Say NO to Xenophobia

This has completely nothing to do with investing or finance, but I feel that this is something that has to be talked about. After my friend was comparing my blog stats to some “influencers”, my friend said I was way more popular than a lot of them and why don’t I make a living out of it. Anyway, putting the part about making a living out of blogging aside, I let that “influencer” comparison go to my head and I decided to get this message out. Think of it as my kind of public service announcement. No need for thanks MCCY.

This video is blowing up in Taiwan. A Caucasian guy who has been living in Taiwan for 10 years was on the metro with his Taiwanese girlfriend when a local Taiwanese decided to harass and verbally abuse them. The video is hard to watch because you feel like punching the screen.

After 3 weeks of being bounced around by the Taiwanese police, Christopher got so frustrated by their total and complete inefficiency, so he resorted to uploading the video on his YouTube channel to vent his frustrations.

From what I know, it’s gone totally viral in Taiwan and the police have managed to hunt down the guy with this sudden outburst of “public encouragement”. Yes, this is a massive “throw face” situation for Taiwan, so they had to do something quick. If an ang moh in Singapore uploaded something similar speaking in Singlish, you can bet your sweet ass that the next morning there would be a police press statement on it.

The reason why I’m sharing this video is for 2 reasons.

First, this man has unbelievably god-like powers of self-control to not fuck the guy up upside down and inside out. In a similar situation, I don’t know if I would just blow up or walk away and let that asshole feel like he is the winner and go on to harass other people since he has more courage. With the benefit of being a 3rd party, not being there live and being able to calmly think about it, I think that what he did was the best way for someone being verbally abused to handle this situation.

Secondly, I’m sharing this video because I can totally see something like this happening in Singapore. Christopher makes an excellent point about the behaviour and thinking of these bullies – they like to pretend that they are the majority and argue with the logic that because they were here first, they are right. Now, after watching this video and also feeling both the frustration and anger of being in a such a situation, I don’t think I would ever stand idle and watch such a thing to happen in Singapore if I am around. I would storm in, handphone recording, shout for everyone to stop pretending to ignore the situation, firmly denounce the aggressor’s action, rally some support and then remove the bullied away. At least, that is what I hope I have the courage to do next time in the future.

Now, I know we’ve all seen and heard cases like this before, happening overseas or even locally (a la the fiesty “I’m So Special” Ang Moh). Whether it’s racism, xenophobia or even just plain bullying, I think that this sort of behaviour should not be tolerated. If something like this happens, it should never be allowed to escalate to such a point where all Singaporeans would then have to bury their heads for such a massive disgrace of “throw face”. I’m sure many people in Taiwan are feeling that way.

I know people (acquaintances, not friends) who make #sorrynotsorry racist jokes all the time. Personally, I feel very uncomfortable with those kind of jokes and I respond with a total deadpan and unimpressed look of “Huh, WTF? Was that a joke?”. Then they also immediately feel the uncomfortableness that I was just experiencing. Although not on the same level of horrible-ness, it is my way of showing disgust and disapproval for such kind of remarks. These sort of changes don’t happen at a snap of a finger or after an argument or debate. It’s conditioning and it takes time.

I’m always proud to tell foreigners that Singapore in a multi-racial, multi-cultural place that is very safe to visit. Let’s keep it that way.

Leave a Reply