Tag Archives: Racism in Australia

The Two Chairs chats with Kevin Lim – Local comedian

Please introduce yourself and what you do

My name is Seung Hwan Lim, that’s my real name. I go by Kevin on stage and in life in general because it just makes life easier. I came to Australia when I was four with my whole family.

What is your background?

My background is South Korean. I shouldn’t have to mention South but it seems to help.

Continue reading The Two Chairs chats with Kevin Lim – Local comedian

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Everyday Racism – App review

Everyday Racism is an iPhone app released by All Together Now designed to literally put you in someone else’s skin and experience casual racism. You choose between three different characters, and over the course of a week multiple scenarios are presented to you and you then choose your reaction. We here at The Two Chairs chose a character each and tried it out.

Continue reading Everyday Racism – App review

The Two Chairs with Kate Iselin ( You are welcome in Australia comic )

Dan (Editor of TheTwoChairs) sits with Kate Iselin to chat about her new comic book Pozible campaign.

First off, please introduce yourself and your current project.

My name is Kate Iselin and my project is a Pozible campaign for a comic called “You are welcome in Australia

Continue reading The Two Chairs with Kate Iselin ( You are welcome in Australia comic )

How The Two Chairs can help white people.

Over the past few months I’ve had lots of opportunities to talk about The Two Chairs and the discrimination issues that we are tackling. Some are excited, some add their own personal stories, some tell me about their special friend that they can call the “n” word (ugh). There’s one particular group that I wanted to write about though: the ones we can teach.

When we start talking about The Two Chairs, it’s as though they develop a speech impediment. They start talking slower, pausing between words to make sure that they’re not about to say something insensitive. They start using awkward, unnatural phrases like “persons of ethnicity”.

After this happened a few times I finally worked out what was happening. They’re afraid I’m looking for an opportunity to leap over the table, grab them by the collar and yell triumphantly that I had managed to catch a racist out! Continue reading How The Two Chairs can help white people.

Inclusion Zone

I don’t recall noticing that my grandfather was black until his ‘difference’ was pointed out to me at school when I was about 9.

“Who was that black man I saw you with at the weekend,” a schoolmate asked.

He’s black? He was just my grandfather as far as I was concerned. And while I didn’t see colour then, I certainly do now.

And so started my experience of racism. While I would later be taunted at school about having a black grandfather, I soon came to realise that the pathetic comments directed at me were nothing in comparison to the direct-action racism faced by people with a skin colour that’s not white.

My mother spent her childhood trying to scrub the brown out of her skin.

Here’s a picture of my grandfather in Egypt in 1940 during WWII:

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He was Moriori but served in a Maori battalion.  Continue reading Inclusion Zone

#BAD2013 – Our thoughts on Multiculturalism

Blog Action Day is an free annual event, that has run since 2007. It’s aim is to unite the world’s bloggers by posting about the same issue, on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a positive global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all, raises awareness or even funds for not-for-profits associated to the theme issue. This year the theme is Human Rights.

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Suzie Nguyen on being a Banana

A banana is a fruit that is yellow on the outside and white on the inside. I am Asian Australian, and so are B1 and B2, the two characters from the Banana in Pyjamas show. When I was a kid I never questioned the differences between people, fruit and race. As a teen, I struggled with my identity of fitting into yellow/white cultures. Now, I am embracing my combined yellow and white thinking. Diversity is a part of Australia’s identity and unfortunately so is racism. Today’s battle in Australia isn’t fighting overt racism. It’s recognising the greyness of the issue and raising more awareness of other forms of racism, like casual racism. I am part of The Two Chairs initiative, we are planning to use art, community and conversation to help bring constructive discussion to this issue. It’s time we creatively chat about race and racism.

Dan Machuca on Pop Culture

Popular culture is this generation’s myths and legends. Characters such as Superman, Optimus Prime and GI Joe had as much of an effect on my upbringing as Theseus, Moses or Hercules. This is why I think it’s important now more than ever that we are as inclusive and culturally senstitive as possible with the shows we have in TV. For some people what they see on television will be their first exposure to other cultures, so stereotyping them as lazy, dishonest or otherwise “different” can only further a negative stereotype for nothing more than cheap laughs. Remember that it’s your attention that these shows want, and by voting with your eyeballs you can truly help make a change in the community.

 

Not All Asians are Chinese

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Since my last post a few people have responded and shared their own thoughts about common racial misconceptions, such as “Where are really you from?” and “All asians look alike”. Ellie, a Korean Australian adoptee, recently shared her experience about visiting Korea and how culturally different it was, including how she noticed micro-facial differences between people. While Shu Shu responded with her version of “Where are you from?”

My background is Vietnamese, yet people will come up to me, show me a potential tattoo in Chinese Characters and ask if it reads “peace” or “love.” Maybe I should nod my head, hope I was right and potentially give them a tramp stamp. Continue reading Not All Asians are Chinese

Educate our children about racism

My personal memories as a first generation Italian growing up in Australia are quite positive. My parents migrated to Australia from Italy in the late 1960’s, and have told me that initially they did encounter racist slurs and comments, especially in the workplace. My parents could not speak English well and had no way of defending themselves. Continue reading Educate our children about racism