Public servants need to help tackle racism: Soutphommasane

Ahead of his speech at the National Press Club, Tim Soutphommasane says those with influence “should be particularly vigilant” in responding to racism.

Those holding influence in government need to make particular effort to make clear that racism is socially unacceptable, says race discrimination commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane, ahead of his appearance at the National Press Club tomorrow.

“We can all play our part in preventing and responding to racism in the community. Those in public office or a position of influence should be particularly vigilant,” he thinks.

This follows the release last month of Soutphommasane’s book I’m not racist but…, which looks at the history of racism, the limits of free speech, the dimensions of bigotry and the role of legislation in our society’s response to discrimination.

This communication needs to target different groups, he thinks — and the role of leaders is crucial.

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