It seems to me that you are being asked to write a persuasive essay one way or the other? And that you are writing in agreement with the statement?
If that is so then the first response here is most useful to you. Things to look at are not only the history that led to racism, as mentioned above but the two types of racism that exist. Legal racism (segregation laws, Jim Crow, etc) and the racism that is learned and expressed by people. Here you would want to consider the Ku Klux Klan, lynching, church bombings, experiences of the freedom riders, etc.
You will want to contrast how racism existed in Australia at that time. Was is legally ingrained into society? Was it more personal? or both?
Use the evidence to prove your point.