Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Catherine Tate Show - Ginger Refuge

Takes a couple of minutes to get going, but this is freakin' hilarious. About that other, hidden form of racism...

More like this:

Introducing Jonah Takalua

The Good Samaritan

Flight of the Conchords - Racism

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Japanese TV weirdness of the week

The Marshmallow game

This is from one of Japan's most popular and longest running variety shows, Gaki no Tsukai.

Its actual full name is Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende!!
(Translation: Downtown's "This is no task for kids!!")

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It couldn't have been a white person...? More on ethnic descriptors of criminals

I wrote in a recent post about the issue of describing the ethnicities of criminal suspects, which the conservative media in Australia have been playing up recently. There are legitimate concerns - police can sometimes be too vague about describing a wanted suspect's race, which can often be the most obvious trait by which to identify him or her. But at the same time, there is the obvious problem that many people do not fit into clearly defined racial categories, and often police are relying on brief and unclear visuals and eyewitness accounts with which to make their judgement as to the perp's ethnicity.

Well, Australia's most popular conservative journalist/blogger has given me the perfect example with which to illustrate the point I was making. As well as an example of his agenda to highlight non-white crime and downplay crime committed by white people.

This is from Andrew Bolt's column on Monday in the Herald-Sun:

Victoria Police play another game of “let’s not mention the ethnicity”:

A MAN has been treated in hospital after a savage glassing attack on a nightclub dancefloor in Melbourne’s CBD early yesterday… Police would like to speak to two men, the first is white, with a tanned complexion, in his twenties, approximately 183cm tall, of solid build and with short brown curly hair. He had a fine beard along his jaw line.

That’s him in the middle and right of the pictures above. If a wanted man isn’t Asian, Caucasian or Aboriginal, the police are suddenly struck blind.

Okay, so first thing's first. Is the man in the photo white?

Maybe. I dunno. He could equally be from the Middle East or Southern Europe, or India. Or Northern European, come to think of it, with a tan.

The point is, it's not easy to tell just from those photos. So how did the police come up with "white"?

Actually, did they? Reading the original news report, the description actually says "Caucasian"; Bolt changed it to "white". So what does "Caucasian" actually mean? It's a problematic and somewhat outdated term, primarily because it groups a diverse range of people into a single category. But it includes people from Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Northern India.

So he is definitely "Caucasian". Is he "white"? You be the judge. He may well be, whatever "white" actually means.

In any case, Bolt is arguing that the police are fudging their racial description of the man by calling him "white". Whatever he is, he is clearly "Caucasian", which is what they appear to have described him as.

His accomplice, by the way, was clearly described as Asian, so the police don't seem to be timid about mentioning that.

So where did the description of the "white" man actually come from? Not from that photo, but from the victim and witnesses who were there. So if they say he was Caucasian, then he probably was. They mention he has brown hair, which more likely to indicate he is European - if it is natural. The fact that he is tanned could give a clue as to his ethnic background, but he could also just be a Northern European with a tan. Lots of people have tans in Australia, if you hadn't noticed.

Many of commenters on Bolt's article are convinced the man is Middle Eastern, probably Lebanese. Why? He has a beard. And lots of Muslims have beards. White Europeans apparently do not have beards.

The point is, it is very difficult to tell what he is, and without better footage it is hard to question the description offered by police.

Yet Bolt and his mob of followers can't let it go at that. They don't seem to like the idea that the man who committed a violent crime might be one of them - a white person - when the idea of him being a dirty foreigner holds much more appeal.

It's important to understand the context in which articles like this are written.

It is a commonly held view on the Right that the media and police are under the sway of a Left agenda which makes them reluctant to publicise crime committed by ethnic minorities. There may be some truth in this.

But it is also very clear that there exists an agenda on the Right to draw attention to non-whites who offend, while treating the ethnicity of white offenders as irrelevant. Bolt is the most obvious example.

I blogged earlier this week about a violent riot in which the mob is clearly dominated by people who are Caucasian. I argued that no one will notice their race, yet their race would have been made an issue had they been black or Asian. Well Bolt mentions the riot here, but then straight away adds more examples of "feral" behaviour from a few months back - video footage in which people of African origin are clearly front and centre.

Okay those aggressive people are white ... but look over here! Aggressive black people!

The result: commenters who talk not about the riot, but about the failings of multiculturalism. Because that is one of the dominant narratives on Bolt's blog, and we wouldn't want to be distracted from that now, would we?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

They have a cream for everything these days...

An ointment from India which relieves pain and possibly cures heterosexuality.

Thanks to Fourth Daughter for sending this my way.

From around the interwebs...

Some quotes from some of the best articles I've been reading this week:

...on the link between women's oppression and terrorism
"Divorced before puberty"
by Nicholas D Kristof in the New York Times

There are a couple of reasons countries that marginalize women often end up unstable.

First, those countries usually have very high birth rates, and that means a youth bulge in the population. One of the factors that most correlates to social conflict is the proportion of young men ages 15 to 24.

Second, those countries also tend to practice polygamy and have higher death rates for girls. That means fewer marriageable women — and more frustrated bachelors to be recruited by extremists.

So educating Nujood and giving her a chance to become a lawyer — her dream — isn’t just a matter of fairness. It’s also a way to help tame the entire country.

Consider Bangladesh. After it split off from Pakistan, Bangladesh began to educate girls in a way that Pakistan has never done. The educated women staffed an emerging garment industry and civil society, and those educated women are one reason Bangladesh is today far more stable than Pakistan.

The Tea Party is all about race
by Bob Cesca at The Huffington Post

Irrespective of whether the president passed a huge tax cut or went out of his way to bring Republicans into the health care process, the seeds of racial animosity from the far-right were sown during the campaign. In those lines waiting for then-vice presidential candidate and current tea party heroine Sarah Palin, their loud noises spread the pre-scripted lies, lies that entirely hinged on the president's African heritage. A white candidate would never be accused of being a secret Muslim. A white candidate would never be accused of being a foreign usurper. Only a black candidate with a foreign name would be accused of "palling around with domestic terrorists."

In the final analysis, when you boil away all of the weirdness, it becomes clear that the teabaggers are pissed because there isn't yet another doddering old white guy in the White House -- like they're used to. That's what this is all about.

and finally, some satire from those clever folks at The Onion:

Racial Slur Development Not Keeping Pace With Mixed-Race Births, Nation's Bigots Report
WASHINGTON—A coalition of the nation's most fervent bigots convened in Washington Monday to address growing concerns that the production of hateful new racial slurs has failed to keep pace with the rise in mixed-race births.

According to representatives from the American Racists and Bigots Council (ARBC), the growing number of children born to parents of different ethnicities has posed a real challenge to the nation's hate-speech developers—a challenge they say threatens their way of life.

"It all starts with education," ARBC strategist Michael McNeil said. "If you are at a bar drinking boilermakers in a desperate attempt to quell your rage and self-hatred and an Armenian- Brazilian man walks in, you have to be able to swiftly formulate the most vile and thoughtless way to demean him as a human being. Yell out an outdated or inaccurate slur in a situation like that, and you just wind up looking ignorant."

"The mind is an incredibly powerful thing," McNeil continued. "But it must be fed new and better ways to hate, or it will fail to grow."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mobs of crazy white people rampage through Melbourne's streets

The title of this post may make some of you uncomfortable. But do read on, there's a point to it.

On Friday night, a major intersection at Oakleigh in Melbourne's southeast was witness to a violent riot, as a mob of around 2000 drag racing enthusiasts gathered outside a Bob Jane T-Mart store and proceeded to trash it.

It was designed as a protest at the cancellation of EasterNats racing festival, of which tyre manufacturer Bob Jane was the major sponsor.

It began peacefully until one member of the crowd threw a flare at a police car, which inflamed the crowd. They began attacking the Bob Jane shop front, looting it and overturning one of the vehicles. A press photographer was set upon and bashed after taking pictures of the hooligans.

And as the pictures display, the crowd was overwhelmingly Caucasian.

Come now, Eurasian Sensation. Why would you even mention that? How on earth is it relevant?

The answer is, it's completely NOT relevant what race the mob were. I'm just trying to make a point here.

Which is this: Imagine that instead of overwhelmingly white faces in that crowd, we saw a mob of African people. Or a mob of Asians.

In such a case, would the mainstream media be playing up their race? You can bet your sweet ass they would. The News Limited press in this country would be crammed with letter-writers working themselves into a lather over how we should send them foreigners all home, on how multiculturalism has failed us, and how some races of people are just not suited to live in our society, due to their violent and backward natures. Andrew Bolt would be writing one of his "told you so" blog posts, you know the ones he churns out every time he gets wind of an immigrant committing a crime.

Will we hear anything about that this time? I won't hold my breath.

Colbert interviews Nell Irvin Painter on "The History of White People"

Not necessarily Colbert's best interview, since he is a little too preoccupied with his (admittedly very clever) faux-Bill O'Reilly schtick to give her a chance to explain what her book is actually about. But it nonetheless does provide a funny example of how many conservative Americans think and talk about race; particularly the idea of whiteness being the "default setting", which he expounded on in this earlier segment.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Nell Irvin Painter
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care reform

Filipino Iced Tea and other hard drugs

When Maria Silva arrived at Melbourne Airport last week from her home in the Philippines, she was stopped when sniffer dogs detected something in her baggage. Initial tests revealed it to be 2.4kg of methamphetamine - cunningly concealed inside packets of instant iced tea.

Silva was carted off in handcuffs, and faced up to 25 years in prison for trafficking a commercial quantity of illegal drugs.

After 5 days in jail, customs officials were able to determine what Silva was actually carrying: 2.4kg of Nestea lemon-flavoured iced tea.

So, no amphetamines then?

29-year-old Silva, who works as a wedding planner, was bringing 3 800-gram packets of the stuff for her Australian boyfriend Steve Bromley. Word is, this is not the first time that this iced tea has been mistaken for amphetamines. Apparently it is quite refreshing but not especially addictive, and I have no information as to its street value.

She is reportedly traumatised by her ordeal, and has been awarded $5,000 compensation for those days spent in the slammer. Which is a nice gesture by the powers-that-be, but surely it would be nicer for our tourists, and the Victorian taxpayer, if they just didn't lock people up for 5 days without good cause.

I mean, 5 days? How long does it take to determine the difference between hard drugs and iced tea?

Screw the expensive lab equipment, here's a simpler method. You mix the Nestea lemon iced tea with an appropriate quantity of water, as per the instructions on the label, and then you drink it. If it is not drugs, you can enjoy a pleasant sweet drink. If it is drugs, you get high and can go out clubbing.

See? Simple, and I don't even have a science degree. If they had only asked me, I would have sorted it out in under 10 minutes and would have invoiced them substantially less than $5,000 for my trouble.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another Singaporean facepalm moment

Some highlights from last year's The S Factor, a Singaporean version of those Next Top Model type shows. Just in case you thought Ris Low wasn't sufficiently cringe-inducing.

See also:

The white boy who speaks Singlish

Singapore's answer to the "Flea Market Montgomery" Ad

Random Singlish

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chinese web phenomena

Came across the below clever picture here which while being clearly a fake, certainly captures the intrusive nature of the Chinese government in the netscape of the world's largest nation.

The world of Chinese netizens is a strange one, with a number of odd phenomena that have developed which have no real parallel in any other country. I'm certainly no expert on this, and these are the few that I know about; feel free to enlighten me further if you have other examples.

"50 Cent Army" (wumao dang) - it is estimated that the Chinese government has around 300,000 freelancers working to manipulate public opinion on blogs, forums and other websites. The name "50 cent army" or "50 cent party" comes from the amount they are allegedly paid for each comment they make on such sites. Their comments are designed to support the government's position on various issues, while trying to appear that it is merely their own opinion. They operate on English-language websites as well.

"Human Flesh Search Engine" - a phenomenon that emerged a few years ago, it is a kind of internet-based community moral policing that can sometimes stray into vigilantism. One of the notable early examples, from 2006, centred around a woman who videotaped herself stomping a kitten to death with her high heels. This brutal act so enraged netizens that a spontaneous campaign began to seek out the culprit. With hundreds of amateur detectives on the case, they soon tracked her down, using clues such as the buildings in the background. The woman was attacked and shamed online until she lost her job and was forced to apologise.
The human flesh search engine has also been used to attack Chinese people who express pro-Tibet sentiments, have extramarital affairs, or otherwise do things that contravene the moral standards of the Chinese internet community.

Two phenomena that I have previously blogged about include the quite hilarious "grass-mud-horse" meme (basically a cheeky way of sticking up two fingers at censorship laws), and the hacking of overseas websites that express ideas contrary to the Chinese government line.

Wilbur Sargunaraj - "Love Marriage"

Wilbur Sargunaraj is the latest viral Youtube sensation out of Tamil Nadu. His website describes him thusly:

Dance King, Performer, Drummer and Tamilian, Wilbur Sargunaraj is one of the most original musicians to grace the industry. His super hit song "Blog Song" is just one of the killer dance tunes that is having people across the globe begging for more music. Wilbur has created his own fresh and original style called Vocal Chanting which combines elements of his native India with super killer techno dance beats and bass that is super deep.

You can check out his latest video, "Love Marriage", below. It's both catchy and mind-numbingly repetitive. Love the aunties-cum-dancing-girls.

Of course, you may have gathered that Sargunaraj is not really an actual person. As far as anyone can work out, he is the Borat-esque alter ego of Canadian percussionist Paul Benjamin (credited as Sargunaraj's producer).

Not saying this guy is a comic genius by any means, but he's good for a chuckle. And I confess I've had "Love Marriage" flitting in and out of my head for the last few days.
The below clip shows footage of a Sargunaraj live performance. The accompanying song is called "Chicken 65", a tribute to a famous South Indian dish.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

From around the interwebs...

Various stuffs that have been floating my boat this week...

Rediscovering salsa
The New York Times features this article about how salsa has become ever-present on American tables yet is a far cry from what Mexicans would consider "real" salsa.

Arshavin' bizarre Q + A
When Arsenal's diminuitive Russian forward Andrey Arshavin hosted a Q + A page on his website, you'd expect the questions from his fans to be about football. On the contrary, it reveals his fans to be a fairly odd bunch with other things on their minds. The questions include "in what order would you place the following animals: a tiger, a cow, a pig, a horse, a sheep?" and "what do you think people need pain for?"
Full credit to Arshavin, his answers are frequently as entertaining as the questions.

"Social justice" = Socialism and Nazism
In a rant that encapsulates all that is wrong with the Right in the US, Glenn Beck recently implored listeners to abandon any church that ever makes use of the words "social justice" or "economic justice". They are code words for socialism and Nazism, don't you know. One of my favourite Christian thinkers, Reverend Jim Wallis, takes Beck to task for this nonsense. Whisper it, but if Jesus Christ himself lived in the States today, he'd be regarded as a dangerous socialist revolutionary.

On the rudeness of Kuala Lumpur
I very much liked this article about the general surliness of the populace of Kuala Lumpur, a city where I spend a lot of time. I recently asked the Egyptian cleaning lady at my work about her brief stopover in Malaysia (en route to Thailand), and she gave me a 5 minute tirade about how Malaysians were the rudest people she'd ever experienced.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Victorian police accused of racism towards African youth

As regular readers of this blog would be aware, I have a strange fascination with reading readers' comments on the website of the Herald-Sun. Primarily it's because it is Australia's most read newspaper, and thus I figure it's a good way to gauge the attitudes of the Australian public, or at least a segment of it. And of course, what I read there is often extremely worrying.

Normally, any news story involving Victoria Police is met by commenters complaining about how poorly they are doing as an organisation; how their top brass have no idea, and how the officers on the ground either don't care or have their priorities all wrong. Many of these criticisms are entirely justified, particularly when you read stories about police in Geelong conducting a blitz on jaywalking, while our streets at night increasingly become a no-go zone due to drunken violence and teenage thugs.

So what about when a newly released study claims that the force has another significant problem of racist treatment of young African people?

That story provoked 226 comments on the day of its release, but if you thought the readers would stay true to form and embrace another reason to be critical of the police, you would be wrong. Instead, the comments section turned into one of the ugliest showcases for racist thought that I have witnessed in a mainstream news outlet.

But first, to the findings of the study. Conducted by Springvale Monash Legal Service, it drew from interviews with young Africans and community workers in Melbourne suburbs with large African communities. It detailed examples of racism such as use of terms such as "black c**t" and "monkey", of overzealous harrassment of young African males for no apparent reason, and even an example of police removing their uniforms and returning to bash a group of African youths.

Now I have no idea of the truth of these allegations, and I would expect some level of exaggeration on the part of the young people who gave the evidence, but I would not be surprised if they were true. I certainly do not think that is a reflection of the whole police force. But it reflects the broader picture of how Africans can be treated in this country. This article describes some examples:

They spoke about having eggs thrown at them on the streets, about profound bullying within their schools, about being accused of "blackriding" (riding without a ticket) on public transport before their tickets had even been checked, and shoplifting when they simply walked into a shop. They described systematic police abuse, and felt that there was nothing they could do when institutions discriminated against them.

Now obviously there is a problem with some young Africans in Australia, who have embraced gang culture and do cause problems for police. (And we are not really talking about Africans in general, but primarily a minority of young people within the Sudanese and Somali communities.) The problem we are talking about occurs when the suspicion of these African youths becomes a suspicion of all African youths. A consequence of being an extremely visible minority is that any negative perceptions become amplified and extended to a whole ethnic community, in a way that is unimaginable with white criminals. Police on the front line who deal with the criminal elements of the African community might start to view all African youth through that same lens.

Sadly, this sort of treatment can perpetuate a dangerous cycle. In the news story, an African boy named Aran Brown describes constant harassment from police, to the point where now he runs whenever he sees them. Clearly this makes him look suspicious to them, resulting in further hassle. If young Africans feel that they are disconnected from a society that treats them with disrespect and suspicion, that sense of alienation can be what pushes them over the line and into the sorts of anti-social behaviours they were feared for in the first place. If you treat someone like a bad guy, it makes it more likely they will start to assume the role of the bad guy.

In reponse to the study's findings, Police Commissioner Simon Overland seemed to say all the right things.

"If (someone has taken their uniform off to bash a victim) it’s criminal and if we find evidence of that I would expect that officer, or those officers, to be charged,’’ he said.

"There will be a small number of police who clearly have racist attitudes and occasionally act on those racist attitudes and what I’m saying to them is where we find you we will deal with you in the strongest possible terms.

"I have to acknowledge that like the broader community, undoubtedly we will have some people who have racist attitudes. That is not okay.
"It is particularly not okay if they act on those racist attitudes in a work context and where I find evidence of that those people can expect to be dealt with very decisively because it is simply not okay for people to hold those attitudes or to act on them in Victoria Police,’’ he said.
“Clearly there are some tensions and there is some more work we need to do out there." He said the problem had its roots in "a whole series of reasons".
“This is not a new problem. With every wave of migration, we’ve had problems with youths. If you go back far enough it was the Italian wave, the Greek wave, the Vietnamese wave and what we’re seeing now is a wave of migration coming out of Africa. And predictably we’re seeing some tensions with youth."
“We are dealing with it. But we’re not going to get it right every time.”
Nothing wrong with that; anyone who thinks there would not be racist elements within the police force is dreaming. Clearly racism is present, as well as corruption, sexism, homophobia and a whole host of undesirable traits, simply because police officers are humans and will thus display these traits as will anyone else.
But judging by the the response from readers, there is very little appreciation of this fact. As Overland said, the police are a reflection of the community, and some in the community have racist views; and those views were quite brazenly on display among the Herald-Sun readership:

All this for being innocent bystanders, right? I'm sick of this politically correct shite of treating Africans and other "non whites" with kid gloves. Perhaps Aran Brown would be better off in the country he left behind. Sick of racism yes, but directed at whites...and proud of my skin colour.
Comment 3 of 226

Stevo of Yarrambat
What a load of crap. These thugs deserve everything they get. Go into their territory, see how intimidating and threatening and abusive they are to Aussies. Back the cops up otherwise these low life scum will control the streets.
Comment 6 of 226

You don't like it of GO HOME
If you don't like it then move back overseas. Crimes have gone up since so many people have been allowed in the country. The cities are over populated with gangs and crims. Parents have no control or even any ideas where their darling children are as they are busy playing the pokies and drinking all their dole payments away.
Comment 10 of 226

Ian Astbury of St Albans
This is not a symptom of racism but rather a failure of governments failed refugee and immigration policies. These African groups like the Indians play the race card every-time an incident happens. The real issue is that these groups come from societies where racism is rife i.e Zulus and Caste system. I say time to close the door on these groups who cannot integrate into Australian society.
Comment 97 of 226

Sounds more like African criminals are feeling the heat so they've pulled out the old tried and tested racism card compliments of the advocacy groups. Seen and done all before by the certain other mintority groups that we're not allowed to complain about.
Comment 170 of 226

Scott of Heathmont
It would be nice to see our Police Commisioner support our police force rather than bend over to political correctness (yet again).
Comment 224 of 226

Of course, I don't wish to pretend that all African young people in Melbourne are cherubs who would not hurt a fly. But for so many of the people commenting above, "African youths" form a single identity - the thug in hip-hop attire. So it does not occur to them that an African boy harassed by police might not have actually done anything - by being African, he is "one of those" who commit crimes.

Even if you assume that the report is only partly factual; it is a worrying indictment on those we put faith in to keep our streets safe. The simplistic either/or mentality being displayed by the above commenters reduces the argument to EITHER police are racist and Africans are innocent OR Africans are not innocent and therefore they are lying and police are not racist. There is no room for nuanced thought; the idea that there can be problems with youth crime in the African community AND problems with racism in the police force, which might actually be contributing to the causes of crime.

One of the complaints expressed by the young Africans interviewed in the study is that assumption that because they are African, they are being tarred with the same brush as the Africans who are involved in street gang activity, and are therefore presumed guilty. The attitudes expressed on the Herald-Sun website show exactly how this can happen; most of the commenters seem to find it inconceivable that there could possibly exist any African youth who are not criminals.

More like this...

What's with all the resentful white people reading the Herald-Sun?

"Send them all back" ... even if they are Australian?

Asian-fearing Herald-Sun readers of the week

Indian student stabbed to death; what does the public reaction say about us?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Street art in Fitzroy

Fitzroy is the bohemian heartland of Melbourne, playground of artists, musicians and grungy types, and home of some of the best coffee in a coffee-mad city. So it seems fitting that some local businesses saw fit to have graf artists Everfresh add some urban flavour to their walls. Below are some examples that we snapped, but there is much more to be seen, including in the neighbouring suburb of Collingwood as well.

More on this:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Awesome Thai ads promoting exercise

3 quirky commercials in this clip from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation.

More Thai-ness here and here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tinned dog-food with "Chinese take-out flavour"

(Hat tip: Angry Asian Man)

Yes, this is an actual product. How many things do you notice which are kinda strange or just a bit wrong?

For all the times your dog has longed for a little more hoi sin in its bowl.

One thing you can't see from the picture is the ingredients. It actually contains DUMPLINGS. Now, I like dumplings as much as the next person, but in dog food? Granted, I've never asked a dog whether they like dumplings in their food, but I don't imagine they'd notice. Perhaps its for foodie-type dogs who want an authentic Chinese culinary experience when they are eating their "Chinese take-out" flavoured food. I'm surprised they didn't include an intricately carved piece of carrot to make an aesthetically-pleasing garnish to the dog food.

And yeah, what is with the "Chinese take-out with sauce" title? As opposed to just "Chinese"? It's as if Chinese food is only something available as take-out?

And yes, I'll say it; will some customers feel some trepidation about the words "Chinese", "food" and "dog" in the same sentence? (As in, is that lovable canine in the picture an eager consumer, or an ingredient?)

"The suspect was described as having dark skin..."

I've noticed recently a few commentators in the Australian media bringing up the subject of the ethnicity of criminal suspects given in police descriptions. In other words, that the police are tip-toeing around mentioning the race of a suspect, to the point where it may interfere with the chances of apprehending them.

The most recent example was on Friday when Melbourne radio identity Neil Mitchell mentioned this theme in relation to an attempted kidnapping in East Brighton. The police description of one of the perpetrators was:

The man is described as approximately 30-years-old, dark complexion, very white teeth, and short, curly black hair. He is approximately 190cm tall.

At Mitchell's further questioning, the detective being interviewed mentioned that the suspect was possibly African. Mitchell responds with, "Ah, so we're looking for a black person, are we? Because I know we're not allowed to say that, but it's important here, isn't it?"

Later Mitchell says, "It's silly, isn't it? It's so silly... they don't like the police describing ethnicity." He is critical of the official description given by police, because the term "dark complexion" could mean a whole variety of things.

A similar theme was recently expanded on in The Age by columnist Lawrence Money. Describing a case of a suspect who looks clearly to be of black African descent, he mocks the police description of him given to the public.

They also released a description that, over radio, sounded like this: ‘’about 180 cm tall, solid build and’’ – this is the clincher – ''short black hair’’. Can you believe it? ''Short black hair’’. How many million blokes in Australia would fit that profile? The fact that this bloke is coloured, a fact that would cut down the suspect pool by probably 95 per cent, is omitted. Are we so terrified of the R-word, racism, so brainwashed by the thought police, that no dares mention skin colour any more?

Mr Money seems to style himself as The Age's resident conservative maverick, so predictably he goes on a tirade about how political correctness is overtaking our society. But about the description of the suspect, he seems to make a fair point. If the prime intention of releasing suspect descriptions to the public is so that someone may have seen something that will assist in the apprehension of the offender, then surely "short black hair" doesn't really cut it.

Sometimes the police do release descriptions which mention ethnicity, such as "Asian", "Caucasian", etc. But many times they do not.

Why not? Well, a comment left at the 3AW website (link above) with the Neil Mitchell interview, may give a clue:

this poor kid being attacked by what seems to be another black refugee we have aowed to live in our country.If m right he should be jailed and then sent back to where ever he came from.
alex Friday 26 February, 2010 - 4:42 PM
Ethnic descriptions can be used to justify all kinds of prejudices. Now I don't necessarily have a probblem with the concept of deporting criminals who are non-citizens. But if the suspect had been described as a blonde Caucasian, then there would be no way "Alex" would see his race as at all relevant. Certainly no suggestion that blonde white criminals be deported back to Europe or wherever else.

I wrote a previous post about the blinkered perceptions of ethnicity in crime; read it here.
As another example, here are two comments at the Herald Sun about a case of an assault and robbery at Berwick train station. The suspect was described as having a "tanned complexion".

Greg of Melbourne Posted at 2:50 PM September 15, 2009
Tanned complexion, huh? Are we being politically correct as usual, Herald Sun? Perhaps if the Herald Sun gave accurate descriptions of perpetrators instead of trying not to upset certain ethnic groups, the cops may have a better chance of catching said perpetrators?

Kim (of minority race) of melbourne Posted at 3:23 PM September 15, 2009
When you say "tanned complexion", why don't you be specific for the sake of more easily identifying the offender? You are quick to describe an offender as "caucasian" (white) but when it comes to a possible minority race, there is always this pussyfooting around the description.

Perhaps "Greg" and "Kim of minority race" have a point. "Tanned complexion" could mean a lot of things. A well-tanned Englishman, an Arab, a Pacific Islander, an Indian, a Latin American, a light-skinned black person, and so on. So it is of limited usefulness in helping to track down a criminal.

But here's the thing. As "Kim" says, a Caucasian is fairly easy to identify, most of the time. Most of us know a white person when we see one. When when we start talking about brown people though, it gets a bit more complicated.

When victims or witnesses identify a suspect, it is unlikely that they get a really good chance to study that person's face. If they are being attacked, or the incident happens at night, they won't have the best chance to get a real good look.

As I stated above, there are myriad different people who have tanned complexions, just as "dark-skinned" or "black" can describe a whole host of ethnicities. It's not always that easy for a witness to place a suspect neatly in a box like "African" or "Asian".

Now you may be thinking right about now, "Huh? Any fool can tell an African apart from a European, or an Asian."

Sometimes yes. Many people are immediately identifiable as fitting into a certain box. Many aren't, however.

Let's start with "black" people. Now, while many Africans are obviously African, there's still scope for confusion. A Melanesian (Papuan or Fijian, for example) might easily be taken as being African depending on how good a look the witness got, or whether they had much knowledge of what Melanesians look like. Similarly, think about famous people like Prince or Alicia Keys. If you saw them on the street and didn't know who they were, would "black" be the immediate description you would give? Maybe, but maybe not. Likewise, some people of South Asian origin can be mistaken for African. I knew a South Indian girl whose facial features had Ethiopians wondering if she was in fact one of them. I've seen plenty of young desi guys who with the addition of dreads or a shaved head could well be mistaken for African.

Now, let's be clear: I'm not trying to say that all black people look alike. Not at all. Just that there is so much variation in populations that some people look like something other than what they are. And all of this is subject to the ability of a witness to recognise what ethnic background someone belongs to; an ability which is very variable.

Moving away from "black", let's think about "Asian" as a descriptor. Again, there are some people who look completely Asian and will never be mistaken for anything else. But Asia is a big place.

I recently was working with a group of young Burmese refugees, and their appearance spanned the gamut from classic East Asian features to South Asian or even Middle-Eastern features. There are many Southeast Asians, placed in a non-Asian setting, who would not look particularly Asian at all. I have a friend from Eastern Indonesia who visited the US and was surprised when everyone started trying to speak Spanish to him.

Likewise, Pacific Islanders exhibit a range of physical types; some could pass for black or Latin American, some look Southeast Asian, and some have Caucasian parentage. The gang captured on CCTV bashing Sourabh Sharma on a Melbourne train appeared to me to include Pacific Islanders and Caucasians; yet I saw at least one reference to it as being "a Vietnamese gang", based on that person's interpretation of one of the faces.

My point is that while ethnic descriptors of perpetrators can certainly be helpful, they are sometimes problematic, particularly in a society populated by a very wide range of people, including those of mixed ethnicity. Not all of us are good at distinguishing what racial group someone belongs to, and some people just look like something you wouldn't expect. And I suspect that in a great many cases, people only want to know the ethnicity of the perpetrator in order to confirm various theories of racial tendencies.

Below: some people "of tanned complexion". Beyond that vague descriptor, is it easy to apply an ethnic label to them based on appearance alone?

From top (L-R):
Indonesian actor Tora Sudiro
New Zealand Maori actor Temuera Morrison
Peruvian footballer Nolberto Solano
Indian actor Aamir Khan
Romanian footballer Banel Nicolita (an ethnic Romani)
Algerian singer Khaled
Indigenous Australian Rules footballer Lance Franklin
Canadian musician Mocky (Italian and Somali background)

Below: "Black People". Well, sort of. Context, clothing, hair and other factors influence how we perceive the ethnicity of someone we see at a glance. What ethnicity first springs to mind when you look at these pictures? How useful would the description "black" be, if you were trying to describe them to police?

From top (L-R):
Wendell Sailor, Australian rugby player. Torres Strait Islander.
Nic Naitanui, Australian rules footballer of Fijian background.
Supercat, Jamaican reggae artist (Indian heritage)
Kim Thayil, US musician (Soundgarden) of Indian (Malayali) heritage
Eamonn Walker, British actor of Grenadian/Trinidadian parentage
Yogi B, Malaysian Tamil rapper
Denilson Pereira Neves, black Brazilian footballer.
Haile Selassie, former Emperor of Ethiopia.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

From around the interwebs...

I'm interested in things. Here are some of them.

India's "Gulabi Gang"
Watch this report from SBS's Dateline program about a posse of female vigilantes from Uttar Pradesh dressed in pink and armed with sticks. Their mission is to expose corrupt officials and punish men who abuse women. The leader and founder Sampat Pal is an inspiring figure indeed.

Skinhead puts on a skullcap
The story of a Polish neo-nazi who became an orthodox Jew after discovering his true family roots. A redemptive story but one that also shows that some people ve a need to throw themselves headlong into some cause or movement, be it one extreme or another.

Abortion is worse for black people than slavery was
One of the stupidest arguments against reproductive rights is "abortion is genocide against black people". I mean, seriously. Well, it's been rehashed again this week by white Republican Congressman Trent Franks, who claimed abortion is worse for black people than slavery. In other words, control over your own body is actually worse than when someone else controls it. More evidence that (a) Republicans still are oblivious to the history of black people in America, and (b) Republicans care more about the unborn child of a poor black person than the living child of one.

Why Hispanic crime might be nothing to get worked up about
Amid the hysteria in the US about a Hispanic illegal immigrant crime wave (presumably being stirred up by FOX News and the like), Chicago columnist Steve Chapman points out that the first wave of Central American immigrants tend to have a much lower rate of crime than the national average, while cities with large Hispanic populations also tend to have significantly lower crime rates. I'm sure there are other ways to interpret the data Chapman is using, but it's food for thought that goes against what many people just assume about Latin American immigration.

No one really knows how to define sex
This is why when people have asked me how many people I've had sex with, my answer always starts with, "It depends..."
Did you think Bill Clinton was being a bit slippery when he stated "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"? New research by the Kinsey Institute seems to show that like Bill, lots of people don't know how to define sex. Penis-in-vagina activity that doesn't lead to ejaculation is not sex, according to 11% of those surveyed, while less than 30% considered oral sex to be sex. Weirdly, 20% thought anal sex was sex. Now I'm certainly no expert on anal sex, but I'm pretty sure that it's sex; I mean, its not called anal SEX for nothing.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fear of a Brown Planet

Nazeem Hussain and Aamer Rahman are two young Melbourne desi comics on the rise, who go under the monicker "Fear of a Brown Planet". (If you're not a hip-hop head, the name is a play on the title of a classic Public Enemy album from 1990). After their well-received run of shows in 2008 (they were awarded Best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the duo are doing their thing again, this week in Adelaide and in late March and early April at this year's Melbourne ICF.

You may have spotted both guys before on the light-hearted Muslim panel show Salam Cafe on SBS recently, but it was clear that that safe, family-oriented show was not an adequate vehicle for their talents. (This is probably the show's best moment, with Hussain as his "Uncle Sameer" alter ego.) Dealing with uncomfortable truths (or takes on the truth, in any case), their humour is anything but safe, as it takes in race and racism, politics and religion. The pair have previously competed in JJJ's Raw Comedy, with Aamer voted the national runner-up and Hussain reaching the Victorian final.

Nazeem Hussain, whose parents are Sri Lankan, works in a law firm and is a director of the Islamic Council of Victoria, but nonetheless his comedic approach is for want of a better word, goofy. It's light-hearted, with liberal use of a subcontinental accent, yet with serious points to be made. The below clip is not necessarily one of them though.

Aamer Rahman is a youth worker (though like Hussain, he is also a graduate in law) of Bangladeshi background, who happens to be a homie of mine from university days. By contrast to his partner, his comedy is more edgy, and more likely to unleash stinging critiques of white society that undoubtedly cause discomfort to some in his audience.

It's a far cry from the type of broad and unchallenging humour that tends to get a mainstream following in Australia, and their occasionally uncompromising stance towards our society (particularly white people) is not going go down too well with the masses. Some parts certainly didn't sit too well with my sensibilities when I saw them last. But that exactly why they are vital voice; why watch something that doesn't challenge you in the least?
The Age recently featured a story about the comedy duo, which you can read here.

You can get more info on the duo at http://www.brownplanet.com.au/.

Japanese TV Weirdness of the Week

Learning English (specifically how to say "I have a bad case of diarrhea") while exercising to music. This is bizarre even for Japan. But it's mad catchy.

Danny Nalliah speaks out on Indian-bashing; apparently the Indians are bashing themselves

Perhaps it's due to our general lack of enthusiasm for causes in general, but it's a testament to Australian society that divisive, fire-and-brimstone preachers have never really taken off in these parts. Yet some continue to try, and Pastor Danny Nalliah of the Melbourne-based Catch the Fire Ministries is an example. Nalliah, you may recall, was the guy who decided the devastating bushfires of 2009 were God's punishment for the Victorian government relaxing its abortion laws (you can read about that here).

Nalliah is a strange character, who has previously faced charges for vilification of Muslims, and whose other pronouncements have included how multiculturalism is a step towards race war, and calling for "Satan's strongholds" (brothels, gambling places, temples and mosques) to be pulled down. A Sri Lankan Tamil who migrated to Melbourne in 1997, his non-whiteness seems to allow him to get away with spouting racially insensitive diatribes against other brown people. Were a white preacher to say some of the things Nalliah has, he would likely be branded a racist fool; Nalliah seems to get away with just being called a fool.

His latest media release on offers his helpful theory that the furore about attacks on Indians in Australia has been caused by Sikhs attacking other Sikhs:

The debate over whether Australia is a racist country has been renewed in the wake of the murdered three year old Indian boy in Melbourne overnight with Catch the Fire ministries president Pastor Daniel Nalliah suggesting the slayings perpetrated against the Sikh community might come from fellow countrymen from their country of origin.
As police in Melbourne hunt for the killer of three-year-old Gurshan Sing Channa, Pastor Daniel Nalliah, who is darker skinned and hails from Sri Lanka, said many would see Australia as a racist country with ‘yet another tragic death of an Indian in Australia’.
“I think we need to take a good look at the recent spate of attacks on mainly Indians from a Sikh background. The whole world seems to believe Australia is rampant with racism. Darker skinned people are even scared to travel to Australia,” Pastor Daniel said.
“My question is, if the attacks are from Whites against blacks, then we all will be possibly on the receiving end but how come the attacks are so clearly on one group of people - the Sikhs from India?”
Pastor Daniel argues that people from within the same coloured group are much more likely to recognise their own coloured people faster since they would be familiar with their accents, nuances in the language, etc.
“One needs to ask the question, Why is it that most attacks are on mainly Indians from the Sikh community and not on everyone who has the same coloured skin?”
“Is the Media helping solve the problem or are they giving the wrong message and blowing it out of proportion since some media reports would make some people think it’s a case of Racism from white people against black. At least that’s the message being conveyed locally and globally.
Pastor Nalliah, who has travelled to many nations and ministered to thousands of people as a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, said he has “certainly never faced racism in Australia over the past 13 years I have lived here and I have darker skin too” he said.
“Why then are most of the attacks on one particular group only, the Sikhs? We need to understand that a non Asian will not know the difference between, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Singaporean or Malaysian until they really get to know them personally as a friend.
“Likewise those from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh all look very much alike, in a similar vein to people from New Zealand, Australia or England.
“I believe these attacks should not be looked at as necessarily white against black, but rather it could very well be a group of people from within the same countries of origin where the victims came from who are carrying out these attacks.
We pray that these senseless attacks and killings will stop and the culprits be brought to justice.

Now this is a load of tosh and I'm going to tell you why. But first, let me get something out of the way. The man charged with manslaughter in the case of toddler Gurshan Singh is indeed Indian and a Sikh; Gursewak Dhillon was a fellow tenant at the same house as the boy and his parents. But this case was never likely to fit the same mould of the recent violence against Indians in Australia, which has mostly consisted of attacks in the street by strangers. In cases involving small children, the perpetrator is far more often than not someone known to the victim. Likewise, there have been a couple of violent incidents involving Indians, which created a storm in the Indian media, in which the perpetrators did turn out to be Indians who were known to the victims. But a handful of isolated cases does not constitute a trend, despite the intense desire amongst right-wing columnists to believe so.

It does seem that Sikhs have been disproportionally targeted, judging by the prevalence of surnames such as "Singh" in news reports of bashings. But why? There are two clear reasons. Firstly, contrary to Nalliah's idea that a non-brown person would not be able to distinguish different types of brown person, Sikhs ARE easily identifiable. Devout practicing Sikhs wear beards and turbans, which is a screamingly obvious identifier of "otherness" to an attacker, which increases the chances of being targeted. And indeed, a number of incidents of anti-Indian violence specifically mention perpetrators attempting to remove the victim's turban, or making derogatory comments about it.

But of course, not all Sikhs wear those visible markers of their religion. But of the recent waves of students and migrants coming to Australia from India, people from the Sikh heartland of Punjab make up a particularly large proportion (around 40% according to one source I've seen). But even if Punjabis are particularly represented amongst all the South Asian people who have been bashed in seemingly unprovoked attacks in Australia in the last couple of years, that list also includes South Indians, Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, Indian Muslims, and Malaysian Indians. Indeed, Nalliah made this statement just days after a 60-year-old Sri Lankan man and his Indian wife were terrorised by 25 thugs in their home, just a suburb away from Nalliah's church. Perhaps Nalliah just hasn't noticed them because it doesn't fit whatever narrative he is trying to compose in his head.

Nalliah's statement that “ [I have] certainly never faced racism in Australia over the past 13 years I have lived here and I have darker skin too” is quite funny. I can't question his own experience, except to say that they are exactly that - HIS experiences. What about the experiences of those who have faced racism? A sweeping statement on society, that is based solely on the experience of one man, carries little weight. It is as silly as some Indians I have heard who, having suffered a couple of racist incidents, thereby conclude that ALL Australians are evil racists. Talk to a number of different people, and you'll hear a wide range of opinions.

And finally, the most obvious counter to Nalliah's strange claim that "it's the Indians wot done it" is the fact that most reports of the attacks give some kind of racial description of the attackers. And only one out of around 75 I have examined has mentioned a perpetrator who was Indian (part of the multi-ethnic gang that bashed Sourabh Sharma on a train).

So why would Nalliah think to make such a statement - not just an offhand observation but a media release?

Because it's an opportunity to deride a rival religion, perhaps? Of course. But I'm guessing there's more.

I wonder if, consciously or subconsciously, Nalliah feels the need to sell out his fellow desis in order to prove himself to white people. Perhaps growing up as a religious minority in a region dominated by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs has made him overcompensate - by casting aspersions on other South Asians and simultaneously reassuring his flock that white people are still awesome and non-racist. Does he need to prove himself to the white people in his adopted country that he is better than the pagan rabble back in the subcontinent?

I don't think that solidarity along racial lines is always good thing, but Nalliah's complete lack of it worries me. When a brown person repeatedly tries to publicly put down other brown people for the benefit of white majority, I'm reminded of Malcolm X's description of the "house negro".

More like this:

Addressing the myths and misconceptions about anti-Indian violence in Australia

How Australians love Bangladeshi conjoined twins, hate Tamil refugees, and bash Indians

Are Australians really racist towards Indians?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

25 young thugs attack South Asian couple in Melbourne

You know how they say "It's a jungle out there?"
Well sometimes it really is, in some of Melbourne's suburbs, and I ain't talking about vegetation.
From the Herald-Sun today:

Police drive home racist thug who was injured while bashing a 60-year-old Indian man

Ranjit Sahasranaman has told how he was forced to defend his Carrum Downs home from a group of 25 drunken thugs for a terrifying 2 1/2 hours early on Sunday morning before police dispersed the gang. Mr Sahasranaman told the Herald Sun he was assaulted in his own back yard and racially abused after the gang of mostly white men tore down his back fence and gained entry to his yard.

The father of two - a karate champion who has lived in Australia for the past 19 years - was forced to fight back with a bar when the intruders got within centimetres of his back door. But when his ordeal was over, police drove home one of the injured youths who alleged he was the victim of an assault by Mr Sahasranaman.

"They were throwing punches at me," Mr Sahasranaman said. "They told me to get lost from this country."
Mr Sahasranaman said he called police up to four times before they finally responded. "I told them my life was in danger, but they kept asking silly questions," he said. "Finally I told them we are going to die. What was I supposed to do? If the police say they can't do it, then I have to do it myself."

Mr Sahasranaman claimed police did not take his statement and made no arrests despite apprehending several of the louts. "All they are good for is barbecue, dinner and dance," he said. "They left a letter in my mailbox asking me to contact Crime Stoppers."
Police spokeswoman Sgt Creina O'Grady denied police were slow to react. "Within 15 minutes of Mr Ranjit's call, two police units were on the scene breaking up the disturbance," she said. But she confirmed police then gave one of the gang a lift home.

"Police spoke to several people and drove one youth home who had received injuries in an alleged assault. After dealing with this job and the people concerned, attending police then went and spoke to the complainant. Investigations are still under way in relation to the matter," she said.

Frustrated neighbours rallied behind the respected family, who have endured 10 years of harassment from louts who hang out at a bus stop directly outside their Fernwren Place home. "It's just heartbreaking," Jodie Burford said. "I feel ashamed. Their home has been vandalised before but this was clearly a racial attack."
Mr Sahasranaman said he did not believe recent attacks on Indians were racially motivated until last weekend's attack.
"My son never believed it, my daughter never believed it, but now it has come to me and 100 per cent proved this is a racial attack," he said. "My life is in danger and the police have not given any security for me."

Mr Sahasranaman said he would be forced to defend his family by whatever means possible should the gang return. "They said they'd come back and kill me, but I will be ready," he said. "There is no choice. Why should I move when I'm a citizen of Australia?"

The depth to which some of my fellow citizens have sunk never ceases to amaze me.
This story tells you so much about where our society is going wrong at ground level. Drunken youths roaming the streets at night. Aggression for its own sake. Police either understaffed or unwilling. And menace directed at those who look foreign or otherwise different.
While on the face of it, there is clearly racism involved here, I feel it would be wrong to form the conclusion that this is solely about race. Primarily this is about young males and the culture of aimless aggression that afflicts so many of them.
Anyone who knows the area knows this. Carrum Downs, or "Caza D" as it is known to many of its young people, is hardly a model neighbourhood. This article from October 2008 details the climate of apprehension that grips some of its residents, as kids as young as 12 roam the streets looking for trouble. And the Sahasranamans' house is right across the road from the neighbourhood known as The Pines, an estate that even hardened Caza D youths would look upon as being a bit scary.
The kind of youths responsible for this violent act may not necessarily have targeted the Sahasranamans because they were Indian. I come across kids like this all the time, and they would trash something just because it is there, and because it made them feel a sense of self-worth that they clearly aren't getting from their families. 
But racism has a role to play nonetheless, as I believe it has in many or most of the attacks on Indians in Melbourne. If it is not the primary motivation, it is the straw that breaks the camel's back, as it were. The added incentive to turn an encounter violent rather than merely threatening. The seasoning that makes a victim seem that much more enticing as prey for these vultures.
(Mr Sahasranaman is apparently Sri Lankan rather than Indian, while his wife is Indian; in any case, I assume both are ethnically Tamil. For all intents and purposes it does not matter, because the thugs who attack them wouldn't care or know the difference.)
I hope the reports are not true, and that the police did in fact make some arrests. I take everything written in the Herald-Sun with a grain of salt, but if the description of the police's actions in this report are accurate, it illustrates the complete lack of consequences that would deter thugs from acting that way. Thus it is no surprise that a 60-year-old man decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. Next time, he might not be so lucky.

Oh, and as for the young thug who came off second best from this encounter with an old-time martial artist armed with a metal bar... clearly he didn't take heed of the recent case of Epic Beard Man. Sometimes when you mess with your elders, they will learn you a thing or two.


Now, understandably, most people are pretty sympathetic to Mr Sahasranaman and his standing up to the mob who attacked and racially abused him. But since it's the Herald-Sun, the people's paper, there are always going to be those more concerned with finding ways to put blame on the ethnics:

Ruby of Ascot Vale Posted at 11:26 AM Today
This was not a racist attack; this was a group of drunk idiots behaving appallingly and they should be forced to fix the fence and apologise. The fence has clearly been vandalised before and this owner clearly overstepped the mark in defending his property. Perhaps a stronger fence would be better than tin foil? He possibly inflamed the situation by taking an iron bar out to fight 25 drunk idiots; instead of taking refuge in his home and waiting for police.
Comment 73 of 85

See, Ranjit? Your fault for having an insufficiently strong fence. Next time, build a moat. How dare you so callously overstep the mark as mobs of drunken yobs invade your property and threaten you.

jacko Posted at 12:15 PM Today
Sounds like someone is behind these attacks pushing them into it for a purpose of racial laws ,the last attack in vic was [by] eight Asians . These tactics have been used for yrs by radicals all over the world.
Comment 76 of 85

In other words, it's not drunken youths to blame but the fiendish conspirators of global socialism out to enact "racial laws". In other words, the real victim here is the white man. Nice work, jacko.

And over at this page:

Ed replied to Pira
Tue 02 Mar 10 (09:39am)
From the first linked story: after the gang of mostly white men tore down his back fence and entered his yard.
Surely if the writer felt it necessary to mention that the gang of idiots consisted of ‘Mostly white men’ it is appropriate to mention the apparent race of the others involved.
Of course they may have been Koori, Arab, Asian, African, Indian or Sri Lankan but I guess they wouldn’t fit with the racism theme. Just couldn’t do a headline from an event involving coloured people terrorising coloured people.

See? Even when the gang is "mostly white men", Ed ignored them and focuses on the smaller number of unmentioned ethnics, who must have the media on their side. See? Again, the white man is the victim in all this.

There's one responding comment to Ed:

Chris replied to Pira
Tue 02 Mar 10 (03:48pm)
Ed, perhaps it’s because every time there’s is gang related violence in Melbourne, Andrew Bolt’s blog is abuzz with speculation about how it must have been Africans or Asians or Muslims. (Because white people would never join gangs, apparently.)

That's the smartest comment you'll ever read in the Herald-Sun.

Ok, I confess - I am the Chris who wrote that. Sometimes I like to be one of the lonely voices of progressivism in the hurricane of reactionary whiteness that is the Herald-Sun readership.

Or maybe "jacko" is right and it is all part of some giant scheme to emasculate the white man. It's probably Barack Obama's fault somehow.

More like this:

Addressing the myths and misconceptions about anti-Indian violence in Australia

Indian student stabbed to death; what does the public reaction say about us?

What's with all the resentful white people reading the Herald-Sun?

Asian-fearing Herald-Sun readers of the week

Let's all blame the victim

Racist douchebag Herald-Sun reader of the week