Well sometimes it really is, in some of Melbourne's suburbs, and I ain't talking about vegetation.
From the Herald-Sun today:
Police drive home racist thug who was injured while bashing a 60-year-old Indian man
Ranjit Sahasranaman has told how he was forced to defend his Carrum Downs home from a group of 25 drunken thugs for a terrifying 2 1/2 hours early on Sunday morning before police dispersed the gang. Mr Sahasranaman told the Herald Sun he was assaulted in his own back yard and racially abused after the gang of mostly white men tore down his back fence and gained entry to his yard.
The father of two - a karate champion who has lived in Australia for the past 19 years - was forced to fight back with a bar when the intruders got within centimetres of his back door. But when his ordeal was over, police drove home one of the injured youths who alleged he was the victim of an assault by Mr Sahasranaman.
"They were throwing punches at me," Mr Sahasranaman said. "They told me to get lost from this country."
Mr Sahasranaman said he called police up to four times before they finally responded. "I told them my life was in danger, but they kept asking silly questions," he said. "Finally I told them we are going to die. What was I supposed to do? If the police say they can't do it, then I have to do it myself."
Mr Sahasranaman claimed police did not take his statement and made no arrests despite apprehending several of the louts. "All they are good for is barbecue, dinner and dance," he said. "They left a letter in my mailbox asking me to contact Crime Stoppers."
"Police spoke to several people and drove one youth home who had received injuries in an alleged assault. After dealing with this job and the people concerned, attending police then went and spoke to the complainant. Investigations are still under way in relation to the matter," she said.
Frustrated neighbours rallied behind the respected family, who have endured 10 years of harassment from louts who hang out at a bus stop directly outside their Fernwren Place home. "It's just heartbreaking," Jodie Burford said. "I feel ashamed. Their home has been vandalised before but this was clearly a racial attack."
Mr Sahasranaman said he did not believe recent attacks on Indians were racially motivated until last weekend's attack.
"My son never believed it, my daughter never believed it, but now it has come to me and 100 per cent proved this is a racial attack," he said. "My life is in danger and the police have not given any security for me."
Mr Sahasranaman said he would be forced to defend his family by whatever means possible should the gang return. "They said they'd come back and kill me, but I will be ready," he said. "There is no choice. Why should I move when I'm a citizen of Australia?"
The depth to which some of my fellow citizens have sunk never ceases to amaze me.
This story tells you so much about where our society is going wrong at ground level. Drunken youths roaming the streets at night. Aggression for its own sake. Police either understaffed or unwilling. And menace directed at those who look foreign or otherwise different.
While on the face of it, there is clearly racism involved here, I feel it would be wrong to form the conclusion that this is solely about race. Primarily this is about young males and the culture of aimless aggression that afflicts so many of them.
Anyone who knows the area knows this. Carrum Downs, or "Caza D" as it is known to many of its young people, is hardly a model neighbourhood. This article from October 2008 details the climate of apprehension that grips some of its residents, as kids as young as 12 roam the streets looking for trouble. And the Sahasranamans' house is right across the road from the neighbourhood known as The Pines, an estate that even hardened Caza D youths would look upon as being a bit scary.
The kind of youths responsible for this violent act may not necessarily have targeted the Sahasranamans because they were Indian. I come across kids like this all the time, and they would trash something just because it is there, and because it made them feel a sense of self-worth that they clearly aren't getting from their families.
But racism has a role to play nonetheless, as I believe it has in many or most of the attacks on Indians in Melbourne. If it is not the primary motivation, it is the straw that breaks the camel's back, as it were. The added incentive to turn an encounter violent rather than merely threatening. The seasoning that makes a victim seem that much more enticing as prey for these vultures.
(Mr Sahasranaman is apparently Sri Lankan rather than Indian, while his wife is Indian; in any case, I assume both are ethnically Tamil. For all intents and purposes it does not matter, because the thugs who attack them wouldn't care or know the difference.)
I hope the reports are not true, and that the police did in fact make some arrests. I take everything written in the Herald-Sun with a grain of salt, but if the description of the police's actions in this report are accurate, it illustrates the complete lack of consequences that would deter thugs from acting that way. Thus it is no surprise that a 60-year-old man decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. Next time, he might not be so lucky.
Oh, and as for the young thug who came off second best from this encounter with an old-time martial artist armed with a metal bar... clearly he didn't take heed of the recent case of Epic Beard Man. Sometimes when you mess with your elders, they will learn you a thing or two.
REACTIONS AND ATTITUDES
Now, understandably, most people are pretty sympathetic to Mr Sahasranaman and his standing up to the mob who attacked and racially abused him. But since it's the Herald-Sun, the people's paper, there are always going to be those more concerned with finding ways to put blame on the ethnics:
Ruby of Ascot Vale Posted at 11:26 AM Today
This was not a racist attack; this was a group of drunk idiots behaving appallingly and they should be forced to fix the fence and apologise. The fence has clearly been vandalised before and this owner clearly overstepped the mark in defending his property. Perhaps a stronger fence would be better than tin foil? He possibly inflamed the situation by taking an iron bar out to fight 25 drunk idiots; instead of taking refuge in his home and waiting for police.
Comment 73 of 85
See, Ranjit? Your fault for having an insufficiently strong fence. Next time, build a moat. How dare you so callously overstep the mark as mobs of drunken yobs invade your property and threaten you.
jacko Posted at 12:15 PM Today
Sounds like someone is behind these attacks pushing them into it for a purpose of racial laws ,the last attack in vic was [by] eight Asians . These tactics have been used for yrs by radicals all over the world.
Comment 76 of 85
In other words, it's not drunken youths to blame but the fiendish conspirators of global socialism out to enact "racial laws". In other words, the real victim here is the white man. Nice work, jacko.
And over at this page:
Ed replied to Pira
Tue 02 Mar 10 (09:39am)
From the first linked story: after the gang of mostly white men tore down his back fence and entered his yard.
Surely if the writer felt it necessary to mention that the gang of idiots consisted of ‘Mostly white men’ it is appropriate to mention the apparent race of the others involved.
Of course they may have been Koori, Arab, Asian, African, Indian or Sri Lankan but I guess they wouldn’t fit with the racism theme. Just couldn’t do a headline from an event involving coloured people terrorising coloured people.
See? Even when the gang is "mostly white men", Ed ignored them and focuses on the smaller number of unmentioned ethnics, who must have the media on their side. See? Again, the white man is the victim in all this.
There's one responding comment to Ed:
Chris replied to Pira
Tue 02 Mar 10 (03:48pm)
Ed, perhaps it’s because every time there’s is gang related violence in Melbourne, Andrew Bolt’s blog is abuzz with speculation about how it must have been Africans or Asians or Muslims. (Because white people would never join gangs, apparently.)
That's the smartest comment you'll ever read in the Herald-Sun.
Ok, I confess - I am the Chris who wrote that. Sometimes I like to be one of the lonely voices of progressivism in the hurricane of reactionary whiteness that is the Herald-Sun readership.
Or maybe "jacko" is right and it is all part of some giant scheme to emasculate the white man. It's probably Barack Obama's fault somehow.
More like this:
Addressing the myths and misconceptions about anti-Indian violence in Australia
Indian student stabbed to death; what does the public reaction say about us?
What's with all the resentful white people reading the Herald-Sun?
Asian-fearing Herald-Sun readers of the week
Let's all blame the victim
Racist douchebag Herald-Sun reader of the week