Rude or racist? Well, that depends on your race.
Posted: 23 Feb 2017, 1000 hours (GMT +8)
A fight between two people isn't anyone else's problem, right?
With so many people taking things to social media, the rest of society is also affected. Take the ATM saga video that was posted on 3 Feb 17 for example. It has led to a bigger conversation about racism.
And there were some who felt it had nothing to do with race as the man was just downright rude.
I felt the same way as Oliver Hbic Liew and Ray Ushoda. In fact, I was angry that Wak Isa made this a thing about race when all I saw was a rude man who assumed that someone who doesn't know how to use the ATM doesn't belong in Singapore. It didn't matter whether the woman was a Malay, Indian or Chinese. This rude man would have said the same thing!
Sure, we can argue that the Chinese man didn't intend to be racist, that he was rude and xenophobic. We could even make fun of his accent to smooth over the racial sentiments. But that means we failed to be sensitive to how the Malay woman felt being asked to "go back".
When we see someone being abused, whether or not it is racism, it would be great if it becomes a norm for passers-by to help. And we have seen many everyday heroes stepping up for what's right. Recently, we saw a man stopping an abusive customer in a StarHub shop.
Do you also remember how we applauded this man for being a hero after he stopped another from berating a teenager for the words on his t-shirt?
And this school boy showed us that even if you are young and small-sized, you can still try.
We are unlikely to stop sharing accounts of fights online. But when we do and it becomes an issue for us all, hopefully we can learn from it and do better as a society.