Prime Minister John Howard today refused to call Australians racist following the mob violence in Sydney.
But he said attacking people on their basis of their race was totally unacceptable.
"Mob violence is always sickening," Mr Howard told reporters.
"Attacking people on the basis of their race, their appearance, their ethnicity, is totally unacceptable and should be repudiated by all Australians irrespective of their own background and their politics," he said.
"I believe yesterday's behaviour was completely unacceptable but I'm not going to put a general tag (of) racism on the Australian community.
"I think it's a term that is flung around sometimes carelessly and I'm simply not going to do so."
Ummm, I thought attacking someone on the grounds of their appearance or ethinicity is racism?
n 1: the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races
2: discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race
And of course he would deny the following...
Mr Howard also dismissed any suggestion his government's warnings about home-grown terrorists had fuelled the rampage.
"It is impossible to know how individuals react but everything this government's said about home-grown terrorism has been totally justified," Mr Howard told reporters in Sydney.
"It is a potential threat. To suggest that one should remain silent ... knowing what I know because that might antagonise someone else is a complete failure of leadership."
Tell us John, what DO you know?
PM refuses to use racist tag - smh.com.au