I know this is a heavy topic to be bringing up here, and I try to avoid dealing with such sensitive issues in this forum whenever I can (simply because I don't think this is the right forum to do so), but I just got asked a really interesting question about the subject by a good friend of mine.

The question was, "Is it wrong to be bigotted against racism, and should we even tolerate it?"

Part of my answer was that there are respectful ways of not tolerating racism.  And I think that is true.  Also, I said that being bigotted towards racism made us just as guilty of being intolerant as the racists we're not tolerating.  And that's also true.

And if I'm to be perfectly honest here, the only reason I'm addressing this topic here is because it's only just come back on the agenda in the last week here in Australia.  We have one of the most brilliant neurosurgeons in the world here.  A man by the name of Dr Charles Teo.  Dr Teo is the son of Chinese immigrants and has lived here his whole life (to the best of my knowledge). 

Last week Dr Teo came out publicly in the media and state that Australia was a racist nation.  Dr Teo feels like this because his daughter had been verbally abused by some idiots and told to "go back to Asia" where she "belonged".  Now, I don't know about you, but personally if this young woman was born here in Oz and has spent her entire life here, the this is where she belongs.  As does her father.

The point is that we are not, as a Nation, racist.  We are a nation of open-mined people who accept others and their differences for what they are.  Like every other nation in the world we have pockets of narrow-minded myopic idiots who fear any kind of difference as if it is a disease to be surgically excised.  I should know.  I'm related to more than a couple of them.

Another part of my answer also had to do with racism being perceived through the filter of the dominant national culture/ethnic group.  Here is "Western" culture there is a perception that racism seems to be an all-white phenomenon (by "Western" I refer to Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, and western Europe).  There is an active misconception that is regularly fed by the news media that you can only be racist if you're white/caucasian/anglo/european.

Racism is just as active in other cultures as it is in ours.  If you don't believe me just have a look at any of the armed conflicts occuring around the globe today.  And yes, religious intolerance is a form of racism, because racism in just another form of tribalism, which in turn leads to something else like extreme nationalism.

Then the media wish to portray when another ethnic group has some racist individuals like it's an aberration.  If it's aberrant in another ethnic group, it's no less aberrant in the one I belong to.  And yes, I've been subjected to racist behaviour by another culture.  I was in an Asian restaurant one day for lunch with my wife and we were ignored by wait staff for a lengthy period of time.  I know that doesn't sound that much different to most restaurants, but while we were sitting and being given the opportunity to know the menu by rote, other groups of patrons (the same nationality as the restaurant staff) entered the restaurant in groups, were seated, had their orders taken and were served with their food before our orders were taken.  I know it's the type of discrimination that happens regularly in restaurants.  Sometimes it's economically based and sometimes it's racially based.

At the time I knew what was happening.  Why did I put up with it?  I was hungry.  It was the first an only time I'd experienced it in that restaurant.  And it's not an experience that I've commonly had to go through.  In fact, most times when I enter an Asian owned establishment I'm treated quite differently.  Usually respectfully, but on occasion with open excitement, like a long-lost friend.  And most Aussies are respectful of Asian Australians, and o

The "intellectual giants" that run the Australian media would call this "reverse racism".  It's not "reverse racism".  It's not even close.  It's simple racism by a group of people of non-european ancestry toward people of european ancestry.  "Reverse racism" is when one ethnic group venerates another ethnic group because they think the other group is somehow racially superior.

So yes, non-whites can be racist too.  Just as much as us white folks can.  The question is, should we tolerate it?  And are we wrong to be bigotted against racists?  Sticky questions indeed.
10/3/2013 19:46:45

Great blog, I just created an account here too.


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    G'day everyone.  I'm an Aussie Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotist (www.americanallianceofhypnotists.org)  and author with a passion for making every relationship in our lives the best it can be.   I work at local, state, national and international levels.  I am also a Callahan Techniques Thought Field Therapy practitioner trained by Eugene Piccinotti TFT - dx, and I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner Level (MNLP) under Steve G Jones at the American University of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
    (http://www.aunlp.org).  In other words, as a coach, I'll use whatever I have to use to help you to make the changes you want to make.