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I’m O.K. — Not So Black Or White

I remember as a student I once told my teacher that I am not prejudiced against anyone. “Nonsense,” he said. “Everyone harbors prejudices. Everyone. It is the mark of an intelligent person that he learns to recognize his own and works to overcome them.” – Quote.

For good reason if one goes back to human history, our genes are all about survival; we have a genetic code that is activated when we see someone/something “different.” I believe that prejudice is in our genes. We really do need to abandon the entire concept of race as a means of classification. It’s essentially an insidious social construct with no redeeming value since it focuses only on superficial differences that are irrelevant to our being human.

The ‘growing rift’ between Singaporeans is not surprising and Covid-19 had simply magnified the selfish, survival-driven mentality that has permeated humanity for centuries. We have abandoned each other–and ourselves–long ago. I joked both sardonically and sadly that the ‘toilet paper’ shortage at the onset of the pandemic was a living metaphor for how people literally care about their own rear-ends.

The best description of our present situation is, we are ‘all going into the same storm,’ but we aren’t ‘all in the same boat.’ There are systematic issues, like affordable health care, housing and education, which must be addressed. Solutions to the problems of inequality in our country (no matter the color or ethnicity) are not going to be found in the solely racially-based discrimination. It more based on socio-economic status in society. We need to recognize that the way the economy of this country has developed over the past decade has put average Singaporeans at a real disadvantage when it comes to finding decent jobs, housings, and living standards.

As usual, being politically correct and hiding our supposed racism is not going to change the culture of discrimination that exists in our country. Nor will pretending we love our brothers and sisters of different races and/or ethnicities create any jobs for us.

Racism no longer makes me angry. It’s not the people; they’re a means to an end for systems of power designed to oppress us all. All it could do is frame a prejudicial view of my fellow man. And I don’t want to prejudge anyone. I want to know individuals as individuals. I don’t blame Singaporeans for identifying as such. It’s a reaction to other people claiming superiority. I’ve met ‘white/black/brown’ racists, and if people came in blue, I’d meet ‘blue racists.’ So those in our midst of whatever color, need to let it go. Just stop believing you are part of a biological team that makes you superior. You’re not either superior, nor part of some exclusive and defined biological team.

Whenever a society allows massive wealth and income disparity to reach such epic levels at the expense of many citizens, the opportunity for division opens up. So before ‘haranguing Singaporeans’ over those racism issues, I urge the leaders not to think that everyone can pursue their own ends and everyone’s ends will be met. The reality is like a game of Monopoly, someone could end up with all the money. Me maybe, because I’m O.K. — Not So Black Or White.

 

Sojourne Shen

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

22 Responses to “I’m O.K. — Not So Black Or White”

  • Howe:

    Physiological and anatomically all same.

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  • Cobralary:

    Culturally all are different!

    Howe:
    Physiological and anatomically all same.

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  • do they display bias:

    //For good reason if one goes back to human history, our genes are all about survival; we have a genetic code that is activated when we see someone/something “different.” I believe that prejudice is in our genes.//

    haha. genes or learned ? the debate goes on and on ?? just look at any other organism for cue lor – e.g be it any other animal (e.g different animals & tribes) or plants (e.g different species) – do they display bias in favor of their own kind ? there you have it ??

    though human being (just another classification) are not animals and plants, but we are still subject to certain law of this universe (or cosmos) beyond our control (well human conflicts do not happen just today or yesterday but for thousands or millions of years – family against family, tribes against tribes or nation against another nation, etc, etc ???) ???

    as for human beings – e.g the moment we are born, we are with our own kind and brought by our own kind with its own cultural traits / bias (e.g be it family, race, religion, nationality, dialects, ethnics, etc, etc, etc) ???? though some people may overcome (try as best as they do) certain prejudice / bias, there are still plenty of divisive lines (artificial ??) for conflicts once certain tension / stress (trigger point ??) arises ???

    ask the white monkey idiots lor, do they display bias or “favoritism” for the benefits of their own kind of kakis and gang lor ???

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  • Billy ma:

    From the 70s when Chinese Singaporeans were forced to abandon our dialect groups & round up to speak mandarin only to MPS must consists of minorities to only certain race can be president at certain time, why are even surprise that the situation we are facing happened.

    Although some of the better-to-mix policies can be considered as positive in building community harmony but some policies were purely for political gains.

    Policies created by lhl are in the bad category ie only for his own political longevity & absolute power.

    Of course, the most recent breaking point was how the whole PAP cabinet came out in total unity & authority to defend the treatise with India.

    Even today the strong & full backing of the India Indians has not changed.

    So here we Singaporeans are going thru hard & difficult time yet our supposed government cares more about these foreigners.

    It begins with sadness then frustrations & then has turned to anger.
    But Singapore Singaporeans should just be patient for now.

    Keep this anger with you when you decide which square to cross the next time you get to vote.
    This is the best & probably only way to let PAP knows.

    Meanwhile let just swallow whatever but remember.

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  • Temusik Patriot:

    If the LEEders can be Racist Politically what is “wrong” just like collecting more money…what is wrong?

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  • Blame PAP and LHL:

    Strait Times: People’s Association withdraws offer to meet couple over wedding photo incident

    “The PA said Ms Sarah had shared claims that the incident “perpetuate(s) the racist culture” and was “racist”.

    The agency rejected these claims, saying: “While the error was culturally insensitive, it was certainly not racist. It is not right to raise the allegation of racism, without basis, to stoke emotions and sentiments.”

    “We find this odd. We do not see why our meeting should be appropriated as a platform for her to funnel the views and comments of persons unrelated to the incident,” the PA added.

    “All these lead us to believe her purpose in agreeing to meet us has gone far beyond the Radin Mas incident. We, therefore, see no point in proceeding with the meeting.”

    ——————

    It is true. It is NOT about racism. But sadly it was the media and government which started “playing” the “race card” to cover up Singaporean resentment against foreigners.

    Chua Mui Hoong of ST called it right when she wrote about the “3Cs of racism – CECA, COVID-19 and culture clash”. CECA took jobs away from Singaporeans and gave them to Indians from India. This is a fact. Indians from India also brought the COVID-19 delta variant into Singapore.

    The underlying and real issue is resentment of many Singaporeans to those (from India, China, the Philippines, and the “ang mohs”) who took their jobs, depressed local wages, and pushed up prices. This was caused by PAP’s (specifically LHL) pro-alien and GDP growth at all cost policies. PAP and LHL are THE problem.

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  • PAP failed. Again.:

    Strait Times: Two teens get electric shock from lamp post in Lorong 5 Toa Payoh on Sunday

    This proves once again that Singapore is a 3rd World country. There are no skilled workers (electricians, masons, carpenters, plumbers, etc) in Singapore because LKY never developed these vocations. LKY wanted everything “cheap” and did not care about the quality of work. That is why “shoddy workmanship” is the norm in the local construction industry, including the installation of lamp posts. People die each year from faulty water heater installation. The result of LKY’s policy is poor quality HDB flats and unreliable MRT service.

    LKY only wanted a small number of young Singaporeans to have a tertiary (university) education because graduates are a threat to PAP political dominance. But those he weeded out did not go into vocational trades because the pay was kept very low.

    Singapore must be the only country where skilled tradesmen cannot earn a decent salary and live a good life. The local construction industry is dependent (“addicted”) to unskilled workers from South Asia.

    At least, “Mr GDP” (Good Dead Permanently) is gone and never ever coming back with his knuckledusters. Singaporeans should make sure the PAP joins him at the next GE. Vote for regime change.

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  • $Pappy$ thickskulls dullhearts:

    The best description of our present situation is, we are ‘all going into the same storm,’ but we aren’t ‘all in the same boat.’ There are systematic issues, like affordable health care, housing and education, which must be addressed. Solutions to the problems of inequality in our country (no matter the color or ethnicity) are not going to be found in the solely racially-based discrimination. “It more based on socio-economic status in society”. We need to recognize that the way the economy of this country has developed over the past decade has put average Singaporeans at a real disadvantage when it comes to finding decent jobs, housings, and living standards.

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  • Spineless Sinkie Syndromw:

    Howe:
    Physiological and anatomically all same.

    Your neat one-liner may be a safe & PC (politically correct) statement, but the facts says its far more complicated than that.

    Firstly, there IS physiological differences between peoples or groups in different geographical locales. A good example are Tibetan sherpas who live in mountain regions, where their DNA has obvious differences from everyone else, leading to them having higher hemoglobin count/thicker blood & stronger hearts to bring oxygen to their organs. You could argue this is due to phylogenetic environmental pressures but nevertheless over many generations, it led to DNA & associated physiological differences.

    https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/himalayan-powerhouses-how-sherpas-have-evolved-superhuman-energy-efficiency

    The longer a population is isolated (without migrations or inter-marriages), the wider the genetic differences will tend to become.

    Naturally, various groups of people will also be under different types of environmental selective pressures – which leads to the diversity of different “races” on Earth.

    Strictly speaking, there is no definitively “good” or “bad” traits because every performance “improvement” whether physiological or mental, requires balancing of benefits vs (biological) costs.

    When humans evolved bigger brains, it also meant other compromises, such as a physically weaker body (compared to other primate species such as chimpanzees or gorillas) & potential risk to the human mother during childbirth since our much bigger heads have difficulty squeezing through the birth canal.

    Now onto the non-PC / “racist” stuff – which is that different “races” DO exhibit statistically significant differences in intelligence.

    Clearly, its irrational that we can detect & accept Tibetan sherpa “race” has different DNA / physical performance yet we deny that different “races” may also have differing mental performance??

    Many people have studied the data (see https://youtu.be/8sSe6FSrylc) and have found strong evidence that Ashkenazi Jews on average have higher IQs than other “races”. Take heart, East Asians (code for Chinese, Japanese, Koreans etc.) come in a strong 2nd place. 3rd place goes to “Caucasian Whites”.

    Now, this does NOT mean that ALL Ashkenazi Jews are super intelligent or that an individual of African descent cannot be a genius or than any one individual Ashkenazi Jew / Chinese / Caucasian will never be an idiot. lol

    It just means that if you take a randomized population of each “race” (again PC scientist will argue that its impossible to pin down genetically due to fear of being labelled as “racist”) the median IQ levels on the bell curve will be glaringly consistent.

    So yes, individually we shouldn’t be prejudicial but it does have deep economic implications on (collective) performance of a society comprising of specific “race(s)” over the long-term.

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  • Harder Truths:

    The regime is based on racism as one of its founding pillars. It creates and promotes racist attitudes, behaviour, segregation, discrimination and pigeonholing. Then claims it is the only one party that can solve the issues it creates.

    The time is coming when economic failure and despair will force people to choose sides. And people will always choose ethnicity over any other human trait as a collective benchmark. It is not right or wrong, it is just what it is.

    For the foolish regime who think they can control everything with their laws and threats, there is no greater Law than Nature. And Nature does not use threats, it just produces outcomes to failed policies.

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  • More black than white going da:

    “That, in its essence, is Fascism — ownership of Government by an individual(a cult), by a (Pappy) group, or by any other controlling private power (semi private Temasick).”

    - Franklin D Roosevelt

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  • xoxo:

    A few remote incidents do not make us,sgs,racist or xenophobic.
    We are not racist nor xenophobic!

    We are daft if we agree we are just becos some big gun$ say we are!

    There are only two *races* of SINGAPOREANS,IE, ELITIST$ N COMMONERs.

    The rest is DIVERSION!
    FALSEHOODS,LIES AND MORE LIES.

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  • xoxo:

    Btw,me humbly opines that GRC ITSELF ACCENTUATES RACIAL-CONSCONCIOUSNESS AND SO DOES THE SYSTEM OF RACE-ROTATION IN THE ELECTED PRESIDENCY.WE ARE ALL SGS REGARDLESS OF RACE LANGUAGE OR RELIGION.
    ANY SG WITH THE RIGHT MERITS CAN BE PRIME MINISTER.
    FOR THAT MATTER,I THINK MR THARMAN SHUD TAKE OVER.

    I AM CHINESE N TEOCHEW BUT WHO CARES AS LONG AS I SINCERELY N HONESTLY THINK LIKE A SINGAPOREAN,ALWAYS PUTTING SGS’ INTERESTS FIRST?!

    WA SI SINKAPOR NANG,LER SI SI-MI NANG?

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  • BK:

    Thank u bro. Silk as milk (:

    While it is probably true there is an inbuilt biological mechanism to perpetuate the ‘other’, however, it is only part of the motivation for our behavior.

    Twins that grew up with different families/circumstances can produce a surgeon and the other a criminal. Our innate traits can be cultivated or suppressed.

    The question then, how is our social cohesion? Singapore’s cohesion is top down, a function of continuous State interference.

    The early prevailing winds of social darwinism, mass education for mass workers, the primacy of the top 5% ( according to LKY ) and later, the currents of globalization/ FT deluge, led PAP to place percuniary interests above all else.

    Multiculturalism is a tool to manage differences without ever allowing a Singaporean soul to prosper.

    All those years of hoping to blunt the sharp edges of elitism, recalibrating economic primacy, is becoz for some of us, it is a more sustainable and beautiful life. Even if u take out the romance, the prevailing winds are already shifting since 2011/12.

    But without a strong oppo alternative, the complacent PAP is caught in an inertia of yesterday’s successes.

    The anti-globalization, the rising background noise of competing west, islamic, india and china civilization are making inroads to embolden the hidden chauvinists and fragment our nebulous sense of the Singaporean identity.

    Dickson Yeo’s case is a timely reminder of how ethnicity has replaced our national identity. And this competing claims upon Singaporeans can only get worse.

    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/dickson-yeo-had-approached-various-people-here-applied-for-a-range-of-government-jobs

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  • Sjorne Shen:

    BK: Dickson Yeo’s case is a timely reminder of how ethnicity has replaced our national identity. And this competing claims upon Singaporeans can only get worse.

    Gd evening bro.
    Miss your contributions. What happen?

    Well, let’s see…. At some point these individual rewards become too enticing, too intoxicating, too tempting to resist. If our Plutocrats say “what’s wrong with collecting more money?” and as citizens, we are all supposed to have equal spread out among us all?

    As for Patriotism – I think we are entering and new and very difficult time in human history – the rich seem to have no loyalty to the country in which they presently claim citizenship – they will go to whichever country will allow them to make the most money and the rest of us will become their economic slaves.

    Without some sense of Nation and thus some feeling of Patriotism – won’t most us, the common human, succumbed to this world of greed? Loving one’s country isn’t the same as loving the government.

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  • mike:

    This is a new world where slavery is in our own making.
    Rich or poor, we are slaves in our own way.

    Sjorne Shen:
    As for Patriotism – I think we are entering and new and very difficult time in human history – the rich seem to have no loyalty to the country in which they presently claim citizenship – they will go to whichever country will allow them to make the most money and the rest of us will become their economic slaves.

    Loyalty IS a fake sense of security binding individuals to an intangible frontage which operated by tangible communities.

    Is Nationalism = Some sense of Nation = Some feeling of Patriotism?
    Are they the same or are they different?

    How to differentiate a gov vs a country?
    Does one knew a country via her gov, people, culture or food? Good and/or bad experiences?

    Perhaps the recognition and connection with a country (which to me, is nothing but a brand name), is connected at different level and cross spider-webbed linkage of feelings and relationships. E.g. ah-neow’s resume mentioned that she got a ‘scholarship’ at primary 3! what so fxxking big deal about it using tax payers’ contribution to make a poor kid continue to go school which 20~40 years down the road will be going through the same cycle of marriage, in debts, jobless, death. Some even have to face pandemic and war…

    Blind Patriotism is as Toxic as the ‘Enemy’ who raid your land or processions.

    And common human remain easily fall to the same pit at different dimensions.

    Just 2c

    Sjorne Shen:

    Without some sense of Nation and thus some feeling of Patriotism – won’t most us, the common human, succumbed to this world of greed? Loving one’s country isn’t the same as loving the government.

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  • BK:

    Sjorne Shen: Gd evening bro.
    Miss your contributions. What happen?

    Evening dear Sir….am rather busy with work, trying to make 3 chicken a day…hope all is good with u (:

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  • Sjorne Shen:

    mike:
    This is a new world where slavery is in our own making.
    Rich or poor, we are slaves in our own way.

    Loyalty IS a fake sense of security binding individuals to an intangible frontage which operated by tangible communities.

    Is Nationalism = Some sense of Nation = Some feeling of Patriotism?
    Are they the same or are they different?

    How to differentiate a gov vs a country?
    Does one knew a country via her gov, people, culture or food? Good and/or bad experiences?

    Perhaps the recognition and connection with a country (which to me, is nothing but a brand name), is connected at different level and cross spider-webbed linkage of feelings and relationships. E.g. ah-neow’s resume mentioned that she got a ‘scholarship’ at primary 3! what so fxxking big deal about it using tax payers’ contribution to make a poor kid continue to go school which 20~40 years down the road will be going through the same cycle of marriage, in debts, jobless, death. Some even have to face pandemic and war…

    Blind Patriotism is as Toxic as the ‘Enemy’ who raid your land or processions.

    And common human remain easily fall to the same pit at different dimensions.

    Just 2c

    Sex-slaves betraying one’s country at the drop of a panty?

    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singaporean-jailed-for-spying-in-1980-gave-in-to-sex-blackmail

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  • Sjorne Shen:

    BK: Evening dear Sir….am rather busy with work, trying to make 3 chicken a day…hope all is good with u (:

    hohoho, that reminds me of the 3-legged chicken joke.

    A man was driving along the motorway when he noticed a chicken running alongside his car. He was amazed to see the chicken keeping up with him, as he was doing 60 mph. He accelerated to 70, and the chicken stayed right next to him. He sped up to 75 mph, but the chicken overtook him.

    Then the man noticed that the chicken had three legs. So he followed the chicken, speeding all the way, and ended up at a farm. He got out of his car and saw that all the chickens on the farm had three legs.

    When he spotted the farmer he asked him, “Where did you get these chickens?”

    The farmer replied “Well, everybody likes chicken legs, so I bred a three-legged bird. I’m going to be a millionaire.”

    The man was impressed and asked him how they tasted. The farmer said, “Don’t know, I haven’t caught one yet.”

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  • BK:

    Lol. I first heard it from Ronald Reagan (:

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  • Sjorne Shen:

    BK:
    Lol. I first heard it from Ronald Reagan (:

    Yep. The story is older than Aesop, 40 years later. Not to mention, remember him officially promoting ketchup to be a vegetable (:

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  • mike:

    Sex & Money & Power & Drugs
    Usual stories, pick one in exchange for information, and information is value.

    Sjorne Shen: Sex-slaves betraying one’s country at the drop of a panty?

    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singaporean-jailed-for-spying-in-1980-gave-in-to-sex-blackmail

    Espionage, no country doesn’t. Those in news are simply small cases to warn the pawns. Other caught with grave magnitude will never be known by you or me.
    Not when the gov of the day do not have legal obligation to declassify.

    Quote: Mar 2014: SINGAPORE should not release government records to encourage transparency for transparency’s sake

    In the name of ‘National Security’, the gov is not answerable to the people, perpetually. At least it is true, currently.

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