Monday, 4 January 2010

cultural clash problems is not racism

I'm quite saddened to read of the escalation of problems with Indian students back home in Australia. I guess that its inevitable that the police do nothing about it until there is a fatality. Then perhaps the mechanisms of administration can still do nothing. Its just like here in Finland with the supermarket shooting, or even the recent school shootings. I'm sure that the tragedy in Australia is similar, with the people who committed the crime being known to police.

While the police had knowledge of the perpetrator being 'odd' (or in this case having a restraining order against him), they were not able to do anything based on suspicions. Now, while this seems horrible I think its really the only way, as there is no way we want a return to a Police past where we have the likes of a Gestapo who can do anything they want on suspicion alone.

But it brings up another interesting point, the Indians are now starting to howl that Aussies are racist.

I think this indicates both how short memories are and the propensity of people to be hypocrites (at least at a social level). For example it doesn't take much digging to reveal how Indians persecute and kill people based on their religion, and anyone who has visited India even briefly will be sure to see how much racism there is there (ask any Gujjar).

So before Indians start ranting about Australia I suggest you take a look in the mirror and clean your own house before you start making calls to punish Australian Tourists.

I would say that its a 90% chance that this action was committed by some stupid dope who doesn't even understand what being Indian, Chinese, Arab or Korean means ... other than being different. I think its even just as likely that the person is from another ethnic group than "anglo" Australians.

From this article:

But the distorted story of white racism has been helped along by the prevailing sensibilities of reporting of crime in Australia, with skittishness about detailing the gritty reality that most violent street crime in Sydney and Melbourne is not committed by whites.

This isn't the first time I've had experience with the press reporting things strangely in India. When I was there in 2001 people often asked me "why do Australians torture immigrants" ... all because in 2001 the press was running articles suggesting that the detainment of asylum seekers "amounted to torture" in the opinion of some person.

This also comes at an interesting time as Australians are confronting problems with our multiculturalism.

Its also interesting that there have been reports that the violence has been committed by Australians of East Asian origin (so I have read in the Australian, but can't find the link). Reportedly not because they are Indians per se, but that Indians are soft targets who don't fight back.

It seems that back in 1979 the Australian Government was very concerned that the acceptance of and cultural influence of large cultural population changes. There is a non public participation media debate (or is it side show) where the issues of immigration are being put forward. There are sides to the story, but usually very little information.

As I have stated elsewhere in my blog I think that Australia has benefited hugely from our acceptance of migrants and refugees over the last 70 years. I for one would not wish to ever return to the "Anglophilia" we suffered from as a little colony. But this does not mean that I would unreservedly say we should bring in anyone who wants to come.

I think that we need to look more carefully and more intelligently at our immigration policy, in fact I wonder if we really need to be taking as many immigrants as we currently do.

Its a vexed question, but one which we need to engage with in an intelligent and discursive manner, and bloody fast too.

1 comment:

Charles Maclauchlan said...

This issue you mention is one in which we have a great deal of experience here in the US.

One of the sad realities of history is that there are so few multi-cultural societies. In fact one of the difficulties facing the founders of the United States, the Founding Fathers, is that in human history there had never been a multi race society. There was no template to follow, they had to stumble along making it up as they went, and to a great extent we still are.

It is particularly interesting & frustrating, when other societies where inter-race hatred and bloodshed is the accepted norm point an accusing finger as you point out. It tends to show the power of the press to spread their beliefs.

What's particularly sad is when people come to believe that they are a racist society. The internal struggle is continual and impacts most endeavors and interactions. Unfortunately it doesn't impact most interactions positively. What sort of health can one expect from relationships based upon a lie? Interestingly most Americans I speak with know that they are not racist, nor are any of their family, friends work mates or associates but still think that overall the country is racist.

I am very frightened of our President's naivety and his marxist liberalism, his opportunity however completely trumps that. He can have an enormous impact by using his office to tell us, and convince us that we are not a racist society. The good from this would overcome the considerable damage he is doing and is sure to do in the next few years. So far he's unable or unwilling to do that but I have hope.