There is No Door for Racism.

Artwork by Alessandro Mulya

There has been recently, an attack on Asian Americans in Oakland — many elderly people died and many others terrorized. You know, here in Indonesia, we have been through similar events like that — the Tragedy of ’98, and some others I experienced myself as a minority class, both in religion and in race.

But for whatever reason this attack was aimed towards, it will never justify all the attacks, all the racist slurs, all the hate fueled towards Asian Americans and the Pacific Islander, an attack is still, an attack. You can twist the blame and you can point fingers somewhere else and you can blast some other news in media, but the main idea of the shooter remains the same; he’s a racist.

My experience is that, if some people are uneducated enough to learn the difference of slurs; much less being an ignorant himself, the hate still remains in his head. Back when I was in senior high school, I was the only Chinese descent and the only Christian, so from my opinion, it was easy for almost everybody to gang up on me. Some insults were ranging from “Your God died naked” to “All of your race deserves to be burned”. Such things were, almost frightening the first time I heard them.

Up until this very moment, some of my acquaintances who’ve said those words has since been — maybe a little grown up now, so I rarely hear those insults again, but they never said sorry, not even being sorry themselves for saying such things, right in front of my face. ( I remember one of them said that my “blood is halal for killing” and “no matter how good you are, you are still going to hell”. )

There is a saying that you should let bygones be bygones, but it’s hard to imagine such statement will stay true, especially if the past memories is haunting you so much and the opposing party never indicate a sense of saying sorry in the first place. My experience, all in all, would never amount to the recent attack to the AAPIs in America or Tragedy of ’98, but it was never about “who got it worse than the other”. It’s about holding hands together with all the vastness of diversity there is, all around the world.

Deep condolences for those passed away from the attack, and I sincerely wish this will be the last time ever we will ever witness such tragedy to happen again. May God bless us all in eternity.