Skip to main content

What is Racism?

Racism has been around for a long time and it comes in many forms and many places. Racism is the prejudice, hatred or discrimination towards a group or an individual due to their colour, ethnicity or place of origin. This discriminatory behaviour directed at a race or colour often results in acts of ill-treatment or harassment. If you are experiencing discrimination in your workplace or if you have been harassed in any way due to your race, you may consult with Sydney criminal lawyers or workplace lawyers to understand your legal options.

Keep in mind that one does not have to be violent to be considered a racist. Racism also comes in the form of racial name-calling and jokes. Sadly, racism is not new in workplaces and schools where people of colour are excluded from activities or groups because of their race. And you know it’s bad when the laws and the enforcers that are meant to keep the country secure makes people of colour feel unsafe.

The Peaceful Protest for Equality in Perth 

Some citizens of Perth have gathered in a peaceful protest as a stance against racism and police brutality. The death of George Floyd, a victim of police brutality in the United States, triggered rallies from all over the world for justice and equality for people of colour. The protesters chanted “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace” in Forrest Chase. Some people also held signs and placards with George Floyd’s last words “I can’t breath”. The protest is not only to show solidarity with the people supporting BLM, but it is also to recognise that Indigenous lives are also lost in custody within Australia. 

One of the protesters chanted “The system is broken, it’s broken in America, it’s broken in Australia, it’s broken in Western Australia,” into the microphone. The protesters fell silent and knelt at some point of their peaceful rally to pay their respects and honour the lives lost under police custody.

The peaceful protesters in Perth and the rallies happening all over the world are sending a message that people need to acknowledge that racism exists and it is happening in the country before they can stop it. 

Understanding Racism in Australia

Understanding racism is not easy when sometimes, people can’t even distinguish between a good joke from an offensive one. On top of that, some forms of racism are subtle and it is hard to spot. An example of subtle racism in a company is when someone in the management is looking for good candidates for a promotion and that person purposely does not include people of colour despite being qualified for the position. Of course, workplace lawyers can help you build your case if you have experienced any kind of discrimination at work. 

Racism does not only happen in establishments, companies or schools– it happens everywhere. Racism is the barrier that prevents people from being treated with respect and equality due to their race. 

History and Racism

History plays a big part in the existence of racism. Some race were considered as inferior in the past and sadly because of that, these races still face discrimination until now. For instance, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders need to face several barriers that other Australians don’t experience– one of which is lower employment rates. The unfair treatment towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders goes back to Australia’s colonial past when the Native people were considered as inferiors. Unfortunately, this prejudice towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has yet to disappear.

Sydney Criminal Lawyer Explanation on the Importance of Institutions in Understanding Racism

Schools, companies, court systems and organisations play a significant role in perpetuating racism. These institutions allow certain groups of people to have more voice in shaping the country. For instance, during the British colonisation in Australia, the laws, schools and other institutions were shaped by a dominant group that excluded Aboriginal people in the process. Bias institutions resulted in racist government policies like the White Australia Policy

You can see how institutionalised racism can shape racist policies with long-lasting effects based on how high the rates of Aboriginal deaths in police custody and imprisonment of Aboriginal youths.

The Imbalance of Power Between Races

Understanding how history and institutions perpetuate racial disadvantages will help people understand that there is an imbalance of power between races. Some people argue that people of colour tease each other all the time and they even use “racial insults” to make fun of their own race. However, when a POC makes fun of their race or a friend with the same race, there is no imbalance in the exchange. The context and scenario changes when a race that is considered as dominant uses a racial insult or makes a stereotypical joke about another race, especially when they don’t share the same painful historical background.

When a dominant race uses racial slurs, there is an imbalance of power which makes the joke degrading or racist instead of funny. 

The main issue here is that racism does not stop at words. People of colour experience acts of discrimination and harassment due to their race every day and sometimes it even costs them their lives. That was the case for George Floyd, and that was and is the case for many other discriminated groups and races.

If you or someone you know is being harassed or discriminated against due to your race, you can seek legal help from workplace lawyers for work-related issues or Sydney criminal lawyers for other criminal acts directed at you.


Racism affects many lives as some races are targets of ridicule and prejudice. Racism has a significant impact on people of colour because it damages their career, education, image and their lives in general. It is unfair that some groups are judged because of their colour, race or origin.

If you or your loved one has been harassed or discriminated against because of your origins, seek help from professional Sydney criminal lawyers. You do not have to endure abuse in silence, you have the choice to fight for your rights.