Sherri Ashlee’s Alleged Racism Encounter With A Taxi Driver Called Out By Netizens For Being Attention Seeking

A local actor and co-founder of Plugged Sg, Sherri Ashlee, shared her alleged racist experience with a taxi uncle with Wake Up Singapore only to receive quite a backlash from netizens.

Sherri was upset that the taxi uncle asked her if she was Malay because she was headed to Aliwal St.

According to Wake Up Singapore, Sherri mentioned that she tried educating the taxi uncle on how Aliwal St is an arts centre where events and shows are held.

She also said that ignorance is not an excuse for racist behaviour regardless of age.

However, the comments section was not kind to Sherri for making what they feel was a small issue into something big unnecessarily Many mentioned that it wasn’t racism and the uncle was probably just ignorant.

Some even said that Sherri was probably unhappy that the uncle assumed she was Malay. If she feels offended for being mistaken as Malay, there is a possibility that she herself holds negative stereotypes towards Malays.

It is an interesting correlation between technology and sensitivity. The more advanced technology becomes, the more sensitive people become.

There are those who mentioned that Singapore has more pressing issues that need more attention than this petty incident.

And then there were a couple of “wokes” who supported Sherri.

Perhaps it was to generate attention.

While the uncle was nosy in the way he was trying to ascertain Sherri’s race, it doesn’t seem that there was malice in his intention. It is normal for taxi drivers to strike up conversations with their passengers by asking them their race especially when they look racially ambiguous. More often than not, it is just curiosity on the drivers part and it’s a segway into their own repertoire of experiences with other passengers of the same race. 

Racism exists in Singapore, it is a very serious problem especially in the workplaces and opportunities offered.  However, to call every other encounter with a harmless but nosy and ignorant individual can cause more harm than good.

Reporter’s Opinion: Were you unhappy that he called you Malay because you’re not?

What was the race of the taxi uncle for you to call him racist for a nosy comment? Here’s the thing, while Aliwal St is an arts district, the truth is most people who gather there really are from the Malay community.

It’s common for taxi uncles to ask you what you’re doing in places that are considered districts that are usually associated with certain communities/cultures like Geylang, Little India, Arab St, Chinatown etc. They will then ask you what race you are not out of malice but just being kaypoh. 

Unless they say “Standard lah, Chinese/Malay/Indian/etc go there to lepak/makan/drink and then cause trouble. Typical mah.”

Yeah then you can call him out on blatant stereotyping and racism.

Racism is a real problem but to use it in every other encounter trivialises the problem. I admit there was stereotyping and generalisation in the way the uncle made that statement but to call him a racist, that’s a stretch.

Racism is not a lottery ticket for instant publicity. As a person of colour, don’t misuse the fight for equal rights and opportunities for minorities as an agenda for you to gain attention. It is despicable.

We have more important things that’s a result of systemic racism to solve. Petty issues like these can be resolved without the need to call it racism.

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Lintah Darah

Written by Lintah Darah

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