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What do you imagine in your head when I say the word, Russian? Maybe some of you may imagine a bottle of Vodka, others may imagine a bear on a tricycle or a Balalaika. If you put that all together it may look something like this. (show image) Russians just always have to have a bottle of Vodka stuck to their mouth while dancing hand in hand with a bear playing the balalaika. It is just impossible for a Russian to be any other way in the eyes of the whole world. Russians also have preconceived notions about different nations. You know, my grandparents once asked me if we ride to school on kangaroos and have lessons with koalas around us.
The French are seen as people who always wear berets, have a bottle of wine in one hand and a baguette in the other, and a striped shirt and a red scarf on them. All these judgements are what discrimination is based on in the first place. Judgement and discrimination because of a person’s race is something that happens around the world on a daily basis. So, practically, we judge others not by how they act most of the time, but by where they were born, or the colour of their skin, or by the way they speak. Only on rare occasions is our first judgement based on something other than these properties. Mission Australia’s youth survey revealed that as of 2016, a third of young people in Australia experience unfair treatment or discrimination based on their race. One-third of young Australians. The highest rates of discrimination are towards Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin and French-speaking young people. We as Australians discriminate literally from all over the globe. And this is just in Australia. And that is if we don’t forget that 28% of the Australian population is born overseas, which means that some people who are being discriminated against were even born in Australia. And it isn’t the Aborigines that are discriminating either. It’s us, white people, who aren’t even “true” Australians that are discriminating. Imagine then what the statistics all over the world is! For those of you haven’t ever been discriminated before, just imagine this situation: you just came to this school and you’re trying to find some friends, but you don’t find any because you came from a public school so you don’t deserve our attention. Just imagine how that would feel. You know, I myself remember a situation from Year 2 when I wanted to play with someone’s Lego.
Guess what he said to me. He said: “Get those dirty Russian hands off my toys.” and just walked off. 8 years have passed since, and I still remember this, though I don’t remember much from that time. And the amount of times jokes about Vodka, Communism or Putin have been made towards me would add up to large numbers. And I have got it off quite easily. How many Muslim children have been accused of being terrorists and have been chased around the playground with the words Allah Akbar flying after them, though this just means “God is most great”? How many times have Asians been made fun of the shape of their eyes or the way they speak? How many times have Aborigines been pushed aside, ignored, just because they are Aboriginal? Too many times to count. This needs to change. This needs to change, but not in the way politicians are trying to do now. In Australia, there is a law against discrimination, but that didn’t change much. In America, there is a law that says that all people are equal, but that also didn’t change much. No. No, no, no. I do not see enough change in this world to be counted as change. Discrimination is our prejudices, and our prejudices are in our mind. Laws won’t change our minds. Neither will magic or torture. I can’t change your mind. No. Only you are capable of changing your own mind, and stopping discrimination.
Don’t wait for Bob your friend, Fred your neighbour or Bill your coach to change you. You are the only one who can bring about the change to yourself. Break down the square barriers that hold your brain together, so you can finally think outside the square freely. Get rid of all previous stereotypes, so that the true essence of the person can finally get to you. Start with something small. Next time you see someone of a different race, offer him some chewing gum. Just go up to him and give it to him. Slowly but surely people around you will also catch on the idea, and this will become big. Then will we finally get rid of discrimination. Then will no one regret believing something or being born somewhere. Then will we all be equal. Then will we all be free. Free from separate nations, free from bullying, free from war, for we won’t have a reason for any of this to happen in the first place. But first, we have to do something about it. (And it all starts from you) or(It is now time for change. It is now time to make people equal not only in the eyes of God, but also in the eyes of each other. It is now time to rise above basic instincts and to use our sane mind instead. Then will truly become a great species,above animals, above mindless actions. A great species that is above discrimination. A great species that is peaceful. A great species that is great.)
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