Friday, 5 June 2009

Australia – Racist?

For some reason, this morning, a thought was hovering around in my mind about the statement given by a former Telstra director Sol Trujillo. Apparently he recently called Australia backwards and racist and the statement echoed around in the local news for some time. It was only a short time after he departed, leaving the position of the CEO at Australian largest telecommunications provider.

However, the reason this was hovering in my mind was that there is clearly something wrong with his statement. It just didn’t ring true. I was trying to find a reason why he might have said that and justify his position but I simply could not find any arguments. Australia is the most multicultural and multinational country I have seen. There are myriads of different names and races on the Melbourne streets that I feel weird when I go to Europe to visit my friends and family. Europe, in comparison, would be more likely to fit to the above description, if at all. Of all the people I know here, way less than half are Australians. Yet, they all are. Depending on your definition of being Australian.

In this train of thought I can’t help but to mention the recent protest rally and meeting organized by Indian students here in Melbourne. They also claimed something similar to what Mr. Trujillo said. I see no justification to that. The opposite is quite obvious just by looking at the scenes from the meeting. If thousands of Indians gather in the heart of Melbourne and block the traffic, doing something similar what hundreds of Indian taxi drivers did recently, than it is really hard to call this country racist. Walking around the city, one can hardly find a non-Indian taxi driver or a 7-11 shop keeper. The sheer number of different nations makes it very likely that all of them equally likely to suffer from crime and violence. From the statements at the protest meeting I guess ‘racist’ would mean discrimination of “whites” against “colored”? As I wrote earlier, there are myriads of different races and faces in the city that, if Australia is racist, it is hard to say racist by whom or against whom.

If racist means having too many different races around then, by all means, Australia is a very racist country.

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