March 07, 2021
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Before The Indians Came

Before The Indians Came

Joel Stein's article in the latest issue of Time magazine is being criticised in most circles as at least latently, if not patently and overtly, racist:

I am very much in favor of immigration everywhere in the U.S. except Edison, N.J. The mostly white suburban town I left when I graduated from high school in 1989 — the town that was called Menlo Park when Thomas Alva Edison set up shop there and was later renamed in his honor — has become home to one of the biggest Indian communities in the U.S., as familiar to people in India as how to instruct stupid Americans to reboot their Internet routers.

Read on here

Do you think he is just being nostalgic and perhaps a bit irreverent, with the humour not quite coming off, or do you sense shades of racism or at least  a mild case of Raj Thackerayism masquearading as satire? Would it be equally kosher to be similarly 'jokey' about, say, the American Blacks or American Indians? Have people lost their sense of humour or is it really just not funny?

And what is this about Indians and the amount of cologne they wear that seems to be cropping up all over the place?

PS: And, oh, I am informed @thejoelstein has since clarified on Twitter:

“Didn’t meant to insult Indians with my column this week. Also stupidly assumed their emails would follow that Gandhi non-violence thing.”

Clearly, he has not heard of the other Gandhians who have been in the news lately...

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