Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Nominees For Most Racist Country Are.....

On the June 18 episode of Q and A, one of the panelists was an American-Australian astrophysicist— Brian Schmidt.  

The subject came around to racism.

Tony Jones asked Schmidt if he thought Australia was more racist than America.

Schmidt said yes.  Or at least Australia is more tolerant of racism.

I'm not going to argue against his personal experience. We all have our own lives and observations.   If I saw what he saw, maybe I'd agree.

For now though.  I'm going to write from my own experiences.

From this, I feel, past and present, that Australia and America are equally racist.

Things have gotten better in both countries; but they're still not great.  

Not only are Australians and Americans equally guilty of racism; but we both also are equally guilty of accusing the other of being more racist.

I've witnessed Americans accusing Australia of being more racist. The astrophysicist wasn't the first.   And I've seen Australians stating or inferring that America is more racist.  

We may not have the same accent. 

We may pronounce schedule in totally different ways.

But we're pretty much the same when it comes to racism. 

Hopefully both countries will improve for the future.

Hopefully ALL countries will improve.

Are there countries less racist than America and Australia?  

If there are, I don't imagine they're MUCH less racist.  

7 comments:

Martin said...

Hi Dina


May I suggest you watch some ABC TV on that very topic if iview lets you see it and you want to. The show's called "Dumb, Drunk and Racist" and it's about a fairly well-known Melbourne cultural/political commentator (he's also been on QANDA a few times) showing Australia's various faces to four Indians (in the wake of Cronulla, rorting of Indians by private colleges and the recent bashings of several Indians (mainly students in Melbourne) and one murder.

The Australian (Joe Hildebrand) found a woman who advises Indian students about foreign study with a negative experience of her own of Australia, a student who was dissuaded from studying law in Australia partly because of some of the above issues, a call-centre operator who has been frequently abused by Australians during her work and a newsreader/reporter who reported on some of the above issues.

Thankfully the premise that Indians think Australians are racist is receding in importance in Australian-Indian relations as problems haven't been ongoing and have been at least partly addressed. I would recommend this reality-TV-style documentary, though, and it is about whether Australians are racist and our various sides. The title apparently comes from how Australians are formally described during training of Indian call-centre operators who are about to be dealing with them.

While I'm on the topic of iview, can I also recommend "Planet America"? It's a somewhat entertaining weekly look at US presidential politics, especially, from an Australian perspective. One of the hosts is one of the Chaser lads.

As of now, both of those series are ongoing and uploaded weekly straight after the show airs in Australia (Wednesday night for "Dumb, Drunk and Racist" and Friday night for "Planet America").

June said...

Very well said Dina.
I think people tend to react differently to others that are not the same as them. We always said we should be more open and embrace each other no matter what their race/sexualty/look/wealth/education...is. But for some ppl, it's really hard to do. It's human nature. Btw, is Q & A a TV show? Or a online forum?

Dina said...

Martin: I can't watch Dumb, Drunk, and Racist on ABC, but I see there's a chance I can watch it elsewhere. Hopefully.

It looks like ABC will allow me to watch Planet America. So that's good.

I think it's horrible that an Indian student was beat up, and I do think some Australians are racist. Like some Indians are racist. But to formally call a whole group of people dumb, drunk, and racist in a professional setting? That's horrible bigotry. So very hypocritical.

June: Yes! I agree. It's human nature. But we're slowly getting better at being more open to differences.

ABC is a TV show. I can download it from America; so maybe you can get it in Hong Kong? It's on the Australia-ABC website.

Is that the channel that has Masterchef? I think it is...

June said...

Dina,
It's Network 10 that boardcasts Junior MasterChef in Australia
Here's the site of the MasterChef
I've not seen this adult version but I've watched a few others cooking competition/reality shows. Junior MasterChef is more inspiring and appealing to me.

http://www.masterchef.com.au/home.htm

Dina said...

June,

Thanks! Do you watch the episodes on the website? The website won't allow me to see them...at least not the adult one.

Redhead said...

Hi Dina

The idea that racism should or can be quantified is bizarre. The only good I can see from this is to get the entire conversation going, and not pretend that racism is nonexistent in either country.

-Marilyn

Dina said...

Redhead,

Yes, I think it is impossible to quantify such a thing. It's better for each person to work on being less racist rather than worry which country is the most racist.