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Racism in Australia – a covert story

Written by: Kelly Jones | Date: 16/03/2016

Last week a girlfriend, Kris (pictured above with daughter, Bella), came over to my house with her two kids for a play date.  Now, to give you a bit of necessary background Kris is a white 4th generation Australian, her husband is originally from Zimbabwe and has been an Australian citizen for 10 years. They have two kids, 3 year old Bella, and 1.5 year old Marley who were both born and bred in Australia.

During our catch up Kris told me of a recent experience shopping with her kids where a complete stranger came up to her out of the blue, pointed at her kids, and asked, ‘where did you get them from?’.  Kris quipped back that she got them on sale at Big W and walked off.

I couldn’t help but laugh at her quick wit but this stopped fast when she explained that these ignorant comments happen almost every single time she goes out alone with her kids.

People, lots of them, all the time, from all different age groups, but mainly white Australians have randomly approached her in front of her kids and ask where she adopted them from,  or how long she’s had them for, or where their parents are.

The worst bit is Bella is getting old enough to question why people are asking her mummy these things.   She wants to know why people don’t think Kris is her mummy.  She wants to know if she has other parents and where are they.  She wants to know why people are being mean to her mummy.

Mind you, this never happens when the kids are out with their dad.  Or when the four of them are all out together as a family.

So, if this is happening nearly every time Kris goes out with her kids, then this must be happening to other parents in the same situation.

This is what we call racism!  And it seems to be everywhere!!

Of course it is not what you would coin, ‘overt racism’, but more of the ‘covert’ type.  Covert in that it has a cover story, an alibi, plausible deniability.  The act itself is practised openly, but the racism is covert.

This is where people are judging others based on racial categorisation or profiling.

“Well of course, if a white woman is with darker skinned children, then she must have adopted them from some third world country. I wasn’t being racist, I was just asking out of interest”

I would put money on the fact that these people approaching Kris would deny that they are racist. What they don’t realise, is these daily negative racial comments potentially have a harmful or unpleasant psychological impact on the target person, or in this case, the family.  Racism can make people feel that they don’t belong in Australia, even if they were born here or their ancestors have lived in Australia for centuries.

Covert racism represents an evolutionary form of racism, one that has sprung from changing social norms that have made racism something that most people want to deny practising.  It is socially unacceptable to be a racist.  But pretty much only in its overt form.

Racism is not just disliking an entire race or reactively negatively to them, it is also this subtle or casual racism that we need to make socially unacceptable and put a stop to.  A comment, joke or action doesn’t need to be intentionally hurtful to be racist. Understanding this requires us ALL to evaluate our words or behaviours by their outcomes, rather than simply their intention.

 

Do you believe there is a presence of covert racism in Australia? Have you been a victim of covert racism?  If you have, how you have handled it? 

Please feel free to comment but note all racist comments will be deleted

Trish, Clayton, Vic

Kelly I cannot thank you enough for your assistance and patience.
Your after sales service was brilliant. If only all businesses could provide the
same level of after sales service life would be so much easier.
Especially when you are a tired and confused new mum!

Trish, Clayton, Vic

KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-01-15T03:07:04+00:00

Trish, Clayton, Vic

Kelly I cannot thank you enough for your assistance and patience. Your after sales service was brilliant. If only all businesses could provide the same level of after sales service life would be so much easier. Especially when you are a tired and confused new mum!

Jessica, Picton

I just want to thank you for you super fast postage of "ewan the sleep sheep ' 😀 love it ! And your personalised note topped it off 😀 Great quality, great service

Jessica, Picton

KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-01-15T03:09:40+00:00

Jessica, Picton

I just want to thank you for you super fast postage of "ewan the sleep sheep ' 😀 love it ! And your personalised note topped it off 😀 Great quality, great service

Tegan B via Facebook reviews

I have bought a beanbag, elephant playmat and the owl nightlight. They're all amazing quality!

Perfect for my little grey and white nursery.

I couldn't be happier with my purchases.

The option of afterpay is brilliant and takes away a lot of stress, shipping is fast .

Not to mention; It feels even better buying from an Australian owned business. (Complete with a hand written thank you note from Kelly on the invoice)

I would recommend this company to anyone.
KJ Essentials
5.0
2017-02-20T10:01:37+00:00
I have bought a beanbag, elephant playmat and the owl nightlight. They're all amazing quality! Perfect for my little grey and white nursery. I couldn't be happier with my purchases. The option of afterpay is brilliant and takes away a lot of stress, shipping is fast . Not to mention; It feels even better buying from an Australian owned business. (Complete with a hand written thank you note from Kelly on the invoice) I would recommend this company to anyone.

Niky, Norville QLD

My little one loves his teddy bear play mat and sleeps on it all the time.

Basically anytime he's sleeping while I'm not in bed, he's on his bear mat.

Ever since he got it he doesn't like sleeping in his bouncer anymore.

Thank you for such great service and all your help with phone calls and holding products ect and super fast delivery as well.
KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-08-31T10:20:41+00:00
My little one loves his teddy bear play mat and sleeps on it all the time. Basically anytime he's sleeping while I'm not in bed, he's on his bear mat. Ever since he got it he doesn't like sleeping in his bouncer anymore. Thank you for such great service and all your help with phone calls and holding products ect and super fast delivery as well.

Katrina

Thank you Kelly for your wonderful customer service, responsiveness to my enquiries and beautiful products.
You have been an absolute pleasure to deal with and I highly recommend your online store.
I love my little photo albums (and other keepsakes) and I am sure I will be able to fill them very quickly with pictures of my little girl. Thank you again.

Katrina

KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-01-15T03:09:22+00:00

Katrina

Thank you Kelly for your wonderful customer service, responsiveness to my enquiries and beautiful products. You have been an absolute pleasure to deal with and I highly recommend your online store. I love my little photo albums (and other keepsakes) and I am sure I will be able to fill them very quickly with pictures of my little girl. Thank you again.

‘Orlsy’ Carrum Downs, Vic

I purchased a gorgeous blue bean bag for my friend at work.
I was able to pick up the bean bag, already filled, en-route to the baby shower!
The mum-to-be absolutely loved the bean bag, and her little boy looks divine in it now!
Highly recommended :)

'Orlsy' Carrum Downs, Vic

KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-01-15T03:06:21+00:00

'Orlsy' Carrum Downs, Vic

I purchased a gorgeous blue bean bag for my friend at work. I was able to pick up the bean bag, already filled, en-route to the baby shower! The mum-to-be absolutely loved the bean bag, and her little boy looks divine in it now! Highly recommended :)

SH, Marookna, QLD

Beautiful bean bag and great quality too.
I am so very happy with my purchase.
Thanks for the quick delivery too.

SH, Marookna, QLD

KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-01-15T03:04:57+00:00

SH, Marookna, QLD

Beautiful bean bag and great quality too. I am so very happy with my purchase. Thanks for the quick delivery too.

Judy, Hampton, Victoria

I bought this bag for when my granddaughter comes over to play.
She loves to sit in it on the back porch and watch the birds in the trees.

Judy, Hampton, Victoria

KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-01-15T03:05:43+00:00

Judy, Hampton, Victoria

I bought this bag for when my granddaughter comes over to play. She loves to sit in it on the back porch and watch the birds in the trees.

Melissa via Mum’s Say (Kidspot)

The baby bean bag is a fantastic new concept that is a great alternative to a bouncer. An item that will grow with my daughter for years to come.
The product has been well researched and the workmanship/fabric is of high quality.

Melissa via Mum's Say (Kidspot)

KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-01-15T03:06:44+00:00

Melissa via Mum's Say (Kidspot)

The baby bean bag is a fantastic new concept that is a great alternative to a bouncer. An item that will grow with my daughter for years to come. The product has been well researched and the workmanship/fabric is of high quality.

Courtney, Cambridge Gardens, NSW

I just wanted to say a huge 'thank you' for my lovely chevron beanbags for my twin boys which arrived today!

I only ordered them on Monday night and was thrilled to receive them today! (I live in the Sydney region).

Excellent service, super speedy delivery and a gorgeous product!

Will definitely be recommending you to my friends 😀😀

Robin, Cargenie, Victoria

KJ Essentials
5.0
2015-12-21T10:15:37+00:00

Robin, Cargenie, Victoria

I just wanted to say a huge 'thank you' for my lovely chevron beanbags for my twin boys which arrived today! I only ordered them on Monday night and was thrilled to receive them today! (I live in the Sydney region). Excellent service, super speedy delivery and a gorgeous product! Will definitely be recommending you to my friends

Janine, Salisbury, SA

I bought the KJ Essentials plush lamb play mat for my little girl and it is one of our favourite things!

We love that you can just throw it in the wash so that she always has a clean soft place to lie and play on.

It is awesome for tummy time as the non slip backing keeps it in place while she is rocking and rolling and head banging and the padding stops her from knocking her head every time she drops it.

When we aren't using it, we keep it her nursery for looks - it is the cutest floor rug!

We also take it to places like mothers group meetings and to grans so that we know
she has a home comfort that is safe and hygenic and comfy

Kidspot Independent Review

KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-01-15T03:08:03+00:00

Kidspot Independent Review

I bought the KJ Essentials plush lamb play mat for my little girl and it is one of our favourite things! We love that you can just throw it in the wash so that she always has a clean soft place to lie and play on. It is awesome for tummy time as the non slip backing keeps it in place while she is rocking and rolling and head banging and the padding stops her from knocking her head every time she drops it. When we aren't using it, we keep it her nursery for looks - it is the cutest floor rug! We also take it to places like mothers group meetings and to grans so that we know she has a home comfort that is safe and hygenic and comfy

Mel, Albion Park, NSW

I have just received my parcel I ordered from you less then 24hrs ago!

I also wanted to thank you for the amazing service you provide, and the quality of products you supply.
I was desperate to have my purchase delivered before friday and with your advice and assistance you made this possible.

Thank you once again for all that you do for your customers, you obviously have a great passion for what you do and your customer base.
KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-04-27T12:03:16+00:00
I have just received my parcel I ordered from you less then 24hrs ago! I also wanted to thank you for the amazing service you provide, and the quality of products you supply. I was desperate to have my purchase delivered before friday and with your advice and assistance you made this possible. Thank you once again for all that you do for your customers, you obviously have a great passion for what you do and your customer base.

Kelly S via Facebook

What fantastic service! Ordered my beanbag and lamb rug bundle on Monday & it arrived this morning (Thursday), thank you! I really liked being kept up to date with the delivery process 😊 can't wait to give it to my sister at her baby shower next weekend!
KJ Essentials
5.0
2016-05-27T11:38:32+00:00
What fantastic service! Ordered my beanbag and lamb rug bundle on Monday & it arrived this morning (Thursday), thank you! I really liked being kept up to date with the delivery process 😊 can't wait to give it to my sister at her baby shower next weekend!
5.0
13

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