I had to post this little tidbit I found on RanoAdidas.com. (Ranoadidas.com is Brunei’s No. 1 social news site. And now you know.) Apparently, a Bruneian school decided to, as a change for this semester, separate restrooms based on ethnicity:
“Racial divisions in restrooms?? Now a student whom want to remain anonymous sent me an email to share what I think it’s kinda unusual. Well, the fact that the toilets are categorised into different races do raise an eyebrow or two. Of course, unisex toilet is a definite no-no but racial division for toilets is tad too much, don’t you think? I could be wrong but since when do toilets cater to different races or positions? But this has turned out to be a good talking point.
Now the question is what if you are mixed?…Tsk tsk…I don’t even know why this was done in the first place and I’m still curious to which local school actually practised this. The labels came after a renovation was done in December before school re-opened.”
In light of the very chashuv birthday this week (and I mean Martin Luther King, not LL Cool J’s 40th), I think one would be remiss not to compare this to Jim Crow laws which mandated segregation in America up until the 60s. While this, in its specificity, is much more nuanced (and therefore more prone to problems like Rano’s biracial example or logistic problems — e.g., is a Chinese or Malaysian person who moves to Brunei not an expat?), and more reflective of Brunei’s Chinese-Malay-South Asian conflicts, it sets up the same problem faced by many colored patrons of yesteryear.
Sometimes prejudice can leave you without a pot to piss in.