THE “white and black” reference by an Indonesian coach to our French Open badminton women’s doubles champions Pearly Tan and M. Thinaah, which, according to him was spoken in the heat of the moment with no malice intended, is inappropriate and unwarranted. The coach took the easy way out of referring to the Malaysian pair based on the colour of their skin.
There are some who still use colour references to offend
and provoke others. This is
totally unacceptable in today’s progressive society. When people use colour to offend or belittle someone, it reflects on how shallow their minds are.
We need to relearn and unlearn these old habits and practices of using colour to identify people. Derogatory references to a person by the colour of his skin is offensive and can be demotivating, especially to youngsters.
It is difficult to change the mindset of society that has been ingrained with such mentality for years. For instance, among the Indians, colour has been a big issue in arranged marriages. Parents have to teach their young to accept how they look, regardless of their skin colour.
Children must be taught that physical beauty and colour is only superficial and does not reflect a person’s character and personal qualities. We have heard of the adage “beauty is only skin deep”.
Hopefully, society will have a paradigm shift and embrace Martin Luther King’s dream that one day our children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the substance of their character.
Remember that Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry (all Hollywood actors) Naomi Campbell (America’s top model) and Tamil film superstar Rajini Kanth and former US president, Barack Obama, are all not fair skinned yet have attained fame and prominence in the world.
We should be mindful of what we say about others. Let us think before we speak, lest we hurt others’ feelings.