I’ve seen many comments from international communities sharing their concerns and support for Myanmar people regarding the recent events occurring in my country. I’m truly touched to receive so much love from people I’ve have never met. At the same time, I’ve also seen comments that say like “why didn’t they raise their voice when the villages of ethnic minorities were burnt?”, “where were they while Rohingya Muslims were killed?” and worst of all, “this will serve them right” or “they deserve this”.
The first two comments, yeah, we failed to stand up for them. I have said it before that we didn’t try hard enough for other ethnic groups because we’re comfortable with our privilege and we took our privilege for granted until it is revoked. We don’t blame other ethnic groups if they are a bit reluctant to raise their voice for us right now. But we see and hear so many voices that stand along with us. We ask for solidarity and we get it from various groups of ethnic minorities. But it’s painful to see several comments like the last one with full of bitterness. I would like to express my take on this.
However, those western privileged arse living outside Myanmar judging and telling the entire citizens deserve this inhumane treatment as a punishment? Those heartless arse can stay in the similar category of the supremacist twats. Do they even realize that the ‘people’ that deserve to be killed and tortured are NOT the people who perpetrated these crimes? These people have been manipulated by the military, as well.
Myanmar has been under military regime for more than 60 years. Our history books and textbooks are covered up with false information. They are spiked with nationalism and give almost no rooms for other ethnic groups. The fake-democracy we got in 2010 and the so called semi-democracy in NLD-led administration, both of them didn’t liberate many of us. There was no proper political and social reform in the past, let alone the educational reform which I believe is a vital role for a country’s future.
We have to get rid of this more than half century long deliberate misinformation the junta fed us. It had deep rooted in our mind that we failed to grasp the true horrid image of the junta until we finally face them ourselves. Majority of us are oppressed under the dictatorship for several decades. I would bow my head and listen if these “you deserve this” comment is coming from our brothers and sisters. But they hardly say such words. They only utter, “we wish you could have voiced out for us, too.” Now there are many posts about Burmese asking for forgiveness from ethnic minorities for not voicing out or trying enough to fight against the military.
There’s no doubt that there are some racists people in Myanmar. Not just racists, there are sexists, ageists, islamophobic, xenophobic, homophobic, etc etc. Majority of them are because of the lack of proper education in the country. That being said, some even “educated” people have such mindsets, too. All have been systematically brainwashed. Like you said, we all have been shaped by our upbringing and environment. And those racists exist not just in Myanmar, it’s all over the world.
Now is the point where Myanmar people have a bit of political awakening. What we need is the awakening of civil society. We can’t just say our eyes are open now. We also have to open our arms, too. Political reform is important and so are economic, education and social reforms.
So.. dear privileged people who penned about your opinions on our country’s politic, I’m not begging for the forgiveness. I’m only saying that your response to us who are trying to fight against the dictatorship that have divided all the racial groups shouldn’t be “you deserve this”. Just step out from your ivory tower before you judge us. And plus fcuk off to those people trying to wedge between our ethnic groups with racial hatred in this important time.