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“Blatant racism in Singapore?” was the title of a post shared on Reddit, an online news forum on Thursday, September 15. The post recounted the writer’s experience as a direct witness to outright racial prejudice.
“I was just in a hair salon today having my hair done at the sinks when a Chinese man was escorted by a Malaysian stylist,” the post read. “The moment the stylist wanted to sit him down to wash his hair, the guy started asking if she was Chinese.”
The witness reported that the man spoke fairly good English, which negated the possible reason why such behavior was a language barrier. The man would then have asked for Chinese stylists.
The writer praised the Malaysian stylist for her grace even in the face of such behavior and said, “She just calmly informed him that all the Chinese stylists were busy.”
In response to this, the writer recalls the man taking his things and leaving the salon, stating that he would return when a Chinese barber was available.
“I thought as a society we were already beyond that kind of racism. It’s so horrifying to see,” the post read.
In response to the writer asking others if they had witnessed similar incidents, many shared their stories.
From Indians trying to rent an apartment only to be told they ‘smell bad and cook smelly food’, to Malaysians experiencing micro-aggressions where their ‘Malay side’ is brought up, saying that’s what makes them makes it “always very laid back and relaxed,” many seem to have witnessed and even experienced in one way or another.
As one said, “It’s everywhere and so common in Singapore…some are more subtle, but still very noticeable.”
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