^I'll lay off on the youtube comments. Those things have a reputation for being extremely dumb.
Zamfir: Saw this late but I'll put this on top because it looks important.
What actually are these racial stereotypes? Because it's not like we don't have nastier ones than halal / non-halal food. But no one really takes those seriously, because you know, not every malay is a lazy person and not every Chinese is a moneygrubbing banker.
They don't have anything to do with tenancy because money looks the same whoever it used to belong to. It does for employment however, which is not helped by the image of Chinese as the employers and malays the employees (I have no statistics to back up a formal claim in this nature, but true or not this is the perception).
Addition: Just wiki-ed it. The watermelon and fried chicken thing is hilarious, a bit like the anecdotes of cooking. The rest are more disturbing. Or confusing, in the case of the claim that success of black athletes discourages academic achievements.
Hm. Cultural melting pot. Singapore did mention something like that, recalling my social studies classes (I grew up in SG).
Don't think it means the same thing over here, because racial self-segregation is the norm. Well, not in government housing of course. I know it is essentially discrimination but it's... seriously not a big deal over here.
PAstrychef wrote:Would a Malay family have a problem if the family next door was Chinese?
It depends. In a strip of terrace houses, probably not. There is enough spacing. I do see some Malays right across the road from where I am currently renting a room and I barely see them as it is anyway.
In an apartment as next door neighbours, that might be more of a problem. Especially if the Chinese does some cooking (which will not be halal, too many Chinese dishes have pork). Or if the Malay family has a loud call to prayer (the problem is not the midday and evening ones, but the one at 6am? somewhere around there).
Of course, the personalities involved make most of the difference. Two Chinese could be fighting a bitter war over something like whose dog ate whose plants' fruit, while the Malay next door has absolutely no problem because he doesn't cook and they don't mind the call to prayer. It's just that there are more surfaces to generate sparks than someone who shares all the same holidays and doesn't feel you are rude because you decided to eat in your front yard during the fasting month.
(FYI, that also happened to me; when I went to get a cup of milo during a tea break at work and brought it back to the office. Being the rude person that I am, I of course just finished the cup without a care =P)
Chen wrote:That's pretty classic discrimination there. Not all white males are bad people. Not all of them would be messy and not pay rent on time. Your parents are simply stereotyping based on race here. Racial stereotyping in this manner IS harmful. Start interviewing people, require references or whatever. Use actual methods to determine if the person is going to be a slob and late payer rather than simply assuming they will be based on the color of their skin or their gender or whatever. That's the entire reason for these laws existing.
Yeah I know that. I do read enough on xkcd. XD
They do meet with tenancy applicants of course, not as a formal interview though. And the impression they get is that white people are too rude. And they interpret rude as a marker that the person will be difficult to deal with and so never sign them on.
This is my interpretation on what is happening: The culture in this region is less forward than in the west, sometimes you are indeed expected to hold your peace instead of speaking your mind to avoid making future relationships more antagonistic. Sharp words and late payment reminders are like a direct criticism and can be viewed as breaking an unwritten rule. By the time it comes down to lawyer's letters and confiscation of deposits, it feels like outright war. So westerners have a stereotype of being difficult to deal with, and because of speaking behaviour, the assessment by proxy of the actual behaviour for messiness and late payments is highly biased.
(an example of being non-confrontational: the aforementioned drink during the fasting month. There were only joking remarks like 'you're making me break my fast" and mock jealousy. But it was that or go to sleep at work, and my boss is an Indian, so I took the risk. That might be considered rude but no one would ever say it to my face so I would never know. )
The flip side is that they don't want the risk and hassle of having to deal with these issues, so as long as enough other tenants are available, they will simply write out everyone with perceived higher risk based on a single behavioural marker. Requiring references and past history is close to impossible in most cases (no one does that here), so unfortunate as it may be, an indirect marker gets used.
If, for example, they meet a... oh I dunno, a shy and reserved single white male, they might be more likely to view that person favourably. On the other hand, the only way that would happen is if the agent recommended that person specifically (the agents themselves serve as another filter for potentially problematic tenants), due to once again, the racial self-segregation effect. You simply don't get a Malay applying for tenancy with a Chinese landlord. It has happened exactly zero times in my family.
This is somewhat related to the Disparate Impact part. Where some other non-racial marker, generates racially biased outcomes. While I think I might understand the housing part more now, this part still gets me.
If racial bias is an incidental result of another filtering process, what is the problem? The example Pastrychef gave about testing boggles the mind in particular. Employer issued tests are, not common but not unheard of. I have... heard along the grapevine that some companies use them because degrees over here are sometimes not trustable.
Even if it's not a demonstrable business need but, example, attention to language and grammar in an interview which obviously discriminates against non-proficient speakers and dialects -not just for English of course, a Chinese applicant would have an advantage in job interviews with a Chinese employer especially if the interviewer is more fluent in Chinese than in English. Do they just not allow interviews at all in America?
(even more eye-poppingly hilarious is the Wikipedia example of the fire department refusing to promote anyone because the result of a promotion test failed disparate impact. And then they got sued by the white firemen.
I mean, I have no words to describe that. Literally. If you wrote that in a story, I would call it unrealistic. -.- )