Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: Soft Racism

Soft racism against Indians in Australia, re-confirmed

Kevin Dunn a professor of geography and urban studies in the University of Western Sydney has re-confirmed the prevalence of soft racism in Australia. Basically people of Indian ,,, background were an average of 18 per cent more likely to experience discrimination and racial intolerance than other Australians.

There is NO evidence, however, to suggest that soft racism translates into violence (hard racism).

Yes, many (not all!) Australians DO discriminate on the basis of skin colour, but assault is a different matter altogether. (It would be good to apply the methodology WITHIN India. I suspect the level of soft racism within India will be found to be MUCH HIGHER.) 

[N]ew analysis suggested Indian and Sri Lankan-born Australians reported higher levels of racism in such areas as the workplace, in education, when renting or buying a house, at shops and at sporting or public events. [T]e findings suggested the experience of racism for Indian-Australians was high even when compared with other non-Anglo Australians.
The study found:
  • 40.8 per cent of Indian and Sri Lankan-born Australians said they had experienced racism in the workplace, compared with 12.8 per cent of Australian-born respondents and 29.7 per cent of overseas-born respondents.
  • 42.6 per cent of such respondents had experienced racism at a shop or restaurant, compared with 15.5 per cent Australian-born and 22.4 per cent of overseas-born.
  • 38.5 per cent had experienced racism at a sporting or public event, compared with 13.8 per cent of Australian-born and 23.1 per cent of overseas-born.
  • 28.4 per cent said they had experienced racism in education, compared with 14.5 per cent Australian-born and 21 per cent of overseas-born.
  • And 43.2 per cent said they had experienced discrimination in the form of name-calling and similar insults, and 41.9 per cent said they had been treated less respectfully because of their ethnic origin.
The study suggested people of Indian and Sri Lankan background were an average of 18 per cent more likely to experience discrimination and racial intolerance than other Australians.
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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).


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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Ayn Rand the sworn enemy of racism, which is a form of collectivism

Ayn Rand's 1963 essay on Racism in the Virtue of Selfishness (VOS) is enormously powerful and speaks wonderfully of her sense of justice and freedom. I strongly encourage you to read it for it sets out clearly why racism is wrong: the very idea of generalising about a person's capabilities based only on the chemicals in his body is the ultimate insult to humanity (this, by the way, is also a powerful indictment of Indian casteism which is clearly a form of stereotyping, closely related to racism. This is also why reservations are wrong, including for women.).

[Note: Ayn Rand's bold and clear arguments was published closely on the heels of Martin Luther King's August 29, 1963 speech: "I have a dream". It was almost certainly written before Martin Luther King's speech. It is, in my view, worthy of being read on par with Luther King]



Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism.  It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry.  Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.

The respectable family that supports worthless relatives or covers up their crimes in order to “protect the family name” (as if the moral stature of one man could be damaged by the actions of another)—the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder, or the small-town spinster who boasts that her maternal great-uncle was a state senator and her third-cousin gave a concert at Carnegie Hall (as if the achievements of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)—the parents who search genealogical trees in order to evaluate their prospective sons-in-law—the celebrity who starts his autobiography with a detailed account of his family history—all these are samples of racism, the atavistic manifestations of a doctrine whose full expression is the tribal warfare of prehistorical savages, the wholesale slaughter of Nazi Germany, the atrocities of today’s so-called “newly-emerging nations.”

Just as there is no such thing as a collective or racial mind, so there is no such thing as a collective or racial achievement.  There are only individual minds and individual achievements—and a culture is not the anonymous product of undifferentiated masses, but the sum of the intellectual achievements of individual men.

A genius is a genius, regardless of the number of morons who belong to the same race—and a moron is a moron, regardless of the number of geniuses who share his racial origin.  It is hard to say which is the more outrageous injustice: the claim of Southern racists that a Negro genius should be treated as inferior because his race has “produced” some brutes—or the claim of a German brute to the status of a superior because his race has “produced” Goethe, Schiller and Brahms.

These are not two different claims, of course, but two applications of the same basic premise.  The question of whether one alleges the superiority or the inferiority of any given race is irrelevant; racism has only one psychological root: the racist’s sense of his own inferiority.

To ascribe one’s virtues to one’s racial origin, is to confess that one has no knowledge of the process by which virtues are acquired and, most often, that one has failed to acquire them.  The overwhelming majority of racists are men who have earned no sense of personal identity, who can claim no individual achievement or distinction, and who seek the illusion of a “tribal self-esteem” by alleging the inferiority of some other tribe. Observe the hysterical intensity of the Southern racists; observe also that racism is much more prevalent among the poor white trash than among their intellectual betters.

There is only one antidote to racism: the philosophy of individualism and its politico-economic corollary, laissez-faire capitalism.

It is not a man’s ancestors or relatives or genes or body chemistry that count in a free market, but only one human attribute: productive ability.  It is by his own individual ability and ambition that capitalism judges a man and rewards him accordingly.

It is capitalism that gave mankind its first steps toward freedom and a rational way of life.  It is capitalism that broke through national and racial barriers, by means of free trade.  It is capitalism that abolished serfdom and slavery in all the civilized countries of the world.  It is the capitalist North that destroyed the slavery of the agrarian-feudal South in the United States.

Men who deny individual rights cannot claim, defend or uphold any rights whatsoever.  It is such alleged champions of capitalism who are helping to discredit and destroy it.

The “liberals” are guilty of the same contradiction, but in a different form.  They advocate the sacrifice of all individual rights to unlimited majority rule—yet posture as defenders of the rights of minorities.  But the smallest minority on earth is the individual.  Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.


This accumulation of contradictions, of short-sighted pragmatism, of cynical contempt for principles, of outrageous irrationality, has now reached its climax in the new demands of the Negro leaders.

Instead of fighting against racial discrimination, they are demanding that racial discrimination be legalized and enforced.  Instead of fighting against racism, they are demanding the establishment of racial quotas.  Instead of fighting for “color-blindness” in social and economic issues, they are proclaiming that “color-blindness” is evil and that “color” should be made a primary consideration.  Instead of fighting for equal rights, they are demanding special race privileges.

They are demanding that racial quotas be established in regard to employment and that jobs be distributed on a racial basis, in proportion to the percentage of a given race among the local population.  For instance, since Negroes constitute 25 per cent of the population of New York City, they demand 25 per cent of the jobs in a given establishment.

“The white leadership must be honest enough to grant that throughout our history there has existed a special privileged class of citizens who received preferred treatment.  That class [36] was white.  Now we’re saying this: If two men, one Negro and one white, are equally qualified for a job, hire the Negro.”

Consider the implications of this statement.  It does not merely demand special privileges on racial grounds—it demands that white men be penalized for the sins of their ancestors.  It demands that a white laborer be refused a job because his grandfather may have practiced racial discrimination.  But perhaps his grandfather had not practiced it.  Or perhaps his grandfather had not even lived in this country.  Since these questions are not to be considered, it means that that white laborer is to be charged with collective racial guilt, the guilt consisting merely of the color of his skin.

No man, neither Negro nor white, has any claim to the property of another man.  A man’s rights are not violated by a private individual’s refusal to deal with him.  


Racism is an evil, irrational and morally contemptible doctrine—but doctrines cannot be forbidden or prescribed by law.  Just as we have to protect a communist’s freedom of speech, even though his doctrines are evil, so we have to protect a racist’s right to the use and disposal of his own property.  Private racism is not a legal, but a moral issue—and can be fought only by private means, such as economic boycott or social ostracism.

In conclusion, I shall quote from an astonishing editorial in The N. Y. Times of August 4 [1963]—astonishing because ideas of this nature are not typical of our age:

“But the question must be not whether a group recognizable in color, features or culture has its rights as a group.  No, the question is whether any American individual, regardless of color, features or culture, is deprived of his rights as an American.  If the individual has all the rights and privileges due him under the laws and the Constitution, we need not worry about groups and masses—those do not, in fact, exist, except as figures of speech.”

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