The rights and wrongs of Reuben Wang
Reuben Wang is the new young sensation after the infamous get out of my elite uncaring face episode. But this time Reuben’s notoriety is about swearing at the DPM. Young people are hot and expressive. It is a kind of language that I too occasionally let go when frustrated by the unrepentant. Using such terminologies are socially incorrect in whatever circumstances, but sometimes they came out spontaneously and there is no other expletives that can replace them in saying what needs to be said. I am not encouraging the young to be so flowery and generous in their verbal expression.
It is the right for anyone to disagree with anyone, even with the govt or the most powerful one. Disagreement is not about being rude or uncourteous or being offensive or even a crime. What is so wrong about saying one disagree with some views or even policies? Unless the turkey thinks that he is damn right and nobody can disagree with his idiocy.
Young people, especially sinkies, must be encouraged to think critically and to disagree when it is right to disagree, when they seriously think that something is just not right. Maybe it is not a matter of right or wrong but a matter of priorities, a matter of values, a matter of interpretations.
No one shall be castigated for disagreeing. The schools have a vital role in not teaching students to conform to authority for the sake of political correctness. This will be the biggest failure of our education process if we do that. And unfortunately we have done that for too long and have sterilized the minds of several generations of unthinking Sinkies.
The inability or fear to question and to disagree is a sickness in our people to the extent that any little disagreement or non acceptance of a dominant idea is taken as a big surprise, a big shock, a no no. Disagreement, in the case of Reuben Wang, could be put forth succinctly, forcefully but with less venom. A little deference is not a bad thing but not be cowed by jokers who demand that everyone must know his place. A bit of decorum and decency is good and would allow a disagreement to be taken and accepted in a more pleasant way. Just disagree if one has do, and there is nothing about being brave or being right or wrong, but don’t give the other an excuse that one is rude. That will distract the whole intention of the disagreement.
As this is exactly what happened to the Reuben case. It is no longer about the whys of his outburst, the reason for his displeasure or anger. It is now about his being socially incorrect, rude and maybe be removed from school. It became a disciplinary issue. What happens to the crux of the discussion? Lost in the milieu of challenging a social norm?