What is a racist these days? Answered
Lately I have a problem accepting certain things when it comes to the label "racist".
As some might know I decided to live in Australia and here we have what you might call a "multicultural population".
Laws and tolerances have changed and these days swearing in public, using abusive language or say anthing that can be seen as racism brings you in big trouble.
I never had any problems making friends with people from all over the globe, no matter what ethnic or religous background they have, but lately I get the feeling that this is not true for everyone.
With everyone I don't mean the big bad racist living down the street or the gang of thugs that only attacks certain people - by everyone I mean those migrating to start a new life in a different country.
If I walk into a shop has no pricing or product labels in english and I notice the shop keeper is unable to use english as well, would it be wrong to call this racist?
If I can't use the local swimming pool at certain times as it closed to the general public so only one ethnic group can use it - isn't that racial discrimination too?
Ignoring simple things like the dress code for women can get you into big trouble in many countries and if you insist on you individual rights and call those ranting against your violation being racist, well chances are you won't make it through the day.
The other day I was called a racist and "complimented" out of a shop after I complained noone in there is able to speak english and that I am unable to read simple things like the price of an item.
All I said to a shopkeeper (that until then pretended he did not understand anything I say): "Why the hell do I have to learn chinese in an english speaking country just to go shopping? We all speak english in this country, accept it or if you don't like it leave."
I think I have enough friends from different cultural backgrounds that would happily confirm that I am not racist in any way.
But I do think the term is abused and misused in recent years as we are expected to cater for all the needs anyone might have - regardless if we would see the same as guests in their home country.
Racism often comes from cultural differences and misguided views on certain things as simple as what type of food you can or can't eat.
So my questions up for debate :
Do you think failing to integrate yourself into the customs of a country like learning and using it's official language could cause problems?
Do you think the support for people migrating from other countries is driven too far in certain areas, like providing citizenchip tests in foreign languages or with an interpreter instead of insisting on learning the official language before applying?
Do you feel left out if your work mates use a differnt language while you are around?
Is it correct to call someone a racist if he refuses to employ people that are not from his country of birth?
Are you a racist if you think people with your citizenship should respect your country and be able to speak and understand your language?
Do you think the support for foreign cultures in your home land has gone too far or would more support be better? (like allowing schools for selected language backgrounds without the requirement to use or teach the official language and school topics)
I know this topic might be a bit of puch for some but my intention is to find a better understanding on why cultural integration and related racism has come the extreme state we currently see in many "modern" countries that offer good social security.
After all we all have to live together somehow, increasing tensions is never a good thing and I think if everyone would have a better understanding better acceptance of local customs all could be easier.
I hope it is ok to start a topic like this for discussion, if you feel it is not right please use the flag function and report it.