Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why people like Andrew Bolt make australians seem racist

Column - Don’t believe us; we’re not racist

Andrew Bolt Blog

Pulbished at the Herald Sun, Australia
Wednesday, June 03, 2009 at 03:25pm


IF we weren’t so scared of seeming racist, we wouldn’t now seem so, er, racist that even India is giving us lectures.

Amazing, that. India, which perfected the caste system and is plagued by Hindu-Muslim bloodfests, is telling us we’re too prejudiced?

But we have only our own stupidity and grovelling self-hatred to blame.

After all, which nation has spent so much apologetic cash and sweat to persuade the world we are vomiting with racism, and which has been, on the other hand, too militantly anti-racist to point out who is actually bashing many of these Indian students?

There’s no doubt that Indians here - not least the 90,000 students - have something to worry about, especially in Victoria. In this one state alone, and in just one year, an astonishing 1447 people of Indian origin were punched, kicked, raped or robbed.

That fact alone should worry us most in this affair that has now led to two angry demonstrations by Indians in Melbourne, hysterical coverage in the Indian press, official protests from the Indian Government and the burning in India of effigies of Kevin Rudd.

It’s the sheer level of violence, not the motives driving some thug to kick in a student’s teeth, that should shame and alarm us. After all, it’s no less terrifying to be kicked in the head by a saint.

It also hurts just the same whether you’re Indian, English or a Colac farmer, so we should be angry that it’s not just Indians being bashed, but people born right here who are kicked unconscious at railway platforms, glassed in pubs, shot in Flinders St or pack-attacked to death outside nightclubs.

Where are the police? Where are the punishments? How did we fail to civilise so many young men, now acting like gleeful extras in a Tarantino splatter-fest or an Underbelly celebration of ferals? How did we fail even to make them fear to break the law?

Yet this violence alone was not enough to make our leaders and police do much beyond some ritual tut-tutting and a spasmodic police blitz or two.

It’s only when the Indian students cleverly claimed they were victims of racism that - kaboom - these muggings became an international conflict involving the leaders of two nations, with Australia scrambling to protect not just its reputation but the $2 billion a year we earn from these foreign students.

Prime Minister Rudd hurried into Parliament this week to reassure India we weren’t racist at all: “Australia is a country of great diversity, harmony and tolerance.”

Premier John Brumby agreed, and offence at the charge of racism was dutifully taken on almost every talk-radio station in the country, including even the ABC.

Yet who can blame Indians for thinking this worst of us, and treating Rudd’s denials as mere spin, when we’ve spent so much time telling the world we really are steeped in racism, right up to our red necks?

Only last year, Rudd himself announced we’d been so evilly racist that we’d even stolen Aboriginal children by the thousands just because they were black - a false claim cheered in every school despite the inability of “stolen generations” activists to name even 10 such “stolen” children.

Last year, too, we gave the the world Australia, a movie made and promoted with the help of $80 million of taxpayers’ money, which portrayed us as so racist that we’d actually sent Aboriginal children into the path of the Japanese army during World War II, while carefully evacuating the white ones.

More nonsense, yet how keen our opinion makers have been to slander us as bigots on evidence just as bogus.

Remember how the Cronulla riot was described as a racist uprising, rather than a booze-fuelled backlash of locals given too little police help against Lebanese gangs?

Remember how Pauline Hanson was vilified as the symbol of racist middle Australia, rather than of merely the sneered-upon working class and bush folk who had been taken for granted for too long by our smug political class?

So, after accusing ourselves of so much racism with so little reason, why should we now be surprised when Indians agree that - yes, indeed - we’re as racist as we’ve always said?

The difference is that this time we stand to lose billions of dollars from our trade in education services to India. Stupidity becomes too stupid to endure when it costs, and the fact is we really aren’t so racist at all. Indeed, our problem may in part be the opposite.

That so many Indian students are bashed and robbed can be largely explained by the kind of part-time jobs they tend to take, being hard workers - the late shifts in 7-Eleven stores, taxis and petrol stations, for instance.

Imagine how safe these students are when they then go home alone late at night, often walking or taking near-deserted trains back to the tough suburbs where the cheap rents are. How safe would your own children be?

But some attacks aren’t so easily explained away. Some, you might say, are “racist” in that Indians are famously peaceable - less likely to break the law and less likely to fight back when attacked by those who do. To thieves and thugs, they’re soft targets.

That said, other attacks, as Victoria Police now belatedly admit, are indeed no-mucking-about racist. But to whose shame are these racists, really?

True, video footage of the infamous pack-attack on Sourabh Sharma on the Werribee train shows thugs of various ethnicities, including, it seems, the Anglo kind.

But what police and many journalists refuse to confirm or even discuss is what victims and their spokesmen repeatedly say - that many of their attackers are Africans, Islanders and, less often, Asians who are newcomers themselves, beneficiaries of our eagerness to seem kind and tolerant.

Hear it from Macquarie University student Mukul Khanna, called back home by his worried parents: “A lot of my Pakistani friends have left the place after being brutally attacked and robbed . . . Interestingly, the attackers are mostly not locals and are themselves people of foreign origin.”

Or read it in an edited statement that Tanveer X, bashed in January, gave to Beyond India Monthly: “When I turned on Anderson Rd I saw four black men . . . One of them came running behind us and hit me with the stick. Then they started hitting my wife . . . I want action against those African guys.”

And have it confirmed in this Herald Sun report from last year, when Indian taxi drivers protested at having been the victims of most armed robberies on cabbies: “This year between May 8

and August 2 there were 12 reported robberies on taxi drivers in Flemington, Moonee Ponds and Ascot Vale.

“Police will not officially acknowledge any particular ethnic group is a target, or that any other group is carrying out the crimes. But in every case the victims told police their attackers were African . . .” And in all but two their victims were Indians.

Note yet again the reluctance of police to admit they have trouble with African gangs—or gangs of any particular ethnicity.

Recall also how former chief commissioner Christine Nixon banned police from even using the word “gangs” and falsely claimed the crime rates for Sudanese were at the community average, rather than way, way above.

Note, also, how few media outlets will even discuss the ethnicity of some of the people now bashing Indian students, for fear of seeming racist.

That’s how the false perception is allowed to grow that these attacks on Indians are just another example of our institutional racism, when the reverse may well be true—that we’re so over-eager to seem not racist that we take in immigrants we perhaps should not, and refuse to admit when they go wrong.

And so we are hanged for our virtues. Again, I must point out Australia has home-grown racists, too, and too many children growing up underparented and uncivilised.

They, too, bash Indians - and each other. But to call us a racist nation on the scanty evidence so far is grossly unfair.

That we should take such offence is evidence we’re actually not, no matter how loudly and how foolishly we once insisted we were.

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