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US race riots ignite social media discussions on race relations in Malaysia

01 Jun 2020 / 09:12 H.

IT’S not often that Malaysians take part in conversations concerning matters that happen abroad, especially when there’s so much going on locally.

However, it seems like when an unarmed African American man gets brutally killed by a police officer sparking riots across a country, Malaysians have something to say.

“The world needs to see what’s going on in the US. Enough is enough, too many innocent black people have been murdered by police officers without any repercussions to their crime,” one netizen said, seeming to point towards the notion of racial bias in American policing.

The netizen may not be wrong as statistics compiled by various American national agencies seems to show evidence of these implicit racial biases. University of California’s doctorate student Cody T. Ross compiled national police­shootings data from 2011–14, concluding that “the probability of being black, unarmed and shot by police is about 3.5 times the probability of being white, unarmed and shot by police ...”

Drawing comparisons to home

Netizens also attempted to draw parallels between race relations in the US and Malaysia, pointing out the same racial biases that exist locally.

Comedian Dr Jason Leong highlighted a story through a Facebook post concerning a real estate agent who pointed out the lack of Africans in a condominium as a selling point. “At the end of the visit, he (real estate agent) says, “... So the asking price is RM 450000. Also, don’t worry here all no nego (n*g*o) ...” Dr Jason Leong posted on Facebook.

The discussions didn’t just end with the discrimination against Africans in Malaysia, but it also sparked discussions concerning how local minorities are treated in the custody of enforcement authorities.

One netizen tweeted: “Malaysians should also pay attention statistics on custodial deaths in Malaysia.”

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