I was saddened to see the damage to the Flinders Street Station stained-glass windows on the news, from the protests by Indian students today, but I think it probably shows just how angry they are about the crimes against them. I’d be angry too.
Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said there was a perception that Indian people were easy prey for criminals.
“I don’t think they are (racist crimes) in general . . . We think the majority of these things occur through opportunistic activity,” he said.
I think perhaps Walshe is using too narrow a definition of “racist”.
He seems to be of the view that unless the motivation for the crime is the hate of a race, it’s not racist.
He might well be right that it’s not an inherent hate of Indians that’s behind it. But if criminals are targeting members of a specific race as victims, because they are believed to be more vulnerable and more likely to be carrying valuables, is that not racism?
racism — 1. The belief that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes.
Sounds like it to me.
In any case, enough pussy-footing about.
Until this stops, how about getting teams of TravelSafe staff and police on every single train and every single station after dark on the most vulnerable lines (Sydenham and Werribee), as well as on stations at any other trouble spots.
If specific people in our community are being targeted, common decency dictates that we have an obligation to ensure they are protected.
And if you prefer to take the economic rationalist view, the overseas education industry is worth $15.5 billion per year, and is our third-largest export industry, and given its reputation is at risk, that needs protecting too.
PS. Wednesday: Here’s another interesting viewpoint: Dr [Yadu] Singh, who heads a committee at the Indian consulate looking at Indian student issues, labelled the reporting “irresponsible”. … He feared the outrage could mask the genuine issues faced by Indian students, who Dr Singh said were over-represented in robbery statistics in Melbourne and also faced exploitation by employers.