Instead, I said to them, straight out, that they shouldn't slag off wogs. For starters, it's dangerous. Wogs are sensitive about being wogs, and it might hurt our feelings. Further, they needed to understand that wogs are Australians, just like them. That I am an Australian, just like them.
Their eyes were still glossed over, so I tried something different. I came up with a senario to walk them through. I said, imagine that this train was hijacked by some Muslims intent on taking everyone hostage. I asked them what they would do in such an eventuality.
I guess they were feeling timid, because they said that if the terrorists had guns, they'd just do as they were told.
"Fuck that!" I said. "This is the post-9.11 age, habib!" (for non-wogs, "habib" means "friend").
"Terrorists these days don't want to swap you for money or political favours. They want to kill your ass in a spectacluar fashion, so their God will love them more, and give them more virgins when they die."
They looked like they were getting the idea, so I decided to drive my point home. "What I'm talking about is that, if that happened, we'd have to fight. You guys would have to kill them to stay alive. I want you to know that if that had happened today, I would have fought beside you. We're all Australians, you know? We live in a free country, and it has to stay that way, no matter what. Race doesn't mean shit when your ass is on the line." I bid them farewell, and walked back to my seat.
As the train pulled into Town Hall, the guys walked past me. As they did, they both nodded to me, and smiled. I returned the gesture, knowing that whatever happened, they probably wouldn't forget what I'd said. And you know what? It made me feel good. Really good.
This guy has a great sense of humor, but also a keen sense of modernity. He styles himself the "Arab Street Neoconservative", and he's alright by me. Check him out, blogroll him, and encourage him! And see if he has any hot female Lebanese cousins stateside! :OD
[Cross-posted at Between Worlds]