One of the many attractive aspects of Whanganui is the diversity of its citizens, and the welcome it gives to all, whatever their origins.

It boasts a burgeoning Festival of Cultures, a Multi-cultural Council and a mix of peoples from varied backgrounds that adds a vibrancy to the town.

Whanganui would be regarded as a place of tolerance by most of us who call it home.

So what seems to be a racially-motivated attack on the home of a Whanganui family on Thursday night is a particularly isolated event.

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It is, perhaps, partly because it is so far out of the norm that makes it so shocking.

A most distressing incident for the family, but one that could easily be dismissed as a mischievous one-off.

Yet even as an offensive, thoughtless, possibly alcohol-fuelled act of stupidity, it needs to be publicly condemned.

There should be no place for such behaviour in Whanganui where people of numerous ethnicities brush up against one another on a daily basis.

Whether the culprits will be caught is debateable, but they need to find a quiet moment and think about the implications of their actions, and its damaging potential.

They should reflect on the bigger picture of racial hatred that tarnishes so many places in the world, and decide it is not for them. Just as it is not for the rest of us living here.