Where are you from?

On race, prejudice, and the right to be here

Featured in

  • Published 20180501
  • ISBN: 9781925603323
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

AT A PARTY last year, towards the tail end of summer when leases go up for renewal and people move jobs and cities, a close friend of mine found herself in an odd discussion. We were at a share house in inner Brisbane, a renovated Queenslander with glossy floors and a huge back deck, with a bunch of predominantly white, inner-city, private-school kids with good educations and job prospects. She was talking to a guy she’d known for years about youth crime and the justice sector, in which she works. They were talking about migrant crime (this was before the recent ‘African gangs’ scaremongering) when he interjected.

‘Oh, but you’d believe in multiculturalism, wouldn’t you,’ he said, almost accusingly. My friend was shocked. Believe in multiculturalism? In the empirical existence of it, as one believes in the existence of gravity? Or in the use of the term in reference to the goal of an ethnically plural society? He clarified by commending the ethnic homogeneity of Japan, where he had recently been on a ski trip.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

About the author

Donna Lu

Donna Lu is a Brisbane-based freelance writer. She has previously written cultural features and essays for The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper and...

More from this edition

In the same boat

MemoirAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this essay contains references to deceased people. SWINGING IN MY hammock, it’s hard to get to...

The great transformation

EssayIMMIGRATION HAS BECOME one of the great defining, dividing issues of our time. In Europe, it is helping to overturn governments, dissolve old political...

History never repeats?

EssayRECENTLY, I WATCHED worried policemen and politicians denounce the crimes of Sudanese Australians. If you only caught the headlines, you could be forgiven for thinking...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.