A young Pakenham woman says she’s been vilified and subjected to vile social media abuse because of the colour of her skin.
The 19-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous for her own safety, received disgusting messages following a recent attack on a former soldier in a Pakenham park.
A string of abusive messages from a fake social media account stated they knew where the woman lived and worked, before threatening to “bash your faces in”.
“You filthy useless black c*** beating up aussie soldiers ya filthy c*** (sic), one message read.
“F*** off back to Africa ya filthy looking ugly s***.”
The victim emigrated from South Sudan to Australia in 2005 and says she’s been subjected to racism ever since.
“I’ve had people walk across the street from me and when I get on the bus people will move away from me. I’ve had people refuse to be served by me at work. People scream the N word at me. If I walk around a shop I always get followed,” she told the Gazette.
While the racism used to upset the woman, she says it “doesn’t really bother” her anymore.
“Sometimes it will get me down but I’ve learnt that there’s nothing I can do about it,” she said.
“It’s just an ongoing thing. It’s the little things. People look at me funny. There’s been times where my phone was dead and I didn’t know the time, so I’d ask for the time and people would just say ‘no, you’re not having my phone’ and I’m like ‘I don’t want your phone’.
“It’s just kind of rude in general. I don’t judge you because I’m white, so why do people judge me because I’m black?”
The young girl said the community had the right to be angry about a recent spate of attacks in Pakenham, but said it was important that entire communities weren’t tarnished.
“You have every right to be mad but you don’t have any right to villainise the whole community,” she said.
“Yes, there are young people in our community who don’t want to be supported. There are kids that just aren’t listening and would rather fall to peer pressure. I think they need to realise in a couple of years they’re not going to want to be in trouble with the law. But as a whole community, there are more good people than bad people. I’ve met a lot of bad white people and a lot of white people, but I don’t judge white people as a whole.
“I can’t change anyone’s perception about me but I just hope people start being nicer to one another. Being a mean person isn’t fun. It doesn’t make you a better person, it just hurts the other person.”
The victim has reported the vile messages to police but due to the online abuser hiding behind the cover of anonymity, she’s not confident their identity will be revealed.