Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Modernist confusion as Indian penalised for racism

Australian cricket authorities were determined to crack down on racism this summer. But things didn't go exactly to plan. The first to be punished was an Indian player, Harbhajan Singh, for calling a black Australian player, Andrew Symonds, a monkey.

This, I thought to myself, wouldn't end well. In the modernist mind it is supposed to be whites who are responsible for racism, and yet whites weren't directly involved in this incident. How would people cope with this rewriting of the script?

Well, the answer arrived in today's cricket columns. The white cricket columnists just couldn't cope mentally with the situation. The worst offender was Peter Roebuck who clearly decided to restore "normalcy" by portraying the white Australian players as arrogant oppressors and Indians as innocent, noble victims.

According to Roebuck the white Australian players are to be compared to "a pack of wild dogs"; their behaviour is described as "wretched and ill-mannered" and as arousing disgust and distress from around the world. They have embarrassed Australia and "dragged the game into the pits". There is no option, in Roebuck's view, but to get rid of them all: "Obviously, a new captain and side is required".

And what of the Indians? According to Roebuck, they are "accomplished and widely admired opponents". As for Harbhajan Singh, who called Andrew Symonds a monkey, he is a "head of a family and responsible for raising nine people", who as "an intemperate Sikh warrior" simply overreacted to Australians who want to "hunt him from the game".

So Roebuck has put things back into their modernist order. An incident in which the white players were not even directly involved has been recast so that whites once again occupy the powerful, guilty, oppressor role and the non-whites the innocent, noble, victim role. The stridency with which Roebuck presses this vision is intended perhaps to intimidate those who might question its validity.

Columnist Greg Baum was calmer than Roebuck, but is still obviously uncomfortable dealing with non-white racism. According to Baum "Harbhajan was foolish, but that is all". Baum then claims that:

Overwhelmingly, in all spheres, it is whites who have practised racism against non-whites. Yet in cracking down on racism, cricket makes as one of its first examples, a non-white player. This was always bound to sit poorly with Indians in India.

Baum believes so much that the colour of racism is white that he thinks that it should have been white players who were made examples of in cracking down on racism. Exactly how the white players were supposed to accept such a double standard isn't explained.

Conclusions? Modernism is a raw deal for self-respecting whites. We aren't treated neutrally, but are cast in an essentially negative role. The enforcers aren't so much outsiders, but our own liberal political class - the Peter Roebucks of the world.

Things will change if and when a different kind of political class emerges, one which is liberated from the assumptions of orthodox modernism.


  1. Roebuck isn't worth paying attention to.

    How is "monkey" a racist term? I call my kids monkeys on occasion.

    Even if a racist comment was made, the story should be: the Australians sledged, they got sledged back. That's it.

    As conservatives, we shouldn't be buying into the left's game. We should refuse to accept that abuse referring to race is any different to other types of abuse.

    When someone is called a "black something" or "white something", the coloured descriptor is no insult in any case.

  2. Two points:

    1)There is no evidence that such a word was uttered. Only an accusation by Aussie players. And vehemently denied by our opponents. Banning a player on this basis is going too far. Moreover, the Indians have now lodged a similar complaint that Hoggy used the word 'bastard'. Now, unless Hoggy is banned too, a difficult situation will arise. The whole incident made the team look like whingers, especially Ponting, who is Singh's bunny.

    2)Even if the word 'monkey' was used, how is it racist at all?

    I think you are going too far with this incident. It should have been left on the field. It makes us look as if we can insult or provoke our opponents but can't take it back.

    A final point : The next Test is in Perth. Neither Singh nor Hogg is going to play.

  3. Anonymous, the point of my post wasn't to endorse the policy or even the particular decision. It was to try and explain why Peter Roebuck would write such an extraordinary column. He appears to be one of those whites who operates with an image of a powerful yet guilty white race and a noble, innocent non-white race. He isn't alone in this view; it is held generally within white academia and within the white political class; and it is something Asian societies use to their own advantage in their dealings with the west.

    We have to take this distorted, ideological view of race seriously. Last time I checked over 50% of the readers of the Sydney Morning Herald agreed with Roebuck in an online poll.

    So an incident in which the white players were not even directly involved is still successfully twisted into the powerful, arrogant Westerners versus the rightfully aggrieved non-Westerner paradigm.

    We have to criticise this attitude wherever we find it.

  4. What's extraordinary about that particular column? Roebuck's been cranking out stuff of that ilk for years now.

  5. Thank you for your clarification.

    I would like to add that Singh is not the first player to be accused of rascism. He may be the first non-white player but previously there've been : Dean Jones(called Muslim Hashim Amla a terrorist on TV commentary), Darren Lehmann(called the Sri Lankans 'black cunts'), Glenn McGrath (called a Lankan 'black monkey') South Africa's half-black-half-black Herschelle Gibbs (banned for abusing Pakistanis)

  6. Scott, I can believe that Roebuck has cranked out some poorly judged columns over the years.

    But to call for the replacement of the entire team? To compare the Australian team to a pack of dogs?

  7. There seem to be two issues here, which have been fudged together by the anti-racist brigade.

    1. Has sledging and bad sportmanship got out of hand?

    2. Is moderate racial sledging worse than excessive sledging and bad sportmanship?

    In answer to question 1, I would say yes, in answer to to 2 I would say no.

    Actions speak louder than words, if players play the game in a good spirit they aren't likely to be bothered by the odd racist remark.

    However, if they see players refusing to walk, over doing victory celebrations, being tell -tales etc, then tensions will rise and players will be tempted to use the race card to try and get back at one another.

    Incidents like the bodyline series and the famous underarm incident are still debated, yet there have probably been numerous racial comments which have long since been forgotten.

    I think that's one of the problems with modern society in general, lack of respectful behaviour is making people more spiteful and over-sensitive.

    What happened to the old 'stick and stones...' mentality.

  8. It's moments like these that I am grateful for not following pointless sports like cricket or so-called Australian "football."

  9. Symonds makes himself up to look like a cross between a monkey and a refugee from the black and white minstrel show, then gets upset when someone stirs him about it. There's no racism or whatever, just two blokes having a bit of a dig at each other. They need to grow up and worry about the game not making 'official complaints'.

  10. interesting article.

    I''m not certain that "modernism" is the best term to use to describe this leftist attitude, given its historical meaning, often connected to the Enlightenment.

    May I suggest "political correctness", or "left wing self-hatred" instead?

    Other than that, an excellent article.

  11. Thing is, I doubt the enlightenment thinkers would approve of the modernist tendencies of today.

    To say that modernism has its roots in the Enlightenment is like saying the Australian Labor Party has its roots in Catholic Marxism, or that the Liberal Party of Australia has its roots in Anglican nationalism.

    Of course, the statements are true, but so what? They mean nothing. It's the trend and where it leads that matters.

  12. From what I understand, the 'Monkey' insult started in a match in India and played on both the Indian caste system - Symonds' darker skin made him akin to the 'untouchable' caste and therefore a social outcast - and the suggestion that he was genetically inferior and unevolved. After constant pressure from both the crowd and the opposition players in this manner, I can see how such an insult could severely affect his game, making it a crappy thing to do to anyone.

    Roebuck simply seems deluded and, as wpc said, not worth paying attention to. It's good to see that so many of his readers see it the same way

  13. I reckon wpc hits the nail squarely on the head with this comment:
    "As conservatives, we shouldn't be buying into the left's game."
    Again, we're allowing them to dictate the terms of the debate.

  14. okay, so back in the slave trade days the traders and proslavery crowd would say that black people were essentially primates. They would use some people of african decent and their bone structure as a reason to compare them to animals...

    "look at the bones structure..it looks like a monkey or ape..!! they are nothing but animals and should be treated like so"

    So, as you cant imagine, the term monkey is a very racist term....I can see why.