Where do you get off…?

Just when I think I’m about to recover some holiday mojo, some idiot pops out from a hole to blight it.

I just posted an Indian-themed Christmas jingle on my Facebook wall for a lark. What I got in response was a comment from a friend who said that such things were not festive but irritating and that he wanted to strangle the person who came up with it. WTF? Where did that come from? I’m not usually quick tempered but things like blind racism or a blatant disregard for others simply pisses me off.

I don’t know if the said friend realizes it, but I am part Indian too. Do you see me for what I am or do you choose to see me only as Chinese or Indian and ignore my other race? I’m one of an increasing number of children of mixed parentage.  Being of mixed parentage is no longer an anomaly, you ignoramus. Just think, one day, we will be the majority. And then what?

Granted these kind of comments happen every once in a while, but what disturbs me is that they are passed by my some of my own friends. Who happen to be the very same people that also do not see why Singapore has to bring in foreign talent. People, the government is doing so simply because Singaporeans are not hungry enough to go out and do what we consider menial jobs, ok? Yes, we can be a bunch of elitist snobs. But I digress.

The comment he passed made me wonder: Does he pass the comment because he comes from a single-race parentage that sometimes teaches their children that their race is better than others? Or is he simply ignorant? If humour was the intension, then I’m sorry to say that you’ve failed miserably.

These days, it is easy to cultivate ignorance. We perceive who people are or pre-judge them based on what we know of their race. Short-sighted and unfair?  I’m sure I don’t hold that notion solely. Sometimes, I too am guilty of having such notions but I process what I’m thinking before spouting anything. We can’t simply claim ignorance anymore - not when there are so many places both online and offline where you can get your information.

It’s true that we crack jokes about people of different races all the time. We laugh at what some cultures do or say things but there is no disrespect.  Humour keeps us together and helps us appreciate the differences. Racism does not. People should be wise enough to step back and read between the lines or know where to draw the line.

It’s easy to accord blame to your parents, teachers, the government or social views in the way you perceive people but at the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your views.  Question is, can you stand up for them?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That said comments made should be done with a measure of tact or diplomacy. Before you shoot off your mouth, think: are you trying to start a conversation or a fight? If you are starting a conversation, would you be able to sustain it and get people to think differently? How would you argue your point? Don’t start a fight based on your stupidity or ignorance. That only serves to highlight your fallacies. 

There are some things that I won’t tolerate and racism is one of them. So, please think before you speak or, at the very least, make a compelling argument.

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Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P


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