Most people don’t give a hoot about racism until it happens to them or someone they cherished. I don’t recall experiencing any remark or treatment that would classify as racist in my Singaporean journey thus far. However, about two decades ago when Chui and I were overseas for our tertiary studies, while racist experiences were not pervasively present, they were neither invisibly absent. One such incident was when a group of skinheads with their erected middle fingers shouted murderously “Go back to China” at both of us and my visiting siblings. Their actions and words traumatized us for a few seconds and remained vivid in our memories till today.
These happenings though seldom, they did surface. In fact, there existed a company who provided a “Dial a Ninja” service to Asians needing protection from harassers. Despite the reality of minimal racial animosity, I do have to say that those years in a foreign land were an unforgettably beautiful time for Chui and myself. Singapore and this foreign land are places that ensure minor incidents do not become major accidents. Sadly, this can’t be said for the entire world. Racism has been a bedrock for violence, genocides, terrorism and war, leading to vicious cycles of evil, pain and suffering.
My friend, Dave Gibbons, had introduced to me the song “One Day” by Jewish rapper Matisyahu. He raps that
One day this all will change, treat people the same
Stop with the violence, down with the hate
One day we’ll all be free and proud to be
Under the same sun singing songs of freedom like
Revelation 21 speaks of such a day where ‘…the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more…’
But until then, God calls mortals to oppose racism.