you are talking about me

From day one, I doubted if Twitter was a good place for me to be. Day four and I am involved in a massive argument. Because I’m wasting time on an idiot. This is how it started:

Tweet: University of Canberra journalist school passes ‘fail’ students
(enter article, insinuating foreigners cheat their way through the Australian education system). Another tweet commenting on this article:ok, now put your journalistic investigationing skills to work, on imported doctors v’s home grown

and then Signe got pissed off. I now know I should have just turned off Twitter. Instead I wrote and hence the argument began:

Signe: I’m from overseas, done my masters here, now my PhD. Do you want to challenge my ability?
Tweet: Good for you (oh the condescending nerve)
Signe: and, so far, good for Australia! Continue to make everyone believe foreigners are incompetent cheats and we leave

And on the argument goes. I have sent my last post on the matter, a condescending return of “Well, good for you” (I couldn’t help myself). But people, it hit a nerve! A really sensitive one, which I am fiercely annoyed with: the general discussion that educated foreigners are not qualified for Australian standards. It can be one of two things. Either our education back home is not good enough OR we cheated our way through uni, because we all know that people with a non-english language background buy exam results, have other people sit exams in their name and only make it through because we are a money machine for the university.

Well, I didn’t! And I don’t know anyone else who did! I and my fellow foreign students worked our arses off to learn your language and learn it well enough to write an Honours thesis that would qualify us to do a PhD. Between my Masters and PhD I worked 4 years paying taxes to your country with no right to claim anything. I am not covered by medicare and never have been. I am forced to pay for an insanely expensive medical insurance which gives me almost the same cover as medicare, but not entirely. If I don’t, I get kicked out of the country. I cannot get social welfare. If I had become unemployed while working, I would have been kicked out of the country. That is how a 457 visa (sponsorship) works. My Masters cost me $50.000 all together. Right down in your coffers.ย 

And then I get it (and you have no idea how many times I have heard this): “But we are not talking about you.” Because I am white. I am from Europe. I am not a doctor from India. Well pardon me for clearing this up: the only difference between me and the doctor from India is the colour of our skin. We have gone through the same visa application process, taken the same exams, applied the rules of the same system.

So when you talk about the cheating foreign students, you ARE talking about me. And I challenge you. Anyone who has lived the experience will. Push me, and I will challenge you further: then I will call the racism card.



10 thoughts on “you are talking about me

  1. That makes me so angry! And I am also sorry you had to experience that especially since you had the impression that Australia wasn’t as racist as Europe.

    • Thanks Juliane – nice to see you on my blog ๐Ÿ™‚
      Well, at least I don’t think Australia is as racist towards me + Mr Husband as our experience in Europe. You are right about that. But racism is ugly everywhere; it just affects different people.
      I was so angry at this Twitter person; I think I still am. After I had said “Continue to make everyone believe foreigners are incompetent cheats and we leave” the return comment was “I’ll not stop you”
      What a shame…

      • Well done Signe!The website possibly holds th edidderent view with mine so my comment needs long time to be mediated! But i will email you!

  2. Thanks for fighting for us—foriengers!And touched for your broad heart and mind.
    I have a similar story for you.One day i drove on the way back home from my son’s school, PROPERL.But after the car behind us overtook mine, a women on the vice-driver seat open the window and showed me very rudely the ugly FINGER!At first I planed to put up with it, and felt negatively interesting—-look,how civilised Australian is, as I did in the past for several times, but then I said “no” to myselves—-that’s enough!So I speeded up and follwed the ugly women tightly until she stoped in Smithfield shopping centre, and I got out the car went directly to her and said, ” the lady if you’d like to let me know if I did something offensive to you?”Of course, the only rewards I could get is lots of funking.—–Wow, that’s all she could do!It seems nothing needed to go on, so I spoke to her,” The lady I came here just to tell you behave civilisedly next time and learn to speak any other words noble!!!”So I left, and made a decision would never be annoyed
    by this kind f things.
    Yes, UGLY racists everywhere just because of their narrowed heart ang eyes can’t appreciate different scene, just like a creek never can be powerful and spectacular as the ocean is! Smile to them with a noble heart, as this kind of CRRAURE is so DIFFERENT with us!!
    —-how can a gentle and elegant person win a rough one in every aspect of being ugly, especially in treating others in good manner?Just like how hard it is to teach a monkey to put on suits!
    keep going on, Signe, never be annoyed by that! As it will be everywhere!And it’s the real world! Meeting with them or not depends on our luck!Good luck to you, and to me, and to all foriengers here, and in every country!! Wuying

    • Oh Wuying, I love your comment! How brave of you to follow that woman. Even if all you got was a lot of swearing, I’m sure you made an impact on her. It is so important to challenge wrong when we meet it.
      I feel so priviledged to know you and so very lucky that our paths have crossed! And you know me, I will get angry, put I hardly ever stop smiling ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Thanks Signe! Yes, smiling is powerful weapon for us to face everything—happy or not! Keep smiling to yourself (at least in your heart) every day, if possible, to every one you meet with, you’ll find the world isn’t too bad for living!hehehe

      • I totally agree with that. Smiling is one of the most powerful weapons we have. And it does change how you see the world.

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