“I Am Not Your Negro”

Wow.

Firstly, I would like to give a standing ovation to the late James Baldwin for writing the manuscript of a novel that tells the story of race in modern America, “Remember This House”, even though it was unfinished. Also to filmmaker, Raoul Peck, for turning it into a documentary to share it with the world.

Mind you, this was only 30 completed pages of his writing.

I am not a fan of politics. I am not a fan of racism and anything else along these lines. People who know me well, know how much I am against any of it even if it was just a joke. Okay, I am not that uptight but there’s a limit to such jokes.

I do have a sense of humour. Unfortunately, just not when it comes to these topics.

I am, or I’d like to think that, am a neutral person. I don’t hate any religion, race, culture or even sex. It is normal to hate a person for something that they’ve done to offend you, I admit I do. It is a normal, humanly trait to have, but to hate an entire race or religion is just too much. Then to inflict pain onto them.. tsk.

This is what I think..

Like I’ve said before in my previous post, “Masquerade“:

We are all human, the same, no one’s better than the other, with our own beliefs and unique in our own special way..

To begin, we were not created, in the womb, with a choice to pick what colour we want to be or what religion, etc. This is what we were all fated to become. We are all, at the end of the day, sons and daughters of Adam, from the Creator.

I don’t know how all this began but I personally think that it was due to a person or maybe even a group that has done something wrong and that made people label, stereotype that that “kind” are all the same, I think.

At the end of the day, be it white, black, Asian, Christian, Muslim, Jew,.. we all have the same humanly traits in all of us. Only some take it a little too far. For what reason? God knows.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”

-Unknown

I think, the same applies to race, religion, etc. It is not religion or race or whatever else that causes hatred, people do.

“No two leaves are alike, and yet there is no antagonism between them or between the branches on which they grow.”

-Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

I’ve had my fair share of it, racism in particular. I experienced it in my own country as well as abroad. Here are a couple to share with you:

Denver, Colorado. Receptionist (management trainee) at a hotel. A woman approaches the counter and instantly requested for an English speaker (because I’m Asian) in a tone like how Chris Tucker spoke to Jackie Chan in “Rush Hour” when he first met him. I told her that I speak English.

She then blasted at me.

She said, “I don’t know which village you’re from or which tree you live on, but the internet here doesn’t work and I need someone who knows about the internet to resolve my issue because I know you can’t!”

I asked her what the problem was. She sighed. She told me that she tried connecting to the wifi and it was not working.

This story was about 6 or 7 years ago and I worked in a hotel that was not “up-to-date” yet, so the only way to be able to connect to the internet was through cable (did I say it right?) ethernet? LAN? Get me? Yes..

So, I explained to her why and told her that there’s wifi in the lobby, business center if she’d like to use the desktop there or if she has a laptop, there’s a cable that we could provide for her in her room.

She refused to believe me and told me to send an IT expert to her room. She also added that I’ve just wasted her time.

So, I did.

An hour or so later, the IT guy passed by, told me what had happened and she was, at that minute, in the business center using the internet. He told her the same exact thing that I had said but she believed him! Oh well..

Another one was when I was job hunting. I graduated from university in Switzerland with an American and Swiss BBA (Hons) Degree in Business Admin & Hotel, Restaurant, and Resort Management (not boasting but I have to add that to make a little sense to my story). It is an international institution.

You spend approximately 4 to 5 years there with a semester of studying (6 months) then and internship (6 months). I’ve been there. Waitressing, bartending, barista,.. basically the first level of the hotel and restaurant industry. After graduating, I wanted to get into Sales & Marketing or Events or Public Relations.

They kept saying that I didn’t have the experience for any of it but my colleagues, with the same degree, with the same or less experience, were either accepted or even given a higher position than what they’ve applied for, managerial position! ..and I had only applied for a coordinator or an executive!

I tried in Malaysia and they didn’t because I wasn’t a certain race (because when you get into the office you’ll see majority of them are that particular race) and because I wasn’t a daughter of someone “known” or related to them.

Then I decided maybe I’ll try overseas, but I didn’t get what I applied for. Instead, I was asked whether I would like to work in a position lower than what I had applied for. Asian equals cheap labour or not fit for the job?

I still ended up accepting whatever I was offered but despite my hard work, people refused to give me a chance to gain experience in another department. Despite having a low self esteem, I took it positively thinking that they couldn’t afford to lose me.. haha!

What I went through used to make me boil but at the end of the day, every one of us, one way or another, go through it. Even as a woman and/or man (sexism, gay/lesbian)

I am not going to babble on about this.

All I can say is, each to their own. Religion, race, culture.. why can’t we just respect another’s choices in life (maybe what we think of it is wrong but it’s their choice, we all have a choice, but who are we to judge?), embrace each and every differences because, I think, by this, we can all learn a lot more from each other, achieve more and this world will not be at war.

How would you feel if the tables turned? Go through life like those who are tortured, hated, etc. Not very nice isn’t it?

We shouldn’t despise an entire race or religion because of a mistake of one or a group of people that has or are doing bad things. We know our right from wrong, well, I’d believe that the vast majority of us do. Penalize those who are wrong, and I mean wrong as in murder, rape, etc., and not those who are innocent.

Anyway, to conclude, I hope that we could all eventually unite and work towards a better, peaceful world than what we’re encountering now all over the globe.

One last quote to end this serious post, my personal thought on the matter.. oh, and watch the documentary! Good ratings!

May He guide those who are in need and educate those who need educating.

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