I understand that there are racial sensitivities and anything that is said for the purpose of inciting violence against another race should be regulated. What about comments that allege racism?
Two sisters appeared to have been punished for suggesting that they were the victims of racism. I wonder if taking them to task perpetuates the feeling of alienation that they already feel thereby heightening the feeling of victimisation?
I am not suggesting that I am of the opinion that the security personnel were racist. Their rationale for the stairwell needing to be kept free makes logical sense. The fact that they gave a warning the day before was also to their credit. There is also no reason for the sisters to have to use the stairwell if there are prayer rooms available.
But perhaps due to other past experiences, the sisters already feel marginalised and publicly punishing them only enhances the feeling of subjugation to them and others who feel like them and for them.
An incident of racism comes to mind if one recalls the faux pas made by Calvin Cheng. In that case, the police closed the case despite his posts calling for actual violence to young children. By contrast, Calvin Cheng’s statement is much worse than what the sisters allegedly accused the security officers of. He also reached a far wider audience given that he was a semi public figure. Why was that case dismissed while the sisters in this case punished?
It is also important to note that in other incidences, the sisters may have indeed been the victims of racism and we shouldn’t trivialise those experiences by punishing them for having dared aired their grievances online.
We need to be mindful that we aren’t tarring victims and inciters with the same brush. Issues of racism should be openly discussed and not pushed under the carpet with the threat of punishment.
Above all, we need to be consistent across the board. If race is indeed such a sensitive issue, making sure that all races are treated equally is all the more important.