A video recently uploaded to YouTube depicts two random passengers jumping to a white male’s defense in a Singapore subway — so it’s easy to see why it has gone viral. The white male passenger who was with a female friend were being assaulted by a rider who appears to be a gay man when two other riders stood up for the victims.
A play-by-play of what happened
At first, we hear a rude hysterical passenger asking a white male rider to make love to him, never mind the lady riding with the victim suggesting he go to a hospital instead. “I want you to *expletive* me tonight?,” he continues. That’s when a second female voice is heard.
“Would you, please…” — she asks while gesturing him to back off.
Taking a defensive tone, the rude passenger responds:
“I’m a gay and he’s a gay. I want him to *expletive* me tonight?”, all while making a seemingly dubious claim that he can touch whoever he wants in Singapore as there’s no law forbidding him to do so.
“That’s wonderful, but when you like something, you shouldn’t have to touch it…are you drunk?” the second female voice responds as the rude passenger responds with, “Yes, I drank a lot.”
He then switches his attention back to the victim asking if he can kiss him to which the victim responded by saying: “If you kiss me, I’ll punch your *expletive* face off.”
That apparently triggered the rude passenger to slap the victim’s face, bringing another good Samaritan into the picture, demanding he stop his nonsense and fortunately, the harassment stopped towards the end of the video.
Victim speaks out
Since the incident, the victim went on Facebook and was quoted saying:
“For those asking “Why didn’t you fight back or call the police?” I say, “I am a white immigrant in a country where I do not have citizenship and am a minority–law enforcement may not take my side, despite video and photo evidence.” This is something I learned while living in South Korea, where no amount of assimilation will protect you when a Korean is arguing against you. In this situation, there’s a chance I would’ve been accused of inciting violence, and been charged accordingly.” – Joe DeMarini
Is victim protected against harassment?
So far, it is unclear if charges have been filed against the rude passenger but a quick lookup on Google brought us to the Attorney-General’s Chambers of Singapore’s website indicating that Protection from Harassment Act does exist in Singapore, a country known for its conservative majority in government and the implementation of strict laws with heavy penalties for drug trafficking.
These passengers’ passionate defense of the individual being mistreated simply because of the way he dress was highly praised on social media. From the comments section on Joe DeMarini’s Facebook post, we can also see Joe’s recent response towards his plight:
Everyone, thank you so much for the words of support and love–it means a lot to know I have such an incredible social circle around the world that’s there for me when something awful happens.
I count myself extremely lucky that I have so many amazing friends who’ve reached out, whether here or in personal messages, and I know that not everyone has that luxury. For those that know me well, you know I like to be proactive in negative situations–to try and move on in a positive direction and find a way forward. With that in mind, I’ve just donated $25 to Singapore’s Sexual Assault Care Center (via AWARE) in the hopes that, should someone experience much worse than I have but not have anyone to talk to or support them, they’ll have the resources they need. If anyone else feels compelled to do the same, here’s a link to their website and what they do: http://sacc.aware.org.sg/get-involved/donate/
I’ve made this video public in the hopes that people will share it; maybe it’ll reach another passenger who was filming it or someone will recognize this man, and he won’t be able to do this to anyone ever again. With the help of a friend, I’m planning on taking the video to the police–not because I need justice, but because next time, maybe there won’t be anyone around to stop him, and I couldn’t live with myself if that happened.
For the record, I don’t think the bag I was carrying had anything to do with this particular situation, but it is a consistent example everywhere I go of people judging my sexuality based on an accessory, which is why I mentioned it: a person’s sexual preferences are not necessarily entwined with their sense of style. – Joe DeMarini
We can all see why the brave act has garnered so much attention as the multiracial and multicultural country of Singapore has been grappling with discontent over overcrowded capacity and spaces stemming from the country’s immigration policy.
As victims continue to fight the good fight, it’s beautiful to see people coming together to defend each other from male-on-male sexual harassments — verbal or otherwise.
If for some reason you can’t view the video on Facebook, check out the video below.