In life it can feel too risky to ask a question in case we offend or get it wrong. So, we stay silent, and our silence takes away the chance for someone else’s voice to be heard.
The answers in You Can’t Ask That can be shocking and beautiful, heart wrenching and funny but without a doubt always eye-opening.
“This year has felt like a return to the mid-90s level of Pauline Hanson racism,”
Jinghua Qian says, referring to the start of the pandemic when COVID-19 was being a labelled a ‘Chinese virus’. She said although it feels somewhat “cyclical”, racism is an undercurrent that’s always there.
Despite over 200 years of migration history, many Chinese Australians continue to feel othered, still having to prove that they belong.
Lily, who moved from Wuhan on a scholarship and has since made Australia home, describes a recent racist encounter.
“I was getting out of a cab and a woman across the street just said: ‘Go back to your own country.’ I think it was sad for me to see people have this sort of anger.”
At the end of June 2018, Chinese-born people made up 2.6 percent of Australia’s total population.
“I’m 100 percent dinky-di… This is my country, I’ve been here longer than you — bugger you,” Douglas Lam says with an infectious smile.
Throughout this episode we learn about sexual racism and fetishisation, tiger parenting, and fears of the Chinese government. One in five people in the world has Chinese heritage. In this episode we meet 8 Chinese Australians, all with very different stories.
You Can’t Ask That is back with eight unflinching episodes featuring misunderstood, judged or marginalized Australians answering anonymous online questions from the public.
Production credits: You Can’t Ask That is an ABC Production. Series Director and Producer: Kirk Docker, Series Producer: Josh Schmidt, ABC Executive Producer: Frances O’Riordan and ABC Head of Entertainment: Nicholas Hayden.