Monday, March 10, 2014

White Australia, Burma Census, and Bengali-Muslims

British strict classification of Races in this world.
Few years ago I used to drive taxis part-time on Sundays in Sydney to supplement my meager day-trading income. One Sunday I picked up a group of young Brits near the Opera House and they wanted to go to Chinatown. So we went. On the way the young woman at the front seat said, “Not many Asians in Australia?”

I was shocked as I thought our Sydney was full of Asians and by then we were already in Chinatown crowded with Asians. So I pointed her at the young fashionable Chinese crowd congregating on the George Street cinema strip and asked, “Don’t you see them? We have so many Asians here and we are now in the middle of Chinatown!”

“They aren’t Asians!” She looked at them young Chinese crowd on the street and told me. I was stunned.
“So what are they, if they aren’t Asians?”
“Orientals, back home we call them Orientals!”
“Wow! So who are Asians back home in England?”
“There, there, he is Asian!” She was pointing excitedly at a turban-head Panjabi on the street.
“You mean you Brits call Indians, Asians?”
“Yeah, sometimes we call them ‘Pakis’, but it’s a derogatory term!”
“So how about me? What do you call people like me?”
“You look Thai and we call you people Thai!”

I was a Wannabe-Thai

Asian gay men in Sydney Mardi Gras.
I was suddenly upset and I told them I was a Burmese not a bloody Thai. And those young Brits still laughed at me. Then I remembered when I was working in Thailand for nearly 5 years in the mid 1980s I really wanted to be a Thai.

I had just come out of our shit-poor Burma half-starving, and relatively much-richer and glitzy Bangkok seemed like Heaven to me. Thus I was a wannabe-Thai seriously for a few years back then. Only after living in Sydney a few years I realized Bangkok also is a hellhole not much better than our old Rangoon.

Back then I spoke Thai fluently, I had had Thai girlfriends, and I lied to almost everyone that I was a Thai. But not now, no bloody way. Especially after a couple of incidents when I picked up a young Thai man on Oxford St. Taylor Square’s Pink Strip and he tried to touch me and then offered me the cabbie a blow-job. Bloody Fagots!

Since then I knew many Thai men here in this gay-friendly Sydney are Poofs and I got really offended if someone asked me if I was a Thai.

The Brits got off at that famous Golden Century seafood restaurant on Sussex St and left me alone thinking about the races and different terms people use to identify different races in this world and how some races are more preferable to the others. All depend on the people’s attitudes though, I reckoned.

Wannabe-British and Wannabe-Spanish

South Asian people in UK are called Asians.
When I first came to Australia in 1987 I used to share a crappy flat on the border of Ashfield and Summer Hill in Sydney. That was well before Ashfield has been turned into the second Chinatown from a blue-collar white suburb in the 1990s. Right after twenty thousand Chinese students were granted political asylum because of that infamous Tiananmen Square Incident in 1989.

Most of those so-called political refugees, who fraudulently claimed they would be persecuted if they went back home to China, immediately went back home once they got the refugee visas and auctioned themselves off to highest bidders and ended up marrying the rich daughters of the high-ranking cadres of CPC (Communist Party of China). They then transformed the Sydney into a high-priced Chinese overseas-territory by flooding the town with the ill-gotten money from their powerful but corrupt in-laws.

Anyway we had our next door neighbours a family of Indians. They had relatively fair complexion and they also told us that they were not really Indians at all. According to them their ancestors were British settlers in India during the British Raj. That surprised me. They looked Indians, they sounded Indians, they spoke English with that funny Indian accent, and thus they were Indians in our eyes. I still remember them wannabe-British after all those 20 odds years.

Then in 1994 or 95 the machinery company I was then working for sent me to Manila to install a new machine and service the old machines in a Beer factory there. I ended up staying in Manila for more than three weeks.

But believe it or not during that short three weeks there in Manila I met so many wannabe-Spanish there. Almost every other Philippinos I met there told me their great-great-grand father was a Spanish sword-buckler adventurer who came to the Islands some centuries ago and seeded too many native women.

The beer factory I worked for in Manila was one of the biggest companies in the Philippines and the owners and the most senior-executives were from one of the richest families of the land. I met some of them and surprisingly they all looked white Europeans standing out like a sore thumb among the brown-skinned small-build Phillipinos.

And they were Spanish. Real Spanish as apparently they tried very hard all those hundreds of years to maintain their pure Spanish bloodline by strictly not marrying the natives who basically look like me, the typical South East Asian.

Hispanics (Latinos) In America

That story of Spanish-Philippinos in Manila came back into my mind when I read James A. Michener’s Mexico. Apparently for hundreds and hundreds of years since Christopher Columbus landed in Americas the Spanish settlers and generations of their descendants have been fighting a losing war of maintaining their bloodline as pure as possible.

But not many Spanish women were willing to come to the Americas. So most Conquistadors ended up mixing-blood with the native Indians and the obvious result after centuries of cross-breeding is the creation of a completely new dominant race the Hispanics or so-called Latinos in the Americas.

That was my very-limited knowledge till I read a story about that famous Spanish actor Antonio Banderas in a trashy magazine. He was said to be complaining about the US Immigration and Custom agents at the US Airports identifying his race as Latino not white-Spanish as he preferred. I couldn’t get why he was complaining till last year when I had a chance to visit New York and have frequent close encounters with many Latinos there.

Rather To Be A White than A Latino

Can you guess who they are? Latinos of course.
There are millions and millions of Spanish-speaking Latino illegals in America especially in New York and LA. Almost all busboys (dishwashers and table-cleaners and food-bringers and home-deliverers) in nearly every restaurant in New York are them poor illegal Latinos.

It seemed like there was a well-established food chain in the restaurant-and-bar industry in New York. Most waiters or Bar staff are either whites or mixed-whites. The Bouncers and door bitches are big Blacks. And at the bottom as the busboys are the illegal Latinos. They are the kitchen-hands and cleaners of affluent America.

Even the recently-arrived Asians are one step above them. Asians do not need to work as low as Latinos. Wages these so-called undocumented Latinos would work for are just too low even for poor non-English-speaking Asians. People even said that without them Latinos the economy of United States will collapse just because of the wage pressure.

One can’t blame Mr. Banderas for wanting to be classified as White rather than a Latino. Most poor Latinos are small in stature, short in height, and obviously having the look of their South American Indian ancestors. Even though they all have really visible traces of Spanish conquistadors.

But their Spanish blood line is so far removed the still pure Spanish from their own Latin American countries discriminate against them like what the Spanish Philippinos have done to the native Philipinos.

Race still appears to be one of the most important factors for us human beings on this world even though it is rapidly shrinking by the exponentially growing population and the advancement of technology. So what exactly is that so important race, I wonder?

Can Race Ever be Legally defined?

Chinese are called Orientals not
Asians in England.
All the wise people said race is just appearance that is skin-deep and legally un-identifiable except in the human eyes. Because there is nothing biologically real about a race the so-called human races are just a man-made social construct.

But for racist people it is the most important factor and in human history many race-based societies like Hitler’s Nazis had tried to legally define race but failed miserably. How could they separate a German-looking Jew from a German crowd or a Jewish-looking German from a Jewish crowd?

Even in the United States of America early settlers had tried unsuccessfully to prevent non-Europeans or non-whites from entering the States. The Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) was the federal law preventing Chinese and later all Asians and Pacific Islanders from immigrating to US till it was repealed in 1943.

So how did the United States lawmakers legally define Chinese race for that law? Simple, Americans used the one-drop-of-blood rule. If one has any Chinese ancestry he or she is Chinese. It doesn’t matter how far that ancestor is removed. It also doesn’t matter one’s origin or nationality. If one has a Chinese ancestor one is Chinese, period.

The rule still applied informally (and strictly) in the great US of A and is widely called the single-drop-of-blood rule. If you have one drop of blood from a colored ancestor you and your descendants are a colored forever. But what happens if a colored looks real white and he or she lies not to have a single drop of colored’s blood in him or her?

My adopted homeland Australia had had a very practical solution to tackle that very real problem when Australia had had the infamous White Australia Policy between 1901 and 1973.

White Australia Policy (1901-1973)

Aussies are natural born practical people and they knew not to trust their lawmakers to legally define race when they erected their xenophobic wall of White Australia Policy to prevent any colored people from migrating to their rich country Down Under.

So they gave that power -- to decide whether a prospective immigrant is a white or not -- into the hands of their white-Aussie immigration councilors stationed at their various embassies all over the world. Just to do that a language dictation test was deliberately added to the Immigration Restriction Act (1901) the notorious law establishing the White Australia Policy.

The Australia’s Language Dictation Test was based on the tactics of the Natal (South Africa) Immigration Restriction Act (1897). Rather than rejecting prospective immigrants appearing at an Australian embassy on the ground of race which is totally impractical and legally impossible, the test used literacy to discriminate against non-Europeans or so-called coloreds.

The Act provided that “Any person who when asked to do so by an officer fails to write out at dictation and sign in the presence of the officer a passage of fifty words in length in an European language directed by the officer” would not be admitted. But the Dictation Test was used only in the cases when the Immigration officer thought the immigrant was not white enough to be allowed into Australia.

In 1934 one Egon Kisch a Jewish activist from Czechoslovakia was prevented from entering Australia. Even though he was fluent in a number of European languages, and after passing the Dictation Tests in several languages, he finally failed when he was tested again in Scottish Gaelic. Of course, the brutally-racist Australian immigration officer testing him just didn’t like the Jewish look of him.

In 1936 one Mabel Freer a British woman born in India was rejected after she failed twice in her Dictation Tests given in Italian. The Immigration officer testing her thought she had some considerable Indian blood.

In 1968 or 1969 a large Italian family tried to apply to immigrate at Australian embassy in Rome. The middle age Italian couple had 8 children all white looking except the eldest son whom the Australian Immigration councilor thought was adopted as he was dark and he wasn’t fair and white looking like his siblings.

So the Aussie officer decided to give the family Dictation tests. All except the eldest one were given tests in Italian their native language. But the eldest one was given his test in Luxembourgish a rare language spoken by less than 100,000 people of Luxembourg one of the smallest countries in Europe.  He obviously failed and the whole family was rejected.

The moral of all those stories is that a race cannot be defined legally and it only exists in the human eyes. Just ask Hitler and early Americans and Australians! We are all humans and being human can be anatomically or physiologically and thus legally definable. We all have chins but no other primates have.

That’s why we humans can interbreed as we are genetically compatible. Race is just a bullshit term and that’s why everyone hates racists and no one wants to be called a racist even Hitler and our own John Howard.

My question is if that’s the case why are Burmese Buddhists and Bangladeshi Muslims nowadays behaving like racists in this day and age? They have been killing each other recently, haven’t they?

Maybe it has something to do with their religions. More precisely it has something to do with Islamists’ dangerous aggression to destroy Buddhism and equally the Buddhists’ well-established phobia of said Islamists’ aggression as the result of so many Buddhist genocides committed in the past by Muslims in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Burmese Way To Socialism (& Racism)

After three devastating Anglo-Burmese wars in late 19th Century British took over our Burma and brought in millions of Indians both Hindus and Muslims into Burma. Downtown Rangoon basically was one big Indian Town and there were mosques all over the place.

But when Burma gained independence in January 4, 1948 the Nationalist-Socialists took over the country and started the cleansing of widely-hated Indians out of Burma in large scale expulsions. The worst was in mid 1960s when General Ne Win’s Burma Army staged a coup and established BSPP (Burmese Way to Socialism) and turned Burma completely to Left.

Most Hindu-Indians were repatriated back to India but most Muslims were stuck in Burma as Pakistan wouldn’t take them back. But Muslim populations grew in 1970s and 1980s as the Indian Army kicked Pakistani forces out of East Pakistan which became Bangladesh. And the civil war and unrest forced millions of Muslims from Bangladesh to flee into Burma through neighbouring Arakan.

Burmese Buddhists seriously resented the facts that there are too many Muslims and their Saudi-funded mosques popping up everywhere. But the military ruling with an iron-fist back then would not tolerate racial-riots in Burma last 50 years till 2011 and the simmering racial-hatred rarely ignited into racial riots unlike present day Burma.

Burma Census (1973) and Burma Census (March-2014)

To find out the demographic details of Burma’s population just before that farcical 1974’s  transfer of power back into civilian hands Burmese army conducted a nation-wide census in early 1973.

Unlike the modern censuses taken in other countries like Australia -- where the census forms are mailed or delivered direct to individual households and the paid-volunteers collected the census forms filled by the households -- Burma censuses had a completely different way of collecting census data.

They first chose trusted volunteers and then trained them as official census collectors. On census day (or week in Burma?) they sent their trusted-volunteers to assigned-households  to interview every member of that household and to personally fill in the census forms.

Back then in 1973 I was only 16-year-old but chosen and trained as a volunteer census collector because of my favorable background. I was a Burmese Buddhist boy who had just passed the Matriculation and been admitted into university’s first year. And almost all volunteer-census-collectors were like me and my Burmese-Buddhists class-mates. And we were all excited as it was a very responsible position and a well-paid job lasting about four weeks.

One particular thing I still remembered was the repeated instructions from our bosses from the local Immigration Department that we were not to trust what our prospective interviewees say about their particulars especially their race and we were to fill in their true race as what we saw on their faces and their skins.

Since our Panbedan Township in the middle of Rangoon was a predominately-Indian-Muslim town we were particularly instructed to fill those people’s race as Indian not Burmese especially if they claimed their religion was Islam. There is no such a people as Burmese-Muslims but only Indian-Muslims; our bosses drove that fact hard into our young heads. Back then the term Bengali-Muslim was not widely used yet except in Arakan.

The census week came and I found out more than half of about 100 households assigned to me were so-called Indian-Muslims. And believe it or not all those Indian-looking people (we called them Kalars) ostensibly insisted I filled their race as Burmese. But they also strongly insisted their religion were to be filled Islam.

I was just a naïve boy back then and without knowing the concepts of human-rights and religious-freedom I just filled them as Indian-Muslims on their census forms despite their claims that they were Burmese-Muslims even though they looked Indians and they sounded Indians and most important they knew they were either pure Indians (Kalars) or mixed-Indians (Kalardains).

Thinking of it now, back then I was behaving like the White-Australia Era’s Immigration councilors interviewing the prospective immigrants and deciding whether or not he or she was a white European race just by the look and sound of him or her. In my case I had the power to decide his or her race on the census form as a Burmese or an Indian.

Now in Australia they don’t even ask your race but they are still asking where you were born. In my case legally I am still a Burma-Born Australian national and I will never be able to get rid of that awful adjective BURMA-BORN. They even refuse to change my adjective Burma-Born to Myanmar-Born, funny.

But in Burma they are still asking the race and they still do not give their subjects the power to decide his or her race. That power still lies with the so-called volunteer-census-collector in this March-2014 Census in Burma.
Burmese government promotion of March-2014 Census.
Neither Bengali-Muslims Nor Rohingyas But Others

Right now it is creating major unrest particularly among the so-called Rohingyas widely known in Burma as the Bengali-Muslims originally from Bangladesh. The Bengali-Muslim lobby in the West knew the fact that their brethren on the Burma-Bnagladesh border will still be identified as Bengali-Muslims in this March-2014 Census.

So through UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Population Activities) the principal funder of Burma’s March-2014 Census the Bengali-Mulsim lobby has forced Burma’s Union Government to pick 1,300 local Bengali-Muslims as Volunteer-Census-Collectors in the Arakan. And they want all illegal Bengali-Muslims to be officially identified as Muslim Rohingyas.

That seriously angered the Yakhine-Buddhists and the Yakhine State Government immdiately rejected the centrally-assigned Bengali-Muslim census-collectors. The union government then made a compromise with Yakhine-Buddhists and appointed more than 1,000 Yakhine and Burmese Buddhists teachers as the census-auditors overseeing the census-collectors.

It will be quite interesting to see the census results for the Bengali-Muslims as their recently-concocted identity as the Rohingya race is not recognized and they will definitely be identified officially as   neither Rohingyas nor Bengalis but “OTHERs” as the only acceptable compromise to the Yakhine-Buddhists of Arakan.

Bengali-Muslim illegals from Burma-Bangladesh border caught all over Burma.