A Voice for Me – It’s not Racism if you don’t know the Context

Racism against Asians gets a free ride.

Oh come now, we know this. For the most part the face of Asians is either Chinese or Indians (if we ever do get considered as being in Asia.), and we are generally considered an acceptable target for two very simple reasons.

1. We are perceived as being well off. So groups that look like us are also perceived as well off and ignored. In the eyes of most people in the west, there is little difference between North and South Koreans as a people. They are the same ethnicity, but politics divided them. While North Korea may have universal wi-fi and high speed Internet and be a tech paradise, South Korea is a totalitarian dicatorship run by a GI Joe villain. Or is it the other way around? Okay jokes aside? Most Americans would probably have learnt more about North Korea from Team America than any serious news source. Being well off, we become an acceptable target. The truth is Asia is huge. Nearly half of the entire world’s population is in Asia. And the majority of them are not well off. They are poor. The fact is we mostly came to the USA as skilled labour. To get into the USA the average Indian has to kerb stomp most Americans across the board. Most have to sit the GMAT exam and demonstrate a grasp of English better than the average American and a grasp of mathematics that would be alien to most people. So what you see are India’s best and anyone who can call themselves “the best” in India is probably extraordinarily talented, educated or driven. It’s the same with China. For us? Education is our Football/Basketball/Rap Music. It was our way out of poverty because we never had a pop scene that drove people to celebrity. Instead it was the competitive exams that enabled us. Either the British then Indian civil service or “business” or medicine and engineering.

But there are poor Indians and there are issues Indians face. You cannot say that there is no racism against Asians when there have been systematic attacks on us like last year’s attacks on a Sikh Gurudwara and the White Nationalist attacks on Asians in the UK. One of my big gripes with the whole “Not your Asian Sidekick” was that Asian is often used exclusively of Indians who have to deal with more overt racism in the guise of Islamophobia and who are often excluded in many dialogues.

2. We don’t make a fuss. We really don’t. In fact post Nirbhaya the wheels are spinning but compared to other groups? We aren’t really setting the world on fire when it calls us names. There is a lack of outrage and we are more likely to internalise the assaults on us than get ourselves involved in a conflict. People just have gotten away with saying things that would be considered hurtful if we replace other groups that it has become second nature.

So this was sent to me as somehow explaining the harassment of a woman who happened to disagree with this charming man.

Lest we forget? I am a descendent of Expendable Military Manpower, so it was puzzling that the MRA thought I would somehow support this idiot in the first place. Finest soldiers in the world, when lead by a white officer of course. And often sold into professional soldiery. And while there was no outright slavery, indebtured labour was how the Raj functioned.

Let us ignore the fact that India went from a country where crippling poverty was universal to one where huge amounts of people are upwardly mobile. If this charming man was an expert in Post Colonial studies, I would assume he was attending a terrible school.

No wait, he was at Harvard and claiming to have attended a Post Colonial Studies course that allowed him to say such a horrific thing. Which makes me think? Just what the actual fuck are Harvard teaching? Is there a “How not to be a fucking douche 101″ that he could attend?

Upon agreeing with the person here that the bloke is clearly a racist douche, imagine my surprise that various people were insisting that this guy isn’t being racist.

Of course! It’s a joke! She’s being sarcastic! He’s joking! Ho Ho Ho!

In fashion, beauty is aspired to. In order to maintain a standard of beauty it must inaccessible. White people are used to sell beauty to Indians, because white skin is fetishised and dark skin is derided. It caused an enormous industry of skin whitening and people still deride darker skinned Indians due to this notion that white is best. This is a product of the period of racism and apartheid within India.

He’s not racist. Not until we see the context! Maybe he was being deeply sarcastic. You know how Americans are. They are so good at sarcasm! Unlike the British.

Also? If the original reason for this behaviour was due to colonial pressure and the dialogue of civilised British/savage Indian then yes, white people have a role in its cause and therefore it’s blame.

Ah! The correct response to harassment would be to apply racism.

Because historical tragedies involving Indians don’t count? Bear in mind? That post 1857, Indian troops were equipped with inferior equipment and treated as equipment themselves. They could not rise in rank beyond a certain point and were effectively used as cannon fodder in many battles.

Again, why was it acceptable for him to go down that road? Had she been African American, would he have dared to bring up slavery? No. It’s really that simple. The defence is “he is fucking over a feminist” and so everything is allowed.

Anti-Feminist telling me that a guy insulting someone through race is not racism? Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, is an MRA.

Yes, yes you do. Except the line he crossed was the racist line. Now again, racism isn’t a problem when you aren’t subject to it.

Ah so we agree that he crossed a line, but what we now want is him to be forgiven for his racism and understanding. Aww! Poor guy! It must be so hard to be a racist. No… no wait. It’s not. It’s hard to be the victims of racism. We do not have to give our racists anything, if he wishes to forgive his racism? He has to earn it. And that doesn’t exactly come about by hiding and pretending to be sorry when we fight back.

The issue is not that he was racist, but that he was caught using his racism in a way that got coverage.

You hear that brown people? It’s not insulting! The white dude says so! Tools up! Everyone back to work! Phew! For a second there we all got mad over something that wasn’t racist! If only white people could tell us exactly what is and isn’t racist, it would solve so many problems!


So it’s okay to be racist to groups that haven’t had it so bad. Jews are rich! Therefore their racism is okay!


This is where things start taking a turn for the hilarious. ThisNotName is not aware of a lot of Asian History.



Except when we fly mate. Then everyone presumes we are terrorists.


*Cough* #NotYourAsianSidekick charted hundreds of these things. In particular? Street harassment and fetishisation of Asian women




Perhaps you should not wade into a boxing match thinking you are going to be playing poker.


So not only do we see a defence of the racism by someone who has no idea what is going on or about the issue at all but fantastic sexism.





*cough* Middle East, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Indonesia. Malay Peninsula, Indo-China, Parts of China and the Philippines. This is an area that would count for 1 out of 3 people alive today.

Which made me realise that ThisNotName has no clue about Asia



It’s asian History. Then why the fuck are you trying to tell someone who does understand Asian History about your ignorant views on Asia! It’s like me trying to discuss Native American History (I know about the big four, Sacagawea, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and basic things about their History but frankly? We only learnt basics) with a Native American and insist he is wrong despite him knowing more about the field.


This was about Africa, I had to point out that African Vodun is not Voodoo which is from Haiti and Louisiana.



Very magnanimous!



Which is why we should force our cultures on others.


About a lack of Asian representation and diversity of understanding.


It’s always fun for someone to claim to have knowledge of Asian culture, mention Buddhism and not be able to name  a school of Buddhism. In response I pointed out that I as an ethnic Indian could name the different major factions of Christianity and divide them by simplistic reasons for schism.


This ties in with something rather sad I saw on Reddit. A r/athesim redditor bemoaned the lack of community drive to discuss WItch-Hunting in Africa since it was a real evil of religion that was harming people and people were instead more interested in billboards and bumper stickers. Children tortured due to a superstition propped up by Christian Baptists? Nah! Gonna shake my fist at advertising!


Nope, what I said was that in order to progress in a western society most ethnic minorities have to make major concessions and endure casual insult. I actually have a name that can be anglicised. My brother’s name is Anand, He is better known as Andy.


Dawkins! Is that you?



But then he goes off the rails.


Aww… Lest we forget? I am Dalit.

See the MRA problem strikes here. They assume Dalit Men have it better than Dalit women. They don’t understand that at the same socio-economic level, men have the advantage in privilege over women.


Because Dalit women work. When you are on poverty line economics, women work or starve. And yes, I am lucky. My parents struggled, not me. But it doesn’t mean that richer dalits aren’t still derided and mistreated.

Also? 60 hour weeks for no pay makes me “very lucky”. Many people don’t realise this but THIS is my paid job.


It’s a conspiracy. George Soros is invovled.


My normal schedule outside this hiatus is 10 hours a day, 7 days a week plus clinic hours. Around 100 hours a week. From September? 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I will be living in a hospital.

And it may not be working in a field, but it is physical work and exhausting at that.


Remember Dalit women have to deal with the sexism inherent to India on top of the caste bigotry of being a Dalit while men only deal with the latter.


Because Asians cannot figure out racism and bigotry without white people. Don’t you know!


And that makes you similar to the poorest people in India? They clearly agree with you, which is why they are silent.


Ah! The perfect juxtaposition of Slymepit, Anti-FTB and MRA. Fighting so hard to help men with regards to men’s issues.

Nope, instead we have them all attacking a feminist because she had the audacity to call out someone on the basis of being a racist. And then trying to defend it and excuse it.

Yet again, MRA doesn’t stand for supporting men’s issues but for continual oppression. This time? With racism apologetics. Nice job guys! Yet again you make it known that you don’t support men, you just hate women.


  1. says

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  2. opposablethumbs says

    Avi, I don’t know how you have the patience! Agh, the smug complacency fairly oozes out of their replies. That and the arrogance … and the ignorance … (and the non sequiturs …). Srsly., you must have reserves of patience/perseverence beyond those of ordinary mortals I reckon.

  3. blondeintokyo says

    Incredible ignorance on his part. Just unbelievable ignorance. That is why I am not on twitter, and why I rarely participate in conversations on blogs. I just can’t take the stupidity.

  4. says

    I don’t hang out with Asians (or anyone) often so I don’t really know.

    Someone should alert him that thanks to the wonders of the internet, one does not actually need to be in the physical presence of Asians to learn about the history of Asia or Asian cultures. Or anyone.

    @Blodeintokyo #4: The stupidity is there because of stupid people, not Twitter. Twitter can also be entertaining, uplifting, and educational. For example, yesterday and the day before, the hashtag #WhiteTerrorism trended for a bit. It covered everything from sundown towns to Trayvon Martin in an effort to contextualize the racist/anti-Semitic shooter who terrorized the Jewish community center the other day. And that was just one example from the past 2 days. Similar conversations are happening all the time.

  5. smrnda says

    Nothing like someone who knows nothing about Asian history deciding that colonization was never an issue.

    On poverty in the US, there is a huge problem with people assuming Asians are some kind of monolith, drawing no distinction between Chinese Americans or groups like the Hmong who tend to not be so well off economically, or people who can’t seem to figure out that Pakistan is a Muslim but not an Arab country.

  6. says

    I was at a conference recently and someone came up to me and started complaining that I never dialogue with people on Twitter, and only use Twitter as a broadcast channel. This kind of incoherent bullshit (Yes, Avi, your comments are pretty much incoherent bullshit, too) makes me feel confident in my decision. It’s a joke to try to carry on a “conversation” in the form of short, interleaved, sound-bites. Ugh!

  7. says

    Sorry, by “bullshit” I didn’t mean you’re wrong. Just that the discussion is nearly unreadable. Yeah, that guy is ignorant and needs to learn a bit of colonial history (instead of just “post colonial”) but it’s hard for me to make sense of your replies, either.

    Word-by-word fisking is probably not a very good way to make your point, after you’re out of high school.

  8. says

    You are right, a 140 character limit does not help in an argument. It helps making pithy jokes and flogging your posts though.

    But this was in response to me simply stating that the threatening of a feminist was unacceptable. Which had people go “CONTEXT! I WANT THAT!”. When given context? They kind of just tried to justify the racism. In retrospect, needs a more coherent answer.


  9. Dunc says

    Christ on a bike… I tuned out about halfway through that, but I’ve got to say – you don’t need to be a fucking “European history expert” to know that Vietnam was colonised by the French. You just need to know a little about the context of the Vietnam war. Isn’t that still considered a fairly important part of recent American history? (I’m assuming that particular idiot is American…)

  10. Pitchguest says

    Newsflash, Avi: everyone on this planet kept slaves. At some point. Your childish repetition of “white” this and “white” that regarding slavery is not just counterproductive and revisionist, it doesn’t prove whether the guy was genuine or not. Then again, it seems it doesn’t matter one way or the other if he was or wasn’t, since you can just decide on a whim in which folder he belongs.

    What was that you said about the MRA not being a monolith? Oh, wait. If it quacks like a duck. Thank you so much for this endorsement. Feminist scum.

  11. says

    Except no MRA stood up to say “We should not be protecting a racist”.

    Instead we see you again suggest we hold off on judging the poor lad just in case he was not genuinely racist but said these things. Because you really desperately need him to not be a racist. Or else you guys look like the baddies.

    What we saw was a concerted effort to harass the young lady and a concerted effort to defend and support a racist.

    Had this charming man said to a black feminist “We should have never stopped keeping your lot as slaves” or to a Jewish feminist “Opening the Ghettoes was a mistake” we would not have any fucking problem with this dialogue and thrown him to the wolves, nor would people be so milquetoast about condemining your odious friends for supporting him.

    The only reason this discussion takes place is because we are discussing Indians.

    As I said. Racism against asians is more acceptable. The only reason you are defending this is because you have no idea about racism against Indians are you think we are being excessively sensitive.

  12. Pitchguest says

    Are you always this keen on missing the point? Or do you enjoy the whooshing sound it makes when it sails over your head?

    I couldn’t care less about this man. I don’t even know who you’re talking about. What I reacted to was your tendency to put people in neat folders where you felt they belong, like putting me in the MRA bracket even though I don’t identify as an MRA and don’t call myself an MRA. If it ‘quacks like a duck,’ it must be whatever you say it is. Then there’s this misconception of history that you feminists continually assert that slavery is a “white people” matter, when in truth *everyone* kept slaves. Africans, Asians and Europeans. All of them were slavers at one point, all of them colonists at one point, all of them murderous genocidal maniacs at one point. None of them innocent and pure.

    And what is this “your odious friends?” I’m friends with these people? How did you divine that, then?

    Oh, right. “If it quacks like a duck.” Once more, the feminist scum shows his true colour. Thanks again.

  13. says

    See the problem here is you are assuming the people affected by colonialism are dead and long gone. My grandmother’s still alive and she was alive during that period.

    This guy is a racist, my argument is that the defence of his racism is seen as acceptable because he is racist to an Indian. Had he been racist to a black person or a Jewish person we would not be having this discussion because everyone would have been sure he was racist.

    You seem to be trying to defend him. Badly.

  14. Pitchguest says

    Oh, give it a rest, you lunatic. Russel Peters, a “brown” comedian, makes fun of Indians all the time. Doesn’t make him a racist. Similarly Chris Rock makes fun of black people. The only reason THEY are not deemed racist is, I suspect, because they’re both “brown” and “black” respectively and it’s not considered “punching down.” (Remember that bit, Avi?) And I’m not defending anyone, least of all that guy who I don’t know and don’t really care about. But if I were to look at it objectively, as uberfeminist points out the conversation is incomplete. There’s only a portion of it that seems to be cut off and both of them appears to be acting vitriolic towards eachother, so who the hell knows if he was being genuinely racist or not?

    Well. Apart from you, that is, Avi.

    Additionally, I made no mention of those affected by slavery, I only clarified to you that slavery was universal.

  15. Pitchguest says

    Also, what is it with your delusion that racism towards Asians are acceptable?

    And not only that, but acceptable in contrast to racism towards Africans being unacceptable… which is just absurd.

    Where did this worldview of yours originate?

  16. says

    Because you are here insisting that such statements require context and that they may be a joke.

    Also? Chris Rock refers to black people as “Niggers”. Yet we got angry when Michael Richards said the same thing? Did you ever stop to think why?

    It’s quite simple mate.

    Had this lady been Black and had this charming man said something equally bad about black people no MRA in their right minds would support him and you wouldn’t be defending him.

    We would be decrying the MRA who supported this dude as racist. Instead? Nothing. Nada. The MRA keep harassing.

    For the Indian?

    Context is important
    Maybe he was making a joke
    You are too sensitive

    Well here is the thing, the context was an argument with an Indian. The joke is not funny and perhaps Indians should be more sensitive towards the racism affecting us.

  17. Pitchguest says

    Read this very carefully. I am not – repeat, not – defending anyone.

    Tell you what, Avi. If you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that racism towards Asians vis-a-vis racism towards Africans is a-ok, and that people who think the latter is unacceptable think the former is passable, I’ll shut my big dumb mouth and not bother you again. The ball’s in your court.

  18. says

    No. Read this much more carefully.

    People do not consider bigotry towards Asians as racism. These idiots don’t think they are being racist. Do you not understand this basic issue?

    1. The notion that India or Zimbabwe were paradises under Colonialism and that the natives ruined it is just ignorant and is a repeated trope among white nationalists in the UK where the biggest minority is Sub-Continental followed by Black people.

    2. We owned you

    These are common racist arguments from White Nationalists.

    The Original Poster is a goddamn racist. You can dance around and say all the excuses that his supporters gave but… he’s one.

    Now here is the thing. Had this person done so against a black person in the USA (As the young lady is from the USA) this argument would be clear and over. The MRA community would not have run a large harassment campaign on his behalf. This is because the black community has been more vocal and more thin skinned about racism than Indians have. We kept quiet and fled from our racists and kept to ourselves. When we were subject to racism? We just told each other.

    Because no one listened. For fuck sake, black people had to riot repeatedly before people listened and people still think stupid and dangerous things about them.

    Had he said “We shouldn’t have freed the slaves” and “Don’t be silly, we won’t beat all of you to death” then black people would demonstrate the organised anti-racism. And there would be a lot of people who would be willing to march with them. The people shown here would not have defended the original person. They would not have given an excuse.

    They would not have said “maybe he is making a joke”. They would not have said “we need to see context”.

    They would have said “fuck this racist”.

    And the main reason for all this?

    Because it is culturally more acceptable to make jokes and stereotypes about Asians because of the notion that they are all well off or have no organised racism against them.

    Which is why it had defenders.

  19. Pitchguest says

    How many times do I have to repeat myself before you get it through your head?

    I don’t give a fuck about the guy. I could not care less. In case it’s still not clear: please don’t bring him up again. What I asked for was simply evidence that racism towards Asians are more acceptable than Africans (and that people who think the latter is unacceptable also think the former is fine and dandy), and all you delivered was opinion. Sorry. Not going to cut it.

  20. Holms says

    @13 and 15
    Tell me, who did the lion’s share of the enslaving? Western Europe. Who did the lion’s share of being enslaved? Africa. By pretending that all cultures / skin colour were equally to blame, you are being wilfully historically ignorant.

    Also, you are called an MRA regardless of whether you call yourself one, because you defend the MRA apologia and spout their talking points with clockwork regularity. The descriptive label of MRA follows your actions, in much the same way that that American Republicans are labelled as being racist due to their policies, despite their objections.

    Russel Peters, a “brown” comedian, makes fun of Indians all the time. Doesn’t make him a racist. Similarly Chris Rock makes fun of black people. The only reason THEY are not deemed racist is, I suspect, because they’re both “brown” and “black” respectively and it’s not considered “punching down.” (Remember that bit, Avi?)

    You are bringing up an irrelevance. Avicenna is pointing to a white guy being racist to an indian, and is saying that the racism would be more obvious / less defended if the guy was instead being racist towards black or jewish people. Russel Peters and Chris Rock making light of their own racial group is completely removed from this situation, and is not considered racism at all.

    You even noted the major difference between them: the punching down, or lack thereof, is the distinguishing difference; but since you missed your own point, I guess we can conclude that you don’t know what that ‘punching down’ thing you brought up even means.

    If you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that racism towards Asians vis-a-vis racism towards Africans is a-ok, and that people who think the latter is unacceptable think the former is passable…

    He’s not saying that at all. You are either misrepresenting Avicenna’s point intentially out of intellectual dishonesty, or you missed his point accidentally.

    Read this very carefully. I am not – repeat, not – defending anyone.

    And yet, that is precisely what you are doing, whether you claim to be doing it or not. The label follows and describes the action, in much the same way that an anti-vaxxer will reject the accusation of being anti-science, despite being provably anti-science.

    You are a racist MRA slymepitter, despite only accepting one of those descriptors.

  21. Pitchguest says

    Not going to indulge in your fisking, Holms. You can trawl all you want but I won’t get trapped in your net.

    I will say this. Who did the lion’s share is irrelevant. My point was that everyone had their fair share in it, not to contend in the Oppression Olympics of who bore the brunt of it. I know that in Asia the racket of slavery wasn’t merely an afterthought; the emperors of China built their empires on slaves. So, too, did the samrats of India and the sultans of Turkey.

    In Africa, slaves were a commodity for trading. In Europe, slaves were a commodity for labour.

    And it may be true that Africans were for the most part enslaved, but were they for the most part enslaved by Western Europeans? No.

  22. Holms says

    Amazing. “Who did the lion’s share is irrelevant” followed immediately by the contention that “everyone had their fair share in it”. Is it irrelevant or not? Why even bother trying to esatblish that everyone’s involvement is similar, if you have already dismissed the relevance of everyon’s share of involvement? Disagreeing with the factual accuracy of my statement (that white cultures did the most enslaving) is not the same as disagreeing with its relevance.

    As for my original statement, I’ll grant that I should have worded it to better restrict my point to the more recent institutions of slavery, roughly corresponding to the Age of Sail / European Enlightenment (which heavily overlap) to present. This is the period in which some of the world’s powers pulled ahead in terms of technology and utilised slavery on a new, international scale; and by ‘some of the world’s powers’ I mean the naval powers of western Europe.

    This is not because I am trying to pretend that the ancient stuff didn’t happen, but because the legacy of those institutions is not felt to nearly the same degree today. So no, Avicenna’s use of ‘white’ as representative of slavers is not revisionistic, rather it spotlights the most relevant to today’s politics.

    Alllll of which is farily tangential to Avicenna’s post anyway; you simply bridled at seeing white slavers used as being representative of slavers in general (despite the fact that this is accurate as an approximation anyway) and decided to derail on the basis of your poor widdle hurt feewings. And I suppose you still wonder why so many people consider conversation with you pitters to be a goddamn chore!

    I like the fact that your opening sentence is an open admission that you are not willing to defend the majority of your points. I agree with that decision – most of your points turn out to be shit upon examination anyway.

  23. Pitchguest says

    Defending the majority of my points? I’m saying I won’t get bogged down with another fisking match, no matter how hard you try to make it so. Besides, my “points” are not my points anymore if you don’t take care to represent them correctly. Which you don’t.

    I addressed the slavery aspect in general, therefore who did the most or the worst is irrelevant. They all dipped their toe in it, they all dabbled. No one was completely innocent, except perhaps for the slaves. However since you keep insisting that “white” culture did most of the enslaving, and thus putting me in a position where I’m apparently defending this allegedly racist individual, I suppose I should set the record straight. So, the question is: did “white” culture do most of the enslaving? Answer? No. Not even close. The people who did most of the enslaving were the Arabs. Their slave trade didn’t diminish until the aftermath of World War I. By then, the slave trade of the Atlantic (which I have the feeling is what you’re basing your knowledge on) had already ceased. That is, slavery that included the British colonists (Europeans) in the Americas.

    In Africa, however, the slavery continues to this day. The only impact Europeans and Asians had on their system was to introduce a different *kind* of slavery.

    To say “white” slavers is representative of slavers in general is not even remotely an accurate approximation. It doesn’t “spotlight the most to today’s politics”, what it does is spotlight people’s relative ignorance of history and/or selective memory. Just because (white) Europeans were the slavers of the United States and the slaves ubiquitously were Africans, does not correlate that this was the situation everywhere – nor does it correlate that they were in the majority.

    And I didn’t realise we were dealing with conditions of what slavery is felt to what degree today, but there you are. Constantly moving the goalposts.

    Oh, and I feel more than a bit of projection when you say I decided to “derail” on the basis of my “poor widdle hurt feewings.” Tell me something, Holms: what prompted you to comment if not for your “feewings”? Be honest. By the way, it’s amazing to me how you’re able to tell exactly what Avi must have been thinking. Do allow the man to speak for himself. Or are you his chaperone?

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