t Double Yellow's Musings: Did Race Really Matter?
The warped mind of Double Yellow craves for humor everyday. His daily dose comes from The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, Today, Channelnewsasia, etc. He also thinks that because of this preamble, this blog will never get featured in the local media. And of course, please read the Disclaimer before embarking on the journey.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Did Race Really Matter?

Soon after the incident when two bloggers were charged with making racist comments, I felt that there is more to the racist incident that just the debate about ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘blogging with responsibility’. One of the things that I highlighted in an earlier post was that....

Racism exists because of Race: You can alter the way you dress, change your job, amend your political loyalties and even choose another religious faith. But you can’t change your race. I wonder whether racism has something to do with the existential nature of race. Maybe if we avoid using race as a way to manage Singapore society, it could help in alleviating racist attacks.

Let me elaborate slightly more today. There are two news reports that caught my eye yesterday. The first was a front page article about an elderly homeless couple who stayed in a car park. Nothing wrong with that per se, but one sentence caught my eye....

"Both are Chinese."

A few pages down, there was another article on a security guard found murdered. Again nothing wrong with that; just that the opening line went...

"A Chinese security guard in his late 40s...."

Was the race of the elderly couple and the security guard important or even relevant to the main thrust of the article? NO. Yet it was mentioned as if it was significant. The casual use of the race of a human being in day-to-day lingo is distressing. As a first step, lets try to get rid of identifying with race. Because all it provides for is stereotypes, nothing more.


Blogger mooiness said...

Agree - when the notion of the race of characters in a news story is not pertinent to the topic, then it is gratuitous.

Australian media had been particularly bad previously but they had since toned down. No more headlines of such ilk: "Asian Gang Violence" when said gang, although mostly Asian, comprised also of non-Asians and not neccesarily tied to any community in particular.

10:23 PM  
Blogger doubleyellow said...

thanx mooiness :) we badly need to send our media for some retraining :p

1:33 AM  

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