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Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to spot a racist

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It’s been a while since Walski blogged about the best effing show on the Malaysian cyberspace frontier. Well, no time better than the present to talk about it, because That Effing Show has just released their latest episode, in which they provide us with a useful guide on how to spot a racist.

Well, kind of… 
(some racist thoughts, and more, in the full post)

By the way, before Walski forgets, many thanks to Christopher Tock for the heads-up on That Effing Show’s latest episode.

Okay, so parts of the video might seem a tad juvenile, but one thing is for sure – hope of a true One Malaysia (versus Najib’s 1Malaysia which nobody understands anyway) lies with the younger generation. Walski has said this before, and he’ll say it again. Here, and anywhere else that warrants him saying it.

Walski’s not sure how it happened, but Malaysia today is definitely more race-conscious in many respects than it has ever been in the past. It’s not uncommon for someone to ask him the first time he or she meets him, “You are what race ah?

Disclosure: Walski is a hybrid of many cultures and therefore cannot be easily categorized visually as being a member of one specific ethnicity or another. That doesn’t stop folks from making assumptions, however.

When met with such a question, Walski’s usual comeback is “I’m human – what race are you?

Which is usually met with a another follow up, like “No lah… you Malay, Indian, Chinese, or what?

The correct answer, by the way, is “Or what”. However, when pressed as to why said questioner needs to know, and if it makes any difference to him/her, the response would usually be “No, just curious”.

But why are Malaysians generally race-obsessed? It’s as if someone’s life isn’t complete without knowing the ethnicity of who we deal with on a daily basis.

Diversity - a Malaysian strength that's often ignored - image originally from ACRI, hosting by Photobucket Walski thinks it’s probably because we’ve been conditioned to think along racial lines. Be it through our school system, our political status quo Barisan Nasional, and through the increasingly race-centric political rhetoric in the media, both online and off.

Speaking of Barisan Nasional, it’s major component member UMNO is incessantly labeling the DAP as being a “Chinese chauvinist party” every opportunity it gets. Yes, it is true that the DAP’s membership is predominantly ethnic Chinese, but at least the Democratic Action Party doesn’t restrict its membership to one, and only one race.

Interestingly enough, UMNO doesn’t apply the same standard to Gerakan, whose membership is ALSO predominantly ethnic Chinese. And Walski naturally has to ask: does UMNO secretly feel the same way about Gerakan?

Seriously, if you ever hear an UMNOphile utter the comment about DAP being nothing but Chinese chauvinists, you really should ask that person back about Gerakan.

In any case, such is the way Malaysia has evolved – race being an important aspect of how our brain functions. No thanks, for the most part, to the kind of politics we practice. We are so damned obsessed about what our roots are, we lose sight of where we should be headed as a nation.

The big hoo ha about the supposed plot to make Malaysia a Christian nation? It’s roots are based on race. Perkasa’s raison d'être? Race. Hindraf? Race. They may not be racist in the bigoted sense (though some may say they are), but at the end of the day it’s all about race.

Race, race, race. As if nothing else matters. And that’s one subtle point the That Effing Show episode above makes: Malaysians are all racists – the only difference between individuals is the degree of how racist.

That’s how fucked up we’ve become. The reason Walski states that is simple: no one has ever been able to give him a good and logical explanation as to why race is so bloody important. The best reason that has ever been offered: we always take care of our own. And that is nowhere close to being a good reason, as far as Walski is concerned.

The real reason why the idea of race is continuously being drilled into our psyche, Walski thinks, is power. Rather, the preservation of the status quo national power equation, which is very much race-based.

If that’s the way we want it to be, then that’s the way it shall be forever after. And the fact that things have come to be what they are today tells Walski that it’s exactly the way we want it to be.

Change is, of course, possible, but only if we want it. The question then becomes: what do we really want?

So, how to spot a racist? Simple – just look in the mirror. It’s very likely a racist will be staring right back at you.