Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: Racism in Australia

Shameless Indian press doesn’t apologise to Australia

It is now over 24 hours since the news that Nitin Garg's teenaged killer has pleaded guity – was widely publicised in the Australian media. But only short, brief mentions in the Indian media: no analysis, no apologies, no contrition about attributing racist intentions to all Australians. Are they running this report every fifteen minutes in the headlines and clarifying that this was NOT a racist incident? No!!!

Do these FOOLS of the Indian media realise how much they have harmed the relationship between India and Australia? How many students they've turned off from getting educated in Australia? The harm caused is worth in the billions of dollars – both to the Australian economy and to the Indian (since these students would have received good quality education here, and learnt the basics of critical thinking, that is not taught to ANYONE in India).

When it comes to spreading falsehood the Indian media is king. The Indian foreign minister has proved himself to be a total ass long ago, as well. Unfortunately even Amitabh Bachchan got involved (has he apologised yet? – does he have a sense of contrition? I'd like him to come back and accept his hony. doctorate AND APOLOGISE TO THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE).

If you recall I also wrote about a VERY WELL KNOWN Indian writer who personally told me last year that over 100 Indians had been murdered in Australia. Such was the panic spread by the Indian media.

I came back to Australia and wrote this blog post on this issue, over one year ago

The simple truth is that (from the publicised cases): FIVE Indians were killed in Australia in the last few years. Of these five, TWO were killed by other Indians. That leave THREE. Of these three, ONE was killed by a common criminal, for his mobile phone (Nitin Garg).  (Another Indian killed an Indian child out of sheer stupidity). In addition, one Indian BURNT HIMSELF. Most of these cases were blown up in the Indian media as examples of Australia racism.

That leaves TWO unresolved deaths in the course of the last two years. Going by the record, there is a good likelihood that these are ordinary deaths/murders/suicides – no racial overtones. And let's not forget that in a population of nearly 200,000 Indians in Australia (perhaps more, including students), some untoward incidents occur on a regular basis.

Wikipedia shows that 3 out of 100,000 Indians are murdered in India every year. Going by the fact that TWO of the FIVE were killed by Indians themselves, these cases must be excluded from the Australian record.

If so, then the remaining unresolved cases (THREE out of 200,000 over the course of two years) aren't exceptional in any way: instead, they are FAR FEWER than expected.

I'd like the Indian press to conduct SERIOUS RESEARCH into this issue and APOLOGISE to Australia every fifteen minutes in its new headlines.

Note that I'm not denying that there is racism in Australia. Yes, there is what I call soft racism. It shows up in jobs. I've written a lot about it.

But no, there is virtually no "hard" racism. NO NATIONAL OBSESSION THAT INDIANS MUST BE KILLED. Instead, they are welcomed and well regarded (except that they may not get the jobs they are qualified for).

I also call upon this idiot S.K.Krishna to resign. IMMEDIATELY. He has brought great shame to the high traditions of Indian diplomacy. And also the High Commissioner of India to Australia – Sujatha Singh, for her outbursts in the TV and BAD ADVICE to the Indian people. She doesn't deserve to be in the IFS.

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A precise measure of racism in Australia

I'm pleased that my earlier estimates on this subject have been broadly vindicated by this pathbreaking study conducted by the University of Western Sydney.

In DOF I estimated racism in the West to be around 7%. Thus, I wrote on this blog post that: "My estimate in DOF, based on analysis of various studies, is that roughly 7% of the Western population is currently racist – in terms of actually acting on their racist beliefs."

That correlates closely also with the findings of the survey that 6.5% of the respondents DISAGREED with the statement: "It is a good thing for a society to be made up of people from different cultures". 

In my view this strong negative opinion (disagreement) is perhaps the best measure of the extent of the strong form of racism – namely, people who are likely to DO SOMETHING to discriminate on the basis of 'race'. A few of these (very few!) will actually use VIOLENCE. [Note: the study is far more refined and nuanced – so this summary figure that I've extracted must be taken with a pinch of salt. Do read the entire findings.]

My personal estimates of soft racism

On the other hand, I have separately estimated that there is a HUGE amount of latent racism in the West, of around 50%. These people might not consistently or even consciously discriminate, but are far more likely than non-racists, to do so. This latent or subliminal racism (my estimated figure for which includes the more overt form of racism as well) is what I call soft racism (see my analysis here).

The closest that the UWS study gets to this issue is when it asks: "How often do you mix with members of other cultural groups in social life?" and only 49% do so either 'often' or 'very often'. In other words, 50% of Australians do not mix socially with people from other cultures ("races"). That social bias, in my experience, filters into the workplace in a subtle manner, and CVs of those from India, China, or Asia more broadly, have an automatically lower chance of success despite HIGHER qualifications, including from the world's best academic institutions. 

What about India?

I believe that about 80% of Indians are soft racists, a figure far larger than the West. That is because inter-caste mixing is even lower, particularly in villages where the bulk of India lives. Indians therefore discriminate heavily on the basis of caste and skin colour. Hence India is the last major bastion of racism in the World.

Australia is one of the world's LEAST RACIST societies 

Gabriella Coslovich had a nice article in yesterday's Age which brought out some of the positives, A few key extracts: 

1) Hardcore racists are a minority: ''Racists'', it emerged, were the real minorities in this country: ''about one in 10 Australians have very problematic views on diversity and on ethnic differences. They believe that some races are naturally inferior or superior, and they believe in the need to keep groups separated. These separatists and supremacists are a destructive minority.''

2) Only Canada is LESS racist than Australia: "and comparative studies confirmed that Australia did indeed fare well. In parts of western Europe, three in 10 people were racists, and the figure was higher in parts of eastern Europe. The only place Dunn had found that was less racist than Australia (and then only a little less so), was Canada." My sense is that USA is also perhaps less racist than Australia (although if you consider the widespread discrimination against Blacks, it probably is not necessarily true).

Addendum

The fact that Australia is now less racist than it was before is evident by looking at the migration trends:

(See also the entire article on this subject)

How does it feel living in a racist society?

In India I was part of the top of the pyramid. But I do know that India has a horrible problem of racism/casteism/tribalism. Everyone is assessed on the basis of their group/social/caste characteristics and skin colour. So while I was fine, I know that many people in India are NOT fine. 

In Australia one doesn't come across racism on a daily basis. However, it is CERTAIN that it significantly affects career prospects in Australia, although that is less problematic than it was before. Even over the past 10 years there has been significant change: I've seen young Australians of Chinese and Indian background getting recruited on merit. That is a positive sign.

Before I close, my general comment on racism

And that comment is: If you think that “race” is a real concept, then you are an ass!

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If you think that “race” is a real concept, then you are an ass

How Europeans evolved white skin – Ann Gibbons Apr. 2, 2015

 

What I think as common knowledge about skin colour is perhaps not yet commonly known. In my draft manuscript, DOF, I wrote thus:

EXTRACT FROM DOF:

We have all descended from dark skinned African forbears that were adapted to intense equatorial sunlight. However, as humans moved to the higher latitudes they found less sunlight there, which makes it hard for those with a darker skin to produce vitamin D, so vital for bones and general health. In these higher latitudes, children with a natural mutation that helped them produce less melanin (i.e. those with a lighter skin) had better odds of survival than their darker skinned siblings. Over time, the so called ‘white race’ evolved as a local environmental adaptation. Being a function of random chance, evolution does not lead to exactly the same outcome everywhere.[1]


[1] E.g. Johan Moan, of the Institute of Physics at the University of Oslo, said in a research paper: “In England, from 5500-5200 years ago the food changed rapidly away from fish as an important food source. This led to a rapid development of … light skin.” The Australian, 31 August 2009. [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,26004285-26040,00.html. ]
I’m not sure if everyone in the world knows about this and understand what it means for their conceptions about race-based “superiority”.
It therefore pleased me to recently learn about Nina Jablonski’s work in this area. I spent a few minutes listening to her lecture (below). In a few days, time permitting, I’ll watch her documentary, Skin Deep.
I encourage you to watch this short 15 minute talk, below. More importantly, I would like to urge Indians (and others) who still harbour racist thoughts to learn about the science of human evolution and stop their slavish obsession with skin colour. In particular, the Indian caste system is strongly associated with racism and should be repudiated outright. The Vedas had a merit based system in any case. Let there by multiple “castes” within the same family subject to their individual merit (although why should we have caste at all? – throw away such false ideas entirely).
The idea the skin colour determines a man’s competence is the most ridiculous thought ever created in human history. If you think that “race” is a real concept, I think you are an ass. Sorry (!) I don’t use strong personal words very often – and I’m sure that none of my blog readers think in this manner – but I think we ought to be pretty brutal with those who continue to harbour deeply flawed ideas. How long does mankind have to suffer from the disease of ignorance? Let’s bury the concept of “race” once and for all.

Some asses

 

H G Wells (1901): “The swarms of black and brown and dirty-white and yellow people have to go. It is their portion to die out and disappear.”

D H Lawrence (1921): “Three cheers for the inventors of poison gas.”

George Bernard Shaw (1933): “Extermination must be put on a scientific basis if it is ever to be carried out humanely and thoroughly … if we desire a certain type of civilization and culture, we must exterminate the sort of people who do not fit into it.”

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Kevin Andrews comes out clean in the Haneef case

Kevin Andrews happens to be my representative in the Australian Parliament. I note (details here) that he has come out unharmed by the quasi-legal processes on matters arising from Dr. Muhamed Haneef's abortive arrest in 2007 – an incident that caused significant harm to Australia-India relations at that time. (These relations then worsened further some years later after totally exaggerated reporting in the Indian media about violence against a few Indian students in Melbourne.)

The Haneef case has now been settled. Dr. Haneef now plans return to Australia as a respectable member of the community and practice medicine. I wish him the very best in his career. [read on!]

According to the news report, "The mediation, under former Queensland corruption inquiry chief Tony Fitzgerald QC, resolves all legal matters against the government and its agencies.

"This includes a proposed action against former Howard government minister Kevin Andrews, who cancelled Dr Haneef's work visa, ensuring the Indian-trained doctor's detention continued after a magistrate allowed his release from jail on bail.

"Mr Andrews yesterday issued a statement in which he said: "I have been advised that Dr Haneef has withdrawn his action for defamation against me. I have made no apology. Nor has any compensation been paid in relation to the defamation action.""

The proceedings must have persuaded  Dr. Haneef that Kevin Andrews acted within the bounds of law. Such matters can be quite challenging, and I'm pleased that the matter has been settled amicably. The rule of law does prevail in Australia. There is no place for whimsical action in the governance of this country.

I trust Dr. Haneef will, in his spare moments, become an active ambassador for Australia-India relations.

The stakes against terrorism are high. We must understand that accidents can happen. So long as the accident is rectified, the event must be closed and we must move on to live our lives in quiet enjoyment.

A FOLLOW-UP DINNER?

We live not to debate legal niceties and fight over trivialities, but to achieve a peaceful and productive life.

It would be best for this matter to now brought to a close  through enhanced social discourse.

I am happy to host a private dinner in an Indian restaurant in Melbourne (only the dinner, not air fares!) for Muhamed Haneef and Kevin Andrews to bring normalcy to the unfortunate events of the past few years in this case.

It is crucial that India and Australia work together as closely as possible in the coming decades and iron out any misunderstandings that may arise in the long journey ahead.

Such small social gestures can make a BIG difference.

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