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    This TikToker Is Explaining Why Australia's Racism Is So Much More Insidious When Compared To The USA

    Loud, proud and in your face racism is all-too-common in the States, especially when you see the racist backlash in response to The Little Mermaid, House Of The Dragon and Rings Of Power. But racism in Australia can often be more insidious because of its casual nature.

    By this point, we've started to see a predictable cycle of racist backlash in response to increased diversity whenever a beloved story gets rebooted or adapted to the big screen.

    Ismael Cruz Córdova as Arondir in Rings Of Power

    This year alone, we've seen this happen to Disney's live-action version of The Little Mermaid — which has Black actress Halle Bailey in the titular role — as well as House Of The Dragon and The Lord Of The Rings: Rings Of Power, both of which have BIPOC actors in prominent roles.

    While these so-called 'fans' — better known as toxic trolls — have attempted to mask their racism behind arguments such as "it's disrespecting the source material" or "it's too woke", their negative intentions are all too transparent for the world to see.

    Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Miriel in Rings Of Power

    On the surface level, they proclaim that they just want their beloved stories — which, let's be honest, were all written by white men — to be left alone. But what they're really angered about is their fragile worldview being forced to change in favour of someone else's.

    People are negative review bombing #ringsofpower because it wasn't made exclusively for them and their narrow world view and now their feelings are hurt. All the baseless hate is pathetic and sad. Real fans of Tolkien are tired of your shit. Go be toxic somewhere else.

    Twitter: @LenorasTinyHut

    And is that really so bad when you consider not only the many hundreds of opportunities white people and actors will continue to have, but as well as the impact that diverse representation has on minorities?

    The problem is that although the majority of us can see these trolls for who they really are, their constant and loud attacks aimed at BIPOC actors can often drown out the good, resulting in these talented people being forced off social media.

    Kelly Marie Tran at a red carpet event

    It's an exhausting cycle of racism that is underpinned by unapologetic white supremacy — or, in the simplest terms: I am better than you and you cannot, and will not, replace me.

    White supremacists and Trump supporters at a White Lives Matter rally

    Interestingly, this sort of proud, loud and in your face racism — which is very common in the States — is not as common in Australia. That's not to say it doesn't exist, but the way that racism is presented here can often be more insidious because of its casual nature.

    white australia passes casual racism off as just jokes because theyre the only ones who think australia genuinely isnt racist. this country was built on colonialism, fucking over aboriginal australians and violating the human rights of refugees to this day

    Twitter: @MIN9YUA

    For example, instead of someone being aggressively racist, you might more commonly be on the receiving end of remarks like "Your parents speak really good English!" or "Your name is so hard to pronounce. Can I just use a nickname?"

    A white and Black colleague sitting together

    Words don't have to be used either. It could be as simple as someone clutching their handbag as you approach them or having shopkeepers watch your every move, even though you've done nothing to warrant that.

    A woman clutching her handbag while holding onto a pole on a train

    While microaggressions may seem insignificant to those who have never experienced them, these casual comments and throwaway actions have a huge impact on POCs. Why? Because they are constant and slowly chip away at your self-worth.

    A depressed woman looking at her phone while sitting on the floor

    This, combined with the 'importance' of upholding Australia's 'chill, laidback' culture, is what contributes to this country's lack of awareness when it comes to casual racism.

    An illustration of a Black man crying

    TikToker Allyssa Ablon explains this in more detail, using Netflix's reboot of Heartbreak High — which has gained a legion of fans for its diverse and authentic characters — as a prime example of how racism is practiced culturally in Australia versus the USA.

    Allyssa's video starts as a response to an American TikToker, who was in awe that the casting of an Indian-Australian lead in Heartbreak High (Ayesha Madon who plays Amerie) didn't generate a Little Mermaid-type fiasco.

    A laptop screen showing Heartbreak High

    But as Allyssa points out, that sort of loud racist outrage — often seen by the likes of Pauline Hanson — is seen as humiliating and embarrassing in Australia.

    Pauline Handson talking to the senate

    Racists in Australia would never voice their disapproval of diverse casting seen in the likes of Heartbreak High, House Of The Dragon, The Little Mermaid and more. Instead, they would rely on these casual and constant microaggressions to communicate their racism, all while maintaining that all-too-familiar chill demeanour that people associate with Australians.

    L-R: Quinni, Darren and Amerie in Heartbreak High

    And if POCs dare to call them out on their behaviour, they are immediately told to "lighten up" or that "it was just a joke". Because, remember, Australians are chill and some people will do everything in their power to maintain that as a way of masking their racist behaviour and making it harder to call it out.

    Allyssa described the existence of racism in Australia as "subtle" and "covert" and many in the comments of her TikTok agreed with her, with several immigrants noting the prevalence of offensive or backhanded jokes.

    A TikTok comment saying "Growing up as a brown girl in Australia the racism was constant but no one wants to acknowledge it exists"
    A TikTok comment saying "Yes, as a South Asian I still feel more racism in Australian than the USA and UK, especially as we're gaslit for saying something about it here"
    A TikTok comment saying "I lived there for four years; the casual racism was so crazy that I almost thought I was just making it up in my head"
    A TikTok comment saying "Casual racism will typically come in the form of somewhat offensive or backhanded jokes"
    A TikTok comment saying "the racism here is so low-key, sometimes the victims themselves don't see it until they've gone about their full day"

    Speaking further with Allyssa, she believes the key difference between racism in Australia and the USA is their underpinning ideologies.

    Allyssa talking in front of an image of characters from Heartbreak High

    "The messaging in America is 'make American great again' and 'you will not replace us'," Allyssa tells BuzzFeed Australia. "These messages demonstrate a yearning for a time in their country's history of unapologetic white supremacy. These people believe that America was at its greatest when white people overwhelmingly held power and everyone else existed under their rule."

    A Trump supporter wearing a hat that says "Make America great again"

    "Meanwhile, the underpinning ideology that informs racism in Australia today is a firm belief that racism is either 'over', that it was never 'as bad as America' or that it never existed here at all. The Australian education system, government and media are very invested in pushing this propaganda that 'Australia is a multicultural country' and focusing on that idea without acknowledging past atrocities enough. In the US, it's basically impossible to acknowledge that slavery didn't happen."

    Australians take pride in the fact that they live in a multicultural country — but that self-identity alone has contributed to a superiority complex whereby everyday Aussies genuinely believe that they are somehow better and less racist than Americans.

    A man holding a sign at a protest in Australia saying "You are on stolen land! Decolonise your mind"

    This line of thinking not only disregards the attempted genocide of Aboriginal peoples by the Australian government (as well as a long list of other atrocities committed against First Nations peoples), but enables racists to hide under this guise of multiculturalism — in that, Australia is a multicultural place, so I can't possibly be racist and you can't possibly be calling me out for racism. We're nothing like the States!

    People holding up a sign at a protest in Australia saying "Australia is a crime scene"

    As Allyssa puts it, there is a great deal of national pride in this chill, multicultural Australian identity, which, at the end of the day, enables casual racism to thrive.

    A shadow of a woman looking at a hand holding out a mask

    "This 'chill' culture of wanting to be laid-back and not 'make a fuss' allows racists to spew their vitriol under the guise of a 'joke'. It turns friends or allies into accomplices of racism by enforcing this behaviour of being complicit instead of standing up for your friends of colour."

    A woman in a corner while hands point at her

    So, how does Australia break the status quo and move past its chill mentality when it comes to racism? There's no one answer, but Allyssa said that a way forward could be to rebrand casual racism in a way that makes it embarrassing to engage it.

    Allyssa Ablon

    "For me, a great example of this type of rebrand was calling a 'King Hit' a 'Coward Punch' because it immediately turns it from something that sounded cool or powerful into something actually shameful and embarrassing."

    A man with his hand closed into a fist

    "It could be very cool to see Australians take the 'chill' culture that is currently allowing racism to thrive unchecked and use it to call out racial microaggressions with the same level of unbothered 'chill' energy."

    If you want to learn more about casual racism in Australia, be sure to watch Allyssa's TikTok and follow her account for more pop culture breakdowns.