Another Korean has been attacked in Australia.
According to Yonhap, a 28-year-old working holiday visa-holder by the name of Cho was beaten by two white youths in the Runcorn neighbohood of Brisbane just past midnight on Nov 25.
According to Cho, the kids approached him asking to borrow his photo to call their mother. He lent it to them, but then they tried to make off with it. They then mercilessly beat him around the head with fists and blunt objects, I’m guessing when he tried to stop them.
When they were about to attack him again, Cho screamed and adopted a counterattack posture, and the louts fled in a waiting car.
After getting treated by emergency personnel sent to the scene, Cho went to the police station to file a report.
Hojustani police, however, were insincere throughout their questioning, and even scolded Cho for being out late at night when it was dangerous. Or so Cho said.
Cho added that the cops even said Asians were “stupid” and “silly” for going out at night when it was dangerous.
Cho said the attack could have been racial since the Runcorn area has a lot of Asians, including Chinese.
Cho came to Australia in July of last year on a working holiday visa. He has been learning English while working in a meatpacking plant. There are about 30,000 Koreans on working holiday in Australia.
There’s been a spate of attacks on Koreans in Australia, with a guy in Melbourne getting his finger cut off during an attack by 10 white youths in September and a Korean office worker in Sydney getting attacked by four to five unknown assailants.
Not sure if the protest photo in the Yonhap story is related to the attacks or not. What we do know, though, is Yonhap is not very happy about this all, because they also penned a piece on how the Australian government and police were coming under fire for trying to minimize or cover up the rash of racist crimes targeting Asians and other foreigners in Australia.
According to Yonhap, Hojustani authorities are worried that if these attacks become known internationally, it could have a negative impact on two of Australia’s big three industries—education and tourism. Some are pointing out, however, that attempts to hush up the incidents without presenting fundamental solutions means a solution to the problem is far off.
According to the Australian press and Asian foreign student community on Nov 26, Australia had a tough time after the attacks on Indian students in Melbourne three years ago, with the number of Indian students dropping by 70%, but the situation has yet to improve.
At the time, the Indian government and press slammed the attitude of the Australian cops for being insincere in their investigations, with Australia eventually recalling their ambassador, but the Australian authorities insisted the attacks were mere muggings, not racist attacks.
The same went for the attacks on the Chinese students in Sydney in April. Despite the white attackers using racial insults and mercilessly beating the two Chinese students, the Australian authorities simply called it “an attack that could happen in any country.”
Even pro-Chinese (Yonhap’s words, not mine) Hoju PM Kevin Rudd called it a “teenage crime that could happen in any country.”
The authorities are making the same mistakes with the attack on the Korean in Melbourne. Despite the victim reporting it as a racist attack, Victoria police did not charge the assailants with whatever Hojustan calls “hate crimes.” Instead, they called it a common teenage crime.
Police apologized to the victim and promised to re-investigate when suspicions were raised that the cops didn’t really investigate and inquires were made by Korean diplomats, but police still haven’t departed from their view that the attack was not racial in nature.
In 1995, the Australian government passed the “Racial Hatred Act” making it a crime to disparage people on the basis of race or national origin, but police almost never use it.
In fact, some point out that the law has been rendered powerless, with Victoria police using it to indict three men for attacking an Indian in 2010, only to drop the indictment one year later for doubtful reasons (Yonhap’s words, not mine).
Kim Hyeong-tae (22, fake name), the former vice chairman of the Korean Students Association of the University of Sydney, said among Asian foreign students, there is widespread belief that it’s no use telling the Australian cops that you suffered a racial attack.
An employee of one major Korean company who has suffered racist insults several times during his three years working in Australia said to Australia, which earned notoriety for its past White Australia policies, racial discrimination is a kind of weakness and Achilles’s Heal. Australians are reacting sensitively because this weak spot is being touched, he said.
Marmot’s Hole: OK, Hojustanis, what the hell is going on here? And since when did the Brisbane suburbs become A Clockwork Orange?
PS: Just to show that God does indeed have a sense of humor, MBC—yes, that MBC (and this one)—ran the Yonhap piece on their homepage.