Racism or cultural differences?

Hi everybody. We’ve talked (that’s a polite way of putting it) about today’s programme for a very long time. At the heart of our disagreements is how to host a discussion which is clearly taking place, but in a way that is neither unfair nor unnecessarily offensive nor so generalised that it’s meaningless. We’re also divided about whether the reason to do the topic today is good enough. Let’s hope we get it right…


Our starting point is a remarkable cricket match in Sydney that has just finished. For connoisseurs of the game, there was plenty to talk about in Australia’s extraordinary defeat of India. But this now goes well beyond sport.

The Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh is accused of calling Andrew Symonds a ‘monkey’. Symonds is of Caribbean descent. Singh denies it but the authorities have banned him for three games. The last time Australia played in India, the crowd did monkey chants when Symonds was playing.

(A caveat to this is that some Australian Indians are arguing the term ‘monkey’ is commonly used and has no racist overtones.)

The issues this raises go far beyond this though. During WHYS trips to India, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, the attitude of Indians towards black people has been discussed vigorously (and was always brought up, not suggested by us), with some accusing Indians of treating black people differently to everyone else, and others fervently denying it.

And now as we’ve contacted people about the cricket story, the broader issue of the relationship between black people and Indians has emerged again. (And I am well aware here that even generalising about ‘black’ people and ‘Indian’ people is fraught with risks.)

An Indian actress, a US academic, a black/Asian couple in South Africa have all told us that it’s a fraught relationship. In the words of the actress, ‘it’s something that’s normally too ugly to talk about’. A blogger in Delhi tells us this is nonsense and that there may be cultural tensions but it’s not racism. Others point to the attitude of some black Ugandans towards Asians and say if this exists it’s a two-way thing.

It’s also worth pointing out that there’s a strongly held perception in India that Australian cricket players, fans and officials are racist and biased against India. (There have been problems with Australian fans abusing non-white players in the past.) Clearly every country and every group of people has some issues with racism – the reason we’re talking about this specific relationship is that you are telling us it’s a problem.

Let’s see how we go. You’re welcome to comment on our decision to discuss this as well as the subject itself.

THE LATEST FROM KENYA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE The two big stories of last week continue to dominate headlines around the world. We’re sure to return to them this week.Here’s the latest on Kenya.

Here’s the latest from New Hampshire.

87 Responses to “Racism or cultural differences?”

  1. 1 Michael McGuire
    January 7, 2008 at 15:21

    When it comes to Racism or cultural differences What it has always come down to is the basic human ethic of US against THEM and Race or Culture is the easiest way to label somebody. Until we out grow our basic human nature, there will always be an easy excuse to point the finger at somebody as the source of your problems.

    Michael McGuire, Portland Oregon
    (busy at work during the broadcast).

  2. 2 Brett
    January 7, 2008 at 15:24

    Living in the US and in both urban environments and the suburbs, I cannot recall ever seeing or hearing of an incident in which an Indian was racist toward a Black. I have seen and heard on PLENTY of occasions Blacks being racist towards Indians, playing on everything from common stereotypes of convienience-store workers (such as the Simpsons ‘Abu’; IIRC) and mocking them to pulling a ‘terrorist’ card and joking about such things.

    It is an unfortunate event and if the fans of this game were really chanting monkey chants towards this black player on account of race, I cannot immagine how that would feel. The ignorance of some people never ceases to amaze me.
    I think it is important to establish the boundaries here though and that cases such as these really are racism and not cultural or another type of misunderstanding. All too often in the US though, racism is claimed alongside someones cry of being victimized when race has nothing to do with the situation.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va

  3. 3 Mohammed Ali
    January 7, 2008 at 15:40

    Racism will not be eliminated completely as long as human exist on the face of the planet but constant discussion and condemnation of this ugly act can help curtail it. Every sporting organization should ban completely from the sport any sportsman who abuse his/her colleague racially.

  4. 4 JOhn
    January 7, 2008 at 15:56

    Hi Ross.

    Its a myth!, racism is only between white and coloured, it exists in all walks of life, and between all races. Sadly in Sport the SPORT has gone, now it is just a lets please the sponsors game. The stress, the we must win at all costs, drives the players to act very often unsporting. That was probably the reason for the Monkey.
    No excuse but it can happen, and the result is often over-reacting in the hope that some psychological beast will raise its ugly head and cause problems,. May help us to win !!.

    On the light side Some Scots don’t like the Brits, and visa-versa. Is that racism?.
    Here in Germany, Some Bavarians don’t like the Prussians, and visa-versa, and so on.

    As long as the World is here there will be racism.


  5. 5 Elliot K. Ngosa
    January 7, 2008 at 16:00

    hi bbc,
    i am deeply disappointed with Harbhayan Singh on two grounds. Firstly, a man of high calibre like that should not be involved in such a racialistic wrangle. Secondly, his derogatory remark really shocked me. He should be humble to aplogise to Andrew Symonds even if he did not intend to be racialistic because that remark is always used against Africans and it carries a tramendously deep racial connotation. The decision of the Authorities is absolutely fair because sport as a unifying aspect of humanity should be rid of any racial remarks.
    thank you!

    Elliot K. Ngosa.

  6. 6 John D. Anthony
    January 7, 2008 at 16:10

    Racism is a social disease that is passed from parents to children. Calling it a “cultural difference” is a lame attempt to legitimise it and does not make it any less evil.

    John in Salem

  7. January 7, 2008 at 16:24

    Happy New Year
    I’ve lived in India and heard a remark describing an Indian from the southern part of India as black. This was in Bhopal where many are light skinned.They always referred to southern Indians as “BLACK” IN A BAD OR NEGATIVE WAY.
    Togo in Kampala

  8. 8 Jamila Thomas
    January 7, 2008 at 16:28

    Hi Ross,

    As a dark skinned person of Southern Indian ethnicity, I have always thought that fairer skinned Indians regard a darker skinned person as inferior. Bollywood is a testimony because their stars and celebrities are chosen for their Anglo Indian features. Indian commercials, on CNN International, rarely feature dark skinned Indians. Therefore and sadly, I am not surprised racial slurs were hurled at Symonds.

    Generally speaking and in my opinion, in India and Asia discrimination is about skin shades. A person who is a shade lighter tends to consider himself or herself above someone who is a shade darker.


  9. January 7, 2008 at 16:36

    Racism still exists in many countries despite attempts to eradicate it through different means including education. Colour still matters despite personal merits. This has to do with inherited attitudes. Many words have become culturally sensitive like “nigger”, which for some is a term used to insult black people.

    In Europe, black players were protesting against racist attitudes on the stadiums from the spectators. Some of them like Thierry Henry threatened to go on strike. There were incidents in Spain when the spectators imitated monkey sounds to irritate black players.

    There are countless of incidents in which racist attitudes raised controversy, especially when it comes from or directed at celebrities. During 2006 World Cup, Jean-Marie Le Pen called for a French football team which doesn’t include foreigners, as an allusion to the French players Like Zidane who were of Maghreban and African origins.

    It’s rather stupid to judge personal merits on race. When teams of the same colour play, they attribute their results to competence. But when an international match (among players of different continents or countries) is played, racist explanations are sometimes used to account for the results. Players are alluded to racially and not as sports people. If sport fails to eradicate racism through fair competition, it’s likely the echo of racism will continue to resonate on other levels, be it social, political or economic.

    Racism is a sad reality. But it shouldn’t flourish to the point of causing deep tensions or having cities turning in flagrantly racially distinct areas that no-go for people from other races.

    People suffering from racism should keep their self-esteem. I still remember a statement by former US Secretary Colin Powel. He was asked on CNN by Larry King on how he had coped with racism at the military academy at his young age. He wisely responded that racism wasn’t a problem for him. It was the problem of the racist. Perhaps those who suffer from racism should throw the ball at the court of the racists. And leave it at that. Confronting ignorant racists will just make them linger with more attitudes based on hatred and contempt rather than logic.

  10. 10 gary
    January 7, 2008 at 16:51

    Hello All,
    The most intelligent comment I’ve heard concerning racismwas made by Mr. George Foreman (the ex-boxer) to one of his sons (also Mr. George Foreman). The gist of the comment was that use of any adjective to describe a human being provides the basis upon which discrimination (for or against) can and may occur.
    So; even the term “Indian bowler” at the very beginning of these comments, is enough to provide the basis for a racial slur. The point is this: The man has a name, which is sufficient for his identification as a human being. Do not use excessive description! His competence as a human being and as a bowler has nothing to do with his country of origin. You folks (The presenters at BBC and everywhere else) have an obligation to teach by example. If you can learn not to apply unnecessary “qualifiers” to the people of whom you speak, so may you teach all to “consider the man, or woman!”

  11. 11 VictorK
    January 7, 2008 at 17:01

    This is only an issue if you accept the central assumptions of most white liberals about racism: racism is about power; whites have had power over non-whites in recent times; therefore racism is something that only whites can meaningfully be guilty of, but not the poor and powerless of colour.

    Both assumptions are utter drivel. Racism is about attitudes. Anybody can hold an attitude and, unsurprisingly, racism is universal. The possession of power will undoubtedly make racist attitudes worse for the object of them, but every country has its power elite, not just white ones.

    Indians do hold grossly racist attitudes towards Blacks. And east Africans have been known to hold equally vicious attitudes towards Indians. Ethnic racism is commonplace in sub-Saharan Africa. Almost all conflicts in that part of the world are an expression of racism (from the Congo to Kenya). African-Americans have suffered racism; but African-Americans also hold racist attitudes to other groups, Whites, Koreans, Jews, and even recent African immigrants to the US. The Chinese are notoriously chauvinistic – and racist with it too – especially towards Blacks. Some Jews regard gentiles with an aversion that can fairly be described as racist, including a deep horror of inter-marriage. Eastern Europeans are viciously racist. Black footballers are routinely abused when they play in Slavic countries. A few years ago it was discovered that a Ukrainian sea captain had ordered his crew to throw several African stowaways into shark-infested waters: they drowned or were eaten. During the break-up of Yugoslavia the Croatian government asked the UN not to send black peace-keeping forces. Russians are even worse, with racial minorities being assaulted and murdered by the hundreds every year in that country. Arabs have a profound racist contempt for blacks, who are described with the insulting epithet of ‘abd’, meaning ‘slave’. A few years ago Libyans rioted and murdered Africans in their country in protest at Gaddafi’s policy of welcoming sub-Saharan Africans into Libya. Blacks are still enslaved in places like Mauretania. South America was originally inhabited by a ‘negrito’ population, much like the Australian aborigines. They were exterminated by the invading waves of Mongolian newcomers. ‘Varna’ is the indigenous word for India’s caste system: it means colour and clearly relates to the racial difference between the fair-skinned Indo-Aryan invaders of India and the native, dark-skinned Dravidic inhabitants. While immigration into the West is often debated, we hear little about the fact that no south east Asian country accepts large-scale immigration, especially from Africa.

    Racism is universal, despite the tendency of Western liberals and the Western media to focus unrelentingly – and unfairly – on racism in places like the USA, Australia and Britain.

    The real question is why a few countries have made such vigorous, and on the whole successful, attempts to curb and roll back racist sentiment. Countries such as the US, Australia and Britain (i.e. the very ones who are routinely castigated for racism by the liberal media). Only in the English-speaking world (add Canada and New Zealand to the countries already mentioned), Holland and Scandinavia is racism recognised, condemned and combatted. What is it about English-speaking and nordic cultures that causes this? That’s something worth debating. Everywhere else the universal problem of racism is either denied (e.g. Sudan, Cuba), recognised but never seriously addressed (e.g. Brazil, much of Western Europe), or else racist behaviour is connived at by the authorities (e.g. Russia, where prosecutions for racist murders are next to non-existent).

    And, could there be anything more absurd than to explain racism away as ‘cultural differences’? It’s real, it happens, it’s wrong, and it shouldn’t be accepted. If white South Africans were never given the benefit of ‘cultural differences’ to explain and defend their racist practices then I don’t see why anybody else (i.e. non-whites) should have their racist behaviour glossed over in this way. No double standards, please.

    p.s. a happy new year to WHYS and all its listeners!

  12. 12 pendkar
    January 7, 2008 at 17:22

    Racism from Indians is not surprizing. It (or something very like it)is part of the Indian psyche. It is a part of the hierarchical structure of the society. In the traditional Indian set up, one can routinely get away by thinking of other people as ‘inferior’ because of their caste,community or economic status. and the urban middle class is under no particular pressure to let go of this trait. It keeps it because it suits it. It is only when they are at the receiving end that they wake up to it.

    When tranplanted to a society where there is a strong awareness, they are likely to conform and behave (as Brett from US states above), as basically they are not trouble seekers.

    The racist reaction of the crowds to this particular cricket player (Symmonds) was widely reported. It was shameful. Crowds in the stadium are one thing, when a player indulges in the same thing, it is very bad.

    It is another thing that other people besides the Indians may be racist. Instead of justifying one with the other, address all variants by turns.

  13. 13 VictorK
    January 7, 2008 at 17:26

    Abdelilah: was it chance alone that caused you to limit your examples of racism to Western countries?

    The racism of the Arab world is much worse. Let me give you a few instances: the systematic exploitation of ‘guest workers’ from south Asian countries, who cannot – as in the West – hope to become citizens of the gulf states which their labour enriches. The united front presented by the Arab League in defending the racist and genocidal Sudanese government against the possibility of UN sanctions and/or military intervention, while denying the genocidal character of the situation in Darfur. The racist caricatures of Condoleeza Rice that have appeared in newspapers across the Arab world. The continued enslavement of Africans in Sudan and Mauretania. The anti-African riots that took place in Libya a few years ago, during the course of which several Africans were murdered by Libyan racists. The entire history of Sudan over the past 1000 years, which has been a successful race-based Jihad by Arab invaders against the indigenous African population. The evident policy of Arab countries to exempt whites from serious punishment for crimes committed under Sharia law, but to apply the law mercilessly to non-whites (when did you last hear of a European or American being flogged or executed in Saudi Arabia, or anywhere else in the Arab world? We can all remember the risibly light sentence – together with a new bed, courtesy of the Sudanes government – given to the teacher in the Muhammed teddy bear affair). The hysterical anti-semitic (perhaps it would be less confusing to write ‘anti-Jewish’) racism directed against Jews in all Arab countries, and the increasing popularity of anti-Jewish propaganda from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to more recent stuff of Nazi vintage. The oppressive treatment of Copts in Egypt (who are not Arabs, being the descendants of Egypt’s original Pharaohnic population )

    I could go on. Yet you could only think of examples of racism drawn from France, Spain and the US? Part of the power of racism stems from the eagerness of many people to deny its existence in their own countries and cultures. Arabs are prime offenders in this respect.

  14. 14 Jamila Thomas
    January 7, 2008 at 17:31

    Recently, the BBC reported that 70% of young Jews in Israel regard Arabs as less intelligent than Jews. And, they view Arabs as unclean. Moreover, more than 50% of Jewish Israelis believe that Arabs should not have equal rights.

    Racism should be relentlessly exposed wherever it exists.

  15. January 7, 2008 at 17:37

    Mohammed Ali, Liberia(email)

    I think this topic deserve extensive discussion. Racism still continues in almost every society. i strongly beleive that constant discussion will to some extent curtail this ugly act of human existance.

    What will suprise you most is the fact that in my own country, Liberia, the constitution is racist. Our constitution allows only people of negro decend to become citizen yet we condemn racism.

    It is extremely uncivilized for one person to view his fellow human as being inferior only because of his color which is not his making.

  16. January 7, 2008 at 17:38

    devadas.v, Kerala, India (email)

    the so called racial slur on symonds by harbhajan is mindblogging ..at the heat of the moment harbhajan just may have called symonds monkey ..here were i live in kerala we usually call our friends koranga(means monkey in malayalamwhich is our regional language)in that way this reaction must be seen the symonds issue.it was so acute when the spectators chanted monkey chants in india and it was dealt with by the authorities here when aussies toured here then aussies played down a serious issue and now raking up racial issue which umpire didnt hear means aussies are under pressure of indians pressure and to dilute their incompetence trying to boost up racial issue and trying every trick in the book to upset indias game plan.
    and in a lighter vain ponting who is having a miserable time against harbajan took the easier path of getting him banned raising a trifle issue so that he can score something in the remaining tests.

  17. 17 Andre
    January 7, 2008 at 17:58

    Unfortunately, racism (or tribalism), is deeply rooted in the human psyche and takes a great deal of education, experience and goodwill to overcome. I lived in two countries in which there were large proportions of Afro-Caribbean and Indo-Carribean people (Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana).

    As an Afro-Trinidadian living in these countries, I found that having friends of Indian descent to be a difficult thing to do. My parents were, to say the least, not positive about the idea, explaining that the Indians only looked after their own. My few Indian friends confirmed that the same thing happened to them – in reverse.

    I believe that racial and cultural prejudices are learned – and can be unlearned. However, it is often not in the interest of powerful people to do this. In both Trinidad and Guyana, the political parties are split largely (but not entirely), across racial lines. It is indeed sad. Hopefully, new generations of blacks and Indians (and all other races), will eventually come to the conclusion that cooperation is better than confrontation and understanding is better than ignorance.

  18. 18 John D. Anthony
    January 7, 2008 at 18:01

    I think that Gary makes an excellent point ~ the media often perpetuates the problem by the way it identifies people by nationality or ethnicity when it is actually irrelevant to the topic.

    John in Salem

  19. 19 George
    January 7, 2008 at 18:15

    Indian vs African and others are same critter

    When one group is treated very badly, they pass it on.

    In New Orleans there are people who rank themselves according to the degree of pedigree (black) and act pretty badly to those with blacker heritage.

    It is trying to feel better about yourself by putting someone else down, not at all different from Australian racism or US racism.

    Racism stinks. Boo to all who practice it.

  20. 20 Trent West
    January 7, 2008 at 18:20

    It is interesting that you guys are speaking about racism today I just run through a blog that I thinking you and your might find interesting. http://www.maximbi.blogspot.com

    Very important topic, bravo BBC

  21. January 7, 2008 at 18:21

    otoa tony jr, Ugandan in the UK (email)
    lets face it,alot os africans are not respected by indians. in uganda they are continously insulted and rediculed. I have been a victim of indian insults that led to several punishments form the time i was in primary school. I think this cricket incident is just the tip of the ice berg. racism is sick and if it doesnt stop,it could be the next threat to humanity. globalisation is taking its course and as long as racism is still rife, we are doomed. ,

  22. 22 bjay
    January 7, 2008 at 18:21

    Racism or cultural differences.
    YE! Good old trible-ism. And where is ,
    level of morality lise in all these?!
    It is simple: Where is the ‘pendulum in time & place’ (geography).
    Ye, racism is an inexhautible ‘wild-card for politicing’.

    bjay connotation with accent.

  23. January 7, 2008 at 18:22

    Kwame, London (text)
    Indians in Mauritius, Uganda, Kenya the Carribean,etc have always treated black people with racist undertones and disdain. So any knowledgeable person would not have been surprised by the cricket incident.

  24. January 7, 2008 at 18:22

    Atsu, ghana.(text)
    We blacks should not wait for anyone to make us feel good-we should feel good about our colour no matter what.

  25. January 7, 2008 at 18:23

    Togo in Kampala (text)
    Light skinned Indians call their southern Indians as “KALU” meaning black in a bad way.

  26. January 7, 2008 at 18:24

    nelson kamau, nairobi, kenya. (text)
    Yes! Here in kenya indians do treat us differently…they do have a visibly keep-off attitude.

  27. January 7, 2008 at 18:25

    AKIN,NIGERIA. (text)

  28. January 7, 2008 at 18:25

    Karo Umukoro. Nigeria. (text)
    The fairest Indian is not as white as the palest white man. So I wonder why they could think of being racist against Blacks.

  29. 29 Damian
    January 7, 2008 at 18:26

    I live in Jamaica and I know of the racist attitude of Indians against black people. I know of many instances where Indian families will stand between there kids marrying a black person but if they were marrying a white person they do not show the same stance they have against them marrying outside of their race when they are marrying a black person. A number of Indian owned shops and stores who hire black people (not all hire black people) treat them unfairly. I am not sure what exactly is why they do this to blacks than other people of other races but despite culture, we live in a global village presently and as citizens of the world we need to be respectful of other races. The cast system is not a excuse. In India most Indians do no see black people often, that should automatically promote respect naturally for someone visiting or someone you never saw before, the natural human behaviour is to be courteous to a stranger or someone different. I think that many Indians are rude and disrespectful to blacks.

  30. January 7, 2008 at 18:29

    Yves, Zambia (text)
    in Zambia, Indians treat Zambians like dogs, its like we are humans in our own land.

  31. 31 Nicola Mair
    January 7, 2008 at 18:29

    The issue of racism in sports soccer, cricket and now this latest contretemp between cricket teams India vs Australia and comments made by India’s Harbhajan towards Australia’s Symonds was possibly a retort fuelled by provocation from the Australian side who deftly carry their racism on & off the field. We’ve experienced repeatedly here in the West Indies with this side who display an arrogance second to none..the whole matter is unnecessary, distasteful not to mention unsporting..surely the Austrailians should be comfortable with their skill, perhaps it’s deeper than that, that they cannot come to terms with their penal heritage..Nicola

  32. January 7, 2008 at 18:31

    To VictorK, comment at 5:26 pm

    My comment about racism was general. I didn’t seek to focus just on the West. I just used racism in the West as an example as the debate was set off based on an incident between Australians and Indians and the relationship between Indians and black people

    I tried just to limit my example s of racism. As I said there are countless of incidents of racism. It is true that racism exists everywhere, including the Arab world. Even the Arabs can exercise racism on each other based on nationality. In the Gulf States, all the workers are subject to cases of inhuman treatment, be it Arabs or Asians. In Kuwait at least two third of the Kuwaitis (They are Arabs) are without Kuwaiti nationally although they have been in Kuwait for decades. Neither they nor their offspring born in Kuwait are considered Kuwaiti citizens. They’re commonly called in Kuwait Bidoon which in Arabic means ‘without nationality’ (see this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidoon ). This is in my view worse than racism as this category doesn’t legally have equal rights of the rest of the population. In Europe, at least people born from migrant parents are granted citizenship, although they are left to face racial attitudes that can’t be controlled by the force of the state. Westerners living or travelling in Arab countries are relatively respected because of the power of their governments that can forcefully intervene in case of harm to them.

    It seems that racism has no borders. It’s everywhere. It has to do with people who historically were organised as tribes from very early times. Tribalism still has its residue in its people which manifests itself in nationalism, regionalism, which can be OK. But at worst, it manifested itself in racism. Sometimes names make one take attitudes falsely. In your case, reading a comment by a person called Abdelilah was a stir for you to respond on the Arab origin of the name without having met the owner of the name in person. That is also one of the reasons that makes people come to make judgements based on stereotypes.

  33. January 7, 2008 at 18:32

    Eliel from Brooklyn (email)

    One of the best example of Indian/ Black racism is found in the West Indies. For Example Trinidad and Tabago, which has a both people living side by side. A Roger Bonair-Agard, a Trinidadian poet, says in one of his poems that his mother instructed him that “Indian people are black people too, its just that most of them don’t know it”

  34. January 7, 2008 at 18:32

    Oladimeji (email)
    In Kenya, I think there is a community around Meru where Indians who have married Kenyans are more or less ostracized to. I used to live in Kenya about 20 years ago, but you can check that with Kenyans. Marrying a black WAS an offence in the Indian community, back then.

  35. January 7, 2008 at 18:33

    I stumbled upon this conversation on BBC Radio via XM. As an African-American woman living in New York City, I am well aware of the condescending and racist attitude of a small group of Indian people of a certain generation when I encounter them publically. It is usually when I am shopping, or relying on someone for help in some way. I’m a child of the US civil rights movement, so I have no patience for their poor treatment of me, and won’t tolerate it when I encounter it.

    I haven’t gotten any of this from younger Indian people, whether they have grown up in the United States or in South Asia. As the world grows smaller, and more of us encounter people from different cultures and experiences, more of us will outgrow our prejudices. But there will always be people who don’t know how to act!

  36. 36 adam
    January 7, 2008 at 18:33

    I lived in India for three years and found
    that the poorer people who worked out in the fields (and therefore as a
    result had darker skin) were treated with contempt by the lighter
    skinned higher castes. The skin lightening products available in India
    said it all really.

  37. 37 Sm
    January 7, 2008 at 18:35

    I am of Indian descent and grew up in the US. I think the experience of Indian Americans is quite different from Indians in the rest of the world. Growing up in the 80s I bonded with African Americans as fellow minorities in a racist white country. Two years ago it was big news when a US Senatorial candidate called an Indian man a ‘macaca’, meaning monkey.

  38. 38 Yemi Idowu
    January 7, 2008 at 18:36

    I had an Indian for a roommate in graduate school. He and I were, and still are, very good friends. I don’t know what all this palaver is about. Mutual respect is the most important component of coexistence.

  39. 39 Devi Murthy
    January 7, 2008 at 18:36

    Indians sadly discriminate on the basis of color even within themselves. Most matrimonial Advertises always say “seeking fair girl” even thought the groom himself might be dark skinned!! So the comment by Harbajan was merely an extension of this discrimination rather than against black people.
    I belong to south India, where most people have dark skin, and went to school here. I have been thought to be barbaric and discriminated by my classmates, just on the basis of my skin color, they belong to the north where most of the people have lighter skin. They come to my city to study in the south because they do not have as good an education system, how very hypocritical!

  40. 40 Darshana Patel
    January 7, 2008 at 18:40

    My parents were born and raised in India while my siblings and I were raised in the USA. My experiences have shown that there is a prejudice within Indians and with other races. Skin color is very important in match making and in areas of love and family, but not when it comes to business, education, or distant relationships. I remember my uncle saying that it is great that his daughter has black friends, but he would not expect her to marry one because the cultures and expectations are so different. Would this be considered racist? He would say the same about his other daughter regarding her Indian Muslim friends (we are Hindu). Perhaps blacks a special case because they are not only darker in skin color but also are a different race/religion/culture. But, in my experience, there has been no wish of harm or injustice to black people as a whole by Indians in my community in the USA.

    As for the man who commented that horoscopes are no longer used to make matches in a modern India… well, we all know that is not true! I know of several cases where people have had scandals in the family because of a love marriage and where the horoscopes were used to guide parents in searching for a match for their children.

  41. January 7, 2008 at 18:43

    WB (email)
    I was a student in Britain in the 60s when the Indians were expelled from Uganda. One was interviewed by a reporter from one of the TV stations and asked whether it was true that they did nor mix with black Africans. He admitted it and then said, surely the British could understand that. After all, the Queen did not mix with commoners.

  42. 42 Vikram
    January 7, 2008 at 18:43

    Racism in India can not be easily defined. I live in Canada and wanted to marry my girl friend who happens to be White Canadian. I can not explain why my family refused to accept this marriage, they refused to attend or to ever meet my wife. We have decided to put the wedding off for the time being. So, I am sure they would have had the same reaction had it been a black girl, go figure!!!

  43. January 7, 2008 at 18:43

    Paul & Helen, Barcelona (email)
    The Australian was called a Monkey, we’re called a Poms; both are derogatory, both are racist, but who gives a monkeys! (or who gives a

  44. 44 Gisele Marfleet
    January 7, 2008 at 18:44

    This is a topic that needs talking about desperately as there is definitely unhealthy racism between the two ethnic groups. I live in Trinidad where 45% of the population is Afro-Trinidadain and 45% is Indo-Trinidadian. The electorate continues to vote along ethnic lines and not on issues or political personalities. As a result the country cannot advance as quickly as it needs to and does not benefit from the economic wealth of an oil based economy. There are long standing prejudices and generalisms such that one group beleive the other to be inherently lazy and craving hand outs and the other to be inherently dishonest, consequently each group can never vote the other. Furthermore the politicians play to these inherent beleifs for self preservation and status quo.

    The nation suffers as a consequence and cannot seem to get by this problem. I wish to encourage that this topic be well ventilated for the sake of my country and its future, which is perishing daily.

    Trinidad should be used to study this particular issue as it is a perfect demonstration of where this issue is at its worst because of the large and equal percentages of the two groups within the population.

  45. January 7, 2008 at 18:44

    Kishan, Indian in Czech Rep. (email)

    i am thankful to you for touching on this delicate issue. Well i know there are differences between indians and the black community.

    BBC website says – “if india didnt exist nobody would have the imagination to create it”
    My country is so complex, that i think it is impossible for anyone outside to understand it.
    Our way is really different, we dont have anything against the black community. We do not have anything against any community. One unique indian mind set is we treat all foreigners superior to fellow indians. The incidence like those people in mumbai making monkey postures can be compared to football hooligans, and they certainly do not display British culture.

    India cannot be generalised, and thus the relatoins which exist between india and others.

  46. 46 Kalpana
    January 7, 2008 at 18:45

    What planet is Ashish coming from? Anyone who argues that Indians are willing to “accept anyone who is good” is delusional. In the US, Indians are persistently trying to “be white” or more importantly, of a particular class that most white people are perceived to be. Americans of Indian origin tend to make very unpleasant remarks about blacks (and Hispanics), and are much more accepting of their children marrying a white American than a black.

  47. 47 steve
    January 7, 2008 at 18:45

    If you haven’t woken up to reality yet, people have never liked other people, and never will. Ever since we developed the ability to kill each other, we have. We fear what is different. We fear people that are different. It’s a survival instinct. Kind of like while animals run away from humans, because they are scared and want to live. It’s time we stop pretending this isn’t ingrained into our genetic code. We are a nasty species, and to ever think there will be a time when racism or some kind of dislike of people being different than you (be it nationality, religion, hair color) doesn’t exist is living in fantasyland and is childish to ever thing will happen. We are a n asty species, and there will always be hatred, and always be war.

  48. January 7, 2008 at 18:45

    Lamii, Liberia (email)
    I am sitting here in my office listening to you discussing this issue of racism between black people and Indians and it seems quite funning to me. Isn’t it the reality that most black people prefer to be white or lighter in color? Even blacks discriminate among themselves based on the skin pigmentation. I’m told that there is a class of black people in the US that only marry people who are of lighter complexion.

    In Liberia our founding fathers discriminated against the local population because of their skin pigmentation.

    As a black person, I’m always amused when my fellow black people rise this issue, most especially when it comes from those blacks who want to be white.

  49. January 7, 2008 at 18:46

    Maria, Kampala (text)
    African students in India have very sad stories about racism there. Secondly my Tamil friend tells me her dark skin was an issue in her own family. Sad.

  50. January 7, 2008 at 18:47

    Anonymous, Uganda.(text)
    To be fair to Indians, altho they are harsh employers and require workers to perform demeaning personal services – those that do it do it to everyone.So it is more about manners than race.

  51. January 7, 2008 at 18:48

    Certainly Indians are friendly people, at least i can say that of the Ugandan-Indians, but most of what is seen as racial attributes are entrenched in what they call their “culture” that needs to be kept “pure”. If culture is what they will use to cushion themselves, certainly it will be hard to do away with the bad relationship between blacks and Indians.

  52. January 7, 2008 at 18:48

    Jeremiah (email)
    I don’t believe we are talking about racial vilification between Indians and blacks. This is a universal issue. It just shows the general perverse mind state of the Human Being!

  53. January 7, 2008 at 18:48

    Ella May Wulff,Oregon, USA (email)
    During a 1999 visit to South Africa, my husband befriended the driver of our tour bus, who was of Indian descent. Thus he was in a position to ask the driver about an incident that bothered us.

    Several black African men were standing by the side of a road trying to get a ride, with one man standing on the tarmac itself. Instead of swerving to avoid this pedestrian, our driver gunned the engine, increasing speed so that the man had to quickly jump back off the road to avoid being hit by the bus. When questioned, the driver offered the opinion that the black men were worthless and had no business being there. (OK, they probably shouldn’t have been on the road, but…)

  54. 54 Claire
    January 7, 2008 at 18:49

    I would like to agree with the caller that there is a racist issue here and that it must be discussed. However I noticed that she used white people over and over again as an example of people who are racist. Yes this is true, but it is a horrible overgeneralization and it ignores the fact that racism is worldwide.
    I’m a Caucasian American, but where I lived and grew up in the States, I was a minority in an 80% African American county. Naturally I faced racism, some of it quite awful. Just goes to show that racism can touch anyone and anyone can be the perpetrator.

  55. January 7, 2008 at 18:50

    GAYFLOR PEWU from Monrovia (text)
    It puzzles me 2 hear that Indians are racist 2 blacks. I live in Liberia n here I have not heard or seen Indians doing such.

  56. 56 RAYMOND
    January 7, 2008 at 18:51


  57. 57 Chernor Jalloh
    January 7, 2008 at 18:51

    It will be an elusive dream to eradicate racism in this world,for as long as whites and non-whites or Indians or Arabs exists.People should think of being human beings first and then start thinking of colours.We cannot blame the Indians only for being so-racist towards blacks,because they are not the only people that are racists.

  58. 58 Sophie
    January 7, 2008 at 18:57

    The isolation of Indians in Kenya goes beyond social aspect. Indians also refuse to participate in political process.

  59. 59 Vijay
    January 7, 2008 at 18:58

    Harbhajan singh is Punjabi ,a minority
    Harbhajn Singh is Sikh ,a minority
    He even belongs to a small sect in Sikhism
    Why he would want to make a racist remark i do not know.

    Punjab is just about the most mixed race part of India there is ,all the invaders came through Punjab first and there were Blacks and Arabs that came from the gulf.

    There is a trait in India where people will talk about you infront of you as if you are not there,may be Harbhajan Singh was talking to Sachin and did not actually talk to Symonds.

    Harbhajan Singh should have remarked on the steroid use in the Australian cricket team, Shane Warne was the tip of the iceberg.

  60. January 7, 2008 at 18:59

    mulenga,zambia (text)
    ive limited insight on the indians views on racism.but we blacks usually resent indians,who are mainly shopowners,labelling them mean & stingy.

  61. 61 RAYMOND
    January 7, 2008 at 19:00


  62. January 7, 2008 at 19:00

    My name is Vicky Ellison from Cleveland Ohio United States. I want to know if the Indians think that lighter skin is superior – do they think that whites are superior to them?

  63. January 7, 2008 at 19:03

    Anonymous, London UK (email)

    Dear World Have Your Say, I lived in India for three years and I think the issue you are talking about is to do with the caste system as I noticed that the poorer people who worked in the fields had darker skin and therefore were treated with contempt by the higher castes.

  64. 64 T. Kootee KORVAH
    January 7, 2008 at 19:06

    I have not seening or heard about Indians and blacks carrying ricist bahavour against each other. However, as a black living out of African now, I have seeing others looking down upon me just because I am a black.

    The message I would like to send out to the world is, blacks, especially those from Africa are the most welcoming and generous people on earth. We are willing to share all the goods with have with other and live side by side with them. If you wish to experience this, go to any part of Africa and proof it.

    Please stop discriminating against others. There is no reason for this.

  65. 65 Eugene
    January 7, 2008 at 19:12

    Indians are very rascist!

    They display this attitude everywhere you go in Africa!

    The fact that they will not allow their daughters to date, let alone marry, a black person is based on their ingrained rascist attitude. And yet their little boys want to sleep with and dump black girls. As far as they (Indian boys) are concerned, black girls are good sex objects and nothing more.

    I like the honesty of the young lady Yasmin. I would certainly love to watch her play. She is a beacon of hope!

    If Africa had been colonised by Indians, it would still colonised today!


  66. 66 Lukwago
    January 7, 2008 at 19:18

    Amin did the right thing, many native ugandans who were there by that time can say alot about the way most of these indians used to treat black ugandans, very dog like and today some are still doing it.

  67. 67 oladimeji
    January 7, 2008 at 19:30

    Now that you’ve let the djinn out of the bottle (so to speak), you may want to talk – at a later time – about racism between Arabs and blacks. The response you will get may surprise you, too – much in the same way as the response you got to this was way beyond what you expected. I have experienced them all – from whites, Indians, Arabs, Swedes (yes, even I was taken aback at the time!). As someone said above, there will always be racism.

  68. January 7, 2008 at 20:31

    Generalising groups of people, based on one or two of their attributes, is a universal phenomenon. And when a generalised remark is made in a derogatory tone, or when a action is negative towards a group, we call it a racist remark, or a racist action. I am not condoning or reprimanding the words of the Indian Cricketer, as they now seem insignificant in the larger context of the topic ‘racism’. What I wish to state is that ‘racism’ exists in several forms, all over the world. It is partially evident from the jokes we read on Polish people or Irish people, Or on British scots or Indian Sardars.

    As an Indian living in Bahrain, but having seen a bit of the Arabian gulf, I have seen racism in other forms too. Arab business owners often consider a Briton superior to an Indian mainly for the skin-colour, and it reflects in the disparity in job offers and salaries here. Even if the British man was a simple plumber, and the Indian was an qualified engineer, the treatment would be better for the one with fairer skin. Ofcourse, added to the dark-skin of the Indians is the Arab perception and assumption that brown-skinned Indians are not as good as white europeans in mental acuumen. After all, many Indians work as simple labourers. So, how can they be good engineers or managers?

    Partially, I think, it has to do with our upbringing, where we tend to believe the culture in which we are brought up, and look down, or look up at people of other cultures, skin-colours, or nationalities. But I think this has to cease.

    Unlike in the past, the greater geographic mobility, and immigrant workers contributing to national economies today, can only lead us to accept differences and celebrate diversity.

  69. 69 Kevin from Australia
    January 7, 2008 at 20:37

    I watched the test between Australia and India. Sometimes I think the rivalry is deliberate so as to fuel the competition between players and countries. I agree racism should be exposed anywhere and although it will never be stopped the publicity helps us to remind society that it is not acceptable.

    With this particular incident we have not heard from the Australian Team. To play sport at this level is tough and high pressure. Tempers are going to flare so there needs to be a body that monitors behaviour.

  70. 70 Chernor Jalloh
    January 7, 2008 at 21:23

    Hi VictorK,I feel very happy over your points you made concerning racism.The blacks that earned scholarships to study in Arab countries were humuliated so much that some of them had to abandon their studies and come to Spain or other EU countries.I have got so many stories from them.I was told that some were put into a worst position for being Muslims.They would hate to see a black person praying infront of them.There are questions they would ask which were:´´Are you a Muslim?If you said you were a Muslim,they would ask why are you black people praying?Blacks have already been burnt in hell fire and that had made their skins to become black like charcoal“.So,black people praying is like beating a dead horse.I can recall in 1992 on BBC Network Africa; a Nigerian man telling his story of how blacks were being maltreated in Morocco.Quite disturbing was when he said the Moroccan childern were running away screaming when they happened to see the blacks coming torwards them.In fact,when they would be asked by their parents what went wrong they would reply by saying blacks were canibals. A cousine of mine went to Mauritania to study and one of his close friend told him how the white Mauritanians(white Arabs) had wanted to castirated him because they couldnot trust him to let him alone with their wives in the same compound.He had a lucky escape. During the pilgrimage to Mecca,many blacks(mainly from Africa) are being discriminated by Indonisians and Arabs as well, due to the colour of their skins. We can certainly not know how many of our African sisters were being raped by the Algerian police as well as the Moroccan police.Some couples of years ago,the Moroccan police shot dead many blacks who were trying to climb the fence at the border with Spain.Which African president has so far criticised the inhumane acts that were carried out by the Moroccan authority?NONE! The life of a Lebanese business man was threatened by an angry mob in Guinea Conakry.The man was accused of calling his worker a dog.The Indians who were in S/Leone used to show a lack of respect for their workers in an organisation called Plan Inter National. The Tunisian government used to send secret police to interview the black people studing in their univisities.Tunisians usedto harass the foreigners. Victork,I wish you a very happy new year too.And hoping to read your comments and hear you on WHY.Bye for now.

  71. 71 Waleed
    January 7, 2008 at 21:40

    These statements should not be allowed to be used against anybody anywhere in the world and people should be punished for that and it is a racist issue.

  72. 72 Thomas Murray
    January 7, 2008 at 22:53

    Hey Buds,

    By US standards Harbhajan Singh got off easy. He would have also had to make ALL the morning and late night talk shows, apologizing profusely on each one.

    Tho it happens all the time here in America, it doesn’t make it acceptable. Reference Actor Gibson’s drunken rant about the Jews during his drunk driving arrest in Malibu last year. Or Virginia Senator George Allen’s oblivious use of what could have been construed as a racial slur about his opponent’s videographer of Indian descent (but American birth) August, ’06, when he called him “Macaca, or whatever his name is…Let’s all give a welcome to Macaca here!” (This was a word the videographer submitted to Sen. Allen before the rally; the Sen. didn’t realize that macaca, or macaque, is an old world monkey referent treading close to racial insult (and I thought the word was “fuckaca” (DON’T READ THAT ON THE AIR!!!!!!))). Or early morning radio shock jock Don Imus’ racial hiccup which I won’t even dignify by repeating. (It’s in Imus’ Wikipedia bio.) For those who don’t know, suddenly realizing that Don Imus is an insensitive lout reminds me of Claude Rains’ line in “Casablanca” —
    “Gambling!? Gambling!? I had no idea there was gambling in this casino!!!”

    All great empires cultivate diversity. The Greeks and Romans certainly did. Racial civility is a small price to pay. The offender need only apologize contritely and remember the lesson. The rest of us need to move on.

    –Tom, Louisville, KY.

  73. 73 viola anderson
    January 7, 2008 at 23:17

    Racism and prejudices of all kinds are based on fear. Fearful people lash out. Fear is everyone’s personal devil. We must all cast out our personal devils instead of insisting that they reside in others. We must see that truth and grow up. There is racism and prejudice in every society. Those are societal devils. Societies must see that truth and grow up. That’s not a frivolity in our world–it’s a necessity. We must remember that unscrupulous power-seeking people sense our fears and use them for their own advantage. It is absurd to suppose that only white people are capable of racist behaviour.

  74. 74 Rani Moorthy
    January 8, 2008 at 01:15

    This is addressed to a question posed by Vicky Ellison from Ohio who wanted to know if Indians think that lighter skin is superior.
    There were many Indians who spoke up during the programme urging us not to generalise and that certain segments of Indian society reflected beliefs that are not necessarily held by others , so there was an urban vs rural divide, Indian vs indians fron the Diaspora divide, the caste divide among many others. But I believe that we spent a lot of time also skirting the most fundamental and ugliest issue of all and that is a view that seems to be endemic to all human nature and that is firstly our antipathy to respecting and valuing difference especially during adversity( why are we always shocked when prejudice bubbling under the surface erupts into violence and hatred) and secondly almost every culture has a mistrust of darkness whose roots lay in our ancient visceral fear of sunlessness.

    Yes Indians think lighter skin is superior, so do the Chinese and Japanese and research well enough and most cultures do. Africans talk about the beauty of yellow-skinned people. Think of how we language fairness and you are instantly clued into the belief that your light skin opens a world of success, acceptability

    Coming from a post-colonial context i thought the priviledging of light skin came directly from colonial racism. But I grew up with Hindu iconography which showed Gods with light skin, Goddess Laksmi with her golden skin meant divinity and purity and the black Goddess Kali who although revered was also feared. The Aryan good looks of Bollywood Gods and Goddesses only parallel the ideal beauty reflected in ancient Hindu texts like the Rig Veda written 4000 years ago.

    The everyday casual almost throw-away insults aimed at dark skinned people and we all know them, they’re in our own families, they are there when we step out our front door, they are there in magazine covers, in matrimonial ads, in skin lightening ads…all of these stem from deeply insidious, invidious sources and we will fail future generations if we don’t put a stop to them. You may be able to hide your caste, your background, your status, your class, but your skin is your first medium of communication.

  75. January 8, 2008 at 05:45

    Racism is real. One only needs to listen to BBC, CNN, Aljazeera and other media houses to confirm this. They all refer to Barack Obama as being BLACK. For God’s sake, Obama’s mother was white. His father was black. What then makes Obama BLACK? Isn’t Obama half white?

    Bryson Chalwe, Lusaka, Zambia

  76. January 8, 2008 at 06:48

    Breakdowns are an opportunity for breakthroughs. Consider this. The whole world suffers from the malice of racial discrimination. Each time such discrimination occurs, it must be fought to its logical end – whatever that may be. Evolution of mankind has taught us that.

    The Aussies had this all planned well before the tour even started. Probably when their tour to India ended. And the self-serving minions at BCCI were too preoccupied with making money.

    That explains the very innocent publicity given to anti-racism even before the tour began, when Cricket Australia asked the Indian team (when did they ever care?) to give a list of words that the Indian’s thought were racist – when it has never done before by any board!

    Australians are known to pick a target and everyone goes for the jugular like a pack of wolves. Sreeshant had fair warning when at the end of their tour to India in 2007, the Aussies told him “wait till you come to Australia”. He didn’t go!

    So the Aussies picked Harbajan because he had Ponting as his bunny. Kill two birds with one stone! That’s the only explanation that fits on how Mike Proctor, the Match Referee, another white man from Apartheid South Africa could convict Harbajan after openly recording that the two Umpires never heard the slur, the TV replays showed nothing, the Audio tapes didn’t show anything either and so white man’s word was against the brown slave’s word. And even better that the only non-white member of the Aussie team makes the allegation for his white masters. No prizes for guessing who won the verdict.

    When 8 out of 9 appeals shown by TV replays to be right went against the Indians, its bad luck. Because the only explanation that fits the facts is that the two Umpires were racists and white must triumph over black evil. Black is evil, right? After all, the white man gave it that connotation. And he never wrong. If that wasn’t proof enough, consider this:

    Politicians are all about power and money. The BCCI is the best on both counts in the whole cricketing world. Sharad Pawar has power, but now he also wants absolute power with all the money. So, in a white man dominated council, the ICC, how can he get it? Invite white men to India and pay them hefty remuneration, give them absolute power to wreck havoc on the poor, spineless, gagged, over-worked Indian players (read Chappell) and allow an all white umpiring elite panel, to decide matches and then beg for the ICC Chairmanship. Forget the plight of Indian cricket; it’s more important to retire as the head of ICC, right?

    Now compare this to the day of the East India Company. The pliable, spineless, un-patriotic Indian politician was subjugated by offering peanuts, in return for the country.

    Does that seem like a strikingly similar strategy employed by the white man?

    The time for change has arrived. Is there another Gandhi in our midst?

    J Srinivasan
    Bangalore, India

  77. 77 kumar
    January 8, 2008 at 08:17

    Hello WHYS, i listened to todays program. It is unfortunate that no was listening to the arguments that person from Calcutta was trying to explain the different between racism vs cultural/cast difference.

    There might be conflicts in different languages/cast/culturla, but not many treat you different for that simple reason. And, specially color doesn’t come into any of these conflicts. And, in rural areas, there are still people are treated based on their cast, but things are changing.

    If anyone wants to know about this Harbajan singh incident, if at all if he proved that he did say that word, it would have purely for ‘racism’ reason, it would been for a sportive reason. Please read on the details on whomany wrong decisions were done in this game that changed direction of the game. The umpire is axed from the rest of the series….

    And, it was very unfortunate to see all the ‘participant’, there is simple except two callers from India, no seems to have good understanding of what’s going on in India. And, it was too bad, we were taking cinema actor/actress or a cricker as representives of 1.3B Indians.


  78. January 8, 2008 at 08:41

    It’s very unfortunate that things have come to such a pass. When we talk of racism it’s usually associated with black vs white in the broad sense. Of course among the blacks there can be further categories and hate lines can be drawn: there is no end to it. Within India itself, there is horrible caste issue.

    But, as far as I can understand there is no issue between Indians and Africans or West Indians. It’s a revelation to me. Here, it is ironical that Bucknor — who a non-white — is accused by India of being anti-Indian. Now India has got him removed from the panel as well.

    At the end of it all, I can’t make any sense of this absurd drama. Can’t cricket be just be spared of this? High time people who lead this great sporting tradition in both Australia and India, and other countries as well, are seized of this, and don’t allow it to escalate.

  79. 79 Farooq
    January 8, 2008 at 10:19

    Indians are racist they only prefer Indians. It is unfortunate that i have experienced it my self being from Africa but of Indian/ Pakistani origin. Racism is rooted deep in Indians most of them rather. They still refer to my fellow Africans with disdain and look down upon them. SO there is no cultural difference but purely racism that Indians who claim to fight against yet practice the same in India only. Indians are racist.

  80. January 8, 2008 at 10:32

    Is it possible that the coming generations will take note what is here discussed? If not the crashes will only increase maybe to such an extent that nobody will feel save travelling to another county.

  81. January 8, 2008 at 11:54

    Please find out what Caste the Indian Cricketer is from.
    If he belongs to an upper Indian Caste then He deserves the punishment.This is because the Indian community have their own tendency of discrimination amongst themselves,and that could be why he made those remarks. The whole world should rally and stop these discriminatory practises.No race is better than another.

  82. 82 George
    January 8, 2008 at 17:21

    Vanity is a universal sin.

    Indians are no different from anyone else in applying it.

    Racism is vanity/arrogance using pigmentation to attempt to feel superior.

    Build others to be a better man

    rather than tear others down to pretend to be better.

    No one has anything that is not a gift of God.

    No boasting in that, is there?

  83. 83 ashley
    January 8, 2008 at 17:50

    The world would be a whole lot better if people learned some manners.

  84. 84 Jeff Minter
    January 10, 2008 at 12:52

    I despair at the gross generalisations made in regards to racism. The Indians hate blacks, the Chinese hate Indians; I ask the ignorant lot who think like this – how can you generalise 1.5 billion people (or even as small as 2 for that matter) into something? What, do they all think exactly the same way, of the same mindset?

    Ridiculous, it would be like saying all white males are paedophiles and priests are child abusers.

  85. 85 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 9, 2008 at 04:40

    Racism or cultural::::what is the difference

    we need to discuss this topic because
    it is necessary evil.

    Madrid, United States of America

  86. 86 Gerik Peterson, Cleveland, OH
    August 5, 2008 at 19:29

    The challenge that discrimination produces is one that I wish our government could understand regarding many different subjects: the challenge of discrimination is that of developing the population’s thoughts and feelings and should NOT be based upon forcing the public to act in one specific way or another.

    The fact of the matter is companies look to hire individuals who can do the job the company desires; and workers look to obtain jobs they can do. Discrimination is the aspect of the hiring process where an employer disqualifies the worker based upon a quality which is irrevelant to the capability of the worker to do the job.

    Affirmitive Action was developed in attempt to force companies to see past this type of discriminations and hire qualified candidates for positions they can do, however, hiring individuals solely based upon their discrimination does not mean they are also a good candidate.

    The answer to this problem then is to generate government programs which promote employers to hire qualified candidates which also look past their prejudices. An example of a potential government program would be to have a government funded recruitment company which individuals with adverse qualities can register (such as Monster.com) and companies who hire candidates from this governement run recruitment company would not have to pay the recruitment costs.

    This would promote to employers the message “discriminated candidates can still be high quality workers,” in hopes to eventually rid the public of discrimination.

    Gerik Peterson
    Cleveland, Ohio – United States

  87. 87 Jonathan Sharma
    December 13, 2009 at 09:34

    Hi Friends,

    Being born and brought up in the Highfields area of Leicestershire in England was a mixed bag of experiences from the nice to the definately not nice, especially with gangs, drugs, prostitution and thuggery. With a high number of people from the asian sub-continent and Carribean and not to forget the Caucasian English was an interesting education in cultures and sub-cultures. What I did learn was something that a few of our friends have mentioned earlier and that is that racism is something we all claim not to be, but every now and again it rears its ugly head in the things we do and say (both of which can be quite subtle) and definately the things we think or the way we perceive others. Let me be a bit more blunt and to the point, Indians and coloured people have a thing of seeing the bad side of each other (whether its true or not) and if we can’t find someone of another race to pick on we pick on someone in our own race. Ok, here’s what I mean. I’m an asian (Indian), when Indians have a chip on their shoulder against another race they are all one. But when we are in our own tribe (so to speak), Punjabi, Gujurati, Madrasi, whatever, we find something in our fellow Indians to knock. So when people say, its a white verses black thing, Yeh i agree, but it aint only that. It permeates the spectrum. I’m proud to be an Indian, I’m prepared to stand up to something that aint rightly said about my fellow Indians, but at the same time, I have to respect truth and truth is racism isn’t going to go away until human beings are around. Its our nature and our wrong upbringing with narrow and negative stereo types doesn’t help. I have friends who are like brothers and sisters to me from many nationalities and when you get to know someone who respects you you see beyond man’s sinful perspective and see them (may I say as a Christian) from God’s perspective as a human being with equal worth.

    Well, thats my 2cents worth. ‘

    God bless to all

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