14
   

Not coming to Australia now :(

 
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 03:49 am
@msolga,
I don't think South Park is racist. It is satirical and aims to offend EVERYONE....

I also think, in a country which doesn't have a tradition of black face minstrels and "humour", that the Jackson thing Robert links to has way less of an offensive intent. Not sure that USians know that that is a US tradition (as far as I know) only.

I think the Jackson skit was tacky and ignorant both times it was done...but the cultural overtones are different. Though I would argue that it was time people here knew that history. I knew it from when I was little. They should have known it 20 or so years ago when it was first done, too.





msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 03:53 am
@dlowan,
Truly, I don't have an "issue" with South Park. Smile

But I think you know what I was trying to say.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 03:57 am
@msolga,
Hmmm...well, they continue to come here.

I can understand how you felt very well. An unfortunate historical era for a Muslim influx, eh? Because previous waves of Muslims have got on very well here, I think.

I am thinking that not having kids from other backgrounds to rub against may have really been a bad thing for that group of kids.

I think there are generally real difficulties when large groups of people with extremely different cultures come in...especially with lots of trauma added in.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:00 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Truly, I don't have an "issue" with South Park. Smile

But I think you know what I was trying to say.


Sure.

But I guess I identify more racism here than you do.

I absolutely agree it isn't just from Anglo Ozzians, but that is what I most focus on, I guess, and I really am sickened by it.

You have more authority than I in lots of ways though, having had the immigrant experience personally.

Edit:

I just looked at my last post.

It's damn odd to see a rabbit with two Christmas hats and a party whistle thing speaking seriously about rqcism.

Time I took down the chrissie decorations!



msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:03 am
@dlowan,
I think a lot depends on the attitude of the parents ... & time.

The (3rd generation) of Turkish Muslims I've worked with for the past four years are a delight. Also there's much more of a tolerance of religious differences & secularism within that community.

There's a real fear, I think, on the part of the parents & some community & religious leaders of students like those at "M" College, that they'll become "infected" by decadent western ways. So they preach how evil Australians & "western ways" are, to keep them tied to the fold.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:06 am
@msolga,
Absolutely.

I think cultures like that are terrified of losing the kids (with good reason, over time) and that they up the ante on the cultural and religious stuff.

And they are a different kind of Muslim than previous waves, for sure.

I think it'll take a couple of generations to see how things smooth out.

Though a lot of the terrorists are coming from seemingly happily integrated middle class kids from westernized families, in other countries. Not sure how those convicted have here have fitted that description?

I think we need to be working damn hard to make those people feel welcome...if they will let us.

msolga
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:11 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
Sure.

But I guess I identify more racism here than you do.


No, not necessarily.

I understand the process involved in adapting to a new culture better, I think. The inevitable knocks & bumps along the way, from having been there & done it. I don't find a lot of what occurs too surprising, but know it's likely, in most cases, to be transitory. It's initially to do with the collision of different cultures, the fear of the new, that's all. I'm certain it happens in any country which experiences such a lot of migration.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:12 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
I think we need to be working damn hard to make those people feel welcome...if they will let us.


Yes & yes, if they'll let us.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:18 am
@msolga,
So you don't agree with Robert that there's a nastier underbelly here than, say, the US or Canada?


I'm not speaking of the average Ozzian, but of those who ARE finding it all very hard...I think there's a lot of them.

I do think it might be expressed more openly here than in politer countries....and that what we see as normal knockabout humour, that gets addressed to EVERYBODY can be very offensive to those not used to it, but Msolga, I am thinking of the terrible racism the Aboriginal folk have endured...and I have heard a lot of otherwise "nice" Australians (of LOTS of races!) be horrific in how they speak them.

Kids I am seeing in some predominantly white schools are getting racist harassment. Sometimes just from those who are bullies, and will always find something about a kid...others more general.

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:29 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Quote:
I think we need to be working damn hard to make those people feel welcome...if they will let us.


Yes & yes, if they'll let us.




Lots of them will!


This is off track, but I am having a crisis of conscience with my delightful Muslim neighbours.

They are a young couple...very traditional, at least in regard to female dress. The woman wears the whole clobber...except you do see her eyes...she doesn't have that awful net thing over her eyes.

I went out of my way to welcome them. This is a very racially mixed apartment building...but they are the only folk I have seen where the woman wears the full dress thing.

They can actually see into my apartment! And I into theirs, of course...but less so. Their western window looks into my huge northern windows.... Most occupants of that apartment have kindly kept the crucial blind shut, and I have enjoyed complete privacy.

These folk love the window open...which I find utterly infuriating, but I digress.

This lovely couple have responded to my welcome, predictably enough, by wanting to make friends.

They began the dreaded drop-in!!!

I HATE the drop-in!!!

a. I get into my daggiest t shirt or somesuch as soon as I get home...or, in the heat, into...well, nothing. I am so not fit for visitors!

b. I am STUFFED when I get home. I don't WANT human interaction.


I don't want to be rude, so I find myself creeping around the place, with the blinds drawn, hoping to escape detection.

I am gonna have to work this thing out...but I am not sure how.

Sigh.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:30 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Quote:
I think we need to be working damn hard to make those people feel welcome...if they will let us.


Yes & yes, if they'll let us.




Have you had lots to do with the African kids yet?

Boy...are we needing a crash course in African cultures....especially Somali and Sudanese.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:37 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
So you don't agree with Robert that there's a nastier underbelly here than, say, the US or Canada?


That might well be Robert's opinion. But I'm not really clear on why he believes this.
But no, I don't believe we are up there with the worst of the worst, on some sort of racist sliding scale, at all.

I totally agree that Australian Aborigines face racist attitudes & acts. I honestly think we don't understand them. And that we simply plain don't know what to do to improve the lives of the most desperate. How to approach the problems within their communities. How to do whatever needs to be done in a "culturally sensitive" way. Trust me, Deb, I have applied my brain, read, listened .. & I simply don't know what's best. And different Aboriginal leaders have different theories, all passionately held. The different approaches taken by successive federal governments seem to go along with the current "phase" of thinking is most prevalent. Then are discarded as a failure after a time ... only to enter yet another phase. I don't know the answer. Sigh.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:46 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
Lots of them will!


I know.

Particularly one to one.
Over the past couple of years I home-tutored a couple of newly arrived Muslim women (Lebanese & Afghan) whose husbands wouldn't allow them to them attend public language classes. The social contact was good, but "life demands" always got in the way of our classes. Plus one husband insisted on being there the whole time & answering questions for his wife while I was trying to encourage her to speak English! Wink

It's much more difficult with groups, though.

Ha about your "drop in" neighbours! Laughing
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 04:49 am
@dlowan,
Yes. Somali & Sudanese, too.

But they tend to have settled much more in the western suburbs than the north, where I am.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 05:07 am
Crikey, Deb! What a couple of gas bags we are!

And we've barely got started! Laughing
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 05:18 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Crikey, Deb! What a couple of gas bags we are!

And we've barely got started! Laughing



Oh my yes!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 05:50 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
I'd consider China and Japan (from direct experience) to be way more racist than Oz.


That's anecdotal evidence of course--and mine is identical. In both Japan and Korea, i've had local people confide in me that they were disgusted by people whom we call blacks, apparently assuming that any right-thinking "white" man would share that attitude. Significantly, in Jan Wong's China, the author, a Chinese Canadian descended exclusively from "pure" Chinese families, notes this anti-black racism, too. Miss Wong, a very-well educated and highly respected journalist, is also the author of Red China Blues, in which she tells the tale of her "Maoism," and her residence in China in the 1970s and -80s, first as the only westerner to attend Beijing University since the communist take-over, and then as the China correspondent of the the Toronto Globe and Mail from 1986 to 1994. A "native" speaker of Chinese who learned Mandarin in the home as a child, and for many years in the 1970s, -80s and -90s a resident in China, i consider it reasonable to consider her a very well informed observer of China and life in China.

In my anecdotal experience, east Asians are the worst racists i've met anywhere. As for Australian tourists, i can only say that when i briefly lived in Ireland, the locals viewed with equal horror the arrival of loud, pushy Americans or Australians. I've never been too thrilled with the arrival of Japanese or Korean tourists in the United States, either. I suspect that, as usual, Hawkeye is just making **** up to justify his typical, phony indignation and his Chicken Little story du jour.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 05:53 am
@dadpad,
dadpad wrote:
I think racism is no more or less endemic in Australia than any other country in the world and is born of and ignorance fear of the unknown.


Bingo.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:08 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
I don't know, Robert. It seems to me that "a pervasive and systemic shunning of other races" by the Japanese could be just as destructive, if not more so, than what you perceive as "aggression" in Australian culture.


I agree, I think the systemic discrimination can be more harmful to the quality of life of those being discriminated. It's much more prevalent if less aggressive.

Quote:
On the the sliding racism scale, how would you rate a country which produces & enjoys South Park, which has openly & happily indulged in racism for entertainment, but now?


As I've said elsewhere, I consider America to be one of the most race-obsessed countries on earth and it's in typical American fashion where it's a greatly polarized issue with virulent racists and virulent anti-racists.

It too has a markedly aggressive racial superiority streak to it as well. Asian racism is, in my opinion, less about race than culture but more pervasive (you have less anti-racists and passive discrimination is much more tolerated). It's more acceptable to discriminate based on race in their cultures but it's less because of a belief in racial superiority than because of a large culture gap.

I hadn't made an argument in this thread about which is worse, but though it's less race-centric of a problem I'd probably say that systemic discrimination is more harmful in effect if less abrasive and racist in intent.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:37 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I also think, in a country which doesn't have a tradition of black face minstrels and "humour", that the Jackson thing Robert links to has way less of an offensive intent. Not sure that USians know that that is a US tradition (as far as I know) only.

I think the Jackson skit was tacky and ignorant both times it was done...but the cultural overtones are different. Though I would argue that it was time people here knew that history. I knew it from when I was little. They should have known it 20 or so years ago when it was first done, too.


It's definitely a very different cultural context, and even a different racial target. But did strike me as a different level of racial sensitivity that America, where anything that touches race in any way tends to be treated with much more apprehension.

But it's not just this kind of cultural gaffe that gives me this impression, the friction between the "Abos" and white Australians at times strikes me as being less progressive than America. Especially in rural places (one particular place that comes to mind is Dubbo where this video spurred a lot of discussions around the internet about race where I saw the American participants taken aback by the acceptance of racial stereotyping by their Australian interlocutors.

And then with the immigration issues it just seems like there's more racial friction going on. It may well just be because there's simply a lot more immigration going on, and the "degentrification" and culture clashes are causing more friction but the impression it all has given me is that Australia has more acute race conflicts than is typical.
 

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