From smearing dog excrement on his car to telling to “go home”, a Sikh businessman in Australia has claimed he had been subjected to racial slurs and threats over the past two to three months.
Jairnal Singh, who has been living in Hobart, Tasmania, for the past 15 years, said that he has been continuously targeted, and added that the constant barrage has shaken him.
“Never, ever has this happened to me before, and it’s been continuous [over] the last two, three months,” Singh, who runs a popular Indian restaurant Dawat – The Invitation’, told ABC News on Wednesday (Nov 15).
The first incident happened a few months back when he found that his car handle was covered with dog poop. This happened for several days in a row.
Subjected to targeted racial attacks
Later, he found racist graffiti in his driveway, telling him to “go home, Indian”.
Though he reported the matter to the police, lack of video evidence hampered the investigation.
The landlord then installed cameras at the property, which eased the situation a bit, but then threatening letters started to come.
Those letters were filled with racial slurs, however, Singh decided to ignore it after reporting to the police.
But subsequent letters contained even more offensive words than the previous ones. It included threats to damage his car, and also had comments like “you can **** off back to India”, reports ABC News.
“It’s mentally very stressful when it comes to your house, and particularly [being targeted] with your name on it,” he was quoted as saying.
Local community comes forward, extends support
Singh found massive support from his customers and expressed his gratitude in a social media post.
“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the incredible support I have received in many ways, phone calls, messages, and personal visit to our restaurant just to check on me,” he wrote.
“Thanks you so much everyone in Hobart your support, love and emotions shows that we all are together and there is no space for racism in our beautiful country.”
Police say investigating
Following this, Tasmania Police Commander Jason Elmer put out a statement informing that they are investigating the incident.
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He said that current legislation allowed for courts to “consider that a motivation of racial hatred or prejudice can be an aggravating factor in sentencing”.
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Elmer further said there was “no excuse for any form of verbal or physical harassment” in the community, and encouraged people to contact police immediately if they believe they have been the victim of a prejudice-related incident.
(With inputs from agencies)
Felecia Phillips Ollie DD (h.c.) is the inspiring leader and founder of The Equality Network LLC (TEN). With a background in coaching, travel, and a career in news, Felecia brings a unique perspective to promoting diversity and inclusion. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Communications, she is passionate about creating a more inclusive future. From graduating from Mississippi Valley State University to leading initiatives like the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Felecia is dedicated to making a positive impact. Join her journey on our blog as she shares insights and leads the charge for equity through The Equality Network.