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Archive for May, 2008

Passive Racism

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

I observed much passive racism today here in Singapore today. Taking the subway home I encountered a number of people in and around the stations collecting money for relief efforts to help those affected by the recent earthquake in China. Nothing particularly wrong with this… except that 100% of those collecting money were ethnic Chinese, Singaporean citizens no doubt but ethnic Chinese. The racism come in when I think back to a few weeks ago and the now conspicuous absence of anyone at subway stations collecting money for relief efforts to help those affected by cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. Maybe there were some, but not many, not like now. It’s because the victims of Nargis are not ethnic Chinese. And that, is racism, passive racism, but still; racism. It disgusts me.

This, sadly, is all to common for Singapore and most of the diaspora Chinese in Southeast Asia as I understand it. I hope that I can educate this out of my child as he or she grows up here in Singapore.

As a side note; I did not give any money to these efforts. I never do. I prefer instead to give my money before the disaster to recognized and known organizations that will be there as soon as the disaster strikes, no matter were, no matter who is affected. I have reoccurring monthly contributions to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies [ifrc.org] and Oxfam International [oxfam.co.uk]. A better way to help all those in need I think. It makes me feel like I am part, a small part, of the solution all the time.

The End is Neigh, But Go Not Quietly…

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Up to now I’ve been saying that I prefer Hilary [wikipedia.org] to Barack [wikipedia.org]. There are a few reasons for this but the most important are: 1) She has impressed me with her grasp of the details of many of the issues (those that have actually been discussed,) and 2) a lot of people hate her, which to me means she will not be able to just do what she wants, she will have to ‘play politics’ which means compromise, and I think this is key to good progress on key issues (even if it leads a to too much pork and other waste.)

But… As the primary and caucus season winds down I think it’s obvious that more people are supporting Obama. Hilary winning the nomination on Superdelegate [wikipedia.org] votes rather than the popular vote would be too much like Bush winning on electoral votes while losing the popular vote… twice. So I think it’s time that Hilary move on.

I don’t think, however, that she should retire from politics. While I would cringe at the idea of a Hilary vice presidency, I think Hilary could learn a lot from Al [wikipedia.org]. He, uh, suffered a setback but is still very much in the public eye and a force for good. I think Hilary could, after serving out her Senate term, find an issue she believes in, such as universal health care, and devote herself to public lobbying and education on the issue much has Al Gore has done with Climate Change… I mean Global Warming.

Hilary has been a long time political figure, even if she was briefly over shadowed by her husband there is a lot she could offer to the world even if she never serves as the president. If, as now seem all but certain, she does not receive the Democratic Party nomination she should not fade from public view as most other failed candidates do; she should continue to participate in public dialog.