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All it takes for racism to proceed with impunity is for great friends to not bother about it

An 'Indian' friend recently, on 'Facebook', stated,

'I'll never leave anyone behind'.

To this, I responded,

'well, that depends on your focal length doesn't it.'

If your view is sufficiently narrowed to include the obvious or the lauded, you aren't going to be aware of those you have left behind, or the perspectives and personas you have discounted, for want of a broader vision of friendship and mutuality that requires adaptation and empathy. That simply reduces the function of a 'friend' in an unegalitarian milieux to mean nothing more than an anesthetic in the face of the guillotine.

Pushing for harmony amongst the populace within an unegalitarian status quo is always a good thing because friendship is one of the means by which people are blindsided and become oblivious to the tweaking that is going on to perpetuate an unegalitarian status quo.

Consider a milieu where people are able to get along socially but where all but one race are misrepresented or underrepresented in the media, the government, amongst others. That is when ‘friends’ are ‘enlisted’ to play the role of an opiate that makes things seem not too bad. They serve as the compensatory cushion that breeds underdevelopment amongst all. Let me put it this way. If the Afro-American had loads of ‘white’ friends in the U.S.’s relatively less egalitarian past, they wouldn’t have a black president today, or if they did, he wouldn’t be different from the ‘white’ majority.

Friendship-delivered underdevelopment can take on many forms. They help us take the bad with the good whilst it is all good for them. We are disabled from that degree of self-consciousness that it takes to think something amiss when we are called ‘niggers’ because the same bloke who did that is an ‘old friend’ who buys his round when it is his turn. You might not mind being passed over for promotion because the boss invited you to his birthday bash and treated you as amiably as everyone else.

In other words, our potential identity as an individual is split into two and occupies the realm of social acceptance and social oblivion simultaneously with the former serving as the midwife of the latter. Through this, our potentials to be other than the ‘norm’ is subsumed into the former and we develop along the same perspectival lines as our ‘friends’. And if this persists long enough, than we become less than we could otherwise be and know not what that is for not having matured enough to know better given our opiatic ‘friends’. And we won’t, with time, notice how oppressed and suppressed we were as we become blind to all its indicators. Overtime, the perspectives we could have afforded others as stewards of unique cultures disappears along with the attached persona and we blend harmoniously with the rest of the monocultural blob and seek individuation within its standards.

That is why, for instance, it took me quite a while before I realised how I was being underdeveloped by my ‘friends’ who never noticed slights against minorities whatever their proportions. And I too had at one time remained quite oblivious to it myself, and singapore seemed such a great place to live and die. But my sojourn in the United Kingdom from ’94 to ’99 taught me quite a bit about my perspectival deficiencies. Here, not only did I see how egalitarianism was pursued and the various manifestations of affronts to it, but also what true mutual respect could produce amongst all. I wouldn’t say that this experience taught me all there is to know about it as s/he who knows not more knows no better. But it taught me to doubt any environment, even the UK, enough to always seek more without.

How many industries could have sprung up in singapore if all cultures had been equally lauded and elevated to prominence. How many various perspectives would have flowered and fused and flowered further. I will never know. The great historically-endowed experiment of bringing the perspectives of the various hinterlands of the Malays, Muslims, Indians, Chinese to bear on the development of a nation, not for the short-sighted purpose of mindless replication, but for dialectical fusion, failed in every sense of the word.

My Chinese friend in the UK (who is from singapore, and whom I’m residing with) asked me recently if things could ever be the same as it was in the past. I said, no. Even if complete egalitarianism was to be brought about today, the distinction between the personas of the people populating the country has already been blurred to the point that whilst one mightst see, for instance, Indians in the country, you won’t hear them for that which issues forth from them is as distinguishable in essence from the majority as one comma is from another. For every ‘friend’ that I’ve had in singapore, save those whom had left for foreign and fairer climes, has always maintained a relationship with me that focused on common interests. But these common interests are basically the result of my attempting to adapt to them and keeping aside the Cosmopolitan/Japanese/Indian/British/Socialist/etc that makes up the ‘me’ In that, for the generally unconscious mind, that translates to a gradual diminution of those perspectives, and the persona it took to produce them, for want of a parchment for expression and elucidation. A voice in a void is soon rendered speechless. The same goes for perspectives and personas that aren’t afforded the attention or understanding of another and the children of the future awaken to less confused for all that can be.

These ‘common interests’, within an unegalitarian milieu, are that which iron out differences. They serve the function of an assimilation mechanism. In my experience, whenever I came across as ‘Indian’ or spoke on significant matters, or did so philosophically, that is when everyone at the table, regardless of race, goes silent - though my experience in the UK was the inverse. So I attempted to establish a common ground, and ended up reinforcing the perspectival status quo. Overtime, and decades, I realised that such 'frienships' was on the terms of the others and that adaptation was only one-sided. This is the subtle influence of 'friends' who respond very well when it is on casual and superficial matters, but remain silent in the face of others. So it was a choice of keeping company with them or playing Lone Wolf McQuade. Overtime, I chose to generally observe the latter as I realised that no company is preferable to such company as in the latter, I reinforce the superficial in myself, whilst being a part of the problem in terms of validating the perspectival status quo. However, I do still try at times, and with some of my Chinese friends, my perspectives and aid has, according to them, translated to increasing success in their own lives, and for which they are grateful.

So the Indians are taught by their parents not to think too much, question too much or be too different lest they aren’t able to find a job or get passed over for promotion. And if they abide by this, they can look forward to a harmonious gathering after work where all, ‘regardless of race, language or religion’, travel from one end of the country to the other for dinner – as do the Chinese – whilst not talking politics or anything significant or philosophically whilst at it as it doesn’t fit in well with the thus-defined ‘pragmatism’ of the ‘nation’. The advantaged continue to express personas and perspectives that are given an efficacious boost via ‘speak mandarin and promote Confucian culture’ campaigns whilst this creates a milieu for ‘minorities’ to discount other propensities passed on by their own inherited cultures by the de-validating effect of onslaughts on their own cultural sense of efficacy via a host of means. The advantaged will then not notice when more attention is given to their own as opposed to others. And by their ‘friendship’ with the ethnic minorities, it seems that that is attention and integration enough. And the ethnic minorities themselves will see this as compensation for inequity and over time all will eat and breathe the mantra, ‘well, this is a Chinese country what’. And for every common ground that various ethnic groups can meet, it serves as the medium by which people learn to put up with unegalitarian treatment on other fronts. In such a case, a ‘common ground’ serves to simply deliver all, despite ethnicity or faith, to a lesser one.

And these seem to work because we can still make ends meet, some climb up the ladder, whilst most start families and go on with their lives. But the loss is continuous since they will always be less than what they could have been, and the ‘preferred majority’ will always have lost out on what they could have gained via the consideration of an alternative take on things – to the point that they might require foreign talent bred in far more multicultural climes to aid in their monoculturally-induced stupefaction.

Even if the time comes when all are equal, it will be enjoyed on an identical and lower plane because previously, all had conformed to one particular standard and been lobotomised accordingly. In such a milieu, the only difference between, for instance, a Chinese and an Indian would be that one is subservient and the other, passionately so. But equally subservient all.

An 'Indian' friend recently, on 'Facebook', stated,

'I'll never leave anyone behind'.

To this, I responded,

'well, that depends on your focal length doesn't it.'

If your view is sufficiently narrowed to include the obvious or the lauded, you aren't going to be aware of those you have left behind, or the perspectives and personas you have discounted, for want of a broader vision of friendship and mutuality that requires adaptation and empathy. That simply reduces the function of a 'friend' in an unegalitarian milieux to mean nothing more than an anesthetic in the face of the guillotine.




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