Much earlier we had learnt of a school teacher shockingly deriding her Indian students for their ethnic origins.
Both were pathetic exhibitions of unmitigated racism, deformed states of mind, where the former suffered a theft of her personal belonging to bring to the surface her latent prejudices, whilst the later was raw hatred or/and scorn for another race poured out in arrogant surety that she would be, by virtue of her superior position, immune from punishment.
The former apologized, no doubt in fearful realization of the enormity of her shameful act, whilst the latter (I heard) was posted to a far superior position. Maybe the latter had been correct in her arrogant confidence?
I have personally witnessed the most shameful exhibitions of racism by people I know, Chinese, Malays, Indians and strangely Eurasians, whilst I have been the victim of overt racism which fortunately for me didn’t end in violence.
Oh racism, even the Indians practice racism among themselves as I posted in Malaysia's Economic Pariahs?
I am going to quote something that I once wrote to Malaysiakini, which we should be mindful of when discussing or judging anyone of racism:
I recall one of the characters in the Akira Kurosawa classic ‘Rashomon’, narrating his grievances according to his perception, and undoubtedly self interest.
Kurosawa's great tale had intended to show, a narration of either a crime, or a grievance would be seen differently by each individual party. We may confidently assume all would be generally unreliable, with a mixture of those dangerous half-truths.
How much spice each would have added on, no one knows. As Kurosawa's film had moralised, there is no such thing as an objective truth, which is also a timely reminder when we talk about racism.
On the other side of the coin, I also have among my closest friends blokes and lassies from the Malay, Indian (including Punjabi), Eurasian, Kadazan, Iban, Singhalese, Thai, Ang Mor communities.
We can be friends, in fact close friends ….. provided of course we learn to understand, appreciate, respect, tolerate and accept one another’s customs, cultures, mores, practices, beliefs, etc.
But the most insidious form of racism (bearing in mind of course that all forms of racism is evil) would be politically instigated or sanctioned racism. Take the example of the former South African Apartheid regime or the current Israeli State. Some countries are less obvious, nations like Japan where even Korean Japanese domiciled for several generations are still regarded as ‘lesser’ citizens.
Where does Malaysia stand in this regard?
Some say we are like the former SA Apartheid regime, but I disagree because those who said that have no idea of what the blacks in SA had undergone – yes sir, no idea at all of the degrading humiliating abuses the coloured people had suffered under the (Dutch Reformed) Church sanctioned Apartheid.
What about Israel? Now, that’s food for thoughts!
Related: Malaysian Racism & The 3 Baskets of Crabs