Thursday, 6 August 2009

I’m a racist no more...

From the Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World, Eds. Melvin Ember, Carol R. Ember and Ian Skoggard (Springer, New York and HRAF, Yale, 2005):

[South Asian Diaspora, p.293]

The South Asian population is clustered in pockets and sharply segmented along religious and ethnic lines in London, southeast England, and the West Midlands in a region known as the ‘Asian corridor.’ Thus, Wembley has a greater concentration of Gujarati Hindus, while Southall is largely Sikh. Bradford and Birmingham are known for the Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslim concentrations. Entire Sikh and Gujarati villages are imported into England replete with local politics. South Asians in Britain resist cultural homogenization and even maintain caste affiliations through their marriage traditions. Religion is the central organizing force for many British South Asians, with mosques, gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship), and temples functioning not only as centers of social life, but also of political protest. This adherence to religious and cultural identity and homeland politics has been a double-edged sword, keeping South Asians ghettoized on one hand, but also helping them cope with the stresses of living in a racist, European-dominated society. Racism is a daily reality in Britain, reinforced and institutionalized by entrenched patterns of residential accommodation and employment practices.


We nationalists often gripe about being called ‘racists’ - here’s the answer. Ditch the ‘racism’ and follow the example of the gentle Asian colonists: self-segregation on ethnic lines; active resistance to cultural homogenisation; adherence to religious and cultural identity; and top it all off with a bit of homeland politics. Easy!

They are bright people who write and edit encyclopaedias for prestigious academic publishers, normally anyway, so how did the writer of this entry and his editor fail to see the inconsistency? How do so many intelligent people fail to see so many inconsistencies?

Still, nice to have an authoritative source for the claim that whole villages from South Asia have been ‘imported’ into Britain. I’ve seen that called ‘paranoid fantasy’ before.

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