10 Reasons Why Racism Is Not Cool (Part 1)

Posted on October 10, 2015


There are at least ten good reasons why racism should be considered a very negative trait just like farting or pissing in public. We should all be ashamed of it if we are guilty of it. And believe me, living in Malaysia, all of us are guilty of it, just to what degree.

  1. It’s IRRATIONAL. To believe that all the members of a certain race possess similar character traits or abilities is utter nonsense. We have heard things like “All Malays are lazy, all Chinese are greedy and all Indians are drunkards.” People who make such wild claims probably don’t know a lot of people of a different ethnicity from them. They are the types who would probably also claim that all Muslims are terrorists and that all whites are Christians and immoral. Can such irrational beings be taken seriously? Yet they are in Malaysia. They are given airtime on prime news and mass media and some even made it into the Cabinet when they should be making kitchen cabinets.
  2. It’s UNSCIENTIFIC. Racists try to hide behind their irrational thoughts by claiming that science is on their side and that there are differences in the genes. Of course there are. The racist’s genes are of a lower “grade”(sic). Seriously though, the Nazis in Germany tried this defense to justify the supremacy of the Aryan race and the subjugation or elimination of other races. But scientific racism has been debunked after World War 2 and is now regarded at most a pseudoscience, in the order of coconut-waving bomohism. Just look at the racial diversity of great people in all fields today and you will know why you are wasting your time if you are trying to prove scientifically that your race is better than others.
  3. It’s PRIDEFUL. All of us enjoy a bit of pride now and then. But to take pride in the achievement of someone because he or she happens to be of the same race as yourself is cheap thrill. For example, we have to examine ourselves when Forbes publishes their annual list of top 10 richest people in Malaysia. Do we feel proud or disappointed that our race was or wasn’t well “represented”. Fact of the matter is that these folks don’t even know or care that you exist, let alone represent you. How many of you felt “proud” and “defended” when the Chinese ambassador visited Petaling Street on the eve of a potential racial riot? Well, shame on you. Are you a Malaysian or a Chinese first?
  4. It’s UNJUSTSometimes in Malaysia, a person’s race (or religion) overshadows even his achievements. Affirmative actions through Government policies meant that Bumiputras are given preferential treatment for education, business loans/grants, buying properties, public contracts and jobs. The injustice of a race based system is that not all Bumiputras receive the same level of help as evidenced by the fact that a large majority of Bumis are still in the bottom 40 percent income earners, this after over 40 years of official affirmative actions. At the same time, a small elite group has become super wealthy. The really deserving of all races are left to fend for themselves because they are not “connected” politically or they were unfortunate enough to be born a non-Bumi. We have institutionalised racism in Malaysia and it is just unjust.
  5. It’s EMOTIONAL. Unless we are robots, we have feelings. When you are a racist with an irrational belief that your race is better or more deserving and that your rights to a more lofty status or more privileged lifestyle are being challenged by others, you feel something and it’s called red hot anger. Or when you feel that your race has been unjustly deprived of equal treatment or access to education, loans or opportunities, you feel anger. Maybe some with milder temperament may feel disappointed or sad. But the dominant emotion of someone infected or affected by racism ranges from disgust to hate and anger. Remember the video of the woman from Johor who raved racist slurs at the Chinese, calling them “Babi” (pigs)? What have the Chinese done to her to make her so angry? If what her mouth froth forth about the Chinese is a reflection of how she feels within, then I truly pity her that she feels that way inside on a daily basis as she must be encountering the Chinese daily. What a sad way to live, with such negative emotions!

As I said earlier, living in Malaysia, all of us are guilty of some degree of racism. We can’t help it that we are born a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban, Orang Laut, Jakun, Punjabi, Kadazan or Eurasian. But why should we be treated differently when our blood is red, our IC blue and we are all smothered with haze now? We can’t help it. We are classified by our ethnicity from birth and our path through life in Malaysia is determined by the colour of our skins. It’s not cool.

To be continued next week. Five more reasons why it’s not cool to be a racist.

This article was first published in my weekly column at The Malaysian Insider

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