Awkward Racism

There are moments when we would find ourselves joking about other nations/races. I don't know, jokes about racism is always comes natural. I think everyone might engaged on at least one conversations about it.

We often joke about other race that not there. But, only Russel Peter that could pull it out on public without being cast. For us, we are deemed to have those jokes when no person from the race there.

Now, what happens when there was one?

... [That moment of awkward silence] 

I was with my friends on a coffee shop discussing about the richness of our diversity. You know, only in Indonesia many different races could blend well. I guess we owe one from the good ol' dictator, H. M. Soeharto. My generation was raised in a forced cultural blend. Some of us, like me, couldn't talk fluently in our racial language.

And then, we talk about Malaysia. My experience in Malaysia showed a little fear about how far this country could stand united. When I was in a commuter, I found people being clustered. Oddly, I found left side a Chinese women with hot cloth and at the right a Melayu women with hijab. I see none of them interacting. Weird, I felt like standing in between two worlds.

The situation is different in Indonesia. People with different racial trait would blend well. I can see that Jakarta is the melting pot. Like my friend said, we only have one language: money. Ha... ha... ha.... Sehr interessant!

And then, I remember about Sankaku Complex [NSFW] talking about how racist the Korean with black person. I remembered an incident in a flea market where people were running away when a black person showed.

So I said, "Korean also racists." Then, my friend with troubled face talked, "which Korean?" I think he tried to signal me about something.

I had an odd feeling about it. I looked behind and there was a Korean women standing behind my back. She would overheard our conversation. Although she appeared texting, I think she definitely overheard my voice!


And I tried to make a brilliant comeback: [This is not the complete conversation, omitted here and there because of my memory, but at least this was the most part]

"I mean, The North Korean. You know how they bombed everyone. They bombed Japan. They bombed borders and no one fights back. Amazing, how they have millions of soldiers"

"And I think who is the name of the leader? Kim Jong Il or Un?"

"Kim Jong Un"

"Oh, yeah, there is a Tumblr about Kim Jong Un stares at something. Just like his father."

"Ah, I felt like we are like in Command & Conquer: Generals...."

And the rest of conversation in an attempt to avert my foolish mouth went on.

After the conversation stopped, either it was coincidence or not (I hope it was), the girl ran away into the Faculty of Culture. I really hope it was coincidence. I really really hope she wasn't misunderstood about us. I really really really hope that she was running away because it was cloudy and the rain was stopped momentarily.

I mean, I'm still afraid of our Korean fellow students would talk about how racist Indonesian just because she overheard my conversation. Well, this made me think of never talk about racism again in public. Especially when we are not in Comedy Central and we are not Peter Russel.

The temptation of making a fool of anyone else's race is quite high. I mean, who could resists to not discuss about story when Abed told Trey to be the first black guy who didn't die first in a movie? I honestly laugh at that first and then "huh?" A sudden realization about movies being like that.

I think we are anxious when facing differences. Some of us would shy away, some would mad and some would like to joke about it. I think to joke something that we fear is a way to defeat the fear. Like a saying: "I laugh at the face of death!"

I think laughing at the funny accent is a way for us to shut the alertness on our mind. To tell the mind, "hey, that isn't dangerous. That doesn't feel threatening. In fact, it is funny. Deal with it!"

Joking about others is also, I admit, a way to hide our inferiority complex. Feeling like a boss might comfort us. To make us proud as to heal against something that would threatening our pride, one of our prove of existence.

But the problem is about the person that being made fun of. What about him/her? Can the person stand a chance? Don't the person felt humiliated? Don't the person deserves to be acknowledge as a fellow equal?

I do feel sorry. I don't feel good either when I know that I might be hurting the person's heart. I wish I could tell her that we are just joking. Besides, don't you think Korean have adorable faces and Pop culture?

Well, I guess part of my tweeting K-Pop this evening might be a self-conscious of making apology. I don't want to be a bad person. I know I might be racist. But that's just because it is natural to be one. I wish I wasn't, but I know racism is in everyone of us.

I don't want to hurt people and their feeling. As a minority, I know how it hurt to be made fun of. I feel like a hypocrite, talking against generalization but making one. It was a joke and a bad one.

Oh, well, lesson learned.


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