Thursday, February 16

 
Racism - From Invisible To Subtle? Or Vice Versa?

The Misfit

We're surrounded by subtle racism in the society we live in...

micheLe and i had taken a cab from Flinders Street Station to our cozy apartment yesterday evenin...she was anxious to get home and get some rest before workin the night shift...

Our cab driver was a friendly and chatty driver of African descent...i observed the driver from where i sat (somethin i like doin - watchin people)...he was of middle age and had a deep brow wrinkled silly for some reason or another...i could tell he commanded respect from his friends and family alike...and his deep boomin voice resonated like James Earl Jones on a good baritone day...it was the usual banter bout the Melbourne traffic at peak hours...how long he's been drivin in Melbourne and which route we ought to take that'll take us home quickly...

Turnin from Swanston Street into Collins Street (a
hook turn junction)...our turnin cab was unceremoniously cut off by a white Honda...our chatty African driver let out a "Come on!" and honked at the Honda...curiously...both Honda and cab approached the next junction fresh from a red light...both cars pulled up along each other...this being Melbourne...where somethin and everythin happens...i knew a simmerin pot was bout to spew...

Our cab driver rolled his windows down and started hurlin admonishments at the driver...who very conveniently...was white...cab driver was angry and punctuated his abuse with 'dickhead' and 'learn how to drive'...well i guess he had a reason to be mad...what got to me was what the white man said...

"Shut up!" "Yeah whatever!" "Go back to your own country!" in an unmistakable Aussie accent...

Almost immediately our driver shot back, "And you go back to England!"...

The lights turned green and the white wanker sped off...

I had the last laugh though...as i immediately jumped to the driver's defense, "You did the right thing. That bloke doesnt belong here either. The Aborogines do."

Racism is encrypted in us...who needs DNA these days...racism acts like a weird mysterious way of introducin yourself when ya in a group a strangers...stereotypes are immediately formed and alliances are made...when push comes to shove...a heated exchange between 2 strangers of different ethnic backgrounds (yes...that includes the white people) will almost always trade racial diatribes against one another...

Where racism was rampant and used as a class determinant in the early days...today's racism is much more subtle...and it is based more on stereotypig and upon unquestioned assumptions...than it is upon direct racist actions and bigotry...days of white cops beatin up black/asian men are a thing of the past (though who's to say it wouldnt surface again)...

It's safe to say there's a little bit of racism in everyone of us...racial stereotypes are developed and moulded by our education, exposure to the outside world and to a large extent...our culture...

Take myself, for example...i will be the first to step up on the guillotine...havin admittingly being a racist towards Asians...i profess to not havin any interest in Asian women at all...i hang out with the Anglos, Latins, South Asians and Blacks...but never an Asian...my friends in Singapore are almost exclusively Asian...but in Melbourne i have zero Asian friends...heck im not even datin an Asian...ask me why i do what i do and think what i think...i dont know...

I see a black man walkin with his mate in the street...they're outfitted in hip hop gear...they walk towards me and are obviously sharin a joke and without a care in the world...very harmless...but my first thoughts are, "Them niggers could rape my fuckin arse and rob me." or "They're dangerous." I know it's absolutely ludicrous and they're just regular folks like you and i...But Why do i think that? I blame the western media for glorifyin the white culture at the expense of the beautiful black culture...

A wog drives past in his loud, souped-up car...i could 'hear' his car 50 meters away as his Europop song assaults my ears...his muscles are large...his tattoos are menacin...he has his collars raised and is busy baskin in the adulations passers-by give him...my first thoughts, "Fuckin
toolie"...He could be a successful engineer and a father of 3, lettin it down on a Saturday night with his mates...but why do i think that? I blame the perceptions built upon by wogs past...

It's not to say that i havnt been on the receivin end of subtle racism as well...ive noticed many white people in the hospitality and retail industry (particularly women) givin me 2nd class treatment over their own folks...for example I had a wine steward cuttin me off early last year while i was out buying a 'rare' wine (it was hard to obtain in Melbourne as it's a regional Victoria wine)...he cut me off thinkin i had said 'red' wine...it still sickens me when i think about it...

Waitresses and shop assistants dont look me in the eye when im payin for my products...im talkin to them and they reply curtly...but never cast a glance at who i am...i dont know...perhaps it's my pink hair? My good English? Or is it my natural double eyelids? They've never seen these traits in Asians before? Bleah...

I realise at this point that what im talkin about could be more of prejudice than racism...

The finger pointin...the nudges or the head nods and sniggers as 'ethnic minorities' walk past...the shoutin of racist names from a crowd or the loud voices in bars who believe they cannot be heard...the hidden voices around a canteen or work area whose language holds stereotypes and helps perpetuate the myths of 'ethnic minorities'...

Somethin peculiar micheLe and i have noticed since we begun datin...we get weird looks and stares from people of all races...the Asians would look at me and wonder to themselves "Why is he datin that European/South American/Mixed Indian lady?"...white folks look at micheLe and ask "Why are you datin that Asian man?"...

The obvious starin and whisperin at a mixed race couple, or the hidden talk and racist commentary of such around their peers or workmates is still rampant...this type of racism (or prejudice, whichever way you look at it) is rarely reported...many people do not acknowledge it as it is so subtle...and such is the regularity of occurences that they are being racist without them knowin it...

The path to racism is a slippery slope...broad generalizations and misunderstandings of a culture would always bring about a stereotype as ignorance and fear creeps in...finger pointin and blame is the next...and in the worse case scenario...our good mate of an 'ethnic minority' is suddenly an outcast...

As the world wakes up to find Africa and Asia openin up...i do hope the rest of the world will embrace them just as them 'ethnic minorities' have welcomed them in their continent...

As the driver pulled up to our driveway...i asked him where he's from..."Ethiopia" he replied...

"Keep doin whatever ya doin and never stop believin in yaself." I said as i paid him his dues...

He laughed...thanked me and waved as he sped off...

Sometimes it takes a minority to understand another minority...

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]