Dream Newz Blog
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Backpacker barred from renting room by landlord who brands Aussies ‘drunk and racist’
AN AUSTRALIAN woman was shocked when told she couldn’t rent a flat in Edinburgh because people from Down Under were “drunks and racists”.
Laura Gratton, 24, had recently moved to Scotland and applied to an ad for a $800-a-month room in the city centre.
But she was horrified when the landlord instantly rejected her request, branding Australia the most “racist nation” in the world.
The message read: “It is well known in Europe that Australians are racist. In fact around the world your people are famous for this.
“Just as France is famous for wine and cheese. Australia is famous for its drunks and racists. I’m sorry I need to reject this request.”
The conversation between backpacker Laura Gratton and the landlord.
The Melbourne backpacker protested, pointing out that the landlord’s statement was actually racist.
She wrote: “You obviously are quite racist putting such labels and speculations on a whole race without knowing the individual.
“The majority of my closest friends are from across the globe so would hate to think I’m racist.
“So thank you for rejecting this email, I don’t think we would get along at all. And I suggest you actually visit Australia and realise how multicultural we are.”
The landlord sent her a link to a news item about racism in Australia.
He wrote: “Hi, I’m not judging a whole race. I don’t want to take the risk.
“It is fact Australia is the most racist nation, your people are so open about it as well.
The landlord told her that Australians were renowned across Europe for being drunks and racists.
“This is what you Australians are known for in Europe. I think we would still get along by the way.
“Anyway, good luck.”
Miss Gratton said afterwards: “When I first received the response I thought it was just a joke but then I realised that he was being serious.
“’I was angry and frustrated that someone could think like this and say it to me just because of where I was from.
“Australia is a multicultural and very accepting country.
“There are race issues like any other country — but the actions of a few shouldn’t be used to judge anyone from that country.
“This was my first encounter of such strong negative and offensive stereotyping on my travels.
“I have heard the odd joke about drinking to do with Australians or Irish people but it has only ever been jokes among friends, never anything intended to hurt like this.”
Even the company said the landlord’s comments were ridiculous.
A spokesman for spareroom.co.uk, who advertised the room, said: “If we’d spotted anything like this in someone’s ad we’d have removed it instantly.
“Dismissing a whole nation as racist is, frankly, ridiculous.
“There are clear laws about discrimination when it comes to renting rooms but it’s not just about what is and isn’t legal — it’s about treating people as you’d want them to treat you.”
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"mungo park" by Coredo Bello