Singapore — Lest Singaporeans jump on the #BlackLivesMatter bandwagon too quickly, there has been a call for us all to “take a good hard look at our own racism”.
The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week at the hands of the police has sparked widespread demonstrations not only in the United States but in several cities around the world.
People have marched in solidarity with black Americans who have been the victims of systemic injustice for many years.
Several Singaporeans have called for justice for Mr Floyd on social media as well, using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.
But as a reality check for Singaporeans to examine their own prejudices, Mr Shawn Lim posted screenshots on Facebook of their responses to the announcement on Monday (June 1) by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong that new dormitories will be built with better standards for migrant workers and that some of them will be built near residential areas.
This elicited unhappy, even prejudiced, online reactions.
In his post, which has been shared more than 2,500 times, Mr Lim said: “We can be better and should be better when it comes to racism. Before we Singaporeans start using #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter to express our outrage at the killing of George Floyd, which is important don’t get me wrong, perhaps we should take a good hard look at our own racism.”
He then pointed out the “disgusting comments” some Singaporeans made after Mr Wong’s announcement.
He said: “It’s all good and well that you want to clap for our frontline workers. But these too, and they deserve our respect, not racism.”
We can be better and should be better when it comes to racism.Before we Singaporeans start using #BlackLivesMatter and…
Those who responded to Mr Lim’s post agreed that racism is very much present in Singapore.
And yet, there were some who disagreed, including Mr Michael Petraeus, also known as the Critical Spectator.
When asked to explain his short remark, Mr Petraeus did not respond, however.
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