Racism or not? Woman at the centre of PA saga should set the record straightJun 16, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership
The People's Association (PA) decision to cancel a meeting with a couple whose wedding photo the PA turned into a cut-out standee is a "missed opportunity for constructive dialogue", said Sarah Bagharib, the woman at the centre of the PA saga.
The PA said it had offered the meeting to apologise to the couple in person, and to clarify its position but eventually rescinded on the offer.
PA felt that Sarah's Instagram postings stoke emotions and sentiments by framing the incident as racist - a claim PA rejected - and that the meeting may risk being appropriated as a platform to satiate Sarah's need for a crusade on racial justice.
PA also noted that Sarah did an Instagram Live interview with Assistant Professor Walid Jumblatt Abdullah, from Nanyang Technological University’s Public Policy and Global Affairs programme, on June 7 where she “insinuated that our staff and volunteers did not find anything wrong with the standee as they might be ‘blind to racism'”.
Racism was implied in Sarah's postings
When Fathership viewed both the interview footage and Sarah's instastories, we found that while it was not explicitly stated by Sarah that the PA incident was racist, there were grounds to conclude that racism was implied through the reposting of third-party commentaries by Sarah as well as her interview with Assistant Professor Walid.
Netizens also followed up from Sarah's content to condemn the issue as racist:
Woman declines to set the record straight
When asked by TODAY to respond specifically to PA's assertion that what it did was not racist and also its reference to her interview with Assistant Professor Walid, Sarah Bagharib declined to do so.
Sarah's latest statement in response to PA was considerably more moderate and less strident.
Whether the dialogue with PA is a missed opportunity or not, it would be prudent for Sarah Bagharib to cut through the smokescreen and reassert her position - on whether the PA saga is categorically racist or not.
By doing so, online commentary (and outrage) in the court of public opinion would be more measured and less abstract.
Without clarity, we risk the issue being muddled in a perpetual circle of back and forths without any way to move forward.
Woman's statement in full
Here's Sarah response to PA's statement in full: