Bold claim, but it’s unfortunately true. It’s not something most of us are conscious of. Hell, most of time we don’t even realize when we’re being racists or perpetuating racial stereotypes and pass it of as harmless joking. That, unfortunately, doesn’t mean it’s not racist…even if the recipient doesn’t mind.
Even babies, the most innocent of us all, have been scientifically proven to be racist. Racism might just be a part of our DNA.
Encountering the post below during one of my usual skims through Facebook, I immediately realized that I wanted to do a post about this.
I agree with pretty much what the post says EXCEPT for the part about the guy’s body odor or BO.
I honestly don’t see what BO has to do with racism. It’s a matter of cleanliness and personal hygiene. Sure, some races are more susceptible to it but that doesn’t make it a racial matter at all.
Contrary to the racist stereotypes that Indians are smelly, I’ve encountered more than my fair share of Indians who smell like a damn bouquet of flowers. Conversely, women are supposed to smell sweet right? That’s not true in the least.
Apart from that small bit though the rest of the post’s spot on for me because my experiences as a kid are similar too.
Being from a family with mixed heritage (Chinese, Arab and Bugis), my skin’s fair and I look like a Chinese. My brother on the other hand, has dark skin with regular Malay features. As kids, we’re always questioned by strangers on this.
It got to the point that my family would just tell people that one takes after Lee Kuan Yew (me) and one takes after Mathathir (my bro).
Didn’t occur to me then but that was racism too. The people who asked might not be racists, just like they’re unaware that asking something along those lines were racist.
Perhaps all of us have to take time out and take a look back at what we’ve done and what we continue to do and see if there are things that we think are innocent but are actually racist and/or stereotyping.
Only then can we change and be better.