Indians are 2½ times more at risk of attack than other Melburnians, but the reasons are complicated, writes Dylan Welch SMH.
Barkly Streetstretches long and dark in both directions. On a quiet Wednesday evening, several pairs of Indian men confer in Hindi under the neon lights of half-empty Indian restaurants. In a nearby side street in the western suburb of Footscray West, unsmiling African teenagers mill about a darkened bus shelter. Melbourne
Not denying racism and other bigotry, I would argue that in itself these unworthy notions are not often translated to violence; at least not violence against those hated. But yes, it does happen. My own father, like many of his contemporaries bought up under the strict ‘white
I could never understand his attitude. My school mates and indeed some memorable ‘crushes’ were generally from strange countries, strange to me at that time, with a kaleidoscope of languages and accents thrown in. The irony with my father, who had very few friends in his life, was a late devotion to a Korean family to whom he became a loving, surrogate grandfather figure.
What I did observe, growing up and later, is that these immigrant folk would often be the most vocal in their racial hatred. Having gained their safe place in a new society it seemed right to attack the next wave. It is difficult to ignore a violent push in
Great for grandstanding; but understanding?
Indian students are ''soft targets''. They are ''walking ATMs'' carrying mobile phones, iPods and jewellery as they travel on public transport between university and late-night work shifts. SMH
Yet in all of this verbal shorthand becomes a real issues, whole societies become labeled because the real issues a rarely defined accurately. Put another, worst social responses are generally encouraged, unwittingly perhaps, by the perceived needs of politicians and media to make a quick impact. Immediacy driven comment is clearly an inadequate way of dealing with complex social issues.
Prejudice is alive and well, and generally encouraged. It might simply be city Vs city, or country and city, even suburb to suburb, town to town. Partly that reflects a competitive spirit, but can easily fall over into an ignorant, unthinking reaction. The violence is real enough in our societies an always has been; but is it really about bigotry or is it about a relative few insecure, angry, hateful people who want to lash out?
Footnote: I have often wondered if the epithet ‘Whitey’ used against Australians by Asians is not a product of the old White Australia policy. That is long gone now, but prejudice tends to have a long memory. Regardless of historical relevance the mindless name calling is sure to fuel continuing antagonism.