‘Turnbull, take your words back’: South Sudanese plead for racism to stop
Australia’s South Sudanese community reaches out to prime minister in new video in bid to end vilification.
High school student Elizabeth Gai says she wants to be a doctor one day. Ashar Anyar is studying criminology and aspires to become a lawyer.
The two South Sudanese-Australian women have big dreams, but first, they just want to be heard.
“We need our politicians and our leaders to know that we are affected by their statements,” Anyar, 24, told Guardian Australia this week at the launch of a new video highlighting racism directed towards the South Sudanese-Australian community.
Created by prominent Australian film and TV producer Richard Keddie and Anglican bishop Philip Huggins, Please Stop features South Sudanese community members relating their experiences of dealing with racism.
With the Victorian election looming, Keddie said he hoped the video reassured the South Sudanese community that “there are a lot of people on their side”.
While Anyar and Gai want their voices heard, others said they hoped politicians would reach out to them rather than attack their community over youth crime.
Last month, Soma was on the way to the Please Stop video shoot in the Melbourne suburb of Albert Park when he stopped to fill up his car. As he stood at the bowser, he was racially abused by a man. Soma said the man aggressively waved the petrol nozzle in his direction.
“I blamed myself because I didn’t wear my clerical collar,” Soma told Guardian Australia.