Creator of Minority Box, Pearl Tan, writes about her experience growing up in Australia, for SBS and Harmony Day.
Pearl Tan is an Australian actor, writer, director and producer. She says racial prejudice is not absent from the acting world, but believes the slow death of stereotypes will finally lead to a more cohesive Australia.
It is imperative that kids feel safe in their neighbourhoods and that their schools are proactive in being accepting of all minorities. Racism comes from fear of “the other”, fear of something that you haven't had positive exposure to. I believe there are only two ways you can change someone's perception of your minority group. The first way is to get to know them on an individual basis. Tell them your story. Smash the stereotype. In the future when they meet someone in the same basket as you, hopefully they won't be so quick to jump to the negative conclusions. The other way is through storytelling. This is why it is important for the media to tell the stories of people from different cultures and minorities. Evocative, truthful stories, fact and fiction, that normalise minorities and allow the audience into a world they're not familiar with. Hopefully, they will meet characters that they like, or develop empathy for, and become more tolerant in real life.