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Jakarta Post

Cultural understanding: Panacea for racism, better approach for Papua

  • Vidhyandika D. Perkasa

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Jakarta   /   Fri, September 27, 2019   /  01:06 pm
Cultural understanding: Panacea for racism, better approach for Papua A banner that reads “We Reject Whoever Comes” on the gate of Papuan students' dormitory in Jl. Kalasan, Surabaya, East Java. (kompas.com/A. Faizal)

The protests of the Papuan community in several big cities on Java and in Papua as a result of racism experienced by Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java, should not have been surprising. The causal factors of such a time bomb that are the troubles in Papua are easily identified: ineffective economic development, demands for historical rectification that have never been responded to concretely by the government, and unresolved human rights violations. The three dimensions of the problem are exacerbated by the discrimination and injustice experienced by indigenous Papuans for years, resulting in degradation of self-esteem and also in the eyes of other ethnic identities in Indonesia. A Papuan youth once mentioned in a discussion: “I would rather die than be insulted.” This is an expression of the importance of the Papuan identity as something that must be defend...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.