catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Not exactly catallaxy

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… but the Amy Chua theory in action, I’m afraid – some excerpts from The new colour of British racism:

Maybe his compassion was exhausted, but the reality suggests that Makaveli had always disliked black people. Either way, within hours of arriving from Pakistan after helping survivors of the Asian earthquake, he was brawling with African-Caribbeans on the streets of Birmingham. It felt natural; all his friends agreed with him that these people were the lowest form of humanity.

‘They come in our shops, but can’t stop stealing something. Niggers can’t help it, they have a dirty gene. They are the lowest of the low,’ hissed Makaveli. The 26-year-old spat furiously at the pavement and nodded east along Lozells Road, beyond the huddle of Asian-owned shops, to where the Rastafarians sometimes gathered …

For the black community of north Birmingham it was the manner in which Asian shopkeepers handed back their change. Already smarting over the fact that most local businesses had been snapped up by Asian entrepreneurs, a common complaint among African-Caribbeans was the treatment by shopkeepers.

‘They throw the change at us as if we’re lower-class citizens’. Rob raised his left arm above his head and flung a 10p into his right palm. ‘Like that. They won’t even touch us.’

Those beside him in Simply Veg nodded. To the Asian community, such complaints are mired in envy. ‘We can work 16-hour days. We pay tax. We own the shops. They’re jealous,’ Makaveli said.

For decades, the African-Caribbean community watched as the Asian community bettered itself. Of the 50 or so stores on Lozells Road, 90 per cent are Asian-owned. But the competition runs deeper. Amid the deprivation of Lozells, the two communities scrap for dwindling government support in housing, jobs and community projects. Asian shopkeepers rarely employ blacks; similarly, the few African storeowners can wait days for the next Pakistani patron.

In response, the African-Caribbean community of Lozells is calling for a total boycott of Asian shops. Dani arrived in Birmingham from Jamaica in 1960. He remembers when he had Asian friends. ‘They became millionaires, we became beggars,’ the 65-year-old said wearily.


Written by Admin

November 2, 2005 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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