Thursday, April 18, 2013

Aussies do racism well

So sayeth a visitor from the US. Apparently we don't like like Lebbos, people from the Lebanon. Well there were the riots in Cronulla, principally between old style, yet young Anglo whites and people of Middle Eastern appearance, yes mostly Lebanese, possibly 2nd generation immigrants, that is born here but their parents were not.

Apparently, so said US visitor, we are very selective about out racism. Those from this country and that country are ok, but not those from that country are not. Yes, I plead guilty.

Years ago, two work mates, one a short and plain looking guy from Manchester who was about 28 and the other a  22 year old christian immigrant from the Lebanon, who was drop dead gorgeous. Let me call them Alex and Andre. It was so long ago, it doesn't matter that I use their real names. Alex was openly gay. Andre was openly straight. Yet they hooked up as friends and I expect did the biz. I accompanied them for a Sunday drive down the Mornington Penisular. I flirted outrageously with Andre. Andre flirted back, with skill. He knew how to play the game. He cleaned Alex out for thousands. I was not left with a great impression of Lebanese.

My Sydney plastic friend was into enacting out fantasies. He went to Tel Aviv to meet a hot Israeli army boi and to Beirut to meet a hot Leb guy. He had a great time in Tel Aviv with the army boi. The Lebanese guy beat him up badly.

There were the two Lebanese brothers at work, both very sexually aggressive towards women in the workplace, in spite of them both being married. The more aggressive one was of a diminutive size and balding but the other, very nicely built and handsome.  Sadly my conversations with the latter eventually drifted to him saying sotto voice 'fucking poofta' as we passed by. In thirty plus years, it was the only overt homophobia I recall at work.

And then there is Lebanese Mustafa at work. I thought he was christian, but apparently not. He is Muslim. I have worked with him nearly as long as I have been in the same workplace. Oddly, he seems to like me and makes a big effort to chat. I don't like him. I don't like his vitriol towards women, gays (yes he is dumb), people from other countries. I have Asian friends at work, proper friends. I don't like the way he talks about them.

So, visitor from the US, I am one of those Australians. I don't like Lebbos, but of course it is a gross generalisation, only based on nearly a working lifetime of personal experiences. I will keep an open mind though, should I come across Lebanese in the future. I would love to be proved wrong.

Apologies to Daniel who retweeted a tweet and stimulated this post. He is not guilty by association.

12 comments:

  1. Why should people be labelled as racial when they point out what bigots some people are?

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    1. Michael, I just called it from my experiences. It may or may not be racist.

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  2. If you want to see Australian racism, consider radio commentator Alan Jones. He proved that left wing radical students did the murders in the Boston marathon (oh really?) and therefore Australia should be not taking foreign students into OUR universities.

    Apart from poor logic, bad English and unproven "facts" given in a public broadcast, his racism is meant to appeal to nationalist extremes. If Australian is endangered by violence, why does he target foreigners?

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    1. Hels, he plays to a certain audience, and don't we all really? Low life Jones is better ignored. He makes me feel very intellectually and morally superior. No doubt tomorrow he will have 'an explanation' for the latest US disaster.

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  3. I like to think I'm not at all racist, but when you read of certain things in the newspapers and one particular race is always involved, always the perpetrator, it's hard to not think that people from that country must all be the same.

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    1. River, that is rather the point. I am not wanting to be named as a racist, but I can only give of my experiences, negative. You can't help by notice the ethnicity of names in the newspapers.

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  4. Hmmmm, it's interesting Andrew that all of your negative Lebanese encounters have only been with males. Make of that what you will....

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    1. Quite true Kath. I dug deep with the males and I don't know any Lebanese women, but I do know a couple of Egyptian women who were somewhat oppressed, but as they became older and more Australian, they started to stand up for themselves. One young plain Jane Egyptian woman who was a slave to her family who I knew in the eighties, has now turned into a posh and glam woman and best of all, confident woman. All so complicated.

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  5. Race shmace. I'm an unashamedly selective culturist. I don't like grasping people, manipulative people, hateful people, sexist people, aggressive people, homophobes, habitual drunks, or zealots.
    When one encounters an unpleasant trait in several people in succession and they are all from one "group" one would have to be very vulnerable indeed not to be wary of other members of that group.

    The concept of selective racism seems quite ludicrous. The US shares, with the rest of the west, a history of very selective racism i.e. everyone who is not white.
    Is this visitor one of those deluded souls who think having a black president makes America a post-racial democracy? The infant mortality rate of African Americans is worse than that of Aboriginal Australians - which is really saying something.

    Racism almost seems to be taking on a new definition. Rather than someone who believes another race is inferior, a racist now seems to mean anyone who refuses to put up with crap from someone "different".

    Humbug.
    Bollocks, in fact.

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    1. FC, your second para probably sums up my experience. I am judging from what I have encountered, for right or wrong.

      Whoa, is that true about Afro American infant mortality? Extraordinary but not so surprising if you think it through.

      I am essentially a nice person and I don't like to judge harshly, least of all race. As per our pvt email, these are just my personal experiences. I've seen Lebanese people in England speaking honestly and perfect sense, and as for Egyptians, who could be more even handed than our own Waleed Aly.

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  6. I think like you Andrew, I form individual opinions on an how people are with me and mine..growing up in Africa I know all about racism..

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    1. Quite true Grace, and as we know from South Africa, many white people stood up against apartheid, including one of my mini heroes, Helen Suzman.

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