Sure, we claim to have the first Black American president. So what? So what if people in America have voted and gave the majority of the votes to Obama? Does that mean that they have overcome their issue on race? No. In fact, the very statement irks me when they say “We’ve got our first Black President”. If a country is truly race blind, then there is no need to emphasise on the word Black. In fact, we would treat him as a normal person who won the election.
When we say racial politics, what comes to our mind? The first thing would probably be people attacking Obama and labelling him as black. This is because we have always thought that racial politics was used against a candidate, but have you wondered if it can be used for a candidate? What’s up with all the hype about being the first black president? Or being a black candidate? The very statement on black means two camps will emerge, one against, one for. Kind of like the blind man singing a sad song on the underpass. You pity him and give him 2 dollars.
I think this whole issue is very interesting. In Singapore’s sense, we say we are a society that practices racial harmony. We have four major groups and we practice racial tolerance. But why do we use the word tolerate? Perhaps we as a society should really move towards racial acceptance. One very simple example would suffice:
If Singapore truly has racial acceptance (as opposed to racial harmony), then why do we have the need on a race quota for members in a GRC? Why do we have a need to represent the minorities in the GRC? Surely in a country where we are race blind and do not care about race, we should also trust our MPs to work for us, regardless of the race they belong too. I should trust and believe in my MP, no matter whether they are Chinese, Malay, Indian or Caucasian. Hence, in a way, we know that deep down we are still racists. There must be some people who have problems relating to a MP who is of a different race, that is why we still have to have such a quota for the GRC.
Perhaps when we all have evolved to become a race blind country, then we can finally abolish the need for such quotas in the GRC, and also abolish the GRC system in its entirety.