The message that Makati City Mayor Abigal Binay received on Facebook referring to the skin color of the Binay family is the latest among the tasteless jokes and memes about it.
The city chief shared a series of messages that she received from a Facebook user who demanded her to suspend classes after the Taal Volcano had a steam-driven eruption.
Binay expressed her disappointment over the threats that included a racial slur and other derogatory terms.
“This is just one of several private messages I receive on a daily basis. I see the side of other people’s kids that they don’t show to their parents. What is more scary is there are people who found this post funny!” she wrote as she shared the messages.
This is a just one of several private messages I receive on a daily basis. I see the side of other people's kids that…
One Facebook user expressed his shock at how the student casually dropped racial slurs.
“Throwing around the ‘N’ word like it’s nothing is disturbing, to say the least,” Ederson Delos Trino Tapia said.
“Perhaps a film showing session on classics such as ‘Mississippi Burning’ would make this kid tread more carefully in using such hate-filled word,” he continued.
“Nigga” or “nigger” is considered a derogatory term used against people of African descent or people with a dark skin tone.
It gained notoriety during the Atlantic slave trade in the late 1880s when African people would be sold mainly to Americans as slaves.
While it can be heard in music nowadays, it was reportedly used to “desensitize the derogatory message behind the word,” according to Huffington Post.
Prior to the posting of the Facebook messages, Binay announced in another post that classes will resume in Makati on January 15, Wednesday.
“Let me preempt those who wish to send me a private message regarding school classes tomorrow, 15 Jan 2020. After two days of class suspensions, it is time for our teachers and children to go back to school,” she wrote.
Makati, which is 94 kilometers from Taal Volcano, suspended its classes on January 13 and 14 after it initially erupted on Sunday afternoon. Plumes as high as 100 meters reached the sky and heavy ashfall spread in areas as far as Quezon City.
The Health Department warned the public that volcanic ash may pose serious health problems such as bronchitis-like illness, nose, throat and eye irritation, minor skin problems and even death due to vehicular accidents caused by slippery ash-filled roads and poor visibility.
As of yesterday, air quality over Metro Manila has improved since Sunday’s eruption but it has worsened in areas closer to the Calabarzon region like Antipolo City, Mandaluyong and Taguig.
Abby Binay is not the only one who has experienced skin color shaming or discrimination. Her older sister, Sen. Nancy Binay, has consistently been mocked over her skin color on social media.
Embracing instead what was meant to offend, the senator published books poking fun of her own complexion. In “Charcoal Confessions” and “Make Love Not War,” she shares tips on how to survive online bullying and social media bashing.
“You celebrate your skin color that others make fun of. It’s about accepting yourself whatever you look like, whether you’re dark or white or short or tall,” Nancy said to Esquire Philippines.
“I don’t let it bother me, but it doesn’t mean I don’t get bothered. It’s hard to balance things. I don’t want people thinking it’s okay for people to get hit because of their skin color, but on the other hand, I don’t want them to think that I spend time getting bothered by those attacks,” she added.
When the subject of pushing the SOGIE Equality bill was discussed during a Senate inquiry last year, Nancy remarked if there was a need to pass an anti-discrimination bill concerning bullying on skin color as well.
“Maybe [the discussion on] discrimination should cover everybody, not just gender,” she said before.
“For example, I’ve been discriminated [because] of my color. Does that mean that I need to file a bill to protect people like me?” Nancy added.