Within present day people are placed into categories and marginalized in many different instances within their lives, which is an issue that needs to be fixed. No person should feel as though they are not appreciated by society, because of their race or religion, instead all cultures and races should be equally supported. For instance in many places certain races and ethnicities are recognized and supported by society, while the others slip into the cracks leaving those unrecognized races feeling as though they are not validated or wanted.
In the book Race and Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore (2009), Daniel Goh and Philip Holden discuss how different cultures and races are glorified more than others, and how this issue can be resolved. The book describes many instances where Malaysian and Singapore citizens are treated as second class citizens within society. For instance the British had assigned Malaysian citizens poor labor tasks within society based on their race, but not on their actual working capabilities. When discussing how to decrease the hierarchy between different races within the singaporean and
Malaysian society the article states “ we need first to explore and identify the characteristics of what we might call postcolonial multiculturalism, as differentiated from Western multiculturalism in various liberal manifestations” (2). This quote explains that in order to move towards a society where races are held to an equal status, you have to figure out how the different races are supported within society after being ruled by colonizers. You must recognize what makes all the cultures and races different, rather than bulking them together. You also need to be open to new ideas of how different races can be accepted in society. Whether that be through encouraging education to revolve around teaching students about their own culture and other cultures, so people will become more understanding of other people’s cultural background rather than making assumptions about them. Or by destroying systems that encourage the employment of one race or religious background over another one.
What i find interesting is the many similarities of how Malaysian and Singapore citizens are treated in comparison with African American. African Americans were often unable to attain certain jobs and rights do to their race, they were treated as second class citizens rather then equals. They were also all labeled as black rather than having society recognize that not all black people identify as African, some identify as Jamaican, Bahamian and many other islands but instead all dark skinned people are labeled as just being black. Like Malaysian and Singapore citizens African Americans are limited to how they can prosper in society due to the race they are assigned and limited to.
Goh, Daniel P.S. and Holden, Philip. Race and Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore. New York, Routledge, 2009.