63. RACISTS PART 1
Being a racist is nothing new. We’ve seen it happening and occuring all over the world throughout mankind’s existence and his temperamental history.
Great wars were fought, won and lost because of it. Personal and work relationships broken down due to differences in mindset and relationship with Self mutilated through loss of confidence and self-esteem.
And even in the new millenium, our year, 2009, racism rears its ugly head quite often. Obviously, it isn’t as pronounced as it used to be what it definitely exists in subtle form.
One example I’ve noticed lately is Malaysia’s political tagline: 1Malaysia
Now WHAT is that all about?
The same goes for Singapore’s lame attempt called ‘Racial Harmony Day’
Now, while all intentions behind these PC events are good, in the long term, to me, they only serve to highlight differences, not similarities.
A Hari Raya ad I saw recently in the Malaysian papers attests to this. It’s a shot of some people in an MPV on their way to a Hari Raya celebration. In the front seat are a Malay man and woman wearing their traditional ‘Raya bajus’ while at the back sat another Malay lady and 3 kids, one Chinese, one Indian and another Malay kid donned in their traditional garb – the Chinese kid in his mandarin-collared red and gold threaded suit and the Indian girl in her ‘patta’ sari glory.
How stereotyped is that ad eh?
Not to mention dated!
And it’s not only fashion stereotypes, it’s comedy stereotypes. I really don’t think comedy shows accentuating the funny mamak roti canai man in his thick ‘Yindian Yak-cent’ tickles my funny bone anymore.
Neither does my sides split when I see a Chinese man, dicing a scene in rapid-fire Hokkien while obsessing about his mahjong game and since we’re going there, the Malay man who displays the IQ of a ketupat.
Sigh….we certainly haven’t moved on have we?
Everyday I’m reminded of my race. When I apply for a job, people want to know what race I am. And then to top it off, they asked me what my religion is.
Totally annoyed, there have been times I’ve been tempted to write ‘Member of Satanic Cult’ just to make people realise what a dumb state of affairs we’ve been thrown in.
But the worst part of racism is the marginalisation and I’m going to be brutally honest here. Are you ready?
Our countries, Malaysia and Singapore, are racist.
Once again, our countries, Malaysia and Singapore are racist.
OK, have you recovered?
Good, because I’m going to say that word again – RACIST 😀
Why are we racist?
1. We stereotype a person (like I mentioned above) through their colour, race, religion and languages spoken.
2. We give jobs to people who can speak, read and write Chinese….whoops, did I say that? Oh my goodness! Slap me in the wontons people but this is fact. Non-Chinese are outrightly denied benefits of securing a position in employment in the employer requires Chinese to be a leading communicative language.
3. Our governments have been known to secretly or otherwise, practise preferential treatment. In the case of Malaysia it isn’t much of a secret with the ‘bumiputra’ policy and in Singapore, it’s the complete ‘anti-bumiputra’ policy that promotes superiority of one ethnic group over another which is my next definition of racism.
4. We are racist because there is a underlying (and I call it a subconscious) belief that every race has deterministic characteristics both positive and negative that results in racial differences that either make a race feel inherently superior ir inferior of a particular racial group. Spin that mindset with biasness and walah, you get pride and prejudice.
The United Nations itself states that there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination.
As I mentioned in my last post, we’re all defined, labelled, bar-coded and heck, even de-classified at times just so some random population expert working for the government can keep tabs on the various ‘breeds of species’ in existence in a country.
But is this a kind of simplistic excuse?
Yes, it is especially for those who are in denial-yea you know those people-the ostriches who’ve got their heads in the sand.
An American guy who’s settled in China for the last few years has got a blog called ‘The White Devil’. In a post written in 2008, he notes how the Chinese in general have no empathy or sympathy for anyone other than close friends and family. Everybody else can basically fudge themselves off on a chocolate cake, basically.
I don’t know if that’s true but it certainly seems to be so for quite a lot of people I’ve talked to through the years who’ve had bad experiences with Chinese.
But I’m an Indian and I’ve had a few scrapes and spills with my own kind and other races.
Look: let’s face it. Feelings of racism occur in every race. There will always be bad apples within the lot because it is a survival instinct to flock towards your own kind.
But it’s 2010 and despite our education and increased exposure to so many other different races and cultures, it’s amazing how our primal urges still unconsciously plays a huge role in our lives today.
I still have loads to write about this but I’ll save that for another day.
Meanwhile I’m putting on my Klu Klux Klan outfit and heading off for a lynching. Ta!!