Archive for February, 2013
If there is one thing that I can not stand it is racism. Having said that, I confess I have my personal preferences on various races when it comes to interaction, for various reasons but none of them because this person is white, black, from here or there. Caution when it comes to strangers is a human survival trait and being able to detect strangers due to their looking differently or speaking a different language is part of what has kept our genes moving along the line. But this does not condone hating people because they are a different race or nationality. It does not mean you discriminate on the grounds of racial differences, but of course when making choices you differnetiate on some grounds or another. But because their government is disputing a bunch of rocks in the middle of the South China Sea?
A Beijing restaurant has refused service to those tourists from countries involved in maritime disputes with China; Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. The dog reference is a play on a mythical sign alleged to have been posted at a Shanghai park during the 1930s refusing entry to Chinese and dogs and the inference that obviously makes. That argument aside, this reminds me of the most offensive term in the lexicon when it comes to discussing racism. Reverse racism.
Racism is racism, pure and simple. To apply such a term, always when a person of colour (black, brown, Negro, Asian whatever but not white, Anglo or European) is racist towards a white person, is grammatically incorrect if nothing else. I can’t say ‘against a caucasian’ because if we boil things down to the three basic racial types: caucasian, negroid and mongloid (Asiatic), Indians and Sri Lankans (very dark skin tones) are caucasians. Australian Aborigines are also caucasian. Neither are negroid or mongloid. So when someone with darker skin, darker hair and usually brown eyes is racist towards someone with fair skin, fair hair and lighter coloured eyes, then this is reverse racism? As if racism can only go one way! From white to brown/black/whatever. How ridiculous!
No race has a monopoly on racism, it is a human trait. No race is racism free either, because it is a human fault. Here we have a Chinese restaurant owner discriminating on racial lines against other Asians. That is his prerogative and while I vehemently disagree with his action, I support his right to choose who he wants to take money from. Believe me, I have seen some of the worst examples of racism from ‘them’ to ‘us’, reverse racism as the PC crowd would so infuriatingly label it.
When will we ever learn? Personally, if I saw that sign, even if it didn’t refer to me (which it doesn’t) I would not eat there on principle. On Malapascua Island in the Philippines there was a restaurant that refused to serve the local island inhabitants, only tourists, although they could be Filipino tourists. I never once ate there and it was considered by many the best on the island. Many tourist attractions in the Philippines have higher prices for tourists (eg. Oslob Whale Shark watching) and I always make a point of protesting this. It is not the few extra dollars but the principle. If we tried that in Australia the hue and cry would be considerable and so it should be.
As a pure Anglo-Saxon, I am proud of my Indo-Malay wife and our mixed race children. All are wonderful human beings and each one of them is a proud Australian with a very Australian face. You see, the ‘Face of Australia’ hasn’t been an Anglo-Saxon one like mine for decades, even a couple of generations. The sooner we accept that, embrace it, then move on… the better. Bottom line, we are all humans, Earthlings. We don’t have to love everybody or even like each other but a modicum of respect and common courtesy would make this a better place for all.
If you play with fire you are bound to be burned sooner or later. These three teenagers performing a stunt where they ride their bikes through burning cardboard were doing this for the first time. The organisers have set this stunt up many times before without incident, apparently; but this time it went ‘horribly wrong’. Given the ingredients of fire and teenage kids, how else could it go if it goes wrong other than ‘horribly’?
Should we now call to ban all such events? Stop teenagers doing anything remotely risky? Or perhaps ensure those responsible for the safety and setting up of these things double and triple check them first? Even then, f there is no risk of it all going ‘horribly wrong’, where is the thrill? The danger? The reason for doing it in the first place?
Life is not risk free, even today. Humans have only ever moved forward after taking risks, daring mightily and pushing the envelope. Along the way there are casualties but so long as we learn from our mistakes and keep trying to do better, then their sacrifice was never in vein. If we aren’t prepared to take risks then we can’t expect anything to happen… good or bad and that can’t be good for mankind.