• John Paul Janke took a strong stand against racism last month (Twitter )Source: Twitter
Sometimes a simple gesture is more powerful at fighting racism than an angry tirade.
Bianca Soldani

12 Sep 2016 - 3:21 PM  UPDATED 12 Sep 2016 - 3:21 PM

The story of an Indigenous man who responded to racism with an offering of tea has gone viral today.

Jarred Wall sent a pot of fresh brew to a table of ladies at a Fremantle café, after he and his friend overheard their conversation which "was less than distasteful with words like 'assimilation' thrown around willy nilly", according to his Facebook post.

Jarred's response - which was delivered with the words "compliments of the two Aboriginals sitting next to you" - was a downright classy one, and isn’t the only example of hate being met with something less sinister.


There was widespread outrage last month after The Australian newspaper published a Bill Leak cartoon depicting an Indigenous father who was holding a can of beer and unable to remember his son’s name.

Many took to social media to label this image “racist” and “insulting”, but others responded in a more assertive way by sharing photos of what their Indigenous dads actually look like.

Cleverman creator Ryan Griffen, Western Australian Senator Patrick Dodson and Australian rugby league commissioner Chris Sarra were among the famous names joining scores of everyday families who joined in.

#IndigenousDads: Heartfelt images shared to counter Leak's cartoon
#Indigenousdads is a heartfelt response to Bill Leak's controversial cartoon, with Indigenous Australians proudly sharing images of their fathers on social media.

Interracial families

In a similar scenario that took place in the US earlier this year, hundreds of interracial couples proudly circulated images of their families.

It came in response to an Old Navy clothing ad that was inundated with racist comments because it depicted a black woman with a white partner and their child.

One family who ignored the hate praised Old Navy for giving them a “realistic portrayal of today's families, like us, the Sparrows!!"

Interracial couples share photos of their families after Old Navy ad receives racist backlash
The perfect response to hateful Internet trolls.

Responding with compliments

SBS World News host Janice Petersen also took a novel approach to racist behaviour during a recent encounter here in Australia.

She noticed a man berating two women for speaking Mandarin in “his” country while waiting for the lights to change at a pedestrian crossing.

Instead of picking a fight however, she interjected with a compliment, saying, “Behind all of this I can see a gentleman. Start behaving like one.” He ended up turning on his heels with a look of embarrassment.

Comment: I complimented a racist and won
Confrontation isn't the only way to tackle racist tirades on our streets and public transport. SBS World News Presenter Janice Petersen decided to try a different tactic.

Shut down Islamophobia

A French-Middle Eastern illustrator also takes the perspective of the innocent bystander in her four step guide to tackling Islamophobia.

Maeril drew an annotated instruction guide during the recent of the burkini debate where she encourages people who witness Islamophobic harassment to apply the psychology principal of non-complementary behaviour that involves using empathy to diffuse hate.

Instead of confronting the attacker, she suggests ignoring them completely and focusing all attention on how the victim is doing and distracting them from the situation with simple small talk.

French woman tackles Islamophobia in four steps
This illustration demonstrates how empathy can diffuse hate.

Pin it

In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum result earlier this year, there was no shortage of anti-immigrant sentiment being voiced in the UK.

Thankfully, London woman Allison responded to the spike in hate crimes with an idea inspired by the “I’ll Ride With You” hashtag that was circulated in Sydney following the Lindt Café siege.

She began a campaign asking people to attach a safety pin to their shoulders as a badge of solidarity against racism.

People in the UK are wearing safety pins to show solidarity with immigrants
The idea was inspired by Sydney's 'I'll ride with you' campaign against Islamophobia that followed the Lindt Cafe siege.