Once upon a time, back when I was still an innocent and sweet (just kidding, I was never sweet but I’d like to pretend I was, so let me be) 12-year-old kid, I was walking along the corridors of my primary school with a friend when we both passed by an Indian girl. What could be so interesting about that, you may ask? Well, that Indian girl probably showered with perfume because she smelled really pleasant and my other innocent and sweet (she really was sweet, no pretences needed) friend whispered to me, “Wow, she smells nice for an Indian.” I didn’t really ponder about it back then but now that I am no longer innocent and sweet, I guess I could say that that was incredibly racist.
Being a Malaysian, we are a melting pot of culture, customs and races. We are more than fortunate to live in a generation whereby race is not a division but a bridge that binds us together. However, let’s not forget about the dark days when race was enough of a reason to declare war. I mourn for our great-grandparents and all those who were discriminated, isolated and killed because of their skin colour.
We have reached a quarter of 2015 with achievements that have done all sorts of wonders for mankind. We send humans to space. We can now make calls on Whatsapp. We have Siri to… okay, I’m not really sure what the exact use of Siri is but it’s still impressive. And yet, we judge, we insult, we stereotype, we disregard, we hate people because of their skin colour. Do we not see how ridiculously unreasonable that is? Yes, we have reached a quarter of 2015 and yet, racism is still rearing its ugly head in the society we live in today.
Recently, a video that tackles the issue of racism (check out the video below) went viral and it has seen a steady rise of views from the moment it was uploaded. When ROJAK approached one of its creators, Calvin Ng, he said that their heartfelt video exceeded their expectations when it resonated with so many people because racism indirectly applies to all of us, especially when we live in a country with a vast number of cultures and ethnicity. As citizens of our own country, we know that acceptance and like mind-set are the things that unite us. Even though racism is a never ending struggle, people who want to step up and make a difference are capable of holding the nation together.
The video exceeded our expectations when it resonated with so many people because racism indirectly applies to all of us, especially when we live in a country with a vast number of cultures and ethnicity. – Calvin Ng
In my humble opinion, the first step to fully eradicate racism is more than just accepting, respecting and loving our fellow human beings of other races. How about we completely ignore the notion and concept of race instead? I am pretty sure that most of us are familiar with ticking boxes to indicate what race or religion we are when filling up official forms, or even non-official ones like applying for a job interview, enrolling in a school or simply doing a survey.
We are so used to the idea of identifying ourselves and other people through race and religion that we don’t seem to find any flaw in it. But the question is, why? What do our skin colour or our respective faiths has anything to do with our talents, skills and capabilities? How in the world will it affect us or the company in any way? Just as one will not refuse to hire someone because they are slightly taller or if they listen to rock music or even if they don’t eat meat, one should not take into account what race the other is.
Do we still not see it? Our skin colour does not define us. As a matter of fact, it does not and should not matter. Kindness, intelligence, integrity, passion – those are the attributes that makes a human being. Not our skin colour. Enough said.
Someone who aims to write with a spoonful of brutal honesty, a dollop of dry humour and a healthy dose of sarcasm. A realist who dislikes anything and everything sugar-coated.