Australian society must send a strong message that racial vilification can be held to account, while guaranteeing freedom of speech.
The incident cost him more than $1,500.
We've developed a culture of vilifying people who do or say the "wrong" thing. The media feeds on and recirculates the outrage until it becomes a many-headed hydra, bigger and scarier and more hateful than the prejudice from which it was spawned. And the media storm seems to attract more followers to the xenophobic cause than it turns away.
He'd been cited for dozens of minor infractions, many of which were eventually dismissed.
AdrianHillman via Getty Images
Tess Asplund’s act of protest went viral as a symbol of resistance to racism and xenophobia.
Joe Armao, Fairfax Media
It's a truism that, regardless of your position on the issue, writing about racial profiling and law enforcement is controversial. One colleague recently went so far as to describe it to me as career suicide. But it's the very fact that racial profiling is an emotional topic which drives the need for more informed public debate and dialogue on its application in border security.
I do not think people truly understand how terrifying it is to realise that your skin colour puts you at risk and that it can be a huge liability. Even as a woman of colour, I did not fully comprehend it until recently.