Monday, June 01, 2009

Message from Melbourne to prospective Indian Students

I think you make an excellent contribution to the intellectual life of my city. I am deeply ashamed at the rise of violence in this city generally, which is not being taken seriously and blamed euphemistically on things like alcohol or late night clubs. But it is clear that a portion of this violence, in a redux of the horror depicted in the movie Romper Stomper, is neofascist gang violence targetting others on the basis of race. And the race they're targetting is yours.

That this great shame is overtly racist is clear. You are probably familiar with the debate in the UK, where ironically your own ethnic group are pointed to as an example of 'successful integration' by racists attempting to distance themselves from that lable. If only those Jamaicans and Muslim Asians studied harder and fitted in better, like the Indians.

Well while I reject that argument as an excuse for bigotry, it is certainly true that you fit in easily. Contrary to the garbage about loud conversations on trains (has a piece of apologia ever been so laughably ridiculous?) you do not annoy me on the train. You study, you generally obey our laws (unlike violent neofascists or people who do not offer the special needs seats to pregnant women), you respect this country and you also make a huge contribution. Not the least in paying phenomenal amounts of money that help sustain our underfunded education sector.

All the better for showing, beyond a scintilla of doubt, that you are being targeted by a pure strand of racism that cannot even hide behind the usual pathetic excuses. There is no 'Indian Cronulla' to point to, no 'clash of civilisations'.

What's to do?

Well, do understand that our police have limited capacity due to under-resourcing, and cannot be on the trains when they are needed to stop this violence. They have much more important things to do.

If you have the marks, go to ANU, it's Australia's best Uni anyway. Failing that, I'd probably stay almost anywhere except Melbourne until the problem you face is taken seriously.

Again, I'm really sorry.


nailpolishblues said...

Yeah, come to Sydney. We like you. We really like your money. We have loads of universities. And fewer natural disasters. In fact, I think we're all wondering what you're doing in Melbs anyway..?

I'd advise avoiding Canberra though - the university may be good but it's a bit of a hole in other respects. Still, nice and close to Sydney...

Penthe said...

I'm so angry at the Victorian Police. And Canberra is not a hole. It is perfectly pleasant, if you are not keen on excitement and such.