August 6th, 2007


(no subject)

Are there depths to which current affairs shows will not stoop? An ad on TV for a recent episode of Australian current affairs show Today Tonight: "for the first time, Asian immigration [to Australia] has overtaken European immigration, creating a country within a country. What does this mean for future generations? Plus, the call to stop the flow." Oh NO. There are people who look DIFFERENT to us. They live in FAMILIES and sometimes have FRIENDS who also look different to us! And they sometimes like to indulge in their own CULTURE! HOW DARE THEY. Cue shock, indignation, and excessive emphasis NOW.

Sarcasm aside, what annoys me most about the reporting some of the mainstream media does is that it creates the impression that these immigrant communities isolate themselves from the rest of the community, hate Australian culture, and are generally violent or undesirable in some way. Personally, the Asian immigrants I know are often better integrated into Australian society than some of my fellow migrants from New Zealand to Australia! And every community has its bad eggs, but to use them as reflective of the whole is dishonest. There is also a total failure to consider how some immigrants may feel marginalised from and outside of the mainstream culture here. Creating hype about a "country within a country" just serves to further isolate people. It does nobody any good.

Honestly, I've been surprised by the racism and discrimination I've seen expressed lately. I'd gone a good while without encountering much at all around me; I suppose I'm pretty lucky really, not being a target myself and being surrounded by people who generally don't stoop to that sort of bullshit about anyone. Then I went to New Zealand and heard all kinds of derogatory comments - even from my own family - such as remarks about "slant eyed" Asians at Live Earth. And when I came back home, the whole Dr Mohamed Haneef saga had exploded and now we're apparently meant to feel uncomfortable around Indian doctors and refuse to go to any Muslim doctor. Because, you know, Haneef was totally conspiring to kill his patients ... with SIM cards he left in Liverpool, England ... or something like that. I suppose that because it's hopelessly irrational, I shouldn't expect racist sentiment to make any kind of sense.

People can really disgust me sometimes, you know.