So, a blogger who allegedly wrote some racist stuff on his blog was arrested by the police.
No, seriously, why?
Is it because of what he wrote or because someone complained. Or both.
I mean, say a police officer stumbled onto the blog, would he think it was worthy of an arrest?
Or is it because apparently two people complained and the police had to be seen to be doing something?
Or, is it because he seems damn gay. Ok, sorry, I couldn’t resist, but maybe got extra bonus if you can charge someone for breaking more than one law. Which of course isn’t how our police works. Ignore this paragraph.
Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is to say I think bloggers should be allowed to be as racist as much as
they want possible. I mean, has anyone actually read what he wrote. If you haven’t, go to tomorrow.sg and read it and then come back here.
Ok. Hello. Thanks for returning.
Now, far from me to want to defend what he says, but if there is a scale of racist shit spewed by bigoted unenlightened individuals, where is what he wrote on the scale.
To me, the stuff he says isn’t any worse that what I sometimes hear in a cab, on the bus, at the coffeeshop, in the toilet, during reservist …
Basically, lots of people say lots of stupid shit like this all the time. Yes, there are a lot of people with racist tendencies. Sad. True. That’s life.
Now, we shouldn’t tolerate such people and their vile deplorable words, you say. We shouldn’t allow such inane ramblings to defile the pristine environment we have and strike discord in our racially harmonious society.
Wait a minute. We are a racially harmonious society? Or a racially tolerant one? I would say the latter.
But where am I going with all this.
Firstly, arresting bloggers who are racist and say stupid racist stuff just because they are so visible doesn’t help make Singapore more harmonious nor more tolerant.
This racist people are just going to still be racist. The people who read his blog and AGREE are still going to be racist.
I mean, what do you think this guy is thinking now. I’m not sure. But if I attempt to use my super psychic slightly below Xavier mind reading ability, out of all the incoherence in his thoughts, I might get something like this:
Damn that stupid malay. If he never sit on the floor, and never let me see him, then I wouldn’t have blogged about stupid malays and then I wouldn’t have kenna complained and get arrested. Sian lah. CB. Must be two malays complain about me. I knew it lah. Stupid idiots. Cannot take joke.
I don’t know. I might be exaggerating. But my point is this – you may take the racism out of a blog, but you ain’t going to take the racist out of a blogger.
The truth is this. For now, racism isn’t going to disappear. It might never. We live in a world where increasingly more people are competing for less resources. It isn’t easy to find a target to put the blame on, and physical attributes and stereotypes are our best friends as we grapple to find something or someone to pin all blame on.
Is it any wonder Hitler was able to incite so much hatred against the Jews during a period of economic turmoil in Germany’s history.
Trying to remove racism from Singaporean blogs only does one thing – it causes racism to retreat to the darker corners of our society, where unseen, it festers and grows into some big malignant cancerous lump that is even harder to remove. And one day, it will explode in our face, pus covering all of us.
The best way to remove racism is to put it out in the light and let it wither and die under the glaring heat of public scrutiny.
Have faith in us. I mean, seriously, after the post got tomorrowed, I think the community did all right in taking that guy down.
And here is the thing – you know what is worse than the noise of your enemies?
The silence of your friends.
During this incident, the friends were most certainly not silent. I would say a majority of people online disagreed and were vocal about it. Maybe some were a bit extreme, but there was evidence that while racism may still exist in Singapore and online, there are those among us who are becoming more enlightened.
I know we want to prevent people’s feelings from being hurt. But you know what, the reaction of the rest of the blogosphere should have given those who had cause for complain a warm fuzzy feeling. One idiot said something stupid, everyone else came to correct him.
But, but, those who want censorship and more control might say, what about those who might be swayed to be racist or that racist blog becomes a rallying point for other racists.
I say, the racists will always be able to find other racists. Those borderline cases, have an easier time not becoming racists when the friends speak out against the enemies of racial harmony.
Here is the thing. You can never keep the enemies quiet. They will always have some piece of shit to say. The only thing you might be able to control is where they say it, but these racist ideas will still get spread.
The trick then is not to silence the enemies, but drown out their noise. Preferably with the words of support from friends.
What we need is not to stop an idea, but to spread a better one.
Finally, there is a difference between saying racist shit and inciting hatred and action against a particular race.
Update:What is the difference? If a blog says all XXX members of a race are idiots, and then go on to say XXX members of a race should be exterminated and call for other people to join in some sort of persecution, then I think a line has been crossed.