Sexual, racial, gender violence and other forms of discrimination and violence in a culture cannot be eliminated without changing culture. - Charlotte Bunch
I have my share of discrimination. It was while queuing in an airlines travel office to get a transaction number. I was next in line when the guy handling the machine gave the number to a western looking gentleman behind me. The gentleman took it and hand it to me at the same time told the guy “His in front, he should get it first”. I didn’t react anymore because it’s obvious the guy was embarrassed. Like some pinoys, locals are also enamored and awed with anything western and at the same time look down on other Asians nationalities. I just considered and accepted this incident as part of working in a country whose culture is completely different from ours. What I can’t stomach is when the bashing comes from your own people as what Batjay and Nebz experienced.
Their posts made me contemplate where we got that repulsive attitude. I’ve read a book about evil being genetic in nature. It also mentioned genes discriminate and eliminate inferior design in order for species to survive. And that behavior is passed on to the specie itself. If theres truth to that hypothesis, are the likes of Malu Fernandez genetically superior than to the rest of us? I’ve seen her picture and I beg to differ.
Rizal’s “Noli” is full of these ugly traits. Perhaps we inherit it from the Spaniard's aristocratic ways. But then again we have nobility before the conquistadores reached our shores and “alipin” already exist long before the peasant farmers are beholden to the landowners.
Stereotyping is another form of discrimination. We make fun of people from other regions like the “Redneck” and “Yo Mama” jokes in the states. In Luzon, if you’re from the far north, you’re stingy, if from the south, you’re sexually promiscuous. Kapampangans are arrogant and we laugh at how Panggasinenses speaks English. Same as in the Visayas; Cebuanos think they are superior, Negrenses are “hambog”, Samarinios are trouble makers, Boholanos are the butt of every visayan jokes and we in Panay flies when the full moon is up.
It exists in our socio-economic strata. The “old money” looked down on the nouveau rich, and both disapproved of people who arrive to wealth via matrimony. Some attached the adjective “upper” to emphasize they are a notch higher than the ordinary middle class. And the poor equate their status by how many members there are in their family. Students coming from an exclusive school has more preference in prestigious universities than the one from the provinces, regardless of academic standing. A “Dr.”, an “Atty.” or an "Engr." in front of your name somehow impress a fickle minded individual. While a "Gen.", a "Col." or a mere "SPO1" connotes fear.
I’ve seen some people in the medical field who don’t like to mingle with our kabayans working in constructions. I’ve seen nurses in hospitals belittle fellow nurses who work on clinics. I’ve seen OFWs working in western countries looked down to those working in the Middle East and it goes on and on.
I still don’t have an answer to my question, and the “whys” just keep pilling up. All I know for sure; our culture sucks, big time!