Asserting that attacks against Indians are not racially motivated is an attractive option to authorities for whom this is a difficult (and probably expensive) problem. But most of us suspect it will not just cut the mustard.
I was impressed by the simple analysis of George Negus on television recently (7 p.m. Project). He suggested that in societies such as ours 10 per cent of people are likely to be hard-nosed racists, another 10 per cent are xenophobic (please explain...fearful of foreigners) and that this explains why the Hanson phenomenon represents up to 20-25 per cent of the vote at times when it raises its ugly head. This seemed a pretty accurate statement of affairs.
Surely the time has come to face this head-on with strong educational and advertising initiatives to promote what most of us believe, that is, that racism is hurtful, socially damaging and just plain stupid.
Just as we have seen campaigns against domestic violence recently, we should be actively promoting that racism is not Australian and that tolerance is.