Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fear of a Foreign Migrant (update 1)

I have been bottling this feeling for quite a while and I cannot ignore it anymore. I feel I have to let it out but try to be as fair as possible.

It seems it is beyond people's treatment of me when I am in public places. It is beyond the look that I do not speak English well or that I do not understand the culture.

I am quite scared of the violent attacks against foreign migrants here. Some of these incidents are even resulting to deaths. A few weeks ago, a Filipino got killed and when people tried stopping him he shouted, "He is a Jap--he deserves it!" I have noticed that many of the news agencies are trying to downplay these incidents so that the latter do not appear hate-related. They say that the culprit was merely drunk.

This morning, I saw a commercial on a privately-owned channel and this particular show is going to be broadcasted tonight. It says "6 Australians were killed by THE Indonesians...and these MONGRELS don't care". What kind of message do they want to convey to Indonesians living here and Indonesian-Australians? What kind of message do they want to convey to the greater population? It seems this way of thinking is not only personal or isolated but very much institutionalized.

Who is protecting us?

(Update: the show on Indonesians is not tonight but on Sunday, 1st Nov. It is Channel 9's 20 minutes, 7 PM)

5 comments:

Dexter Mejia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dexter Mejia said...

My friend Chris Winzar tried posting this reply but was unable to do so. I am posting this on his behalf. Feel free to share your thoughts:

"In answer to your observations on racism in Australia...I think generally speaking that Australia tries very hard to overcome racism certainly, compared to many countries, we enjoy a lot of anti-racism and anti-discriminatory legislation...The problem is the culture of many of these young white racists and mindless thugs is based on very little education, boredom and too many third pary influences particularly from the constant stream of right wing American commercial TV....... In relation to the attacks on Indian students in Melbourne they are dreadful and disgusting and I gather that the more recent attacks are just a "copycat" reaction to most of the media hysteria, which in this country is at the level of the gutter!.... I do find it interesting however that the Hindu press in India whilst condemning Australia in a too generalistic way doesn't acknowledge the dreadful and very widespread racism that exists in that country...I had a Muslin friend who was burnt alive along with about 200 of the Islamic faithful when a pilgrimage train was torched last year in Gujurat by a mob of Hindu extermists!

I don't know what the answer is .....probably it's education, good education, better education and much better education!"

Dexter Mejia said...

Chris, thanks for the comment.

I agree that education is the key but nobody is providing it. Yes, Australia has the legislation to punish criminals but how many people have been punished because of hate crimes? Is there a study of the reported cases? Why doesn't any of the media organizations focus on criminals that have already been sent to jail?

I also applaud the Victorian premier for visiting India but that is not enough. People in Australia needs to be educated that we live in a multi-cultural world and we cannot live in a cocoon anymore.

Non-whites are here to stay and we have to learn to co-exist.

Peter said...

The picture that accompanies the text is neither contextually correct nor historically pertinent. The picture is entitled "Mother of Seven Children" and was taken in the USA during the Great Depression. The original is held in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, New York state, courtesy of the (USA) National Archives and Records. Administration.

Dexter Mejia said...

Peter,

I googled "foreign migrant" and this is one of the first photos that popped up. I posted it because the emotions of the woman resemble what I am feeling right now.