. “We have developed these community service announcements because we want to raise awareness of everyday racism and its impact. We want to get people thinking about what they can do to help put a stop to racism.

“We hope this campaign helps create a culture where people are able to identify racism and have the confidence and tools to act appropriately and safely when it does occur.”

The ads will run on free-to-air TV for the next two months.