U.S. Diplomat Couple Cause Furor in India With Offensive Facebook Posts

Ironically, one of them worked as a community liaison officer

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Adnan Abidi / Reuters

A security guard and an Indian policeman stand in front of the main gate of the U.S. embassy in New Delhi on Dec. 17, 2013

Indian media have been giving wide play to derogatory comments by a U.S. diplomat couple on Indian life and culture, exacerbating already strained relations between the two countries in the wake of the Devyani Khobragade affair.

The Times of India identified the couple as Wayne May, who headed the security team at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, and his wife Alicia Muller, who worked, ironically, as a community liaison officer.

May had been expelled from India in retaliation for the recent arrest in New York City of Khobragade, an Indian diplomat, who was indicted on charges of visa fraud and mistreatment of her maid before being allowed to return to New Delhi.

(MORE: After Khobragade: Can U.S.-India Relations Recover?)

On his Facebook page, May made fun of the Indian way of life and said his pet dog was better nourished than his Indian gardener as the dog got more protein in his diet. In one Facebook post, Muller referred to India’s reputation for sexual violence: “It’s the vegetarians that are doing the raping, not the meat eaters — this place is just so bizarre.” The couple also made fun of cows, which are a religious symbol in India. When one of Muller’s friends pointed out that she had insulted an Indian god, she retorted “Not the first time, not the last.”

Washington on Monday was at pains to distance itself from the postings. “Those comments absolutely do not reflect U.S. government policy, nor were they made on any official U.S. government social-media account,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. “I would underscore that these do not in any way represent the U.S. government position.”

Although the offensive remarks appear to have been deleted, several websites in India, including Racist American Diplomats, published a selection of screenshots of them.

Indian commentators have conceded that the posts were “frivolous” but argued that they were nevertheless in bad taste in light of the couple’s diplomatic status.

“Given the sensitive positions they occupied in the U.S. embassy, they are, particularly in hindsight, astonishingly offensive” the Times of India said.

MORE: Devyani Khobragade Scandal: Why India Still Won’t Back Down

332 comments
raji.alrazi
raji.alrazi

Those two Americans are right about India.

Monica11
Monica11

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AnirbanChatterji
AnirbanChatterji

Social media is becoming the source of free publicity to those so called "Back Office Diplomats". Go ahead and enjoy that publicity which on any other day will just dissolve in the herds. 


Had these same words been used on US lands, this diplomat would really pay the price. Hold on to your tongue Mr, because your freedom of speech ends where ours starts!! 

klp_pdc@yahoo.com
klp_pdc@yahoo.com

There are three crucial questions:

(1) Does the United States believe either that all diplomats must be subject to the legal jurisdiction of host states — many people around the world would applaud — or that the sanctity of U.S. diplomats (and soldiers) abroad is inviolate but foreign diplomats in the U.S. cannot have full immunity?

(2) Why should the U.S. legal process override a case already before India’s courts, involving a contract signed there between two Indians, with India’s government as an interested party?

(3) Do the facts really point to human trafficking?"-----------these are really crucial questions.


I am glad this was resolved peacefully in the end without lasting damage.

CaliforniaEagle
CaliforniaEagle

I wonder how May is not investigated by the State Dept for getting his wife involved what purported to be an investigative matter (as I understand it, she bought the tickets for the maid's family to go to the U.S.). Did May get one of his friends to file the case in New York because he had some personal interest in the family in Delhi??

Voltaire
Voltaire

Reminds me of Earl Butz, and his remarks on African Americans here.

ShivaKumar
ShivaKumar

Let me assure all the non-Indians complaining about our "insensitivity" towards Danish woman's rape in our Country that  we are terribly ashamed of   this incident.Please don't insult us by suggesting that human life has no value in  this country. Yes,we were outraged when Indian diplomat was strip-searched but we were more outraged when that poor Danish woman was raped. 

India has  a problem,we will deal with it, Rapes happen in the U.S too,they happen  all over the world but I admit that Indian government could have done better . 

I am shocked to see some of the comments over here bashing Indian culture,our culture has got nothing to do with these horrible crimes. 

Gun violence is a frequent occurrence in the U.S,it doesn't mean that every American is a moron who loves to shoot,same applies to India,there are some perverts,they should be thrown into jails.

JKA
JKA

What I find so offensive is that 2 foreigners were gang raped India just this week, but somehow all the citizens of this country are more concerned with social media comments of people who are no longer in India. 

Vinusha
Vinusha

Now lastly are these the values of AMERICA ...just by the state dept stating that 'we have no idea or have nothin to do with the May people' why don't u stick up with ur beloved American Citizen now.(oh I'm sorry all the state dept, cia, fib, nypd, judiciary are all baby sitting Sangeetha Richard...)

 When America thinks its LAW and its people are right then it never see the other side. And now when ur AMERICAN diplomats are so full of arrogance, u just say its ok. Come on where is any value , culture in ur people...oh i forgot the May's don't have any..cause they are from USA.....No values, no culture only the materialistic.. self absorbed..on earth..

Vinusha
Vinusha

I must restate what i have said in various sites..The American media are just telling half baked facts..the writer here says 'May had been expelled from India in retaliation for the recent arrest in New York City of Khobragade, an Indian diplomat' . 

I must clarify what is wrong in this statement..IT IS NOT VIOLATED but the May's have been sent back to the US 1. Cause they have VIOLATED INDIAN JUDICIARY by helping the Richard family flee India, when they had cases filed in India courts against them 2.  May had used concessions on tax on booking flight tickets that applies only to officials , for buying tickets for  the richards family, this is INDIAN TAX VIOLATION. 3. They worked with the in-laws of Sangeetha Richard and planned the exit of the Richard family on false visas.

Witty_Montypython
Witty_Montypython

Granted , the diplomat should not have posted his culturally offensive comments on FB.  That was rather unbecoming of a diplomat  and of course did reflect on the "ugly american stereotype? What was he thinking ?   What was Kerry's state department thinking in hiring an uncouth, uncultivated, to be frank an all-american,   "raidd-naicke" couple ?


Indians also find americans to be amusing just the same way as american find Indians to be "funny". . Many Indians secretly find americans to be  sort of  rather  blissfully ignorant  and realize that the american accent is often mocked by the British  and their media as uncouth, uncivilized , uncultivated who portray many americans as  hillbillies and   hicks AKA Monty Python and Rowan Atkinson stereotypes of americans.  Indians like the British find many americans to be clueless about world geography , politics, religion, history and culture. 


What shocks Indians  the most while living in america  is how to their horror  where americans take pride in their multi-racial, multi-religious democracy, many but not all white americans perceive non-white people to be genetically inferior(!)   and often openly express their racially charged views in public or in the media!   It offends americans of color,  Indians  , Chinese,  other ancient  Asian nationalities in particular  because of their pride in their  ancient 5500 year old cultural roots.  There is almost a NO-NO when it comes to discriminating against Jews or blacks  in the american media or Hollywood but trashing Indians or Chinese, other Asians, Hispanics, etc is very commonplace and a free for all. But  in public,  most Indians tend to be  polite towards Americans even while they are being racially insulted in bars, restaurants, during commute or at the work place. 


As far as some of the comments go about the violence, rapes, etc, that is stereotyping. According to Wikipedia and other sources, the US ranks number in rape stats in the world. Last year, there were 38,000 rapes reported in the US. In India, 22, 000. Considering the fact, that India's population is four  times larger, India's is certainly lower percent-wise. The protests against rapes we see in India are by men as well as women. In america, there are hardly any protests when news breaks out about rapes in the media almost as if the american people are desensitized to it. Most rapes in america are  also "white on white" and "not  black on white".   In spite of that fact, t the american media demonizes the black male  and other men of color to be these violent, rapacious, demonic, murderous, animalistic, Untermenschen, sub-human  beasts while glorifying the white male as some sort of feminist Demi-God incapable of hate and violence. Fact is, the FBI profile of a gun-toting serial killer  and a serial rapist is " A suburban, educated, middle-class white male!"


It also does  not help when Hollywood  and the american media glorifies the white male and white societies as civilized and men of color and non-white  countries and civilizations  to be evil , uncivilized and barbaric.  it just perpetuates the closet  racism as exemplified by this "diplomat, raidd-naicke" couple.


America is also the most violent country in western civilization. There were 50, 000  gun  related deaths last year  and yes, many of them were angry white males killing and  shooting up suburbia  and not necessarily black or hispanic gangs on a killing spree.  But, yet the media and Hollywood continues to portray the white males as this Jesus like Demi-Gods  and men of color as this rapacious, animalistic, sub-human, untermenschen  animalistic beasts :)


As far as vegetarianism goes, speaking for myself, I feel a whole lot healthier after I quit eating meat, took up yoga  and meditation.  Many scientists think that 15-20% of north american cattle are infected with mad cow disease, the latency period for which is about 20 years. So, next time one chomps on a burger or a steak, think about the mad cow prion incubating in your beef:)


As far as US-Indian relations  go,  I do remember when George Bush  invited India's Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh  for a state  dinner at the White house, someone forgot to tell the president that his new friend , Manmohan  is a vegetarian and a tee-totaller !!    Through the grape-wine , the white house chef had to quickly scramble and concoct a vegetarian dish for Dr. Manmohan Singh !!!


Diplomacy is very, very, very important otherwise we'd be breaking into racial hostilities at a moment's notice !!.


One has to remember, Indian born  British writer's  famous quote  in Kashmir , India, in 1865, Rudyard Kipling


East is East

West is west

Never the Twain shall meet

Whence we do meet, 

Mass racial conflagration !


It  is the mass racial conflagration,  we need to avoid through diplomacy.:)


I hope India and the US kiss and make so we can get with the agenda of containing a common enemy, EVIL China, wooing India away from Russia, restraining a common enemy,   islamic militancy and make lots and lots of money for corporations  at the expense of the common man in America and India !  :)


Cheers, 

I love India pale Ale,  even though it is an English beer

beyonduniverse
beyonduniverse

Americans keep calm, lots of Indians still like you. No American embassy is going to get targeted, but don't send bigots or no free liquor, And please drop your fetish for cavity search, esp dont try it on any of our gals from now on,we have told everyone of them to eat lots of garlic while in US..thats all.

Evji108
Evji108

Just shows you something about how arrogant, un-feeling  and self absorbed Texas people are. This kind of lack of appreciation for an ancient and beautiful culture shows a lot more about how shallow this diplomatic couple is than it shows anything about India. I am ashamed of our country when I read such things.  Who appointed these people to go to India? I would expect that the State Department would put people through some kind of vetting procedure that would eliminate people unsuited for foreign service such as this culturally stunted couple. I hope they get canned for this, they deserve it.

UnniN
UnniN

Ms SusanSlater, the Gadhimai (apparently a Hindu goddess of power) festival is held between November and December once in five years inNepal. Nepal is not India but a large number of participants are from the States of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in  India. Huge numbers of animals and birds and even water buffalo are killed to propitiate the goddess and the protests of Animal Rights activists against this has had no effect. Barbaric though this practice is, Ms Slater how does it condone the boorish remarks made by Wayne and his wife? 

SatyamevaJayate
SatyamevaJayate

Here is another excerpt proving that insulting of Indian religion was meditated and deliberate.
Feb. 26, 2011
Alician Mueller May: "Stupid cow!"
Joyce Nakhoul Haley: "You just insulted their god."
Alician Mueller May: "Not the first time, not the last time!"

Read more and all: http://duckduckduckdoge.tumblr.com/

golongson
golongson

Indians have a huge legacy cost. The cost of having developed prior to Christ's birth. So called tradition is holding them up. Europeans have no legacy cost. No viable religion or tradition was developed in Europe. Europeans mostly took anything and everything from everywhere that made sense for their living and developed from there. Indians do not have those kind of perspective on life. They are still imprisoned by their culture and tradition. For any culture that competes with Europeans, religion and tradition will be their obstacle towards reaching on par with Europeans.

golongson
golongson

Europeans evolved in harsh cold weather. They need to eat meat to survive the winter in Europe. Whereas in India, harvests can take place throughout a year. Therefore they lean towards plant food. The climate is to blame for this culture. Also eating animals does impact ones gene. It makes people bit animal like. Aggressive and intolerant towards others.

golongson
golongson

Americans in for trouble. Indians re the richest race in America. They are gonna get fired up over this. It is the white people who are causing trouble for America. US govt needs to replace some whites in NSA and state dept with nonwhites. They will be more sensitive and tolerant towards others. White people are not tolerant as one can see from their history

raniss
raniss

@ShivaKumar  Please read statistics before you comment on anything. Coming from India I would say....ethics and morality is extremely limited.....sometimes to shameful standards. I am sure you will have things to say about this post....but seriously try to look at it sensibly and from outside....then you will be able to see.

Kelleyright
Kelleyright

@ShivaKumar 


I am not insulting your culture nor your religion. Simply making a statement on the post below.


Of course there is violence all over the world, people get raped, killed, everywhere. There are pedophiles on the internet, there is a lot of perverts all over the world. There are some streets in the U.S. you cannot drive or walk because of gangs and drugs.  The only difference is there are strict laws and fear from the police. You can end up in jail for life or get the death penalty for wrong doing or even get killed by an inmate in prison.. The government is not perfect in the states but it implements strict laws on the morons of society.


Raping because you walk on the street, beating your wife because she didn't respect your mothers rules, killing your newborn because she is a girl... all these are  primitive behavior that needs to stop for the well being of women and society all over the world.


Rohan
Rohan

@ShivaKumar...well said,Shiva. I may add also..going by the recent news these 'culture-bashers' ought to be condemning Brits as paedophiles that love to exploit Fililpino kids online..

Witty_Montypython
Witty_Montypython

@JKA You happen to be monitoring the activities of "all" 1 billion citizens in india?  Amazing ! You must  have super-powers or are super-man !


Do you ever monitor the gazillion Indian message boards. Did you know there are more newspapers printed in India than any other country ?


Grin:)

MountJoy123
MountJoy123

@VinushaAbsolutely correct. Also, if we read inlines - May, as a CIA agent, recruited Sangeetha Richard to spy on an Indian diplomat... Also, May using his power to specifically order US Marshalls to strip/cavity search Devyani after she was arrested..

B
B

All your bs don't make no sence.

sharpedge
sharpedge

@Witty_Montypython The real truth is about 12,000 gun related deaths in the US annually.  and most of them are by people who own guns illegally.  i.e. illegal aliens, gang members, ex-convicts. The numbers of gun deaths by citizens who can legally own guns is so small I haven't been able to find a number.

DamnatioMemoriae
DamnatioMemoriae

@SatyamevaJayate The comments were insensitive at worst. If you want to be offended you can find something to upset yourself anywhere. Divorcing the statements from their context helps them seem more offensive than they are; However it also reveals the dishonest intent of the poster.

klp_pdc@yahoo.com
klp_pdc@yahoo.com

@golongson That's a simplistic viewpoint. India was the United states of the ancient world. The culture has accepted practices and customs from other cultures. India was also a meeting place for world's best scientists, philosophers and thinkers much before the rise of Europe. To say that India did not borrow any ideas from the west or other eastern cultures is simply foolish and naive.

golongson
golongson

Indians are like Eastman Kodak company. white people are like google and apple. If they don't adopt they will linger but will not develop and will get crushed by white people eventually.

DamnatioMemoriae
DamnatioMemoriae

@golongson Without individualism, individuals can not act outside of their social group. The legacy of the caste system is a communal identity. Also, if I am not mistaken climate does correlate with communal vs. individualist societies. 


Bringing it back to the topic at hand - Media types are currently trying to inflame the nationalist victim identity for the elections. Again, the elites use identity politics for their own gain.

Rohan
Rohan

@golongsonOne of the big myths..huge numbers of people more than half the population are non-vegetarian..heck in some states like kerala many hindus eat beef as well..but all of that is overlooked  in attempts to generalise the sub-continent ..only about 40% of the population is vegetarian ( which also means egg-eaters)


http://mrcyriac.com/2012/03/01/just-how-vegetarian-is-india/

DamnatioMemoriae
DamnatioMemoriae

@golongson  "Also eating animals does impact ones gene. It makes people bit animal like. Aggressive and intolerant towards others." 


Even if this were true, which I do not believe - Comments like this do not get us to where we want to go.


 The climate difference is a well known metric. In colder regions people have greater interpersonal spaces. For various reasons this can create the superficial impression of a more violent society. If you would like to educate yourself further about these ideas, I encourage you to use this as your starting point for research: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofstede's_cultural_dimensions_theory


Sue333
Sue333

@golongson Untrue..... A jobless, undereducated, vagrant subculture with views about women from Medieval times is what makes men attack women like that in India, same as the USA. That diplo is an untrained wacko job. The first law of diplomacy is not to insult people, no matter how crazy the culture seems to be.

golongson
golongson

Even among animal kingdom, the animals that eat other animals are usually very violent and aggressive. The plant eating animals are mostly not aggressive.

Leti789
Leti789

@golongson Indians pretend to be rich. I know a few that are doing just that.

Sue333
Sue333

@golongson Education and sensitivity is needed. That is a racist statement.

AamAadmi2014
AamAadmi2014

@golongson I am an Aam Aadmi which means a "common man" and I am brown skinned Indian. But my friend, I have known and know white Americans who are good human beings. So, let us not kill them all my friend. Yes there are some bad people, stupid people, ugly people, but which country does not have them. So should whites be replaced, let the Government decide, in the meanwhile, you and I and everyone else should try to build the goodwill. The common man can do what politicians cannot.

casey85
casey85

@Kelleyright @ShivaKumar 


Kelleyright are you some kind of Pakistani troll or American Christian Evangelist who wants everyone here to believe that Indian people are morally and socially loose and have to shown "the path". Because it looks like you talk about rape and then bring social issues such as beating wives because of disrespecting mothers and killing baby girls. Just to "enlighten" you, both of these cases have an "active" hand of woman. The mother's tend to believe that the wives have to be submissive to the whole household esp her son and her. Therefore will manipulate the son so he resorts to violence. Also, can you imagine a man's plight when he hears constant complaining from wife about the mother and vice versa. Secondly, baby girls are not killed. If they are killed after being born they will go straight to jail for murder.  Female infanticide doesn't happen everywhere in India but some of the most remote regions in the northern and north-western india. Unfortunately, the daughter's maternal grandmother have a hand in this. 


Are you aware of the number of rapes that happened in Iraq of civilians: women, girls, and even boys. Now, is the world media showing this and bringing justice to these people. Probably not! Can people all over the world say that american military shows no respect to human life? Some may agree to this. 


Don't sensationalize this incident much more then what it should be. There is problem in that country and let them fix it why are you concerned about it? Elementary school kids were killed by some madman, are you or your elected political "leaders" able to bring about a change, guaranteeing a safer neighborhood, and streets? NO, they are still bickering over gun laws and arming the general populace.


Finally, use your brain! Do not generalize. I guarantee you that you have never been to that country. So stop defaming it, when you can't point it on the map!

Kelleyright
Kelleyright

Unfortunately there is no remorse for human life in India.

The first think you should be saying is how bad you feel for that 51 year old tourist that was gang raped for over 3 hours. Oh! I forgot woman get raped on daily basis in India so it's a very normal thing. These man should have fear from the government so that they don't commit these kind of crimes over woman and children, don't you think?

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@sharpedge@Witty_Montypython 

Actually, the number is about 32,000 gun deaths in America.  Though what the hell that has to do with your post in reply to the TLDR thing the guy wrote is beyond me.

SatyamevaJayate
SatyamevaJayate

@DamnatioMemoriae@SatyamevaJayate
I was going to respond to your comment, but then I noticed the following comment by you I decided that a BIGOT like you does not deserve a response:

golongson 1 hour ago

"Indians are like Eastman Kodak company. white people are like google and apple. If they don't adopt they will linger but will not develop and will get crushed by white people eventually."




Rohan
Rohan

@golongsonIs that why..everyone's shaking in their shoes in the US when someone mentions India and China..?

golongson
golongson

Don't get me wrong. I am a Christian. I eat all kinds of meat in all my meals. In fact I eat only meat and vegetables. I am just stating the obvious based on my observation of Europeans.

golongson
golongson

Relatively all other cultures are more tolerant than white people. Of course there are some bad elements in every culture

klp_pdc@yahoo.com
klp_pdc@yahoo.com

@Kelleyright Stop with your propaganda. Rapes in India or US have nothing to do with this issue of diplomatic immunity.

DamnatioMemoriae
DamnatioMemoriae

@golongson You need a larger sample than casual observation to support that kind of argument. Check Hofstede, others have already done this research. 

Bullsgt
Bullsgt

@golongson Very few societies (people, not governments) are tolerant of outsiders (religion, race, language, color).

In India there is social, educational, religious and economic intolerance in plenty. By comparison India has more intolerant people (whatever color) per capita then the U.S. does.