No room for racism
Protesters raise their fists during a rally organised to show support for the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, following recent police shootings in the US, in central Sydney, Australia, July 16, 2016. Reuters/David Gray

A divided opinion is seen when people are asked whether Australia is racist or not. In an attempt to address the issue, an SBS campaign concerning racism will begin next week.

As part of the campaign, titled “Face Up to Racism,” three specials that highlight the persistence of racism in the community will be screened. These specials are “Date My Race,” “Is Australia Racist” and “The Truth About Racism.”

The campaign comes on the heels of a survey conducted by SBS in association with Professor Kevin Dunn, from the University of Western Sydney. The findings of the survey, which took into account more than 6,000 people, revealed that 20 percent people faced racial discrimination in the past year. In addition, one in three people were at the receiving end of racial biasness at their workplaces and more than one in three people on the streets or public transport.

Nevertheless, the survey also found that 80 percent people believed "it is a good thing for a society to be made up of different cultures", 77 percent felt "something should be done to minimise or fight racism in Australia", and 76 percent "would stand up for someone who was being discriminated against."

The campaign will feature a documentary, titled “Is Australia Racist,” hosted by Ray Martin. The special will include Martin carrying out hidden camera social experiments on people. The experiment, Martin says, has been created to bright to light “the experience of racism through the eyes of those who have suffered it.”

"I don't think we're racist," Martin said. "I think our attitudes are generally much better than they were. The discussion of racism, of anti-discrimination, of reconciliation and so on is far more widespread and stronger than it was when I was a kid."

Another special as part of the campaign, titled “ The Truth About Racism,” will be hosted by Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Herein, scientific tests will be conducted to understand and measure racial bias. The third docu-segment, titled “Date My Race,” will be hosted by Zambian-Australian Santilla Chingaipe.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently handed down the Close the Gap report for this year. According to the findings of the report, there is more work to be done to bridge the gaps Indigenous Australians face in the country.

The targets regarding health, education and employment have not seen improvement, the report shows. On the other hand, some of the other targets have experience regression.