Smart can already, don’t act smart. Zaobao got criticized by activist Kirsten Han for trying to address racism in its editorial. She was annoyed that it attributed recent cases of racism to reasons like Covid-19 frustration and the use of social media. These reasons are flimsy and do not address the problem at all.
“According to Zaobao’s logic, racism is the fault of everything but racist systems/structures, and long-held prejudices… It doesn’t talk about the harm caused to minorities who have been subjected to racism”.
She is unhappy that a big publication like Zaobao will explain racism away with these reasons instead of facing it head on.
“This is likely the newspaper that our Chinese-reading aunties, uncles, and grandparents are reading daily. How are we going to honestly and meaningfully fight racism when the mainstream media is enthusiastically feeding this sort of horsepoop to people?”
Over the past few months, Singapore has seen a number of racist behaviour, from the Indian woman who got attacked for briskwalking at a park, to the Ngee Ann Polytechnic lecturer who told a couple off for having a partner of another race. These racist instances are becoming more commonplace and it is not something that can be explained away with Zaobao’s reasons. Surely it cannot be solely due to Covid-19 stress!
If a reputable newspaper like Zaobao does not bother to address racism properly, how are we going to have open discussions and progress as a society?