Australia 'racist' and 'backwards' - Sol Trujillo - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-26-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
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Australia 'racist' and 'backwards' - Sol Trujillo

Australia 'racist & backward' | Stuff.co.nz

Controversial former Telstra chief Sol Trujillo has taken a swipe at Australia describing the nation he called home for four years as racist, backward and like "stepping back in time''. Asked in a BBC interview whether there was racism in Australia, Mr Trujillo said: "I think it was evident in a lot of ways with me personally but more importantly with others.'' His comments have shocked some, including the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia. Asked if Kevin Rudd's 'adios' comment was racist, former Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo tells his BBC interviewer that Australia is a backward country.

"I was quite flabbergasted to hear his comments,'' said the chamber's chief executive, Charles Blunt. "And I was quite shocked.''
Mr Trujillo, who earned millions at the helm of the one-time taxpayer-owned telecommunications giant, cited what he described as "restrictive'' historical immigration policies and "events over the past five or 10 years'' that the report did not specify.
"I would say that Australia definitely is different [from] the US. In many ways it was like stepping back in time,'' he said in the interview, which was broadcast in part by ABC Radio this morning.
He said he was sure that would continue.
"But my point is that [racism] does exist and it's got to change because the world is full of a lot of people and most economies have to take advantage - including Australia - of a diverse set of people.
"If there is a belief that only a certain people are acceptable versus others, that is a sad state.''

Mr Trujillo's tenure at Telstra was characterised by controversy, including a scuffle with the Federal Government over the national broadband network and a sharp fall in the share price of the widely owned stock.
When Mr Trujillo's resignation was announced recently, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gave this simple response: "Adios.''

During his time at Telstra, American-born Mr Trujillo, who has Mexican heritage, was often portrayed as Mexican. He was often referred to as one of the 'three amigos' and his battles with governments were sometimes referred to as Mexican stand-offs. Mr Blunt said he thought the "culture of Australian society and business is quite open and accepting of new ideas... "The whole country has a history of adopting foreign ideas from overseas readily... The only qualification is that they have to prove themselves to be good ideas.''

Other business groups contacted by BusinessDay declined to comment on the controversial issue today. Mr Trujillo left Australia this month, weeks before his expected departure date on June 30.

"Many Australians have come up to me and they've apologised, because they're embarrassed by that kind of behaviour,'' Mr Trujillo told the BBC of some of the criticism he had received during his stay.
A spokeswoman for Mr Rudd told the ABC that Mr Trujillo's statements were ridiculous comments that would disappoint Australians who welcomed him to this country.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:26 PM   #2
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Trujilo makes a perfectly legitimate comment, and every public figure goes into a state of denial and changes the topic rapidly.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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in other news, the sky is blue.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:50 PM   #4
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Rudd has a perfect opportunity to tackle a huge internal problem of this country, and instead he replies with that. Wonderful.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:40 PM   #5
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To me it would be shocking if Gordon Brown went 'Khuda Haafiz' to a resigning MP of Asian origin (just an example)
I thought John Howard was the bad guy?

I have never been to Aus but intend to pretty soon. I hope this racism problem is confined to a minority

Looks like Aussie news isnt taking it too seriously
I know how it feels to be mistreated by Telstra, Sol Trujillo | Opinion | News.com.au
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:49 PM   #6
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The world is just way too PC these days.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:53 PM   #7
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Some Aussie responses on A blog
blogs.thewest.com.au � Blog Archive � NEWS BLOG - Was Sol Trujillo out of line?

This is a standout response

"What was pure unaulterated arrogance, was “Drudgehello’s” first media conference where his first words were to advise us of the correct way to pronounce his name!! He never did get or bothered to try and understand the “Australian way”, but rather set out to convert us to his “way”, even importing his clones as foot soldiers. Now THAT is downright racist.
I would like to say, “Adios Drudgehello, and may more of your appointed ‘taco telco terrorists’ follow the same route!”
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:58 PM   #8
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I suppose we are fairly backwards. We still recognise the Queen as our head of state which is unforgivable.

I wouldn't go as far as to say we are a racist country, just a country with a lot fo racists who don't really understand that they are racist. Rudd probably wouldn't have understood that Trujillo might have deemed "Adios" as being offensive in any way.

The whole idea about us being multicultural to me has always been more about there being multiple cultures living in the Australian community, as opposed to Australia being welcoming and accommodating and respectful of multiple cultures - the US (at least in states like New York, Cali, Massachusetts) has always appeared to be more legitimately multi-cultural than Australia.

I wouldn't know if we're more "racist" than the UNited Kingdom. We've had a few Indian students beat up in the West of Melbs in the past few months, seemingly racially motivated, but I'm sure similar stuff happens in the UK.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:04 PM   #9
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Why doesn't the Government do something for the aboriginal people, like put their children in good schools or with Christian foster families for awhile.
Give them a chance to improve themselves?
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:07 PM   #10
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I think the UK has it sorted on multiculturalism
You cant get away with calling someone a 'paki', 'wog' or any other derogatory name

Think of London and Birmingham. Two massive cities with a large none white population and there must be a handful of incidents per year involving race

From an outside perspective, the aussies seem to get away with saying more offensive stuff. In the aftermath of the lebanese riots in sydney a couple of years ago there was a story for BBC commenting on how each side was allowed to get away with saying some pretty bad stuff. That led to more tension and violence. Same with the heated Aussie-India cricket series in 2008, the 'bollyline series.'

e.g



Obviously we have the BNP in the UK but every effort is made to villify the party and anyone who openly states their membership to it is in trouble as i remember a case where a police officer and a teacher were sacked for being found on the memberhsip list.

My asian mate went travelling to aus and loads of times people would'nt accept he is British (even though born in Birmingham)
Kept calling him Imran Khan as his first name was Imran (annoyed him quite a bit)
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deep View Post
Why doesn't the Government do something for the aboriginal people, like put their children in good schools or with Christian foster families for awhile.
Give them a chance to improve themselves?
they tried something like that. it was a rather disgusting violation of human rights and general good taste towards other human beings.



also, that is so contradictory. you're saying the only way they can improve themselves is to have christian families do it for them?
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:22 PM   #12
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At a cursory glance I think there is more - or less - to this than meets the eye. In Mr Trujillo's case, it is only partially about race. The dislike, such as there is, has a whole hell of a lot more to do with the nature of his tenure. Bringing in a bunch of US gung-ho capitalists to run a private but formerly-publicly-owned monopoly utility in a nation with very different traditions about this sort of thing than the US... it just didn't go down too well.

Telstra's attitude toward a lot of things is unfortunately high-handed and they are very lucky to not be forcibly broken up as an entity. Of course not all of that has to do with Mr Trujillo, but he played his part.

As for Australia being racist, I am inclined to paraphrase Basil Fawlty about the customer's demand for an airy room.... well, there's racist people in it! I don't think it is unique in that regard, among the human race.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I think the UK has it sorted on multiculturalism
You cant get away with calling someone a 'paki', 'wog' or any other derogatory name
Actually I found Britain to have quite significant racial undertones as compared to Canada (which I would say has the best functioning multicultural society in the Commonwealth).
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:59 PM   #14
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they tried something like that. it was a rather disgusting violation of human rights and general good taste towards other human beings.



also, that is so contradictory. you're saying the only way they can improve themselves is to have christian families do it for them?
it was just a suggestion

they should know there is more to life than walkabout and dingo pups
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:00 PM   #15
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it was just a suggestion

they should know there is more to life than walkabout and dingo pups
wow.
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