The good thing about the internet is that you get to read criticisms from people who do not agree with your opinions. The bad thing about the internet is that such critique is sometimes so
funny that they are petty
petty that they are funny :) I do not usually reply to such pieces unless they write something in one of the comments. But this
one was too good not
to respond :) The writer takes issue with my post
on removing race from racism. [Ed
: Looks like the entry and possibly the whole blog has been taken down. If only I had got a screenshot :( ]
According to her, my ‘comparison’ of race with people wearing red shirts is problematic. I mean, gee ....
of course it is, because it was not meant to a be comparison at all in the first place. It was just to offer an alternative way of giving an identity to a human being. If you want to identify a person by more serious identities like religion or nationality, sure go ahead. If you want to distinguish a person by something as shallow as his/her yellow color shoes/hair, you have my blessings :)
This leads me to the point where the writer claims I ‘trivialize a concept such as race that is so central to one's identity”. Pray tell me, just because you say race is central to one’s identity, it doesn’t become so, now does it? :) I do not become Chinese, Malay, Indian or Eurasian just because someone else identifies me so. I could have just one national identity, Singaporean and nothing else (example only ah
, not comparison ok).
In short, my identity is mine to define. But if someone does distinguish themselves through race (and nothing wrong with that), then sure – go ahead and categorize them in whatever race grouping you want.
Seriously, given your definition of race, what is the race of a person who comes from mixed racial backgrounds? How will you find a category for him/her? From the color of his/her skin? From the way he/she dresses? How shallow and inaccurate is that? :)
The writer also alludes to the point that I may be living in an ideal world. Boy, isn’t that ironic? I am dying of curiosity here – why is your version of the world called reality whereas people like us live in a utopian universe? Ask yourself – is there really a causal connection between the race of a person and the actions that they do?
I think the difference of opinion between the writer and me lies in the fact that for her, race is something that is written in stone. For me, it is not. It is nothing but a category that society has created to distinguish people and if you society wants to change it, it can be done. But this writer probably thinks it’s too unrealistic to even think
along those lines. I mean, talk about living in a shell....
Lastly, the writer is supposedly researching on “racial considerations in Singapore's educational policies”. There you go – you already assume the existential nature of race in the topic. Anyways, hope your journal note or seminar paper comes with better analysis than your blog entry :)