Shared from the 2/7/2019 North Shore Times eEdition

Racism on the rise, warns GP

Longueville doctor says she is often racially abused on the north shore

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Dr Anita Alexander at her North Sydney surgery. Picture: Tim Pascoe

A LONDON-BORN doctor says she has experienced so much “blatant” racism since moving to the north shore 14 years ago that she has decided to speak out to highlight the problem.

Dr Anita Alexander, who is of Indian descent, says she has not encountered racism anywhere else.

She says she does not see it in her professional life, perhaps because her patients respect her position and are seeking her medical help.

But it is a different story in public, where people do not know who she is or what she does. She says she has been the target of so much casual racism since moving to Sydney with her Australian husband in 2005 that she has decided enough is enough.

“I have never experienced so much overt racism in all my middle-aged life,” said the Longueville GP, who practises at North Sydney and also works at the Mater and North Shore private hospitals.

“I am truly astounded by the behaviours of a so-called civilised people in the 21st century,” she said. “A good job and a good postcode protect no-one because it is a heart problem.”

She said she had dismissed many incidents from her memory over the years but could still point to many specifics, including:

› The man who pushed in front of her in a queue at a Lindfield church fete, saying, “It’s a white man’s privilege’;

› The woman driver who called her a “black dog” after nearly running over her two-year-old son Joel near a Lane Cove preschool; › Her three-year-old daughter Georgia being told by a child at the same preschool, “I can’t play with you because you are black’;

› Being called a “monkey” by an impatient shopper behind her in a two-dollar shop;

› Being elbowed away by a man who “didn’t want me touching him” on a crowded Lane Cove bus;

› Seeing a private schoolboy giving her and her family “the finger” as they drove past in Lane Cove.

“People need to know this is happening in very affluent, desirable suburbs full of educated people,” she said.

“I can’t help but think, if I was a caucasian, people just wouldn’t do that.

“Other cities are so progressive; why is there such retrograde thinking here? I can’t keep quiet any more. Thank you Australia for giving me a voice to speak up against injustice. My grandfather, a High Court judge, would have approved.”

She said that, as she listened to the Prime Minister extolling Australia’s virtues as one of the world’s most admired multicultural nations on Australia Day, she thought, “I’m sorry Scott, but living on the lower north shore, that has not been my experience”.

“We need to advance our mindsets and truly become global citizens,” she said.

“The world is coming to Australia, like it or not, and we become richer as people when we engage with everyone.”

Have you been the victim of a racist attack? Have you witnessed racist behaviour on the north shore? We want to hear from you. Email the editor at editor@northshortimes.com.au

People need to know this is happening in very affluent, desirable suburbs full of educated people

See this article in the e-Edition Here