I find that it is quite difficult trying to maintain a race-neutral stance after coming back to Malaysia. It was far easier to maintain such a stance back in Cambridge when one is confronted with a population that is truly mixed beyond recognition – from many national, religious and ethnic backgrounds. However, back home, everything seems to be constantly clouded in the race issue. It is far easier to have racist tendencies than to maintain a race-neutral one.
I started feeling this way the moment I returned back home. I was bombarded with all sorts of queries about race issues. Then, at work, I am constantly confronted by race issues as well. In fact, you see it everywhere – particularly within the established power structure. When I had a traffic accident recently, I was also confronted by the race issue. I have tried my best to maintain a race-neutral stance but in doing so, I think that I may have ended up offending some people. This is a kind of situation where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If everyone is a closet racist, the race-neutral stance would not work with them.
The path of least resistance is often the racist one – just blame everything on race.
It is kind of sad that things have come to this stage in Malaysia. While I still hold some hope for the future, I do see that it is going to be a seriously up-hill battle. We have all been boxed and brain-washed for far too long already.