issue 260 - October 1994
It is 14 times the national average. Young Australian Aboriginal men are often arrested for minor offences for which white people would be let off. One million Aborigines a year are arrested, which is an average of four times a year for every Aboriginal woman, man and child. Each month two or more Aborigines die in custody.
Both are heavily concentrated in the lowest paid social classes. In London unemployment amongst the Irish was second to that of the Afro-Caribbean community. The Irish are the largest ethnic minority in Britain and are the only immigrant group whose life expectancy goes down when they enter the country.
The notion of race is considered to be a scientific fallacy. The genetic differences between ethnic groups are so small and have so much overlap as to make them a spurious means of defining difference.
The caste system results in the segregation of 'lower' castes who get some of the worst jobs, some of which are tantamount to slavery to the upper castes. Police and upper-caste atrocities against them are routine. One is born into one's caste and intermarriage between upper and lower castes is forbidden. Upper caste Hindus refuse physical contact with lower caste members and objects handled by them. The lower castes (about 13.8 per cent of India's 844 million population) are therefore perceived as a race apart.
The rights of women are explained in the Qu'ran and in the Hadith (the examples set by the life of the Prophet Mohammed). Muslim women are entitled to refuse marriage. They are entitled to divorce with a just economic settlement and have clearly defined inheritance rights. Patriarchy is more to blame for their disadvantage in certain communities than scripture.
Many Zulus support the ANC. Most of the violence before the elections was between supporters of INKATHA and the anti-apartheid supporters of the ANC. The division is usually along political lines rather than 'tribal'. But the news media often portray violence in Africa as 'tribal' and violence elsewhere as political or 'ethnic'.
Prejudice against gypsies, travellers or Romanies creates negative myths and is a world-wide phenomenon. Almost half-a-million gypsies were put to death under the Nazis, and anti-gypsy feeling seems to be growing again today.
This is known as the law of return and applies to all Jews whether or not they have ever lived in Israel. At the same time nearly 3.5 million Palestinians living in exile or as refugees are not allowed to return to their homeland.
Most housing is inadequate and substandard. For example, 46 per cent of the comparatively well-off Navajo nation have no electricity, 54 per cent have no indoor plumbing at all.
Britain is the only country with such specific and wideranging legislation as the 1976 Race Relations Act.
There are some 600 black-consciousness groups in Brazil. They argue that discrimination against Brazil's 70 million black people is commonplace and the much-vaunted notion of 'racial democracy' is a myth. Indigenous peoples are persecuted and their numbers are in decline.
Emigration from the UK is greater than immigration.