What can politicians do about crimes against Indian students?

Sunday’s protest by Indian students certainly drew plenty of attention, with Rudd and Turnbull both making statements on the issue in Parliament the following day. That’s what Age online subeditor Sam Varghese, of ‘distinctly sub-continental’ appearance, had called for on the paper’s opinion page:

My biggest fear is that, if nothing is done to stop this scourge, if the authorities do not stand up and shout with one voice, then the violence will start to bear fruit. (emphasis added)

Though it is sensible for political leaders to make reassuring statements when a group in the community is feeling anxious, will this affect the underlying problem? I seriously doubt that this would be the case. Despite decades of denunciation, a smallish minority in the community are still self-confessed racists, and a much larger group will admit to some prejudice.

Add to this that the people responsible for these attacks are flouting not just widely-held norms of tolerance but near universally-held norms and tough laws (passed by politicians) against assault, and we are clearly dealing with a group of people with little regard for the moral or legal authority of politicians.

Certainly the norms in favour of tolerance are worth reinforcing as a general principle, but they are not the solution to this particular problem, which is a sub-set of a much larger law and order problem. While no doubt there are things the Indian students can do to reduce the risks they face, ultimately additional policing and punishment of offenders will be needed to return crimes against Indian students to isolated incidents.

9 Responses to “What can politicians do about crimes against Indian students?

  • 1
    Rajat Sood
    June 2nd, 2009 10:08

    Well, if it takes accusations of racism and fears of tertiary fees losses to the Victorian economy to get politicians to spend more on police and punishment, I’ll take it!
    On your earlier post Andrew, I have no doubt that alcohol and drugs play a huge part in the casual violence and crime that occurs on Australian streets. It’s a real challenge for liberals to defend the rights of people to take whatever substances they want while ensuring that others’ freedoms are not harmed if violence is the result. Frankly, I don’t believe that legalisation of everything will somehow lead to less violent crime (even if it may lead to less property crime).

  • 2
    Andrew Norton
    June 2nd, 2009 12:45

    Rajat – This is how federalism is supposed to work – a mobile population threatens to leave, gets action.

    An interesting case study too in identity politics – for most people crime is experienced as an individual event with no broader implications. When focused on a particular group, random crimes acquire broader meaning.

  • 3
    Jack Strocchi
    June 2nd, 2009 16:31

    Despite decades of denunciation, a smallish minority in the community are still self-confessed racists, and a much larger group will admit to some prejudice.

    We know the ethnicity of the victims of crime in “troubled suburbs”. But what about the ethnicity for theperps of crime in these places?

    Everyone seems to be assuming as axiomatic that it is white racists, either street gangs or perhaps neo-nazis, who are responsible for these attacks.

    So far there has been alot of loose talk about white “bogan youth“, “moronic booze culture that young Australian men” and so on. But the only positive evidence of racially motivated assaults have been by African gangs.

    There have been numerous reports of African gangs street hassling Indian taxi drivers and students. The police have suggested trans-migrating them to the country, with support from ethnic spokesperson.

    As youd expect politically correct Christline Nixon averts her maidenly gaze from anything as scandalous as an ethnic gang problem.

    Also, some race realism about Indians is indicated. No one should ever blame the victim. But most Indians I meet (apart from the odd burly Sikh) are slightly built. So they will tend to be victimized for size rather than race.

    So before we indulge in a ritualistic orgy of SWPL self-abasement could we please have some hard figures on the crime wave, including broad desriptions of perps?

    White people know that their ancestors did some messed up things. As a result, it has become hard wired for them to apologize for almost anything.

  • 4
    Yobbo
    June 2nd, 2009 20:08

    Jack hits it on the head really.

    Indians are being targetted because they are seen as defenceless and unable to hit back. And they have money.

    I seriously doubt it’s anything to do with a widespread dislike of Indians.

  • 5
    Jc
    June 2nd, 2009 23:12

    Maybe this is a silly question, but has anyone asked the victims what the assailants looked like in terms of ethnicity?

  • 6
    Jack Strocchi
    June 3rd, 2009 11:13

    Jc June 2nd, 2009 23:12

    Maybe this is a silly question, but has anyone asked the victims what the assailants looked like in terms of ethnicity?

    Not a silly question at all. Just a recklessly impolitic one.

    From this video it appears that typical street gang bashers are a nice multicultural mix of white trash, Lebanese, Sudanese and Islanders. Its not surprising that our political masters are wary about “celebrating” this kind of “diversity”.

    The appearance of hoods and caps in the white thug makes me even more uneasy. If white members of the underclass are assimilating towards black underclass values then we will head down the UK road of “neo-Hogarthian loutishnes”s with a gangsta-rap face.

    The Vic Police are keeping suspiciously quiet about the identity of the perps. Andrew Bolt suspects a politically correct veil of silence is being drawn over this inconvenient question:

    But what police and many journalists refuse to confirm or even discuss is what victims and their spokesmen repeatedly say – that many of their attackers are Africans, Islanders and, less often, Asians who are newcomers themselves, beneficiaries of our eagerness to seem kind and tolerant.

    And have it confirmed in this Herald Sun report from last year, when Indian taxi drivers protested at having been the victims of most armed robberies on cabbies:

    “Police will not officially acknowledge any particular ethnic group is a target, or that any other group is carrying out the crimes. But in every case the victims told police their attackers were African”

    Recall also how former chief commissioner Christine Nixon banned police from even using the word “gangs” and falsely claimed the crime rates for Sudanese were at the community average, rather than way, way above.

    I would treat any politically inflammatory statement by Bolt with caution. He is not a 100% reliable source.

    But by the same token I would treat most of the effusions of the liberal media on this subject with derisive scorn. Their credibility on cultural politics is near enough 100% shot to pieces.

  • 7
    conrad
    June 3rd, 2009 15:49

    “So before we indulge in a ritualistic orgy of SWPL self-abasement could we please have some hard figures on the crime wave, including broad desriptions of perps?”
    .
    The last really good data set I know of on this is on the Aus Institute of Criminology site, which has stats for Victoria in 1996 (Perhaps it’s become to PC to report this, or perhaps I’ve just missed newer sets). What you find is that the average Australian creates more crime than most groups. The groups above them (who are not very much above them), are the obvious contenders, although a few with tiny populations sneaked in too. There are also groups with next to zero crime, who I’m sure have as much reason to complain as much as any other, including not only the obvious, but also the hard-drinking but law-loving Germans! So it can’t be just alcohol that causes crime.
    .
    If want an eye-ball test of the “crime-wave” that has incidentally reduced a lot in the last decade, just go to some of the hot-spot areas in Melbourne. It’s common to see white-on-white violence.

  • 8
    Jack Strocchi
    June 3rd, 2009 21:09

    conrad June 3rd, 2009 15:49 says:

    The last really good data set I know of on this is on the Aus Institute of Criminology site, which has stats for Victoria in 1996 (Perhaps it’s become to PC to report this, or perhaps I’ve just missed newer sets).

    Yes, I have noticed the same thing. The report you referred to, ETHNICITY AND CRIME: An Australian Research Study, Nov 1999, says that authorities stopped publishing ethnic data on crime from the mid-nineties on wards because of the real danger that the patchy data could be “misused”.
    conrad says:

    What you find is that the average Australian creates more crime than most groups.

    From an ideological and ethnological perspective we are not interested in “the average Australian”. That means that conventional distinctions between native-born and adoptive and ESB’s and NESB’s are not that relevant. The touchy question is the difference between white and non-white crime rates. That is, after all, the sub-text of the accusation of “racist” hate-crimes targeting Indians.
    The paper tip-toes around the problem, although on p58 the author does go out on a limb:

    1. The crime rate of foreign-born population is lower than that of the nativeborn
    ..crime rate amongst recent immigrants was lower than the “Old Australians” in
    similar financial and living conditions
    2. The arrest rate of immigrant groups varies widely and also differs from arrest
    rate in their country of origin
    3. The crime rate of second generation of migrants is higher than that of their
    parents’ generation and this rate approximates the crime rates of the native-born
    population
    4. Members of the foreign-born population are victims of crime more often than
    members of the native-born population, and
    5. Some foreign-born groups are involved in organised crime.

    Basically the civic problem is about integrating first-generation children of ethnic immigrants. If they assimilate upwards to the upper-class then you are in business. If they assimilate downwards towards the under-class then you are in trouble.
    I leave it to others to nominate which ethnic groups are following which paths in this country.
    conrad says:

    If want an eye-ball test of the “crime-wave” that has incidentally reduced a lot in the last decade, just go to some of the hot-spot areas in Melbourne. It’s common to see white-on-white violence.

    The most revolting part of “Nordic” culture is sight of booze-fueled idiots making disgusting spectacles of themselves, not to mention making a public nuisance.

  • 9
    Rajat Sood
    June 4th, 2009 11:16

    Interesting that Greg Sheridan has gone hard on this issue in today’s Oz: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25583278-7583,00.html