Everybody should be treated equally

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 April, 2010, 12:00am

Some people say discrimination is common in Hong Kong. This is such a prosperous city that it is hard to believe people are treated badly because of their race, religion or colour.

There is also a misconception that whites are better than blacks. Many people take for granted that Caucasians are more polite and richer than their dark-skinned counterparts. But this does not make sense. You cannot judge a book by its cover.

There are laws in Hong Kong which protect people against discrimination in school and in the workplace. People's attitudes towards foreigners have changed.

If you suffer discrimination, do not worry. Many people will support you.

Kong Chun-hei

From the Editor

Thanks for your interesting letter, Chun-hei. I would like to think that your generation looks beyond the colour of a person's skin before making a judgment on their character. But it's not always the case.

Hong Kong has long been a place for people of all nationalities, religions, backgrounds - and yes, skin colours - to live together. Unfortunately, that gathering is not always harmonious, and very rarely equal.

There seems to be an outdated belief in Hong Kong that 'white is right' - the paler you are, the more important. Caucasians are often treated better than those with darker skin - even locals. This belief is even reflected in the use of whitening creams. If you use them, beauty companies tell you, you will be more attractive.

But the colour of your skin has nothing to do with who you are as a person, or what you are good at. We should be proud of our culture - it's part of what makes us who we are - but we should never be treated differently because of it. There may be laws in place to prevent discrimination, but what's more important is a change in attitude.

Karly, Deputy Editor