Ignorance no excuse for racist remarks

YouTuber Preeti Nair and her brother, rapper Subhas Nair, were on an online rap video that was a response to a recent ad by e-payments website epaysg.com featuring Mediacorp actor and DJ Dennis Chew. PHOTO: PREETIPLS/FACEBOOK
YouTuber Preeti Nair and her brother, rapper Subhas Nair, were on an online rap video that was a response to a recent ad by e-payments website epaysg.com featuring Mediacorp actor and DJ Dennis Chew. PHOTO: PREETIPLS/FACEBOOK

In the end, neither the "brownface" advertisement to promote an e-payment service nor the racist rap video made in response to the ad achieved their intended purposes (Rap video by YouTuber crosses the line, says Shanmugam, July 31).

As a dark-skinned person, I think that the "brownface" advertisement was absurd and cheap.

It should not have got past the first stage in the vetting process.

In an age when information is readily available, ignorance about a particular race is no excuse for racism.

Arguably, a racist comment or act is not shameful to the victim but a reflection of the racist's insecurity.

No reasonable social media operator would have allowed the rap video stars' racist comments to go public.

When the man in the street feels his skin colour, race, language or religion has been publicly insulted, he may be prepared to abandon reason and act on his emotions.

It is good that the Government is taking a no-nonsense stance towards racist comments.

The strict adherence to the rule of law has kept communal conflicts at bay the past five decades.

S. Ratnakumar

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2019, with the headline 'Ignorance no excuse for racist remarks'. Print Edition | Subscribe