Picked up a Children’s Book to Mark Racial Harmony Day, but Turns Out to be a Racist Book
With Singapore being a multi-racial country, the annual Racial Harmony Day is important in educating Singaporeans on the importance of respecting the different cultures.
For this year’s Racial Harmony Day, a 42-year-old woman, Estella Young, had borrowed a book titled “Who Wins?” from Bedok Library. She wanted to read it to her eight-year-old son but was astonished at the content of it instead.
Estella found the book to be “astoundingly racist” as it features Mao Mao (that means hairy in Chinese), who is a “dark-skinned” character with “oily curly hair”. The character is depicted as the school bully and in contrast to all the other fair-skinned characters. Everyone is afraid of him and he constantly bullies Pi Pi (the protagonist). There is also a part of the book where Pi Pi called Mao Mao smelly.
Estella further shares that there is no character development for Mao Mao, and he remained as the bad guy throughout. She can relate it to the common phrase by the old-school Chinese parent in saying “Behave or the Ah Neh will get you”. Hence, she found the book to be surprisingly racist, especially because it is meant for children.
Estella’s complaint on the public platform has led to the National Library Board reviewing that particular book and has proceed to remove all copies from libraries.
Top image by Umm Yusof via Facebook
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