"Helping your own" implies that we have a responsibility limited only to our kind and that the needs of everyone else is of secondary importance.
This is bad enough when it affects adults, but when it is applied on a child, it makes one wonder how low we human beings can actually stoop to - as in the case of my friend's nephew.
"Tonight, at dinner, Mom asked me why I wasn't going for extra class with the rest of my classmates. (Extra class for Phys, Chem, AddMath and English started a week ago.) I told Mom that the program was offered only to Bumiputeras..."
In this case, the racism is institutionalized in our government policies. I cannot begin to express how disturbing it is that a select group of students get privileges because of their skin colour.
How can we preach unity or teach it to our young when one child is excluded in this manner? This is a prime example of a Malay government looking after its own.
Yet, while this is the most rampant form of racism, being institutionalized, it is not the only one.
I stumbled upon this letter by one Umar Mukhtar to Malaysiakini: Malott painted only half the picture of racism
I can't help but feel that he has a point too. In many ways, it is the other side of the coin.
The writer feels that the segregation of the school system causes the racial polarization that we see today. I personally don't think this is merely about the education system.
I think it also has a lot to do with perpetuating stereotypes. Chinese are regarded as greedy while Indians are "not to be trusted". Malays of course, are "lazy".
So each race looks out for its own.
The Chinese build their vernacular schools, the Malays give additional classes to the "bumiputera", and the Indians .... well, I'm not quite sure what they do. I suppose they have taken to marching against UMNO (not a bad thing at all).
If we only started caring for our fellow human beings purely because they essentially have every right to be alive - just like we do, the world would be a far different place.
It would be so much better.