Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Racist? Me?

What a week!

Baffled by the admonition for Chinese in Singapore to make the minorities feel welcome I wrote to Straits Times with a "question-comment". It was published here.

251 words in the original reduced to 174.

The next thing I knew this letter was all over FB because someone had used this letter to define "humblebragging" ( TRY NOT TO OPEN THIS as it will only increase its hit count: and an award-winning novelist had written a considered FB response as a person in the minority.

How recounting unpleasant experiences pertinent to the discussion on racism in Singapore could be twisted into a piece about humblebragging was quite beyond me.

But never mind. Free speech. He's allowed to state his opinion.

I was curious as to why the people who then came on to FB to comment assumed that I was trying to get the attention of these "white men". So, it was my fault for trying to emulate Suzie Wong, I've been told.

Calm down, people, I will never look like Suzie Wong in a million years. I went to Amsterdam as a missionary in my thirties! By the way, it is never nice to be accosted by strangers. Period.

Yesterday the onlinecitizen published this article, all 1900 words, where I set out what I believe had gone wrong. It's my view. I may be right. I may be wrong.

Ultimately I want us to get back to that kind of Singapore I knew where one's skin colour is not the defining issue.

By sheer coincidence, Mr Lim Siong Guan wrote this commentary piece on building a gracious society on Today on the same day.

 Grace, not race. Let's be gracious, not racist.

Meanwhile, enjoy Bette Midler here:

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