So… do you remember the mayor who said Council should not be out of pocket for Lunar New Year celebrations because it is not a “western celebration”? And the Mayor who has made anti Muslim comments? Well he is at it again and has used his casting vote to defat a motion that talked about how “racism is not welcome” in the area. Yes, Mayor of Cumberland in Sydney’s West – Steve Christou, broke the 7-7 tie and voted down a motion which to be honest is a head scratcher but not surprising that he did so.
Let me remind everyone that Cumberland City Council is one of the most culturally diverse councils in Sydney with the demographics being majority Asian and Middle Eastern. He told the Guardian Australia after the vote that he is not into “political grandstanding” and that “racism doesn’t exist in his region” – seriously a delusional person in my books.
Funny, how Christou has made that statement on how ‘racism doesn’t exist in his region”, when a number of residents from his council area made public statements in support of the motion and spoke about how “racism was a problem”.
Councilor Kun Huang, didn’t even get to make his speech and have his time as a councilor from Cumberland to make his own statements in support of the motion, due to the pathetic nature of Mayor Christou and the councilors who voted down the motion. Here is his full speech which he didn’t get to make:
The motion included having signs up in the area stating how “racism is not welcome”, which is an awesome idea as it is a firm reminder to residents that the issue is a problem and not to be part of the problem. Huang speaks to the Guardian about this:
“When we have signs that say ‘Don’t speed’, does that encourage people to speed?”
“We had about four speakers who came and spoke and shared their own personal experience with racism. And myself, one of their colleagues, received that horrendous letter.”
Huang was also one of the councilors in Sydney who received the threatening racist letter, but according to Christou racism is not an issue because he has received in writing from Auburn police that there are no reports on racism situations. Here is what Christou said to the Guardian:
“If those signs were to go up it would imply we had a racism problem in Cumberland,” he said. “That is just wrong. Nobody condones it. You don’t need to put signs up to tell people how to behave. There are 14 councillors at Cumberland, nine of them are from an ethnic background, myself included. I am a child of Greek Cypriot refugee parents.”
Yes, Christou as a son of Greek Cypriots, you should be more sensitive to race issues and not pretend that you are accepted as some honorary white man. But, alas, this fight continues, and kudos to Huang and the other councilors who voted for the motion because it is important.
I will end this post with comments former Socceroos and SBS presenter Craig Foster who is leading this “Racism is not welcome campaign”:
“Denial of racism is a common form of suppression that leaves so many community members with little recourse,”
“As though it’s best to avoid naming an illness and to pretend it doesn’t exist. Wishful thinking will not help Kun or the countless other Australians attacked in this way. Only naming it, outing it and confronting it will.”
To read the original article, please click on: Western Sydney mayor uses casting vote to defeat anti-racism motion following death threat