>I’m still appalled at the way in which violence against Indian international students here in Melbourne is occurring and being reported / sensationalised. Similarly, the ways in which the incidents in Sydney have escalated and the complications of why certain other minority groups think it’s OK to target other Others.
This Melbourne Age article gives you an idea of what’s been going on, and ‘”Curry-bashing” on the rise in Melbourne’ by Eurasian Sensation (ES) from March 2009 gives a good overview of how things have simmered/exploded.
He also follows up on this initial posting with a couple of other ones recently:
- “Curry-bashing” – What ethnicity are the attackers? Does it matter?
- More Indian students attacked, and temple vandalised
The situation has become much worse in recent times, though has been a concern for months. A special police taskforce was set up more than 6 months ago to look into how to defuse the targetting of these students and the prevalent thefts/bashings against them. There is certainly a classist element mixed into the racism as well: international students are perceived as rich and dripping with snazzy mobiles and iPod gadgetry and there have been calls for these students to stop being so obvious about them (cos, y’know, only international students would have those items…). It’s really sad that this kind of ‘hints’ page needs to exist at all, though I can understand the feelings of persecution and generalised fear that have arisen recently.
I’m glad that ES wrote about the Kamahl quote, too, because all I heard was the soundbite and I was getting all high-horsey about how offensive it was to have someone advocate assimilation as a panacea. Particularly when that someone is a well-profiled and established celebrity on the Oz scene. Racially marked difference wins out every time; you could be as ‘strine and Anglo in habit and outlook as you like, but if someone’s out to target an Other, they’ll go by skin colour and ‘Third World lookingness’ (pace, Ghassan Hage) more than anything else. True/false?
UPDATE: ES just posted an update today HERE. I suspect escalation will come before any prospect of defusion. Alas.