01 November 2008

South Asians Face Violence and Cuddle with Liberals: Three Stops in the Desispora This Weekend

I. Report of Sri Lankan Attacked in Petersburg

“I was riding the subway from Nevsky Prospect. It wasn’t late yet, so I wasn’t afraid. I sat down in the middle of a subway car and as the train approached Aleksandr Nevsky Square, a couple of guys got up and put on masks. One of them got up on the seat and kicked me in the chest. The other hit me in the face.”

Such was the report of a young Sri Lankan student in St. Petersburg to the television station Mir. In response to this and other similar attacks, university officials at St. Petersburg State Polytechnical Institute are taking measures to protect foreign students including putting in a video surveillance system for the campus and surrounding areas, the installation of call boxes on campus to alert the police, and hiring more security.

One Indian student hopes these steps will help stem the attacks: “My parents often told me that India and Russia have excellent relations, that our governments are friends. And truly, most people in Petersburg get along well with us, and I hope that soon we will forget about this problem and we can quietly study in the city.”


II. Sikhs Attacked in New Jersey

Sikhs in New Jersey must be wishing things would quiet down as well. Two attacks in the past week: one of a 67-year-old retired engineer and the other of a ten-year-old boy. Seriously, look at that kid. As Buster Sr. would say, “Some blankety-blank bigot dared to hit that child!”

(We get angry around here, but unlike the racists, we like to keep it safe for the kids--no cursing.)

First, bless Gagandeep Singh’s bravery for speaking out on his attack.

Second, bless Diwan Singh for having the moral sense to say, “They think we are Muslims. But we are not Muslims. Secondly, I would say all the Muslims are not bad.”

I wish more of our blankety-blank politicians would have the courage to be more clear on that last point in the face of the ridiculous anti-Islamic smear campaign the right-wing hate machine seems to have embraced.

[h/t angry asian man]


III. Latest Brown Girls Comix Out

Need some levity now? Luckily, the new Brown Girls is up over at Devis with Babies. Go read it and find the liberal lovin'.


Sean Guillory said...


Not that I'm complaining (MTBE is the best), but isn't it strange that at the very moment that you announce a "blogging hiatus" is exactly when you post more than you have in months? Don't make the mistake I did and ignore the diss for blogging.

Just being your graduate student guilty conscious. :)

Buster said...

Sean, You've half-caught me. I have been sunk by the flu for the past week and blogging was about all I was capable of. Well, that and watching Big Love. I know that in your opinion my time is better spent with 90210, but that's another matter.

The other thing is a new theory of blogging--laziness. Instead of trying to work up longer posts, I'm veering toward short posts with less synthesis. This way I don't build up ideas about long posts that start to fester--for instance, the four-page-long "beginning" of a post reviewing Russian anarchist 'zines... Current posts are all constructed in less than an hour!

THAT SAID, I appreciate the concern. I am working up a conference paper/chapter at the moment (see you at AAASS?) and redrafting my introduction and, alas, still typing up one of the notebooks from my RGASPI reading days. A new MTBE feature, coming today, is "From the Research Files," tidbits I come across while writing that I probably won't be using but seem interesting all the same.

Sean Guillory said...

Sadly, I'm not going to AAASS. I had to pull out because of my diss. My time is better spent on that rather than on a conference paper.

I like your new theory and I've been doing a bit of it too if you haven't noticed. For the exact same reasons you've given?

I like the "From the Research Files" idea!