Did Race really matter? – Part III
The deceased, a 27-year-old Indian man, was swimming wearing only a pair of boxer shorts early yesterday morning when he disappeared into the water.
Now, now... how exactly did the fact he was ‘Indian’ matter? Can only an Indian man drown in the Singapore River?
Well, here’s another one last week... a freak accident where a fridge fell three stories and hit a woman on a scooter.
The mini fridge, measuring 1m by 30cm by 30cm, rolled off a coffeeshop awning before hitting a Malay woman riding pillion on her husband's scooter in the carpark.
Again, does it matter that a Malay woman was riding pillion on the scooter? Would the fridge have not hit her if she was of some other race?
The identification with race only seeks to distinguish the victim as belonging to a certain community. This is ok if race does have something to do with the whole issue. The unnecessary use only seeks to deepen stereotypes about a particular community, something we can all do without.
Detractors will tell you that the use of race is only for description purposes. Really? How is this description attained? By the color of the skin? By the fact that someone wears a tudung, cheongsam or sari? How shallow is that? Racial identity is something that goes beyond physical descriptions. In a world of so many mixed marriages, the pigeon-holing of people into racial categories is passé.
I’ve also pointed out an earlier instance where our media have unnecessarily used race when reporting on PSLE results. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – removing race is a first step towards removing racism.