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Race Discrimination in SG - in discussion

The following 'comments' may be found following ‘Solo Bear’s’ article, ‘Race Discrimination in Singapore? Who Doesn't Know That?


ed:

It's about time that the situation has some international recognition. The 3 responses I personally, and without exception, get when speaking about this issue to the chinese is,

1. There's no racism here

2. Everywhere also got racism what

3. Silence and subject-change

Legalist-cum-confucian culture, with its focus on traditionalism, conformity, uniformism, being unquestioning, rules as opposed to reason, etc, has long been a foundation for the production of bigoted tendencies of all genres. Thus, all that had to be done was to promote it, elevate it, and turn it into a national culture; whilst clamping down on egalitarian multiculturalism and diluting difference; and aiding the economic ascendency locally and regionally of those identified as 'chinese' via the mother tongue policy, etc. All that has transpired.

What kind of people do you think this is going to produce? It's no wonder that the 'opposition' has precious little to say about these things. (That's why, in my more irate moments, i'm inclined to state that the likes of Ken J, Chee, and their bevy of followers, amongst others, can kiss my ass if they want to present themselves as 'democrats'.)

The purpose of 'institutionalised racism' is to cause its transfiguration into 'constitutional racism' at the popular level. That has long been achieved.


SB:

Ed:
>>The 3 responses I personally, and without exception, get when speaking about this issue to the chinese is,
1. There's no racism here
2. Everywhere also got racism what
3. Silence and subject-change
>>

Me:
In an attempt by minorities to emphasize that Singapore is a racist country, I have to remind you that you should not fall into the same trap. The above is stereotyping Chinese the way PAP is stereotyping minorities.

If you are not already aware, I am Chinese. In the first of my post on race issues which I linked up in the main article, I mentioned a friend from Toronto who told me Singapore has racist policies. He was a Chinese Singaporean too. That incident was in the 1980s and my post I linked was made in 2007 - long before the UN Expert gave his report.

I find most minorities do not speak up and that could be because of their culture.

However, do appreciate that I, a Chinese, have a much more difficult time fighting for YOUR RIGHTS, when you are silent. The majority just say to me that if they (the minorities) are silent, who am I (a non-minority) to make a big fuss?

See the problem? I suppose that there are many Chinese who feel they should fight for minorities but because of the above, are silent too.


ed:

"SB:
In an attempt by minorities to emphasize that Singapore is a racist country, I have to remind you that you should not fall into the same trap. The above is stereotyping Chinese the way PAP is stereotyping minorities."

That is not stereotyping SB, as i've stated, that is personally the response i've gotten the past 11 years in all my personal interactions without exception.

I'm sure that there are empathetic individuals such as yourself, but it is surely telling that i've never met any here (and my social circle is wide and spans those of various socio economic status, and are mostly chinese with a smattering of Indians and Eurasians) - whilst the inverse is true in the UK. The contrast has always served as a 'culture shock' since my first return from the UK. And generally speaking, what is considered as gross racism there is past unnoticed in singapore, or at least without any fuss whatsoever online or off. What do you think that indicates? And about the people?

The point is if these are exceptions rather than the rule. If the latter is true, we ought to be inquiring after the conditions that produce it. As i've always stated, it is not the 'race', but the perspective/culture.

And yes, i'm aware that you have claimed that you are Chinese - and i'm willing to take your word for it.

As for my remaining silent whilst you are fighting for 'my' rights. I suppose you meant the Indians. For myself, personally, i've never really considered myself as an 'Indian' since my late teens (80s) when i realised that i would do better being cosmopolitan. However, the problem is that others refuse to see myself as anything but, and therefore do not accept my 'idiosyncrasies' as they might the 'whites' - the inverse is true in the UK where i enjoyed quite a bit of popularity.

From my personal interactions, since the 80s, i've often noticed that the Indians tend to shrug off politics with the oft-heard phrase - 'ah, what can we do? The Chinese are the majority, and they aren't going to listen.' Perhaps that is quite defeatist, but in my personal interactions, for the purpose of testing their assumption, as stated, that has been my personal 'offline' experience without exception.

Again, the purpose is not to vilify, but to find the cause.

Alright, i'm off to the UK. Have a good weekend.

*****end

In sum,

It's not enough to state that we know there is discrimination. What we have to consider is the our personal response to it; the degree to which we notice it in its various manifestations; and our reactions to discussions of it.

I have found, over the course of more than a decade, that 'offline' reactions aren't too dissimilar to 'online' ones. For instance, an article on discrimination could garner as much as more than a hundred 'hits', but with no comments. It is an interesting situation indeed. As stated, inquiries have to be made into its causes so that it may be eradicated. It's never the 'race', but the perspective, and the conditions that produce it.

God/Providence bless all, regardless of race.


a2ed

Comments

  1. Good write-up bro!
    Noticed this article in kopi-thiam too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. UK has perhaps taken the rights of minorities to the other extreme. I have known of cases where approvals are not granted to the whites while the indians are getting these with n problems, in order to avoid being labeled as "discriminatory" or "racists".

    By the way, I am also Chinese by race, have a wide social circle, and it is unfortunate that your"wide" social circle do not seem to include people you deem as "exceptions to the rule".

    I don't see minorities, including activists who appear to be more concerned with the human rights in Burma addressing such issues in Singapore.

    SJ

    ReplyDelete
  3. .
    Yes SJ,

    I'm aware of the seemingly paradoxical, 'reverse bias to get rid of bias' situation here in the UK.

    I'd rather that all be treated equally and efforts be made to eradicate discrimination in its various manifestations. However, i sometimes do wonder if the 'extremist' 'reverse bias' approach does indeed contribute in some part to one's ability to do better in identifying discrimination as and when.

    Yes, it is unfortunate that my circle does not include 'exceptions'. However, as i'm not discriminatory when it comes to whom i associate with - includes people hailing from below and above ground - i was forced to wonder after a more than a decade why the 'rule' has yet to be broken. I don't have to wonder similarly here in the UK.

    Again, yes, I don't see 'minorities' being similarly concerned as myself. I'd put it down to socialisation and being accustomed to 2nd class citizenship - which i've written on previously - and which is one of the reasons why they, along with the 'majority' would not notice gross racism many a time when it manifests itself.

    However, that said, many of my generation have complained about it quite a bit in the past, and quite a few amongst them, as a result, have emigrated - i'll certainly be splitting the SG scene in the not too distant future myself. Can't help a people who've confused their knees for their feet.
    .

    ReplyDelete

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