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White Trash is a trash is a trash

Rohit Sharma

“I never knew how a bunch of people half a world away chose a random town in New Jersey to populate. Were they from some Indian state that got made fun of by all the other Indian states and didn’t want to give up that feeling? Are the malls in India that bad? Did we accidentally keep numbering our parkway exits all the way to Mumbai?”

-Joel Stein, Time Magazine. Article- My Own Private India.

Here are some reactions on blogosphere-  

“Joel Stein is a racist, xenophobic PIG. The last I checked, pigs were not Kosher.”

“I assume Stein is eating bagel and lox in his mother’s home while she cooks him a brisket.”

“I think America needs geniuses like us to keep you falling in the marsh of drugs and prostitutes. Someone with oiled-hair and extra cologne carrying an intellectual head on his shoulders is far more superior than a typical American pot-head.”

Time Magazine has apologised to the Indian community but has not removed the article from its website.

Joel Stein (who is Jewish) Tweeted- “Didn’t meant to insult Indians with my column this week. Also stupidly assumed their emails would follow that Gandhi non-violence thing.”

Do you accept Time Magazine’s apology?

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  1. October 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    This is an informative article. Thanks for sharing

  2. Sam
    August 4, 2010 at 2:20 am

    If so many people have been offened by Stein’s article then he has done something extremely wrong. He should be fired…its the only way he’ll learn to think before he writes, the same goes for Time. I for one, will not be picking up a time magazine again.

    • August 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm

      Before I unsubscribe from this (too unnuanced and repetitive for my taste) discussion, one last comment:

      o Apply Hanlon’s Razor.

      o Consider that a great number of people have not found the article offensive, which makes this a subjective estimate—like more-or-less anything dealing with offense.

      o In my third-party reading, there is nothing wrong with the article. On the contrary, there is a group of readers who mis- and overinterpret it in a manner which seems oversensitive at best—and is possibly based on a pre-conceived opinion about guilt and intents, which distorts the interpretation entirely.

      o I cannot speak for specifically Time, but it is common that individual writers do not have a completely free hand at what they write. It would be likely that an article in a weekly or bi-weekly magazine has been run by at least one person of editorial responsibility—who obviously gave a green light. (Not to mention that consulting e.g. a friend, colleague, or family member for feedback is quite common.)

      o To stop reading a magazine because of one article is overreacting—everyone slips up on occasion (assuming, strictly for the sake of argument, that this was a slip-up), a typical magazine publishes articles by dozens, possibly hundreds, of authors in a year, and even the editorial staff changes over time.

      (In contrast, “I am tired of the constant dumbing-down Time makes.” would be a good reason.)

  3. Amit
    July 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I agree Manish – if this is humour, then we need to redefine “snide remarks”. I wonder why he (and the population that matched his complexion) left their town in the first place.

    And I am shocked at an American being surprised about laying claim to foreign lands – it is our claim to shame as well Mr Stein! 🙂

  4. July 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    With all due respect: Have most of the commenters here even read the article?

    Yes: I cannot read minds, authors often have secondary agendas, and I cannot rule out that Stein had one.

    But: There is nothing in what he said which warrants some of the statements here. Implications about Nazi-Germany are particularly misleading (incidentally, I live in Germany). I would strongly suggest that you all cool down, take Hanlon’s Razor to heart, and read the article again without the prejudice that it would be racist.

    In addition, you may want to consider that some of your own statements (obviously without in anyway joking) are even worse. The Politically Correct, if they applied equal measures for all skin colors (which they do not), would even condemn the use of “white trash” as racist.

    • Feynman007
      July 12, 2010 at 8:50 am

      Michael: I was responding to the article by a so-called journalist, Joel Stein, not some random blogger. Of course, I find the use of terms like “white trash” extremely offensive.

      Just because you live in Germany now does not make you an expert on Nazi Germany. My ancestors were largely eliminated by the Nazis. I am alive because my great grandmother found her way to India. So please don’t lecture me about racism or Nazism.

    • July 15, 2010 at 12:37 am

      Whether Stein is a blogger or journalist is irrelevant.

      While living in Germany does not automatically make someone an expert on the Nazis, neither does having holocaust ancestors—and anyone who brings in the Nazis in a specious manner must live this being pointed out.

      I seriously suggest that you chill down, try to view issues like these more objectively, and assume good intentions until their is proof of the opposite—and such proof is absolutely not present here.

  5. July 7, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I just read the article myself, and, frankly, I do not see anything to be upset about: The article is humorous in intent and contains self-irony and elements of introspection about why the author unconsciously makes an odd exception to his pro-immigrant attitude. It could even be accused of being “anti-white” through making statements (obviously, again, humorous) about e.g. the lack of places where white people can learn crime.

    • Akshat
      July 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      If refering to people – who faithfully believe in God and put a symbol of auspiciousness on their forehead in respect to their beliefs – as “dot heads”, is not blithely ignorant and rude, then im a camel… who can type!

    • Manish
      July 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm

      Michael,

      Globalisation has resulted in free movement of capital and commodity but free movement of labour is still a contentious issue. However, after reading the article it seems that Joel Stein is not a diehard nostalgic who is indulging in some innocent humour over here. The real intent is actually to put his snobbish views under the garb of quick wit. One can take it with a pinch of salt but then there is too much of pepper in it!

    • Feynman007
      July 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      Michael: If Joel Stein were a little better aware of his own ancestry and history, he would not be spreading such hatred against an ethnic minority. By publishing his hate-filled article, the once respected Time magazine has slid down a slippery slope – not very different from one that some German magazines had slid down in the years leading up to the horrendous holocaust of the Jews in Europe. As a Jew who grew up in India, perhaps the only country in the world with the exception of Israel where Jews faced neither discrimination nor persecution, I am deeply offended by Joel Stein’s hate-filled article “My own private India” that Time magazine chose to publish. The columnists and editors of the Time magazine need to learn the difference between good-natured satire and hate speech. Indian Americans have been in the recent past targets of racist attacks in the US. At times of economic hardship, minorities and immigrants are often made scapegoats and become targets of violent racist attacks. Inciting such hatred in the guise of humor is foolish at best and sinister at worst. Shame on Joel Stein! Shame on TIME magazine, a once respected news magazine that has reduced itself to a racist rag!

  6. somit biswas
    July 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Incidentally, since I have family in Edison, I quite understand where he is coming from.It’s ok for us Indians to get emotional as well. But, once we cool down we will realize that change in the demographics of your hometown can hurt people emotionally.

    • Feynman007
      July 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm

      The only thing that is constant in the world is change. If Joel Stein wanted to do a serious piece on changes in demographics, he could have. That is not what he did. What he did was irresponsible, dangerous, and not much different from what the Nazi propagandists did to the Jews in the days leading up to the holocaust. Mr. Stein should know better.

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