Monday, September 19, 2005

Sedition: The Final Holocaust.

It's not that the world has its racists. It's not that some of them are dumb 17 year old kids. It's that the crackdowns are hard and fast and no one questions it. Is it the government's job to crack down on racism? Or should it be the general public that does that? Haven't we matured into a society that views racism as abhorrent? Or are we still handheld to guide us to our own conclusions? Haven't we the common sense to decide what's right or wrong? Perhaps not.

I read Gan's blog sometime ago to see what the big hoo ha was all about after reading about an article being taken off tomorrow.sg but what I found was a pathetic whiner who had a lot of angst and barely half an argument, much less a convincing one. Was he a threat to national security? I didn't think so. He was just spewing hatred and venting a whole lot of frustration, similar to all the "haters" out there. Was Singapore in danger because of his blog? Nah. I think the danger only began when he was censored off the internet by the powers that be*. The threat was the eradication of both the spirit of free speech (and yes, the responsibility for the consequences of said free speech) and the choice that the denizens of the net had to exercise their own common sense. I think that the greater danger occured when the choice to consume or reject opinion was taken out of our hands. The first/second/third holocaust was only threatening to the masses who were not able to make up their own minds and how is that conformist thinking reinforced? When other people think for us. Is censorship and societal punishment of the guilty the answer to racism? No. What does that serve? It threatens action against racists but it doesn't deal with the problem of discriminatory thinking. I think that at the end of the day, if one reasoned carefully, racism just does not stand. I think that once people start debating and setting their opinions out there, we can stop discriminating. It might be idealistic but discrimination really doesn't make any sense. And I think the solution is something that's been repeated through this paragraph: I think. And the societal punishment of the guilty by our government has taken that away. After all, who were in real danger of blindly following the flawed logic of a 17 year old who wanted to assassinate public figures in some idealised counter-strike fashion? Those who think? Or those who allowed others to think for them?

Interesting question: Is it seditious (snark) to spread homophobia? Is it seditious to undermine the democratic process by silencing the voice of the people? Are people seditious if they do not display the national flag on national day? Are we seditious if we don't capitalise "national day"?

Scary thoughts and a scary time to be a person with opinions now. *Shrug* Me? I'm not too worried. Sedition schmedition. Let's keep talking truth.

*I like ondine's national eraser analogy...but I think there's something even more sinister about giving out an eraser for national day in 1984.