Our favourite shit-stirrer, Wake Ip Singapore is back with another instagram post to trigger everyone. If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:
In their post, they highlighted that two Tuition centres here in Singapore; Bright Tutor and Champion Tutor have fields in their enrollment forms where parents can specify their preferences for tutors’ race, if any.
What’s wrong with this post?
It feels like quite a stretch to label this as ‘enabling racial biases’. Especially when parents are paying for educational services from a private vendor, and could have so many reasons for having a preference for a specific profile when they select teachers to help their children with their studies.
When we call people out for their preferences, like in this instance of choosing a tutor, we’re taking away the freedom of choice. So are we as a society really progressing? Or are we moving backwards?
Many Reactions Have Surfaced On TikTok
One Netizen, @verbaldarrell, shared his thoughts on TikTok;
Darrell shared that; “A platform called “Wake Up Singapore” posted this picture above and described it as “enabling racism”. I’ve been in the education industry for almost 20 years. Personally, I’ve never encountered a preference for a tutor’s race, and I don’t think it’s necessary, but I wouldn’t go in as far as to describe that as enabling racism.”
More importantly, Darrell highlighted that, “We must stop fanning and stoking racial tensions over every single little thing that makes for controversy and viewership.” Something the platform @wakeupsingapore has consistently done since GE2020, which has undoubtedly scored them their 100k+ followers on Instagram.
He also acknowledged in his video that the incident where the Ngee Ann Lecturer made racist comments to the interracial couple, was definitely racist. But he also shared that when “an elderly Malay couple prefers to rent their apartment to only Indian or Malay tenants, or a Chinese couple looks to hire a Chinese Math Tutor for their daughter? I don’t think those preferences amount to racism.” Darrell also raised an important point about how removing the choice of expressing a preference can lead to undercurrents of racial tensions instead. Especially when individuals “make race-related choices that make them more comfortable for whatever personal reason.” It definitely doesn’t make them hateful or malicious in intent.
For example, if a religious Christian or Muslim family wants to hire a home tutor for their child, and wind up getting a more liberal tutor who dresses a little less conservatively, wouldn’t that make the family uncomfortable? Or if a Malay family is more comfortable conversing in Bahasa Melayu, they would have better chances of getting a tutor who can converse in the language if they could specify ‘Malay’ as their race preference, over ‘Chinese’.
So why did @wakeupsingapore share that post?
Call-Out Culture, More Bad Than Good?
The main thing that @wakeupsingapore has actively been doing is what we now label as ‘call-out culture’ that has really spun out of control on social media. Call-out culture is defined as publicly criticizing people or companies for things that ‘violate’ their behavioural standards. Instead of ‘Calling-in’ which would mean contacting the person or company/entity privately to raise any issues or concerns.
This poses two problems.
One, social media is becoming an increasingly unsafe space for anyone to freely express themselves. Of course, no racist or malicious behaviour in any space should not be condoned. But when every single detail published by anyone is subject to scrutiny with the risk of being ‘cancelled’, social media then becomes such a toxic space.
Two, the element of learning and growing through making mistakes is completely lost on social media. Meaningful discussions are not had, and the people or companies or entities lose the opportunity to learn and rectify any of their mistakes, whether it’s big or small. In 2021, the woke mob cancels them outright. Publicly.
The Woke Mob Moves Onto @verbaldarrell To Call Him Out Publicly
In response to the TikTok video @verbaldarrell posted, @wakeupsingapore shared a post on Instagram to say that racial preferences are enabling racism, which basically is a bigger platform calling out a named individual with a significantly smaller following and invalidating their opinion on the issue. Bullying? Yes. Who gave @wakeupsingapore the authority to decide what is and what isn’t?
This also spurred the popular Singaporean TikToker @lielnicole to react and post her own response to @verbaldarrell’s original video, where she mentioned that she spent a few minutes of her ‘lived experience’ scrolling through a tuition group on Facebook to show a few examples where people have specified in their posts looking for a tuition teacher and that they preferred a ‘Chinese female’.
Of course, @wakeupsingapore took the opportunity to repost this on their page;
Which further proves our point about call-out culture. In this specific instance, what @wakeupsingapore is doing is outright bullying. Not just picking on @verbaldarrell more than once on their Instagram account, but also pushing him for a response to their ‘call-out’ and tagging him in their comments.
As a very obviously intended result, @wakeupsingapore has managed to direct the woke mob to attack Darrell on his Instagram account @crossward_sg.
Is this what the social media space in Singapore has come to? Where extreme woke accounts have the power to bully individuals who express opinions that are different from their own? If so, then we may end up in a place where we no longer have a healthy exchange of viewpoints in our society.