Re: Enoughness, was Re: Vicious Racism

From: Miriam English (
Date: Tue Aug 07 2001 - 19:26:03 MDT

At 08:20 AM 07/08/2001 -0700, Charles Hixson wrote:
>Miriam English wrote:
>>...I was amazed when I found out she agreed with the Fijian coup and the
>>move to discriminate against Fijians of Indian descent. ...restrictive
>>laws based soley upon race are unfair and dangerous. All she saw was the
>>traditional Fijian culture being swamped by the Indian Fijians....
>Of all of the justifications of racism that I have ever encountered, "We
>were here first, and they (the newcomers) are despoiling our land /
>customs / lifestyle." has to be the most reasonable.

Yes, it sounds that way at first doesn't it. However think of it from the
point of view of the Fijians of Indian heritage. Their parents or
grandparents came out to Fiji and have worked hard to establish their
businesses. They have paid their way, been good law-abiding citizens, and
have done nothing to harm the indiginous Fijians, who have traditionally
run the place. But many (though not all of course) of the Indian-decended
have a strong work ethic and many have become legitimately wealthy. Also
they have prized western education highly. These factors have led to them
rising to positions of influence. The people if Indian heritage have not
indulged in reprehensible tactics like mass murder to attain their place in
society, and suddenly they find some (not all) native Fijians want to
discriminate against them based on their race.

Of course I can see things from the native Fijians' point of view too
(though I must emphisise that not all native Fijians hold this viewpoint).
They welcome people into their country not realising that they come from a
pressure-cooker society that has ingrained the desire to attain wealth and
social standing. Gradually the native Fijians find themselves feeling
marginalised as the newcomers institute something of an economic arms race.
The native Fijians place a high value upon a relaxed lifestyle and find
themselves becoming almost irrelevant in their own land. Suddenly the
native-decended Fijians see people of a different race in powerful
positions, with even the prime minister of the country being of Indian descent.

Both these views are extreme, and almost caricatures. Most people would
occupy some place between these poles. But this serves to illustrate what I
understand to be the problem. Also I may well have missed some important

How is such a problem solved? I don't really know. But certainly not by
resorting to race as identifier of culprits.

Best wishes,

         - Miriam

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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