Thursday, September 12, 2002

Racism in America and September 11 redux

A reader of my most recent column, Paul A'barge seems to have taken issue with my article in the Satya Circle discussing racism in American post September 11. While I don't like to directly comment on other people's comments of my writing, mainly b/c I feel everyone has a right to their own opinion, I think Mr. Abarge has blurred what my column was trying to achieve.

A'barge states, "However, how close to the truth do you have to be to acknowledge that the frequency of the occurrence of these incidents is virtually trivial in America. And, that frequency is even more trivial compared to the frequency of racist incidents in other countries, not least of which is India, where entire trainloads of people are attacked and murdered because of their religion. Or England, where people will call you "wogs" to your face?"

First of all, my column in no way compared freedoms or discrimination in America to that in any other country. And yes A'barge is right, India does from time to time engage in race riots, and I will stipulate that sure people in England call others "wogs" from time to time (what is a wog?). And, you know what you forgot, that until 1965, there was a quota on immigration to the United States, primarily based on peoples color; Rubin (The Hurricane) Carter was in jail for a crime he did not commit until 1985 because of his skin color; Rodney King was beat to a pulp by a bunch of police officers because of his skin color. Balbir Singh Sodhi was gunned down in Arizona because he wore a Turban. South Asians and Arabs to this day are called Camel Jockey's and Sand Nigger's because of their color. But, I digress as I really am not trying to compare the status of race relations in the United States to that in England or India. It really has nothing to do with my column.

A'barge goes on to say in this part 1 of 7 tirade,
"Here, in America, within literally hours of being attacked in the horrendous opening battle of America's current war against Islamists, the American President was on TV urging his countrymen to refrain from racist acts. Literally hours. Find me another culture on this planet, anywhere that can match by one tenth the willingness of America to fight racism.
You want an excuse for racism, Mr Gandhi? Keep calling us racists. "

Well, what I can tell you is this, it seems Mr. A'barge assumes that I am not an American, which is indeed a wrong assumption. I love America, I just want to help it improve! He also says this war is a war against Islamists, when I, much like the rest of the world am under the assumption that this war is against terrorrism? One fact that does not come into the public sphere too often in America is that less than 1/3 of all terrorist attacks in America have been conducted by people of Arab origin. He also falls into that trap, the us. vs. them trap that I do talk about in my article, both in this posting and in a following one.

Finally, I would just like to say two things to Mr. A'barge, never defend a point using a column by Ann Coulter, or someone elses opinion on a web log. It just doesn't cut it. Secondly, in response to A'barge's statement querying, "How can you be a guest in a foriegn country and behave this way? Why should we not equate this with the attempt to portray America as a den of bias? What are you doing here and whose side are you on?"
Sir, Never ASSume that someone, even if his name happens to be Gandhi, Waqar, or even Palit, that he is not an American. Remember those commercials, well, "I am an American."

If you would like to check out all of his rantings, and the rantings of others, go to the Satya Circle message board.

The Satya Circle has presented four (yes, including mine) really engaging articles to commemorate September 11, dealing with issues ranging from racism, to American Unity, to 9/11 as a defining moment, and finally a quite poignant article by Dave Sidhu on wearing a turban after September 11. I also want to welcome Suman Palit to the Satya Circle, his column, like his blog is thought provoking, to say the least.


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