Racism has to be curbed and destroyed until the root of racism cannot be traced at all, writes Barathi Selvam.
There is no caste little one,
It is a sin to categorise people as high and low caste,
Only those who possess justice, intelligence and education and great love are of a high caste”.
– Mahakavi Bharathiyar.
It might be irrelevant to quote a poem which talks about caste especially in the Malaysian context, but a slight change to the word caste into race, would remind us of the turbulence in our country and the rest of the world.
Since the era of slavery, from the 13th amendment by President Abraham Lincoln till the emergence of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr and many more in resisting discrimination and oppression based on one’s skin colour, there has been tremendous progress in advocating for equal rights.
Ironically, it is shameful that racism still has a strong hold on a significant segment of society, even though the forces of racism have been historically defeated. Unfortunately, racism has not been completely wiped out from our mentality.
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Malaysia, a country made up of various ethnicities, is in a great need of unity under a single roof. We need to unite not only as Malaysians but as human beings as well.
Labelling and demarcation has become rampant, and the values of 1Malaysia seem to be found only in our choice of food. None of the ruling elites seem to be instilling nor preaching love and humanity to the people.
The political strategy reminiscent of the colonialist mentality, divide et impera (divide and rule), is being used quite widely to secure political rule. Unfortunately, the divided masses will find it difficult to question the hegemony of the ruling class or the bourgeoisie who control the people, politically and economically.
Racism has to be curbed and destroyed until the root of racism cannot be traced at all. Our nation needs to open its arms to receive our fellow human beings with love, without questioning their ethnicity and so-called background.
It is the responsibility of each and every person to advocate love and humanity, instead of hatred and stereotypes. We shall march towards a brave new world which is free from racism and racial discrimination.
Barathi Selvam, an undergraduate student majoring in journalism at a local university, is just a normal teenager enraged with the social injustices he sees around him. He hopes to use writing as a medium to advocate for anyone who is discriminated and oppressed and to empower the marginalised.