Saturday, March 27

Change of strategy for charity, cannot handle feral children

Guess what happens? We are trying to train the apprentices to learn how to fix the PC’s and laptops which need refurbishment. This is for those kids who have dropped out of school, those who do not have a skill, those who might have criminal, drug or domestic violence histories. So many of our apprentices have been trained up sufficiently that many have setup their own businesses, some have gone forward and actually started doing a degree or doing a job for other firms. It is very good to read and love seeing the apprentices doing this.

But one has to remember what kind of people we are talking about, some these are not really the nice, listening, wanting to be educated people. Some examples of what the charity management has gone through. Have had their equipment stolen so many times. People steal the pc’s and laptops which are meant for terminally ill children or long term ill children. They sell this off to get drugs or beer. Abusing the staff. Breaking the law. Trashing the unit where teaching happens. Making prank calls to the office. It is a small charity and we do not have that many staff to handle it. All are working for very low pay or none. It is simply impossible to motivate the staff up in Nottingham to deal with these ferals. Our CEO is 80 years of age and is still extremely active, but surely one cannot accept this kind of behaviour. Totally unacceptable.

So we have, very regretfully, decided to wrap up our business in Nottingham and move down to London and the south east. We will be able to better control the charity and provide more management attention. We will also be able to work closely with the police and local authority to get them going in controlling these ferals.

I am deeply disappointed and very very upset. This was a very good thing which we were doing. We were busting our gut to improve the performance in a really depressed part of the country. Giving employment, hoping to improve the lives of a bunch of NEETs, getting equipment which can then be given to sick children. And so on and so forth. And now? Really really disappointed and sad that Nottingham will not be able to make use our of resources.

But hopefully we will do better in London and the South East.

Tuesday, March 23

Indians in the USA – their racial perspectives

The fact that Indians (and yes, pretty much broad based definition of Indians) are racist is not open to debate. The national obsession towards whiter skin and the pretty much well known behaviour towards Blacks (of whatever nationality) is evident across the country. Ask any black chap to go to any place in the country and try to get rented accommodation or even walk around without being stared at. Do not get me wrong, I was four square in this category as well. Anyway, that’s not the point. An interesting question comes up, what happens when you take them out of India say to USA. If you do that, do their attitudes change? So what are the attitudes of Indian Americans or Indian immigrants towards African Americans?

Thankfully, we now have a research paper which sheds some light on this rather interesting sociological behaviour. The research picked 161 Indian immigrant and Indian American Students at a large mid western university in the USA. They were paid $10 for filling out a questionnaire which took about an hour to fill out. This sample ended with 63 Indian immigrants of an average age of 25 years and 81 Indian Americans whose average age was 20 years. Indian Immigrants were defined as people who spent their first 18 years in India. Indian Americans are those whose parents emigrated to USA and thus were born and brought up in USA. 51% male. ~$80k median parental income for Indian Americans and ~$30k for Indian immigrants. I am not going to go deeper into the methodology, that is guaranteed to send you to sleep.

So what did they find out?

  1. Indian immigrants reported stronger racist attitudes towards African Americans than did Indian Americans.
  2. Stronger the identification with other oppressed minorities, the more positive they felt towards African Americans
  3. The beliefs about social status, social hierarchy like caste which are inculcated by Indians growing up in India is a factor in the behaviour of Indian immigrants towards African Americans
  4. More contact with African Americans helped in reducing the level of racism
  5. Indian immigrants do not identify with African Americans in terms of being a minority, they identify themselves more with the White majority.
  6. Holding more positive attitudes toward being Indian was associated with higher levels of modern racism for Indian immigrants, but no relationship was found for Indian Americans.

Quite an interesting set of results there, Sir. Obviously the limitations of the study are pretty obvious. Small sample size in a hothouse university environment, one of the first studies, sample population not representative of overall population, inherent problems with trying to draw conclusions from such a small sample, difficulty in comparing world views of two totally different populations such as Indian immigrants and Indian Americans etc. etc.

But overall, looks like more contact with African Americans helps in reducing racism although India has a very long way to go before it can truly call itself as colour blind and non discriminatory. When people say that you can taken an Indian out of India but you cannot take India out of an Indian, looks like its true, but some of the worse elements you can take out.