Pellentes malesuada fames
May 5, 2014
Racism cut deeply
May 7, 2014

Changing police culture to stamp out racial bias

By Pamela Nathan

Re: “Real change or just more talk?’, by Michael Green, published in ‘Focus’, The Age, April 30, 2014

Michael Green highlights some important realities in this article.

Racial profiling and racial bias have been, and continue to be, issues in the police force, as they are in so many institutions and areas of Australian society. Racism must be acknowledged and instances that are racially biased should be analysed as such. This is vital in order to move forward.

However, what is not clear, but is incredibly important, is that racism is often unintentional. Most people do not intend to be racist. Many may not consider themselves racist or believe that their behaviour is, at times, racist.

This is why it is imperative to establish a dialogue about racism. Creating a dialogue about what is racist behaviour, and why, can generate a shared understanding and an open forum for meaningful dialogue. By avoiding the ‘r’ word, we are avoiding this important opportunity. If we want real change, we need real talk. Let the dialogue about racism begin.