Yesterday, I talked about how blind locals (and Asians in general) can be to the scourge of Nazism and to a certain extent, the whole of Nazi Germany.
I think I brought up a fair point in that article; we Asians generally have a mindset of ‘If it doesn’t affect me, I don’t really care about it.’ Apathetic, it’s called.
That’s pretty much true for most Singaporeans. We’ve built a reputation for being stoic and cold, ignoring the plight of our fellow men and women. How many times have you taken the time to help out somebody you didn’t know?
Unless you really had to, or felt sorry for them, you’d ignore them and just move on.
Perhaps it’s the fast paced nature of our society, but we rarely seem to have time for consideration of others that aren’t part of our circle. Most of us aren’t really outspoken too, preferring to keep things we see to ourselves. It’s Asian culture, and it’s ingrained deeply in us.
That’s changing nowadays with the readily available recording devices and Internet anonymity. By large though, the attitude still stands most of the time.
That’s why when Daisy Mitchell confronted a teen about wearing Nazi symbols in public, the general sentiment wasn’t exactly as you’d expect.
Some netizens came out in support of the boy, with them saying that it’s his right to wear whatever he wants or that he wasn’t hurting anybody.
A couple of posters even berated Mitchell for being kaypo (busybody in Singlish) and that she should’ve stuck to social distancing regulations (since you’re not supposed to be talking in public transports) instead.
Then there are others, saying that the Nazi symbol is ancient history and that the symbol itself was no need to get butthurt about.
Defense for the boy ranged from a wide variety of arguments; he’s young, he doesn’t know (or care too much) about history, he has a right to wear what he wants, he wasn’t hurting anybody with his clothes, it’s just a phase.
All of them could be valid points, I don’t know. I never talked to the boy so I can’t really form my opinions about him.
Of course, the comments weren’t one-sided. There were a ton of other people who disagreed with the apathetic attitude some had on wearing the Nazi insignia.
In their view, it’s not right that something so vile and evil should be given a pass, ever.
Many consider Santaya’s quote to be a stark reminder to all that we should always be in tune of the past so as to shape a better future for all. Not let the lessons we learned from history be repeated again.
“”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.””
— George Santaya
That’s the crux of what many of the dissenters say.
Even symbols have power and ignorance (whether willful or blissful) is no excuse for the boy to be wearing what he did. Never forget the events that transpired, no matter from how long in the past.
Weirdly, there’s also a third faction.
Yeah, this one’s…a bit off kilter but I think it’d be fun to just put them in to add some humor to the debate.
It seems like Nazism is still a hot topic, despite WWII being long over.
Do you agree on what netizens are saying?
Is the boy in the wrong? He seems to know what the Nazi Party is, but is he also an Otaku, like many teens here? Anime have long portrayed Nazi clothing in them.
Or is Daisy Mitchell out for her 15 minutes of fame, as some have said in the comments?
What do you think?