The lady doth protest too much, methinks

Way back when I was a student semi-activist and used to care about stuff, I spent one Saturday afternoon going to a very interesting protest rally.

The story was, a small group of skinheads had organised a little march to promote hatred, racism, bad haircuts, leather appreciation and whatever else it was they stood for. Having got wind of this, a vast coalition of lefties, Trots, hippies, socialists, ferals and a couple of left-wing Zionist (it’s not a contradiction in terms) youth groups decided they’d show up in bigger numbers, thus demonstrating this sort of thing – having a non-left-wing opinion, freedom of speech, etc. – just wasn’t on.

I found it odd, as a representative of my campus Jew crew, to be on the same side of an issue as our local international socialists group, which was certainly a rare occurrence. At this protest, the infamous chief trot was conspicuously swinging about a hefty piece of two by four, just in case things got heavy. (I suspect he was rather hoping they would. A quick Google reveals he has since swapped carpentry for publishing and blogging.)

Things started out fairly innocuously. The 20-or-so skinheads stood there looking surly and waving their swastikas around while a thousand-odd mixed Marxists sang amusing songs and chants across the street. Then the mood got darker, the eggs started flying – from left to right, as it were – and the skinheads, with the help of the police, scarpered in an undignified fashion. A victory for the good people of Melbourne, huzzah!

‘What is the relevance of all this?’ you may be asking yourself.

Truth is, I thought of it last weekend after I met a 30-ish Jewish woman, a friend of a friend. We were having a riotous old time when, apropos of nothing I could work out, she started musing why it is Lebanese people in Australia are all poor, uneducated and violent. And when I objected to the racist stereotype, citing several examples from my own experience, she shot back “What are you, some kind of lefty or something?”

You will accuse me of hasty generalisation, of course, and of employing my own racist stereotype about Jews. But in my experience, which is considerable, views like this are not atypical of my brethren (and sorority). Which sadly leads me to wonder if I will ever make my parents happy given I am, quite obviously, some kind of lefty whose views put me at odds with the majority of my community. Maybe that Loewenstein bloke is on to something after all.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. DC says:

    About the only thing I find funny about racism is just how widespread it is and the various areas it comes from.
    EG: A friend of mine who I will for reasons of anonimity (and because it’s her name) call Kirsten, started dating this guy called Pras.
    He was a London born Sri Lankan who’d come out to Australia as most poms do to hang about Bondi and lie about themselves.
    So where did the racism come from? Was she at all concerned to be dating a black guy? Were her family or friends worried? No.
    He on the other hand was mortified his family or friends might find out she was white.
    The whole time they dated and lived together – about two years – he consistently told everyone in the UK he had not met any nice girls in Australia.
    When his brother arrived to visit, she was introduced as his flatmate.
    The problem was apparently his mother who didn’t think white girls were good enough for her son – an attitude he’d apparently taken on as his own.
    “But surely if you love her you should be proud enough to stand up and say it?”
    “Well.. no.”
    “Why the fuck not? It’s not like you’re mum’s going to spontaneously combust is it?”
    “Well.. maybe”
    When his mother found out, she allegedly clutched her chest, screamed “you’re killing me!” and collapsed.
    An ambulance was allegedly called and she allegedly spent a day or so in hospital moaning.
    I say allegedly through this because I’ve since realised Pras pretty much lied his way through every moment of his time in Australia, anyway…
    Eventually Pras offended all of Kirsten’s friends to the point where none of us would speak with him at all, he decided he’d had enough fun, dumped Kirsten and went home to mummy.
    What a weak cunt. One day I hope to meet up with him again, just so I can punch him in the face.

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