Thoughts on economics and liberty

Soft racism in the West – the last frontier for equal freedom

Let me preface this post by stating that most Westerners I meet are the most pleasant and decent people one can imagine. Australians have a natural knack for friendship that I find amazing, and a knack for putting you at ease. Humour and wisecracks are their forte. My critique below does not apply to most people I have come across during my sixteen years in the West. (Which is the same as saying that not all Indians discriminate on grounds of caste, although caste discrimination – and it is race-based in my view – is in fact far more prevalent than what I'm going to discuss shortly, below).  

Let me also re-affirm at the outset a few things some of which I have stated elsewhere, such as that Westerners do not, as a rule, hate Indians. It is just that some of them are terribly stupid. I disagree with the UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination's rebuke of the Victorian government and police for allegedly "ignoring racial motives behind a spate of assaults on Indian students in Melbourne". Let this be very clear about this: violent crime is far less prevalent in Australia than in India, and in any event, the hoopla about the mass killings of Indians in Australia was so misplaced that it simply reaffirms once again that stupidity rules the world. Confused analysis of facts is the norm, not the exception. and the UN, in particular, has lost all credibility with me (what with its seriously flawed IPCC findings and all that).  

Finally, let me make note that racism in India is far deeper and more insidious than in the West. I'll go into details of Indian racism separately (I've given examples earlier, such as caste-based racism and racism against people from NE India – see also BFN and DOF for an extensive discussion). Things in India are actually quite bad. Every few months when someone from India doesn't agree with what I have to say, I am bombarded with emails with racist epithets. Some call me 'Kala angrez' (black Englishman) and use the most foul and threatening language to 'prove' their case (I had to report one such message to the Police since it threatened assault). Such comments from Indians are both deeply racist and totally misinformed. So when I talk about Western soft racism, I do not mean to imply that this is a particularly worse problem than similar problems in the highly ill-educated Third World. It is all a relative matter, in the end… All very sad.

But I digress. Let me turn now to the issue of this blog post; an issue that is obvious to all but is not widely discussed. Too much emphasis is placed in the Indian media (and in others) on 'hard' (or overt) forms of racism – but that part  is largely over and done with – at least in the West. Far more common and far more insidious is soft racism.

In soft racism 'race' (I use inverted commas since 'race' is a nonsensical, non-existent concept) is not publicly acknowledged and no offensive comments or expressions are used , but strong undercurrent of racism and prejudice are implicit in its import. Soft racism is not aggressive, it is not violent, it does not use harsh or foul (racist) language. Instead, it uses subtle cues that are hard to distinguish from what would otherwise be thought of as 'considered judgement'. It is therefore sophisticated, not crude. It is in many ways implicit, a state of mind. Its outcomes are subtle as well: leading to discrimination against and devaluation of merit. And it is quite common in across the world – including in the West and India.  

The decline of hard racism

"One day [in June 1893], when he was travelling from Durban to Pretoria in the first class compartment of a train, a Britishman boarded the compartment. On seeing Gandhiji, the Britishman got furious. He called the Railway officer, and both ordered him to get out of the train. Since Gandhiji had purchased a first class ticket, he refused to do so. However, they paid no heed to him. Gandhiji also did not budge. Finally the police were summoned. They pushed him out of the compartment and threw his luggage out of the window. Gandhiji had to spend the whole night on the platform." (from Jyoti Solapurkar's article)

The days when Gandhi could be kicked out of a first class compartment  because of the colour of his skin are now over. Feeling humiliated, but not mentally broken by this horrible and shabby treatment from those whom he had earlier held in some esteem, Gandhi led a movement for equal freedom that destroyed the last vestiges of open racism across the entire world. Martin Luther King, one of his many followers, finished off the job that Lincoln had started but could not complete during his lifetime. Let no one have the slightest doubt, therefore, including Obama, that Barak Obama is President today ONLY BECAUSE GANDHI – an Indian – LIVED AND CHANGED THE WORLD. Obama should install a memorial to Gandhi before he is (soon?) thrown out by Americans for his socialist leanings

True, hard racism still exists – in plenty – across the West. A recent example is the hate mail received by Ken Wyatt, Australia's first aboriginal MP likely to be elected to the House of Representatives which said: 'Wouldn't know you were indigenous – we wouldn't have voted for you if we did'. Or when he was called "Uncle Tom Wyatt" while walking in his electorate. Australia has at least some very mean- and petty-minded hard racists. No doubt about it. They are a blight on this otherwise great nation. But as I have argued, hard racism in Australia is now very small and to call Australia racist would be wrong. Plain wrong. The country is fine. A few of its people are very stupid.

And yet the underbelly of soft racism continues

What is much more widespread and chronic is soft racism. It is, as I have defined above, not related to overt or aggressive racism, but to ignorance. It might even be practised unconsciously. It is at its heart a disease of ignorance, a disease of poor education. It is based on stereotypes (on which I've written much about in DOF). The recent claims by Dev Patel, the star of Slumdog Millionnaire, that Hollywood is institutionally racist are precisely the kind of thing I'm talking about. Here's a brilliant actor whose contributions and talent are being deliberately undermined and devalued by soft racist owners of Hollywood studios. (Is it time for Indians to now take over control of Hollywood – not just the IT industry of USA?). It sometimes must feel to Indians living in the West what a low-caste person perhaps feel living in India! (Tit-for-tat!? No. Both are bad. Both must go.)

It is time to take serious note of this blight on humanity, and work towards its reduction, if not elimination. Soft racism is now the last major frontier in the battle for equal freedom. Once we can find a way to get people to stop stereotyping others' knowledge, abilities, or character based only on the colour of their skin, we would have achieved equal freedom.

This one is going to be very, very hard to overcome, though. I struggle to think of ways to eliminate it, but I've got a few ideas that I'll suggest towards the end of this post. In the main, I believe that education and (global) competition are the main tools that will ultimately compress out the last vestiges of soft racism from the minds of humanity, and finally let the world live as one happy family

The magnitude of soft racism

It is difficult for me to place a precise figure on the magnitude of soft racism found in the West but I am inclined to say it is actually quite high – although low in comparison to that found in India. I had estimated that assertive (hard) racism could be around 7 per cent of the Western populations. When subtle prejudices are factored in, including those that people may not be aware of,  I'd say that soft racism perhaps afflicts 50 per cent or more of the Western population. This is the group of Western citizens who have a prejudice in favour of (or against) people merely because of skin colour – regardless of whether they consciously know about their prejudice or not.

Kinds of soft racism typically 'practised'

The list, below – in no particular order and not intended to be comprehensive – illustrates some of the ways in which soft racism is 'practised' (if that is the word) in the West. I'm happy to hear from readers other examples they may have come across. 
1) Career discrimination. If you are an Indian living in the West, then excepting areas where technical merit is an undeniable requirement, expect your career to have a very bumpy ride. You are not likely to be selected into jobs that are even remotely compatible with your skill set. Your skills will be devalued by about 80% by the market. A doctorate from a top-ranked (Western) university will be treated as equivalent to a high school diploma – if that! If you are selected into a job, you can expect to be paid far less than what a 'white' person of comparable skills is paid. And it will not matter that you have excelled in your academic career and outclassed Westerners. It will hardly matter if you have managed massive organisations and large budgets. You will often be valued less than locally qualified graduate with lower degrees and experience. And your career will be frozen at low levels of seniority.
Such discrimination is less in the private sector since it can't afford the luxury of discrimination. Private sector managers will seriously undermine their own careers if they employ the second best. But in the public sector career discrimination on skin colour is rampant, particularly because those managers do not face significant penalties for discriminating on the basis of irrelevant characteristics (public sector accountability is very low, despite some truly wonderful advances made by the West in this area). Therefore, higher positions in the public sector in the West are almost totally sealed off to Indians. Yes, there are a few isolated exceptions, but 'race' discrimination is perhaps ten times more prevalent than gender discrimination. So if you are an Indian woman, then you'll be very lucky to get a job that recognises even 1/10th of your skills.
The only way to a good 'career' in the West is to run your own business. But many Indians who migrate to the West are professionals who prefer to work in organisations and avoid the risks of entrepreneurship. 
2) Social discrimination
Non-aggressive social prevalence of racist messages is very common. It takes many forms, some outlined below:
a) Bodily stereotyping: 
A typical conversation with a soft racist goes like this: 
"It is cold today!" I make polite conversation in the lift, "You aren't geared for the weather outside!"
The soft racist replies, looking down at me, "The cold doesn't affect me. I like the cold. I have an Irish background. You probably don't experience much cold in India."
That marks the break. The end. End of relationship. I can't have any more polite conversations with such ill-informed louts. This kind of nonsense, too common to mention, simply reflects the deplorable level of education in Australian schools. If only they taught children that:
  • Most parts of Australia become MUCH HOTTER in summer than most parts in India. I can't even begin to describe the kind of sharp heat of the Australian sun in the peak of summer (because of greater UV content). 
  • Many parts of India get much colder than Australia in winter. (Have Australian teachers ever heard of the Himalayas? Is geography even taught in Australia? Why are these people so ignorant about India?)
  • And are they taught basic biology? Just because someone is born or lives (or lived) in a particular place (whether hot or cold), the person's body 'type' doesn't become different! Humans are 99.99% identical genetically. The ambient temperature when the above conversation took place was 9 degrees Celsius, and everyone (except this ignorant racist!) was wearing a thick overcoat. I know of plenty of 'white' 'Aussies' as well who shiver when the temperature drops slightly below 21 degrees. Humans have a wide range of temperature-tolerance characteristics. Sanjay Gandhi wore a mere shawl in Moscow in the middle of the deep Russian winter when everyone else was dressed up in thick layers of warm clothes and overcoats. 

The ignorance of the human condition displayed by such comments would be laughable were it not for the fact that such soft racists move up to positions of power from which their biases and prejudices damage the prospects of those who don't look exactly like them. 

b) Language stereotyping:

Language stereotyping is even more common. Apparently Indians don't know English. Here's an extract from DOF (draft):

 "I mentioned to an Australian colleague that while growing up in India I used to read many American comics and English novels. The colleague inquired whether these were translations, imagining perhaps that Indians could not read English! Many people in the West find it hard to believe that many Indians speak, read and write English quite well in India itself, and do not have to learn it after reaching the West! This might be a case of harmless ignorance but I know that this person has since been promoted and will soon be recruiting people. Such ignorance is likely to impinge badly on such recruitment decisions, depriving people of Indian origin job opportunities – often denying them even an interview call. Helen Szoke, CEO of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission, notes that despite labour and skill shortages, recent arrivals from non-English-speaking countries do not easily get jobs compatible with their skills. This hurts everyone: Australia misses out on talent and the immigrants are unable to perform to the level they are qualified for and earn less. Clearly, the use of stereotypes to select people for public office (including government jobs) are particularly insidious and inimical to equal freedom. Such decisions shouldbe based on merit and those who discriminate on the basis of irrelevant characteristics for selection to tax-payer funded jobs should be seriously punished. "

One of the worst examples of soft racism I have experienced was when I sent this article to for publication. 

One of their editors, Jeffrey Tucker (a famous writer but clearly with an ego too big for his skull), wrote back tersely (not the slightest sense of email etiquette), "Your article is excellent but I sadly have to decline to run it because no one has time these days for language repair." I asked him what he meant by such a disparaging phrase "language repair". He responded: "the problem is that the English is not as fluid as it would be for a native." I was flabbergasted, and suggested that even liberals can't overcome hubris easily. I suggested that his comment (about alleged 'natives' who apparently are the only ones with the the gift of writing good English) reeks of racism and blocked him out permanently from my email system. I don't have time to communicate with alleged liberals who are racists at heart. Who cares a fig about their mastery over the English language? They may. I don't. I care,  most importantly, to be treated with respect. That is a million times more important to me than knowing how much English you know.

His offensive statement implied that all (Anglo Saxon?) Westerners write good English. That is utter tripe. Nonsense. I have seen atrocious English written by at least half the Anglo-Saxons I have come across. I do not claim to be the world's best writer of English:  but I do claim that I can write well enough to get by – to communicate. And can JT communicate in Hindi, for instance? So shall I trash his ideas completely merely because he can't write Hindi as a 'native'? Language is a communication tool, not an end in itself. We must be able to get our message across. No more. All else – the polish and glitter – is a waste of time. Good for a Nobel prize, perhaps, but not for eliminating poverty and misgovernance. If one were to go by JT's conception of life, then all writings by non-native speakers should be thrown out – lost entirely to humanity. Indeed, should make it clear on its website that non-native English speakers need not try to write or propagate freedom. Language has never been a yardstick for the quality of an idea.

JT should have realised (had he asked) that I am full time employee with extremely limited spare time. I write in an absolute tearing hurry (just like this one has been dashed off rapidly)! If necessary I revise, condense, edit. But apparently, according to JT, only native English speakers can edit! Non-native speakers must perish the thought of writing for What utter racist claptrap. 

I think I've got my point across, so I should leave JT alone to stew in his 'white' sweat. The point is that Indians are likely to experience outright rejection of their ideas by the surfeit of soft racists in the West, regardless of the merit of their ideas. This bias against a different name, a different skin colour, flows through into the career prospects of Indians, as well. I have seen this at work at very close quarters for ten years, so I speak with great confidence about  my understandings of the underbelly of Western soft racism.

c) Cultural stereotypes

Assumptions about Indians are made not only about their knowledge, heat-tolerating capacity, English skills, but on a range of other, cultural, matters. Such cultural stereotypes are often outed in the most odd and unexpected circumstances. I'll illustrate two – both of which surprised me (I could list another 20, but this is a blog post, not a book!):

  • In my previous job, nearly 9 years ago in Australia, one of my managers said in passing during a private conversation that they were looking for stakeholder skills and hadn't found them in the area in which worked. In response I told her politely  that I had dealt with senior stakeholders the whole of my working life before coming to Australia (where I was cooped into a tiny research role). I had all the relevant skills, but my role was not expansive enough,  making me play second fiddle. Only after making that comment did my manager give me opportunities to display my skills, and only then was I promoted (twice) – finally into a senior stakeholder management role, after they found I out-performed in every role I took. But their bias against me was clearly at work, unwritten rules that prevent Indians from even being considered for certain roles.
  • Then there was the case of a particularly stupid senior manager (in one of my different roles, in a different time and place). He came to me after a talk I had given to a large group of people and suggested to me that a (trivial, short) training that I had recently attended must have prompted my ability to deliver my outstanding talk. One more example of absurd racist nonsense! I have been speaking in public since the age of 10, I was in my school and college debating teams, and have delivered hundreds of public talks over the years. To even suggest that a single, short training (it wasn't even that) can create speaking skills is such claptrap that I wonder how these people think. But this kind of nonsense is actually quite typical. Such soft racists live and thrive in senior positions in the West, holding on to their ridiculous prejudices about Indians, preventing them from the opportunities where they can express their capacities fully. They don't know what the IAS is, they don't care to know anything about India, and yet they prejudge all Indians. 

Cultural stereotyping in the West is dangerous for the career prospects of Indians. It blocks opportunity for them and makes for a lose-lose situation for all (but of course, there are no penalties for public sector managers who give full play to their prejudices). 

3) Foreign aid: 

I won't go into details about this one since I've already written extensively on it, but this (foreign aid) is perhaps the most abhorrent soft racist expression of all, for it is underpinned by the idea of the "White Man's Burden", as if the 'white' man is Atlas, supporting the Earth..
Stupid 'white' men (and women) who think that it is because of their charity that the poor of the world survive, or can survive, are, in my view, soft racists. People like Tim Costello and Peter Singer, who keep harping on the need to increase foreign aid are soft racists (I'm naming them since they are just too loud and held in high esteem in the West). Apparently THEY somehow know what is good for the poor. They will feed the poor, they will take care of the health of the poor. They will save the soul of the poor.
Foreign aid is racist when it is not given in the form a lesson to the poor to stand up on their own feet. I'm fine if Adam Smith's book on how to create wealth is given to a child instead of food. Let the child's parents read it and elect a government that can create wealth. Yes, this may sound harsh, but the most urgent thing the people of poor nations like India need to realise is that THEY are responsible for their fate. They must bootstrap. They must stand up on their own feet. That means giving them some really tough love, not feeding and mollycoddling them, but teaching them. I don't want to see any more images of charitable Clintons or Gates visiting India's villages and spreading their wealth around. I'd rather have people like Hakey or Friedman visit India and talk to them about the reasons of their poverty. The guru is more important than a donor of foreign aid.
And this it was that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan did FAR more good for the poor in India than anyone who ever gave India foreign aid. These two taught the world to stand on its feet. That lesson was imbibed (at least partly) by Indian politicians in the 1990s, and today India can afford to thumb its nose to foreign aid. Foreign aid creates dependency. It is EVIL. Aid is a disease of ignorance that causes the 'white' 'races' to somehow feel better by 'giving' to others. Foreign aid CONFIRMS AND REITERATES SOFT RACISM. Foreign aid is a curse. It must stop if racism is to ever end. 
To the West I say: DON'T GIVE. But have TRADE. Free Trade. The West should drop its barriers to trade. Let subsidies to rich farmers be withdrawn. That is the ONLY fair and decent way to deal with others. As equals. Do not display your silly charitable (soft racist) intentions. Help others by teaching them – f you know anything (and people like Tim Costello and Peter Singer don't know the ABC of wealth creation, so they must step out of the picture).

Underlying real causes of soft racism

Of course, there do exist some genuine reasons for the common Western stereotypes about Indians (or Muslims, or whatever). Everyone in the world (including me) uses stereotypes as convenient shortcuts.We can't possibly live without stereotypes.

  • The status of all Muslims declines all over the world each time Muslim terrorists engage in violence. Muslims then lose out on jobs, they lose out on promotions, they are no longer welcomed as migrants. 
  • The status of all Indians worldwide declines each time any any Indian indulges in corruption. If the Commonwealth Games in Delhi are mismanaged (as all signs seem to be showing they will be) expect soft racism against Indians to increase sharply. 
  • And it is true, for instance, that given the cultural differences between Indians and Westerners (such as the level of informality prevalent in the West), it may take time for Indians from India to acclimatise to working in the West. 

Thus, by no means am I claiming that all Indians will perform outstandingly well in all roles. That is not my point. The point is that individual assessment is needed on certain key matters, but stereotypes are more readily used. Soft racism become a real problem when people with doctorates from some of the world's best universities are treated on par with high school students (or less) and not given even the basic opportunity  to perform in trivial jobs. None of the reasons for stereotypes explain the lack of individual-specific assessment that is crucial for a merit-based non-discriminatory society.

I know of a person with some of the best qualifications from India, some of the best senior executive experience in India, and a Masters in public administration from one of the best universities in the world (in the USA). She also holds a doctorate from Melbourne university. BUT she was not, and has not been given even a toehold in any policy-related job, an area in which she excels. She has stopped applying, so rampant is soft racism in Australia. She now works for disabled Australians, a menial job that places her LOWER than a third rate high school student from Australia. Shame on soft racism in Australia that treats some of its high quality immigrants like dirt.  Equal freedom DOES NOT EXIST IN THE WEST.

How will soft racism be eliminated?
Soft racism won't go away easily. It is a disease of IGNORANCE. It is a disease of prejudice. It is a disease of stereotyping. It is not an overt thing that someone can observe and therefore prohibit (like not kicking out people from first class train compartments because of the colour of their skin). Gandhi couldn't have done a thing about it using the methods he used, for what would have happened would be so subtle he couldn't prove anything, let alone lead a movement. (For instance, he would have been lucky to be employed in a public sector organisation even as an article clerk, leave alone barrister (which was his qualification)).   
It will be reduced by education. Sure. So more education – and better education – is good. 
But (at least in my view) it will only be cured when countries like India get their act together and become economic powerhouses, towering like giants over a receding West led by socialists like Obama. That day will come very soon if suggestions in BFN are followed. Then, and only then, will soft racism die, as the 'white' Western world finds that its assumptions about Indians were so badly misplaced.Therefore global competition is the main element of the cure for soft racism.
Will that (competition) happen soon? Unfortunately not. The sad reality is that even though India's current performance is not what its people are capable of (it is working at 1/100th its potential), it has chosen to underperform. It has chosen to be poor. India's misgovernance (and the misgovernance of the Third World more generally) is, in a fundamental sense, the ultimate cause of soft racism. 
Till India becomes a free nation, expect soft racism against Indians to continue. Nothing that I or you say or write against it will make any difference. 
I believe that the ONLY way out of this mess is for Indians to join FTI, and to lead India to freedom. Then, and only then, will the world steadily becoming more competitive and free, will Western prejudices that so badly damage the prospects of Indians across the world, come to an end. 
When Indians choose socialism, when Indians choose Congress and BJP over a (potential) liberal party, when Indians choose Vedic socialism or Baba Ramdev, they HARM THEMSELVES DEEPLY. They harm themselves economically, they harm themselves psychologically. They increase corruption. They  destroy India's reputation. They harm Indian interests in India and abroad. ALL INDIANS EVERYWHERE LOSE. 
And so, India, if you want to regain self-respect, then BECOME RICH AND POWERFUL. Become the world's largest free society. There is no other way to be respected but to become worthy of respect. This can only happen if India becomes more rich and powerful than USA. Being a powerless, impotent poverty-stricken nation is no way to gain respect in this world. Today, no one in the West even knows where to find India on the world map, leave alone possessing deeper knowledge about India. The winner takes all. Today the children of the West don't know – and don't care – about India, because they can get away with it. Because not knowing about India doesn't hurt their pocket.
Everything in interconnected. Everything boils down to India becoming a free nation. As far as the careers of Indians are concerned – these poor people are blighted both within and outside India. They suffer because their leaders are sub-standard and can't lead India to prosperity.  They must now rise and lead India. There is no other recourse left.
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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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11 thoughts on “Soft racism in the West – the last frontier for equal freedom
  1. Narayan

    I've been living in the U.S for several years now and I haven't yet encountered the kind of soft racism you are talking about towards any well adjusted immigrant. There are certainly misunderstandings as a result of cultural differences between immigrants who haven't yet integrated into the culture or who haven't yet picked up fluent/clear English speaking skills. When it comes to language discrimination, I will certainly say that quite often people who haven't been to India are always surprised to hear we grew up learning to read,write and speak English fluently – I don't think this is a racist assumption. It is quite unique, as most other non-western countries don't have such a fluent English population where English is so culturally predominant. They are usually pleasantly surprised when I correct them and simply revise their opinions accordingly. I don' t think this kind of an attitude is remotely racist at all, it is precisely how people from different cultures learn about each other from each other.  

  2. A

    Interesting. Nice of you to write up your thoughts in depth and detail and spark off debates.

    My view is that *all of us have racist tendencies* :)

    But then I also think that anybody who can “recognize” and “handle” the racist tendencies (both in themselves and in others) has a huge advantage in this rapidly globalizing world.

    Before I sign off, I’d like to pick on the matter of language. Unfortunately, it is true that form and style seem to matter more to many editors and readers than substance and content.

    Blame that on the Kali Yuga that we live in !

  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    @Narayan. There are shades of soft racism. On the one hand is insularity arising from genuine ignorance (as you'd expect in remote villages in the West who never get to see an Indian in their life). In the middle is biased learning that deliberately ignores India (highly educated Westerners display this). Then there are the deeper shades (most problematic) where stereotypes around skin colour influence decisions to the detriment of both sides. It is the kind of thing that affects the career prospects of Dev Patel. It has definitely affected the career prospects of many people I know here in Australia. 

    How else do we explain an Indian woman with an Indian MBA who has had to re-skill as a librarian because no one called her even for an interview? And an Indian woman with a masters degree in public administration from USA and a doctorate from Australia – not called for interviews even for lowly policy officer positions? And a woman with post-doctoral studies in science not given a job even as a lab assistant? And a gold-medalist in printing studies from JJ school of arts forced to work as a parking attendant? And IITians struggling as petty consultants, if lucky, and moving from job to job?

    Maybe my sample set is skewed, but I know it is not.

    In each case these are people who came mid-career from India and get basically thrown out on the streets. A young Indian student who starts here from scratch may find a foothold, ultimately. But the odds of being discriminated against on skin colour and the sound of one's name are very substantial, just like Indians often discriminate on caste name.



  4. Ravi

    Dont you think soft racism is more prevalent in countries like Australia, NZ etc and not in the US. We have quite a number of examples in US where Indians are in top positions even with Indian accent. Many professors and lecturers in top universities, bank CEO of Citigroup like Vikram Pandit and many more.
    Of course there are racist people in US, but its a more cosmopolitan country than Australia and is a merit based capitalist soicety. Whats are your thoughts on that, as you have studied in US?

  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ravi

    Given the ongoing issues with the treatment of black Americans in USA, I don’t quite agree with you but I have no data otherwise. Yes, Indians are more respected in USA, but that is simply because MOST of the BEST Indians went to USA after the mid-1960s, fleeing socialist India. Australia never got the top brains of India (and now it is getting even worse – almost semi-literate migrants), hence the overall impression about Indians here is rather ordinary. That doesn’t justify any racism, though.

    Educated Indians (and others) should work to ensure that racism is eliminated.


  6. Peter Hall

    Wow is all I can say. You sir, are a TOTAL IDIOT! Your article on soft racism is the epitomy of racism. The Klu Klux Klan and Hitler would be proud of your racist rants. False generalizations and sheer stupidity, I do not know where to begin.

    So I will start with the incidents of the Students being attacked in Melbourne. Your need to cry racism overshadows all logic and your victim mentality negates any intellectual ability to come to a correct conclusion. The Victorian Police correctly stated that racism had little to do with these crimes. Most of the perpetrators were actually non whites and were low level street criminals.

    The criminals were looking for easy targets. Unfortunately the easiest targets are younger works who work late at night in low paid jobs and travel on public transport late at night. The Group that is over represented in this demographic is Indian International students. Its was the demographic that was targeted not the race. What a idiot you are!

    You are quick in making false generalizations like “most Westerners do not know where to find India is on a map.” I can guarantee more westerners can find Indian on the map than the percentage of Indian who even know what a map is! This is not based on racist stereotyping like you have made, but by the fact of the relative education standards of India compared to the West. My statement is based on facts, yours is vile racial stereotyping.

    You dare to call Western acts of charity to be soft racism? How dare you, if the West adopted the Indian attitudes to other races or even their own the world would be a hell hole. India has a sexist racist culture that is so extreme, that females are even denied the right to life, hence an estimated 50 million females murdered due to Indian culture. India has 100 of millions of slaves and child larbour laws are a joke, it is foreigners who are forcing and shaming Indians to lift their game when it comes to common humanity.

    I find it disgusting that India spends billions of its military and a space program when 50% of Indians still defecate in public, when the survival rate of Indian infants is so poor compared to the rest of the world.

    Call men like Costello and Peter Singer stupid? What sort of ignorant fool are you? What have you every done to help someone else, except spew forth your racist gibberish!! The stupid and ignorant one here is you, to call such men stupid for helping those in other countries who need help stupid, you deserve to be horsewhipped.

    If you think you are an example of an “elite migrant”, you are fooling only yourself, you sound like an under achieving insecure little man with a small penis complex, who tries to blame the white man for your own dismal failures.

    If India wants to gain respect in the world community, they need to adopt the exact opposite of everything you say. You are an ignorant little grub who spews forth racist bile to try and make yourself feel better. Indians around the world must feel ashamed to have someone like you writing apparently on their behalf.

  7. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    1) “Students being attacked in Melbourne. Your need to cry racism”. I was perhaps one of the very few Indians in the world who REJECTED the hypothesis that these “attacks” were racist. Please read this blog and you’ll find at least 4-5 detailed write ups opposing this.

    2) “most Westerners do not know where to find India is on a map”. And indeed, you are right that you’ll find a lot of uneducated Indians in India who can’t read any map. But the West is educated and should know better. I didn’t say everyone but “most”. You can check it out yourself. I speak from my experience of ABYSMAL ignorance about India among many (not all) elite Western people I’ve met. The corrective is better education.

    3) Yes, I firmly oppose foreign aid. I’ve provided full reasons both on this blog, in articles, and in the book I’m writing on freedom. Is it related to racism? Well it is related to some form of stereotyping, and generally such stereoyping falls on the poor nations. I do think it is related to a sense of superiority. Tim Costello might have some religious motivations but even there I’d ask him to mind his own soul first, and fix the evils of the Church. Let people teach FREEDOM to others. Recently I notice Costello has argued for aid AND trade. I disagree. Only trade, please. Do not disrespect others through charity. And the less said about Singer the better. He loves animals but dislikes humans whose population growth he is particularly keen to control. And I’ve written extensively why this idea (of curbing population growth) is fundamentally misplaced. He should be talking about liberty (which – as I’ve explained in my book Breaking Free of Nehru) will also reduce the demand for children, but he is instead worried about the number of people in developing countries. To him I say: mind your own business.

    4) I have published the rest of your rather offensive comments, but I would encourage you to wash your mouth first before speaking in public. You may wish to debate ideas instead of people – that’s a severe failing in the Western education system: too much focus on personalities, not issues.

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