If someone from DAP had said what Jennifer Lopez said, the Umno troopers would have screamed ‘racist’. And if someone from Umno had said what Jennifer Lopez said, the DAP troopers would have screamed ‘racist’.
I suppose the best defence against being accused of being a racist is to accuse the other person of being a racist. After all, the best form of defence, as they say, is to attack. So you attack the other person and put them on the defence.
Now, if you can take your eyes of Jennifer Lopez’s picture for just a minute and read the news report, you can see that, according to ‘Malaysian standards’, she sounds like a racist. So are you now going to boycott her?
The reason I posted this news report -- other than so that I can post Jennifer Lopez's lovely pictures, and other than to show our women readers how you can still look good at 43 -- is to emphasis a point. And my point is there is racism and there is racism.
DAP is always apologetic (and will deny it) regarding its ‘Chinese agenda’, if I may be permitted to call it that (because DAP will profusely deny it has a Chinese agenda and will insist that it is ‘multi-racial’). Umno, too, is equally apologetic (and will deny it) regarding its ‘Malay agenda’ (which no amount of denial will change this perception since ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ is its rallying call).
No, my piece today is not to engage in a debate about whether DAP and Umno do or do not have a Chinese agenda and Malay agenda respectively. This is a non-starter debate mainly because we would never reach a consensus regarding this issue. So let’s not even start debating something that we know will never see an agreement.
What I want to emphasis here is even if DAP does have a Chinese agenda and Umno a Malay agenda so what? That does not make you a racist. What is so wrong with fighting for the betterment of a certain community even if it is your own community?
Some people fight for Islam. Some fight for the rights of gays. Some fight for liberalism. Some fight for nationalism. Some fight for socialism. Some fight for capitalism. Some fight for Malay education. Some fight for Chinese education. Some fight for the improvement of the Indian lot. Some fight for the legalising of abortion. Some fight for the legalising of euthanasia. Some fight to restore and preserve old and historic buildings. Some fight for the preservation of the Leatherback Turtles. Some fight to oppose cruelty to animals. Some fight to make cockfighting illegal. Some fight to make bullfights illegal. And the list goes on and on.
Everyone has a cause of some sort. That cause might even be as simple as just making sure that your family is safe and comfortable. But everyone invariably still has a cause even how selfish that cause may be. And your cause may be to fight to improve the lot of your community. That does not make you a racist.
Malaysians are a bit too free with labelling this, that, or the other, as racism. Racism goes deeper than just fighting for your own community. Would you label African American Christian priests or African American Muslim imams who set up community centres for ‘Blacks’ as racists?
They know that there is a serious social problem in the ‘Black ghettos’ and all they want to do is to take the kids off the streets to protect them from the street gangs and drugs. This does not make these African American Christian priests or African American Muslim imams racists.
Fighting to improve the lot of your community is a noble cause. It is most unfortunate that the racism label has been given to this cause. It puts people off from doing good deeds when what they do is labelled as racism.
If I express concern that Malay kids in the kampongs are not getting a good diet (which in turn affects their learning capabilities) and I launch a campaign to distribute, say, milk to these Malay kids that does not make me a racist. I suppose if there happens to be one or two Chinese and Indian kids in that kampong and I refuse to also extend this to these non-Malay kids then that would make me a racist.
Let’s be clear about what racism is. And according to Malaysia’s very narrow interpretation of racism that would make Jennifer Lopez a racist as well. But then she is not even though she says, “Latinos in the United States are starting to realize their power in politics and media. We really have influence. We’re really growing as a community and we’ve come into a place where we deserve to be considered and served and catered to and that’s an exciting thing for Latinos right now.”
Maybe I should now say: I am a ‘racist’ and proud of it!