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Deepa D. ([personal profile] deepad) wrote2010-01-10 01:32 am
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The attacks on desis in Australia

On 29th December, 2009, the burnt body of a 25 year old Indian national was found near Griffith, in Australia.

On 9th January, 2010, a 29 year old Indian was set on fire in Melbourne, Australia.

It is true, as the police say, that we do not know that either or both of the attacks were racially motivated until the culprits are caught (and even then, how do you verify the intent of a murderer?)

But minorities do not have the luxury of extending the benefit of the doubt to their potential assailants. And when the Australian acting Prime Minister describes an Indian cartoon that says as much as "deeply offensive" and Bob Cameron, the Victorian Police Minister, says, “We are a tolerant place and Victorian police are very tolerant and this business about racism is just wrong," it is very clear that they are speaking to their White constituents, who would like their outraged astonishment at being accused of racism to be pandered to.

Fire Fly has an excellent post here about the academic-industrial complex in Australia and its relationship to violence against Indian students.

People being set on fire is outragous. A comic speculating about intent is not.

ETA: A comprehensive, albeit dense article about the intersections between racism and educational capitalism in Australia.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2010-01-12 05:43 am (UTC)(link)
I keep failing to understand why the politicians are so invested in denying racism, rather than going for another perfectly acceptable political narrative, such as Blame Disaffected Youth. It just makes them looking like they're supporting the violence. Then I think about the very few rape victims who have ever been treated with dignity in the Australian press - the Anglo women raped by Lebanese men in Sydney - and it all becomes clear.

It's very, very important for white Australians to deny racism in the face of all evidence. I've done it myself, and I know the urge to say "isolated incident!" "out of context!" "if the victim hadn't..." "probably someone the victim knew!". Any of that may be true, but it's irrevelant.
secondsilk: Scott from Strictly Ballroom, caught at the end of the turn, arms raised. (Default)

[personal profile] secondsilk 2010-01-12 12:36 pm (UTC)(link)
My first reaction was "I'm not sure if it's 'irrelevant'," which pretty much proves the point of your post. (I totally bought AM and PM's reporting of the bashings of Indian students in the middle of last year as opportunistic).

Perhaps it's a misunderstanding/denial of what racist means on the part of the politicians? Things can be also racist. Racist as well as opportunistic and out of context and by someone the victim knew. None of that changes the racism inherent in cultural understanding in Australia. The fact that racism goes unnoticed and unchallenged and excused.
lilacsigil: Jeune fille de Megare statue, B&W (Default)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2010-01-12 10:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Things can be also racist.

Or also opportunistic, also copycats, etc. Definitely, and there's no real reason that wouldn't fit in a soundbite!
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2010-01-13 02:00 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, I think so too - sorry my sentence was too convoluted to make that clear. I'll try to get my thoughts in order rather than sorting them as I comment next time!