Monday, September 08, 2008
Racist in the eyes of an Indonesian
It started here and here, the comment and statement on both of these two blog kept me asked my self of that question again and again.
“Are We Racist ?” – “Are Indonesian Racist ?” – “How Do We Accept all the differences in our country ?”
What is Racist means ? According to Wikipedia :
Racism, by its simplest definition, is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. People with racist beliefs might hate certain groups of people according to their racial groups.
While the term racism usually denotes race-based prejudice, violence, discrimination, or oppression, the term can also have varying and hotly contested definitions
If we are looking into Wikipedia definition then we may say that Indonesians are not racist, because it’s obvious that Indonesian never hate certain groups of people according to their racial groups.
Why ? Because we never value somebody based on their skin color and religion. We don’t have a term as “Black” and “White” definition to our people like in America.
But is that all, is that true that we are definitely are not racist ?
Yes, it may be true that we do not have the “Black” and “White” terms, but we have a lot of others term to express the stereotype of our culture, where the terms may lead to racism. In our discussion, it’s common to say that “no wonder, he/she is Chinese or no wonder; he/she is Manado, or other ethnic.” We never leave behind the stereotype of each ethnic; we live with that, the prejudice instinct.
Same with religion, there’s nothing new here. It’s common for the fanatical to look down at others, to give a statement to persuade others to follow their beliefs, to push other religion disciple to follow with their rules. It’s easy to condemn other religion as infidel, as unbeliever. How easy to bring a disagreement under “religious” law and persuade it as a legal law and do the harmful action based on that “religious” law.
I read article about “nation” and “civilization” of Indonesia, which bring me to the understanding of our “Racist” issue.
As a nation, we don’t have of what we called “Indonesia Civilization”, like American. We can not claim that the civilization that we have now is Indonesia Civilization, because when we build our nation, it was not based on our Indonesia Civilization instead it was based on our ethnicity, e.g. Batak, Sunda, Java, Manado, Bali, Chinese (name it). The realization to be a nation was due to colonialism, where we as a human being would like to have the freedom to act and to think.
Therefore back to Treespotter question, are we racist ? If I may say, “Yes, we are racist” in all understanding of racism, we have to admit it.
No one in this world are not racist, everybody has their own judgment, their own prejudice towards others, ethnicity to other ethnicity, nation to nation, religion to religion, minority to majority, gender to gender. The difference only in the way we weigh or scale our racism in our blood, in our thinking, in our eyes.
As a human we can not deny it, we have that issue in our blood. Indonesian or not, American or not, African or not, Australian or not, China or not, I have to say, we all are racist in our own way.