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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

An Ironic Blast from the Past

"We hate some persons because we do not know them; and we will not know them because we hate them." - Charles Caleb Colton

***

[In the Commonwealth,] enlightened self-interest is tempered by a sincere desire to do what we can to improve the lot of the others, or at least make it more bearable...

Restraint and good manners prevented face to face encounter from degenerating into disorder, which characterised the French Assembly of the Fourth Republic...

A shortage of workers for the jobs in the lover (sic) social order has tempted governments to seek the easy way out, by allowing immigrants to take up these jobs. Now, they have to live with the problems of accommodation and integration...

White racist-supremist theories can only be demolished by clearly demonstrating that the whites are not superior... We cannot despair either for the white, black, brown, or the yellow man. There are in every ethnic group the outstanding intellect, that percentage of highflyers. Ralph Bunche or Arthur Lewis, in diplomacy or scholarship, or James Baldwin and Richard Wright in literature, many blacks have made outstanding contributions in open competition with a mainly white population.

But the problem the less developed countries face is not that we do not have the individuals with exceptional qualities. The problem is that we are judged by our performance as a group, not as individuals. And for group performance, more than a few men of outstanding qualities are required. The cultural ballast, the value patterns, the solid discipline, the organisational framework of effective government within which individual endeavour is made rewarding, and collective performance becomes a source of national pride -- these are crucial ingredients. Then we will command equality, both as individuals, and as ethnic and social groups...

We shall be disappointed if we believe that this dissolving of primeval prejudices will happen overnight. Behind the intellect is the primordial nervous system, reacting involuntarily with fear and prejudice to the strange and the unaccustomed. Worse, this is reinforced in so many ways by the portraying of inferiority of certain ethnic groups in literature, on television, and even in dolls...

Please remember that we do not pretend to be virtuous. Hypocrisy is not a feature of Singapore's leadership"

--- Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1971: Address at the Closure of the Conference by the Chairman, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, on 22nd January, 1971
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