Should We Confront Racial Abusers On Public Transport?

anne frandi-coory

I resisted the fear and stood up to racial abuse…but should I have?

Last Tuesday 14 April I was sitting on a train bound for Melbourne’s CBD at about 11am. All around me were voices in various stages of peaceful conversation, when suddenly a very loud male voice disrupted the calm. At first I thought it was a one sided phone conversation, so I turned to see who this inconsiderate person was. About four seats behind me across the aisle sat a well dressed young man wearing sunglasses looking straight at the window opposite his seat. In seats beside him but facing the rear of the carriage sat an Indian couple; I could only see the backs of their heads at this stage. The young man began to yell and scream obscenities obviously referring to the couple which alerted me to what this was all about:

Speak English you f…… c……

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