Discrimination

Got into a fascinating book and found out this little interesting observation.

If you Google black couples or gay couples (generally the minority groups), your image result will show pretty much what you expected, lovely couples with the attributes that you are searching for.

But if you Google white couples or straight couples, your image result will show a very mixed result. In fact, very little is related to the attributes that you are searching for.

Discrimination, positive discrimination, equality, minorities, privileges, all very complicated issues, although it seems many are trying to simplify them and push the agenda to the very extreme to demonstrate the point, which in itself is hardly an equitable/righteous thing to do (isn’t this what we are fighting for in the first place?).

On reflection, I am also involved in these situations. During my tenure as the president of a professional association of significant influence, I made it a top priority to add female board members (which it happened) and organised a full-day tech conference with only female speakers (yes, it’s much harder than I thought). In fact, I believe one of the reasons (or the reasons?) that I am involved in another meaningful charity board is because well, I am Asian.

When I was picked as the board member over perhaps someone who is more competent than me but he is of another ethnicity. Isn’t it a racist thing to do? How far should we push for positive discrimination? Will one day an individual be criticised for if he or she does not have an equal distribution of friends amongst the races? Should race, gender, sexual preference, political view (aren’t everything become too political?) be considered in our friends’ distribution too? How far is too far? And does this really achieve equality after all? Aren’t we all a minority from an individual standpoint? And by being a minority, does that mean we are automatically being oppressed by some imaginary majority?

I don’t intend to offer a solution to these questions. Life is about balance and making trade offs instead of relying on grand theory or solution. But I know we must not fight prejudice with prejudice; we must not fight hate with hate; we must not fight absurdity with absurdity; we must not fight stupidity or ignorance with even more stupidity and ignorance.

We must build the future not purely based on imagination and ideology but historical facts, knowledge and careful validation. The real progress is about moving in the right direction, not just being fast for the sake of it.

So why we as a society is so willingly heading into this dangerous path? Maybe it’s because we are all afraid of the tyranny of all tyrannies, the madness of (some random and perhaps idiotic) crowds.

At least we should start with bravery. We also need more humility when it comes to our general inability to comprehend a lot of things in this world. We should all learn to ask more questions, instead of only offering answers, or mere opinions. Most of all, politics can not be the entire meaning of life.

I have also written a similar post before 歧視 / 不平等

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