A Mollymook mother is appealing for people to be proactive about racism after her two Australian Egyptian sons were attacked in a Mollymook Park on Monday afternoon.
Emily Richardson says her sons, Ziad aged 18 and Nazar, 15, were set upon at a park in Mitchell Parade by two men and a woman who threw bottles and racially abused them before jumping on the bonnet of their car and smashing the windscreen.
Police were called and arrested one of the alleged attackers, a man in his 20s, who will face Milton Court in January.
Ms Richardson has received incredible support from the community, however she says it's not the first time her sons have been the victims of racism.
"I keep telling the boys take the high road - you can't react badly because that's just giving them what they want," she said.
"I tell them to just try and be the peacemaker.
"You can't change people's attitudes if you react in anger, but it's getting harder because they are angry when these things happen.
"How many more times will I have to tell them to de-escalate, to take the high road, that they can't control other people's actions, they can only control their own reactions?"
Ms Richardson said her sons were scared and jumped in their car to try and get away.
"They called them the N-word, they hurled racial slurs at them and threw beer bottles at them," she said.
"Then, for good measure, one of them jumped on our car and kicked in the windscreen."
Ms Richardson says she has had "incredible" support from the community, including Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley who said she was "really shocked that this happened just down the road from where I live".
"I’m not that naive to think that racism doesn’t exist in our city - for it most certainly does - but we need to find a way to get rid of it - it serves only hateful purpose," Cr Findley added.
"Nazar and Ziad are beautiful young men respected by their peers and loved in this community."
Ms Richardson is calling for people in the community to take a stand against racism and be proactive.
"It's not enough anymore to say you're not racist," she said, "being not racist and being anti-racist is not the same thing - one is passive, the other is active.
"Don't think that this kind of stuff isn't happening, because it is. Regularly. Often. All the time."
Ziad was the 2020 vice captain at Ulladulla High School and was awarded the year 12 Citizenship Award on Monday.
He plays basketball with the Illawarra Hawkes and is a member of the Mollymook Surf Lifesaving Club.
He has been offered early entry into Wollongong University and, in his school leadership role, has advocated strongly against racism, encouraging students to show their support by wearing one black and one white sock.
Nazar is the former school captain of Milton Public School and both boys have been involved in the Milton Follies Theatre group and played in representative basketball teams.