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OPINION: Recently, I celebrated and wrote about my Vietnamese parents’ Australian anniversary.
Their 44 years in a country they love so dearly.
Lovely messages of support came through, not just from beautiful friends and colleagues, but also strangers.
Unfortunately, today I was reminded there are still a rare few, who are close minded or intolerant.
I was with my partner having a lovely breakfast, enjoying the winter morning outside our local café in Perth, when a lady approached our table.
She asked where I was “from” and I replied “Australia.”
I had the feeling already of where this was going, but I also genuinely wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.
She asked, “What is your ethnic background?”
I again politely replied, “My parents are from Vietnam.”
I thought perhaps she was just after a chat with a young couple out and about for a Monday morning.
She wanted to know what my religious background was and proceeded to label my family as communists.
Then, turning to my partner Liam, who’s of Irish heritage, the woman said: “Don’t be had by this Asian woman.”
He politely asked the woman several times to move along.
I just thanked her and hope she would stop talking and trying to lecture Liam.
He was so patient, as he always is.
He gives everyone the time of day.
But I could see he was shocked and was in protective mode.
The woman finally walked away.
I laugh it off initially, which is what I normally would do when previously confronted by racial comments.
I had once highlighted comments directed at me on social media about me appearing on television and presenting the news.
I never thought I would experience this in 2022.
To be subjected to comments that are uneducated.
To the woman who thought that she was educating my partner, I hope you find some peace and learn from your comments.
There’s no anger, just disappointment that some people still think this way.
But to my support network of family and friends, who have enjoyed the culture my family has brought to this country, I am forever grateful.
Tracy Vo is a reporter and presenter for 9News Perth.