Aussie 'racism' victim unfazed
A young Frenchwoman at the centre of a racism row in Australia has said the incident on a Melbourne bus has been blown out of proportion, according to her aunt in France.
- Published: 23/11/2012 at 08:29 PM
- Newspaper section: news
The abusive treatment of the young woman was recorded by a passenger and one version, embellished with commentary by an Australian man denouncing bigotry, has attracted more than 2.6 million views on YouTube.
"I had an e-mail from her this morning. Above all what she wants is that it does not become a row about xenophobia because it isn't one," Annie Desaintjores, an aunt of Fanny Desaintjores, said in an interview in Caen, France.
"The scene was filmed by an amateur who made a big deal of it. It has been depicted as an example of xenophobia but, as she said in her e-mail, worse things happen in France and it doesn't become a diplomatic incident. It has also been blown out of all proportion by the media and that's a shame."
The aunt said her 22-year-old niece had no intention of cutting short her stay of up to nine months in Australia.
Melbourne police are investigating the incident in which Fanny Desaintjores was on the end of a torrent of threatening abuse from other passengers on the bus, who apparently were provoked by her singing in French.
One demanded she "speak English or die" and threatened to cut her breasts off while another man shouted: "I'll fucking boxcutter (knife) you right now, dog."
Ted Baillieu, the premier of Victoria, has condemned the incident as "absolutely disgraceful" and urged the public to help identify those responsible.
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- Writer: AFP