'Not racially motivated'

January 16, 2010

The Indian Mail Today cartoon that has so outraged Australian politicians was a response to Australian authorities' claims that the spate of murders and assaults against Indian nationals in Australia was "not racially motivated".

This denial around the attacks on Indians is not the only example of the Australian government being blind to racism, if not to race.

Liep Gony, a 19-year-old refugee from Sudan, was brutally murdered in Melbourne on September 26, 2007. The killing became a pretext for an outpouring of racially-charged statements from politicians and media commentators about the involvement of African-Australian youth in violent crime, despite the fact that the only African involved in this crime was the innocent victim.

On December 18, Clinton Rintoull was sentenced to 16 years for the killing. In passing sentence, Justice Elizabeth Curtain described the murder as "vicious, brutal and unprovoked", according to the Herald Sun that day. She described how Rintoull was seen day with the metal pole he used in the crime shouting, "These blacks are turning the town into the Bronx. I am looking to take my town back. I'm going to kill the blacks."

She also sentenced him for property damage, namely spraying graffiti that read "Fuck da niggas".

Despite this, Curtain concluded she was "not satisfied" that Gony's murder was "racially motivated".

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