From the East Torrens Messenger:
We are living in fear
RACIST hate mail has left two single mothers in Paradise fearing for their safety and terrified to let their children outside.
The Ugandan families received hand-written threats on Tuesday, January 15 – two days after moving to their new Harris St homes.
“Africans. We’re all watching you …” the identical letters began. “You f*** our neighbourhood up, we will f*** you up. Is that clear.
“We don’t want you here. You are not welcome.”
Mother of six Abuk Deng Dor, who cannot speak English, told the East Torrens Messenger through translator and sister-in-law Athieng Ngot Riiny she was “very afraid”.
She would not let her children play outside for fear of attack and asked if she had moved into a “particular area for white people” only.
The two incidents follow the recent relocation of an Elizabeth family by the Australian Refugee Association and Anglicare, in the wake of similar threats.
Ms Dor said she was shocked to be confronted by racism in Australia.
“Australians are educated people she thought there would be no discrimination against her,” Ms Riiny translated.
“Because she received the letter she is afraid to leave the children alone here.
“(She says) these white people, they don’t fake it when they say they’ll kill you.
“In Australia they say things like that they mean it. That is her fear.”
Ms Dor fled Uganda with her six children in 2005 and initially lived in Fulham.
The family moved to Paradise this month because a larger home was available.
Hectorville Catholic Church new arrivals support group member Gerald Hinton was helping the Dor family move in when
Ms Dor’s 19-year-old son Riiny Ngot found the letter.
“It’s completely un-Australian as far as I’m concerned,” Mr Hinton said.
“We need to shame people that this shouldn’t go on.”
Mr Hinton reported the incident to Holden Hill Police.
The second refugee to receive the letter single mother of seven Abuk Bol Nyang was unavailable for comment this week because of translation difficulties.
However Mr Hinton, who also helped the Nyang family with their move, said she was equally shaken and shared the same fears as Ms Dor.
The Frederic Ozanam Housing Association, in conjunction with St Vincent de Paul, provided the houses for the two families.
Association executive officer Tony Roach was shocked to hear they had received threatening letters in their new homes.
“I’m extremely disappointed we have housed seven refugee families in Adelaide in different suburbs,” he said.
“They have been exemplary tenants and this is the first time anything like this has happened.”
Campbelltown Mayor Simon Brewer was appalled by the letters and said the council welcomed people from all backgrounds.
“We don’t care who, where, what religion, what colour and hope that as people get to know them and they settle into the community this sort of fear factor or knee-jerk reaction stops,” he said.
“It must be terrible for them to come here expecting a wonderful, free, tolerant country and then get this.”
Neighbors of the two families on Harris St said they could not believe such racist behaviour was taking place on their street.
“I’m really shocked. I thought this was a really nice street,” Lorraine Parker said.
“People always brag about Australia being multicultural, and you have some small faction that react that way.”
Across the street Neil Kavalick labelled it “absolutely shocking”.
“Everybody’s got the right to live,” he said.
Australian Refugees Association assistant director Christine Loveday said threatening letters were received by new migrants “only very rarely” but said the association received some threats.
“We do get some nasty messages here too sometimes,” she said.
“But generally the community is very nice to them and very welcoming.”
Ms Loveday said the number of new arrivals had doubled in the past 10 years, with 1600 migrants, refugees and asylum seekers moving to SA annually.
Police did not respond before presstime.