We are all cowards

I used to think that humanity is evil. I was wrong.

Whenever someone of the majority commits a racial faux pas, others will emerge and gnaw away at that person and their insensitivity. When a religious person decides that we are too “Westernised” others will come and tell them off for being intolerant. Yet, these things continue to happen.

Everyone knows racism and bigotry is evil. We know that using the name of a religion to foster division is evil. Yet these things happen because most of us refuse to actively fight to eradicate them.

And we don’t fight them because we know that it benefits us in some way. Hiring a person from the majority is infinitely simpler than hiring someone from the minority and hoping that you don’t somehow offend them. Ignoring the outburst of someone who takes their religion to the extreme is simpler than confronting them and being condescendingly labeled a “modern/lost religious person”

Divisions exist not because we are evil, but because the so-called “unaffected” majority simply chooses to ignore the issue at hand, because it doesn’t affect them, or their ricebowls. They put their interests above all else, and in doing so, allows the seed of hatred and bigotry to grow.

Many don’t speak out because they fear alienation. They fear being ostracized by family and friends for not “supporting their own race”. They know the reality of the job market here, they know that there are some amongst them who harbour thoughts that could jeapordise the social fabric of Singapore, but it doesn’t affect them, so they stay silent.

That’s not evil. That’s cowardice.

I’ve had my fair share of hearing people say mean things about me, or members of the majority, and I always try to speak out, even if others tell me “not to bother”. It’s this apathy/cowardice that emboldens them to keep doing this. They know that no one in the immediate vicinity will react, so they keep doing it.

I don’t hope for people to scold others. I just hope that we would speak up. Whenever you spot or hear something that isn’t right, say something, do something.

If a person from the majority spoke up every time their parent/relative said something bad about a minority in their own home, they would stop doing it.

If, during a gathering, someone says that the “unbelievers” must burn for their sins and someone countered him, he would think twice about saying it, knowing that there are people of his kind who disagree with him.

Before sending me emails or comments saying that you’re not all like that, let me stop you. I know that not everyone is like that. But it’s not enough.

Everyone needs to be like that. We all need to play our part to stop the racism, bigotry, and hate that is starting to show its ugly head.

I thought humanity is evil. I was wrong. We’re actually just cowards.